Furthering its aim to be a full solutions provider to the mining industry, Komatsu is expanding its P&H product line to include articulating boom track drills. The first machine in the series, the 44XT, is now being tested at the company's proving grounds in Arizona, US, prior to release later this year. The 44XT is capable of drilling 4-8in (102-203mm) diameter holes using down-the-hole (DTH) percussive hammers.
Brian Fox, vice-president of product management and technology for Komatsu Mining Corp's surface division, said: "The development of the XT series of DTH track drills complements our plans for the new XR series of rotary blasthole drills, led by the 77XR that also is in operation at the Arizona Proving Grounds. These programmes, combined with our accelerated effort on drill automation enabled by Komatsu's experience and resources, demonstrate a strong commitment to building our drill portfolio."
Komatsu introduced the 77 drill model at MINExpo 2016 and has since renamed it the 77XR to reflect its versatility for the rotary blasthole market. The 77XR was designed to accommodate the largest spectrum of blasthole drilling from coal to hard-rock applications.
The 44XT machines now in development will be for use in surface mines and quarries, and are ideally suited for pre-split drilling applications. They can also be used for production drilling in smaller mines and large quarries, opening a new market segment for Komatsu.
Matt Collins, product director - drills for Komatsu Mining Corp, explained: "The 44XT drill delivers upon what you would expect from a P&H machine. It starts with a safety-focused ergonomic machine layout that sits on a robust core design. We matched structural integrity with increased horsepower and compressor capacity, translating into higher torque and speeds for optimal drilling performance. The 44XT's configuration versatility, and increased range of motion, give users a large range of options for percussive hammer drilling."