RockPulse is an add-on that integrates directly with the rock drill and its control system and can be used for drilling process optimisation in varying rock conditions. Sandvik says it also helps to reduce the stress fatigue of drilling tools and offers significant potential to improve overall drilling performance, by as much as 5per cent.
"Our tests from real-life conditions show 5 per cent increase in average penetration rate, even though the percussion power was decreased by 4 per cent. Drill operators have additionally commented that RockPulse helps them to optimise bit regrinding intervals and thus boost efficiency and productivity," said Jarno Viitaniemi, product manager, Surface Drilling, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
RockPulse analyses each piston blow in real time to extract data on the tool stress. This enables operators to optimise drilling power and to minimise the inefficient use of percussion energy. Stress waves created by piston strikes are measured continuously using sensor technology developed and patented by Sandvik. The system consists of a Sandvik shank adapter and rugged contactless sensor inside the rock drill. Stress wave signals captured by the sensor are analysed within the Sandvik SICA control system of the drill rig. The system is available for new Ranger DXi drill rigs and RD920 series rockdrills.
RockPulse's user interface visualises and alerts on three key parameters: drill bit response, tool load and feed level. Drill bit response helps to minimise the strain on the tools by indicating how much of the impact energy is used for breaking rock and how much is reflected back to the tool string. Tool load indicator shows the tensile stresses affecting the tool string, which helps to avoid underfeed in weak rock and excessive wear of drilling tools. Feed level indication shows whether drilling is being done within the specified feed range - a key parameter for hole quality and long tool life.