The S Geobor system was developed by Atlas Copco Group, which Epiroc was part of until June 2018 and it continues to supply and develop innovative equipment and consumables to the geotechnical as well as the surface and underground mining, infrastructure, civil works and well drilling industry. S Geobor was specifically developed to cope with site investigations requiring high-quality, cost-effective production coring in difficult situations.
It is a highly flexible system offering large core drilling and sampling in the 146 -150mm range in soft to medium hard formations producing a 102mm core in both consolidated and non-consolidated formation, using all common coring methods and it also includes safety accessories to help reduce the risk to drillers. Even if there are not the challenges of difficult site conditions the growing move from conventional wireline core sample size to 100mm plus samples, to comply with the Euro code 7 sample means that improved understanding of the S Geobor system is becoming increasingly important.
Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd recently took the opportunity to train nine of its drillers over two days on S Geobor Method 1 system from Epiroc, which is used for hard to medium formations.
Kris McCormick, Epiroc sales engineer, provided the training at Raeburn Drilling's Hamilton office to lead rotary, soil and sonic drillers and support operatives. McCormick had experience in the drilling industry before joining Epiroc so appreciates the difficulties drillers can face on site and the benefits the S Geobor system can give to customers and their clients. This knowledge informs the structure and content of the training depending on the method used most frequently by the customer.
The Epiroc training is structured to offer both safety and efficiency to customers starting with a short presentation and discussion on the S Geobor methods, its components and common errors causing drill bit damage. Photographs are shown in the training of damaged bits and then there is a chance to talk about the characteristics of how the bit has worn, which help establish how to best amend machine settings and operation to avoid costly errors. All the processes of drilling holes with Method 1, from setting the core barrel to the correct length for optimum flush, demonstrating the functions of the overshot, dry hole device and advice on rotation speed and water pressure helps ensure optimal use of the system.
"The larger core (100mm) is being asked for more and more by clients and there are times when S Geobor would definitely work better than conventional core barrels. That is why I wanted to learn more about it and the different methods," explained Stuart McLean a lead rotary driller with Raeburn.
By discussing all eight methods it offers the operators a chance for themselves that there are other methods and applications to S Geobor that can save time and money. An example of this could be where there is soft soil to drill through before encountering bedrock at lower depths, traditional methods would entail casing off the hole before conventional coring. S Geobor is designed to be used for multiple applications in most cases by simply changing the bit on the drill string.
Hands-on training follows the discussion illustrating how the dry hole device will always guarantee 100 per cent latching every time and that it can also be used as a retrieving tool to collect the inner barrel.
The Epiroc designed safety cage can be installed over the over-shot and the core barrel head to reduce the risk of the core barrel dis-engaging with the barrel head and falling from height. The 1.5m core barrel can weigh 45kg and if dropped will cause serious harm to the driller. Another safety accessory from Epiroc is the Head Locking Tool which helps prevent fingers and clothes getting trapped when dropping the inner core barrel down the drill string. The training and continued support to customers on the system is beneficial to both Epiroc in sales and the development and retention of customers as a trusted supplier. It ensures customers are confident that their drilling operatives will be using an efficient coring system for high-quality sample retrieval. "The comprehensive S Geobor training offered by Epiroc to us over the two-day period was an opportunity to learn in greater depth the versatility and safety features of the system. Onsite safety and efficiency is always at the forefront of a progressive business," noted Anne Baxter, CEO of Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd.