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Jun 21, 2021


Industry News

Sandvik adds fully autonomous operation to Leopard DTH blasthole drill


The Sandvik Leopard DI650i is a precise, fully automatic blasthole drill.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is evolving its Leopard DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rig to support fully autonomous operation. The new iDrill automation platform expands the existing on-board automated drilling cycle and matches seamlessly with AutoMine Surface Drilling to enable fully autonomous Leopard DI650i fleet operation from a control room.

AutoMine Surface Drilling enables line-of-sight or control room operation of as many as three Leopard DI650i drill rigs. Upcoming AutoMine Surface Drilling release will provide hole-to-hole tramming for automatic machine relocation from a finished hole to the next one according to the drill plan, based on GPS navigation and path planning – turning Leopard DI650i into a fully autonomous drill rig.

The new iDrill automation for Leopard DI650i complements existing automated drilling functionalities with several new features such as drilling stabilization, automated collaring, automated cleaning and detaching from hole. The result is an optimized iDrill drilling cycle where the operator only needs to monitor the process.

The iDrill drilling cycle of Leopard DI650i is engineered to ensure consistent high quality drilled holes. It supports the fleet operator by minimizing common drilling errors, such as hole inclination, depth and positioning errors. The intelligent sequences of the iDrill drilling cycle handle and optimally control the DTH drilling tools for best possible service life without compromising drilling performance.

The existing function has been upgraded with new features such as anti-jamming pullback monitoring, intelligent collaring sequence including suction head automatics and centralizer automatics to match the hammer and pipe size for optimal support while collaring. In full power drilling, the iFlow control system automatically adjusts the air pressure and volume levels and iTorque drilling control system monitors the rotation torque and automatically optimizes the feed force to match the rock conditions.

The pipe handling system adds and removes pipes automatically. An intelligent hole finishing sequence eliminates any harmful tensile stresses due to inaccuracies and prevents dirt from entering the DTH hammer. Finally, detaching from hole sequence makes the drill rig ready to move safely to the next hole.

The iDrill drilling cycle allows manual intervention and can be activated or deactivated at any stage of the cycle. In addition, the operator can add optional wait stages between automated sequences, if additional check-ups are needed for safety reasons or challenging drilling conditions, for example. After intervention, the cycle will commence automatically until the desired hole depth is reached and the hole sequence is finished. Learn more at www.RockTechnology.Sandvik/en/.