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Tomorrow machine

Introducing a new heavy-duty rig for large-scale operations in open-cast mines. Sandvik DR481i, for up to 406-millimetre holes, is engineered to maximize productivity in terms of sheer volume and tonnage while at the same time delivering a lower total cost of ­ownership.

It is the massive size that first meets the eye in the forthcoming Sandvik DR481i surface drill rig. With the mast raised, it stands 32 metres tall, and has a base weight of almost 200 tonnes. The crawler-mounted system expands the hole size range of Sandvik surface drill rigs from the previous maximum of 311 millimetres up to 406 millimetres. Like all larger surface drills, it uses a rotary system in which the rotating drill bit cuts or crushes the rock with sheer downward force. Primary applications of this hard-rock rig include iron and copper mining.

Two decades of operating lifetime
“We are expecting operating lifetimes exceeding 100,000 hours,” says Tab Siegrist, global product line manager surface drills at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “This rig has the potential to loyally serve a mine for more than 20 years. Sandvik DR481i will offer a great balance between maximum productivity and cost efficiency. In fact, we are pretty confident that the drill with Compressor Management System (CMS) savings can pay for itself over its lifetime.”

Everything in Sandvik DR481i is designed to deliver our customers value

Sandvik DR481i will feature an inertia rotary head with advanced technology designed to increase drilling efficiency. The mass of the rotating components in this system has been increased by adding flywheels to the input pinions to effectively maintain constant momentum and counteract any obstructions causing vibrations. The extreme pulldown capacity of 54 tonnes not only enables high penetration rates but delivers the bit load to maximize penetration for the rotary bits of today and tomorrow.

The extensive 21-metre single-pass capacity is sure to be appreciated by large-scale hard-rock mining operations. The dual speed system offers a fine feed rate for drilling and fast feed for manoeuvring the drill string. The mast features a unique chain feed system equipped with a travelling centralizer to effectively minimize lateral loads and movements of the drill string and to improve hole straightness. Straighter holes translate to improved rock fragmentation as well as less throw and rock scattering during blasting. The travelling centralizer additionally increases the usable life of both the rotation head and the mast. The mast struts are designed for quick automatic raising and lowering.

Tech specs: Sandvik DR481i

  • Hole diameter: 270–406 millimetres
  • Bit load: 72 tonnes
  • Feed system: chain
  • Single-pass depth: 21 metres
  • Total depth: 42.5 metres
  • Operating weight: 197 tonnes

No manual handling is required, as with many comparable surface drills. In combination with safe access to the mast service points, this improves both productivity and ease of maintenance.

Fully compliant
The power group of Sandvik DR481i is based on the next-generation 1,118 kilowatt Cummins QSK50 diesel engine to comply with future Tier 4 emission control requirements. A key component in the power group is also the patented Sandvik CMS, which substantially decreases the load on both the engine and the compressor. When no power is needed, the CMS simply eliminates the load.

Extensive field testing has shown that the CMS can help to cut fuel consumption by more than 30 percent. Furthermore, the reduced load means extended maintenance intervals and increases the service life of the engine, compressor and other components.

Engineered with upkeep in mind
Ease of maintenance in general is a key design feature of Sandvik DR481i. The 360-degree walkways and ladders designed according to ISO 2867/AS 1657 provide safe and convenient access to the cabin and all key service points. All regularly replaced filters are centralized in a single stand. The filter stand also includes a centralized sampling point for all key fluids to facilitate preventive maintenance, as opposed to potentially unnecessary scheduled servicing. The entire power group is installed in a separate sub-frame and can be easily lifted off for more extensive maintenance. All maintenance tasks are supported by comprehensive health monitoring and diagnostics systems for reduced troubleshooting time and improved availability.

Sandvik DR481i is available with scalable automation options, ranging in four levels from basic auto levelling, 3D navigation and energy management modules up to remote non-line-of-sight operation. A mine manager can first select a simple option and later upgrade as required. In the most advanced configurations, a single operator may use the tele-remote control to operate several drill rigs from a control room, potentially thousands of miles away. Safety is always the top priority for Sandvik, and Sandvik DR481i is no exception. A major advantage of tele-remote control is the ability to keep personnel away from any hazardous locations. The new large cabin offers excellent ergonomics and built-in support for efficient dual air-conditioning systems. Tilted windows reduce glare and the heat load. Simple access to service points helps to ensure that the maintenance crew returns home each day safe and sound.

The future is now
“Everything in Sandvik DR481i is designed to deliver our customers value, whether it be maximized productivity or minimized total cost of ownership,” Siegrist says. “Furthermore, the advanced safety features and the smaller carbon foot-print, thanks to our CMS, also help mine owners to achieve their sustainability goals. This truly is a machine for tomorrow and years beyond.”

A unique chain feed system with a travelling centralizer minimizes lateral loads and movements of the drill string to improve hole straightness.

A unique chain feed system with a travelling centralizer minimizes lateral loads and movements of the drill string to improve hole straightness.

Value added

  • Higher productivity through increased drilling power, faster penetration rates and advanced control and automation systems
  • Lower total cost of ownership through efficient maintenance and fuel savings
  • Automation minimizes variation between operators
  • Comfortable and safer thanks to the new cab and improved safety features