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MINExpo 2016: Atlas Copco announces blast hole drilling developments

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World Coal,

Atlas Copco announced a number of new development to its Pit Viper range of blasthole drills at MINExpo 2016 in Las Vegas – including the debut of a fully-autonomous and cab-less Pit Viper 275.

The Pit Viper 275 CA includes a full suite of Atlas Copco products require to run an autonomous drill. Although its was designed and built as a concept specifically for MINExpo 2016, the fully autonomous drill is fully operational and identical to the technology that the company uses on its existing semi- and full-autonomous drills.

The heart of the Pit Viper 275 CA is the Rig Control System (RCS), which was launched over a decade ago. The CANbus system provides the building blocks for the cab-less machine.

In place of the cab, the drill has a terminal with an RCS display, controls and stool and table, which accommodates required troubleshooting or maintenance when operational control from the deck is needed. It is also possible to remove the cab from an existing Pit Viper 275 and replace with a terminal for those customers that want to transition to a fully-autonomous, cab-less operation.

New Pit Viper 231 launched

MINExpo 2016 also marked the fifth consecutive MINExpo during which Atlas Copco has unveiled a new model Pit Viper. This year, the company launched the Pit Viper 231.

The new drill builds on the proven operation of the Pit Viper 235 to grow Atlas Copco’s single-pass offering, boasting a 16.2 m clean hole single-pass tower on a mainframe capable of drilling a hole between 171 – 250 mm.

“The drill at MINExpo showcases the latest in Atlas Copco technology, while focusing on ways to reduce the total operating costs with features such as the Atlas Copco patented hydraulic wet clutch and its latest version of Autodrill,” the company said in a press release.

Pit Viper BenchREMOTE system

Atlas Copco also displayed the Pit Viper BenchREMOTE system in Las Vegas to show how versatile and adaptable the system can be when run in conjunction with Pit Viper drills. The system frees the operator from the cab on the drill, allowing the driller to operate from an office or remote operations environment.

The intent of BenchREMOTE is safety, productivity and efficiency. According to the company, field data has shown up to a 10% increase in utilisation benefits from shift changes, weather restrictions and many more. It is made possible with the company’s patented Autodrill and Auto Rod Change programmes, which take away the guesswork and focus on optimisation and productivity for the drilling cycle.

In addition to the technology, Atlas Copco also supports mining companies’ change management with an experienced and knowledgeable service team and operator trainers.

One of the many examples took place in the US Iron Ore range on a Pit Viper 351: Atlas Copco brought in its remote operations centre and in less than one week, the mine was operating Pit Viper BenchREMOTE successfully and without intervention. Another example is in the Wyoming coalfields, where Atlas Copco had a Pit Viper 275 running line of site, up to 1 km away.

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