One of the highlights of Atlas Copco’s range of new equipment is a drill monitor for down-the-hole hammer drilling.
The Edge provides a simple graphical display that shows the driller what is happening at the bottom of the hole.
This real-time feedback allows the driller to optimise the penetration rate, maintain good flushing and reduce the chance of over-extending the tools, avoiding breakage and delays.
The device can be fitted to all types of drill rigs that use the company’s Secoroc hammers, and consists of a sensor, a data capturing and processing unit and a rugged PC with an 180mm display screen. The sensor is mounted on the drill head or rotation unit, which is connected by a cable to the data-capturing unit mounted on the rig.
When the piston in the DTH hammer strikes the bit, it creates vibration which is captured, processed and interpreted, and that data is transmitted to the PC, which displays the information on screen as a graphic representation and in numerical form.
Problems or unexpected changes that occur are shown in the graphic view in real-time, with alerts when something unexpected occurs.
These spikes might indicate, for example, the sudden presence of a new type of rock or geological zone.
Launching the monitor, Atlas Copco vice president Dave Pietrzykowski said it was particularly aimed at deep borehole drilling, for example in the oil and gas and geothermal markets.
“The deeper you drill the more it costs, so it is ideal for any application where you need to control those costs,” he added.