Atlas Copco launches the new Simba series for long hole drilling in underground mines
After successful test drilling, Atlas Copco announces the launch of a new, improved range of hydraulic top-hammer long hole production drill rigs for underground hard rock mines. The new Simba M and L series replaces the well-proven Simba 1350, and 4350 models.
Simba and Boomer — a common concept for precision and intelligence.
At the internal launch to the Atlas Copco’s global sales force, Robert Almqvist, the project leader, explained that the aim for the new Simba generation has been to further strengthen Atlas Copco’s position as a leading supplier of drilling rigs to the mines by incorporating and integrating features and components of the new Boomer face drilling rigs into the Simbas. By adopting a modular overlap between the 2 product families, assembly lead times at the factory will be reduced by 20 %. Even more important and beneficial to the customers is the Rig Control System (RCS) using a modular connected digital network CAN BUS which is supervised and controlled from the operator panel and wide screen. This control system was introduced 3 years ago to the Boomers, simplifying all drill functions and trouble shooting. Requiring substantially less cables and hoses compared to conventional rigs, it is easy to detect and correct faulty components and connections.
When a rig leaves the factory, it is not only filled with oil and water, explains Nichlas Radegard, Product Manager Simba, it is also powered by a lot of intelligence, making life easier for the operators and maintenance engineers. Thanks to the modular design, optional automatics and electronics can easily be added.
Designed for automation
The new Simba uses the well proven computer controlled RPCF (Rotation, pressure control of feed force), introduced at Rocket Boomer M2C/L2C. RPCF means that optimum hole penetration continuously and automatically is obtained, as the system takes advantage of any changes in rotation resistance without jeopardising life of the drill string. The changes in rotation, resistance also controls the impact pressure with a special function. At excessive rotation resistance the anti- jamming function is activated. Smooth collaring is conducted with extreme precision.
To facilitate future data exchange between Atlas Copco drill rigs and customer’s computer system, The Rig Control System is prepared for implementing the coming drill rig profile from IREDES- International Rock Excavation Data Exchange Standard. As the equipment communicates in one common electronic language, provision is made for operation and comparison of different equipment in multi-vendor installations.
Field experience at Zinkgruvan, a member of the Rio Tinto Group.
Zinkgruvan, in Central Sweden, was selected to pioneer the Simba M4 C. Using 4 Boomers, where of one L2 C of the new type and 3 Simbas of previous generation, the mine has during the first 10,000 drill meters gained a lot of comparative experience. The mining methods used are Sublevel Open Stoping and Longhole Open Stoping with Paste fill. Longhole Open Stoping with Paste fill was introduced to eliminate the need for post-mining of pillar remnants and due to bad rock conditions. Mining is carried out step by step by excavating and filling the stopes. 70 mm holes are used in the under cut and 76 mm holes downwards.
Jonas Södergren, Maintenance Engineer at Zinkgruvan Mining AB, claims that they have experienced four major improvements compared to the previous generation Simba rigs:
-The new rotation unit gives much better precision, which is especially beneficial when drilling the opening slots
-The stable feed set-up, thanks to the 4 stingers gives good precision in hole alignment, collaring and during drilling.
- Hydraulic oil spillage is almost eliminated, thanks to the 50 % reduction of hoses and the introduction of a smart oil leakage shut-down system.
-The CAN BUS system, which we have experienced on the Boomer L2 C, is easy to learn, and really simplifies the trouble shooting.
The availability has been recorded to 94.7% and mean time between failures has been as high as 744 drill meters. Average penetration rate using the COP 1838 rock drill was around 1 m/ min. Apart from 4 broken hoses, no parts have been replaced. Therefore it is too early to compare spare parts consumption concludes Jonas Södergren realising the benefit of having several common parts and components between the Simbas and the Boomers.
First new Simba to Australia
Peak Gold Mines, situated in central New South Wales and a member of the Rio Tinto Group, has placed the first order for the new Simba M4 C. Fitted with a fully enclosed cabin, the M4 will be used as a production drill unit to exploit the New Occidental ore body.
Julian Reynolds, Product Manager at Atlas Copco’s Sales Company in Australia says that the order, which also includes on site service and parts support, is the result of 8 months discussions. ”With the relationship we have established during this process,
we are confident that the introduction of the M4 will be a great success”
Picture no: 203173
”The new Simba- remotely operated at Zinkgruvan Mine
Picture no: 203175
"Same trouble shooting system for the new Simba and Boomer makes service
much easier" says Jonas Södergren, Maintenance Engineer at Zinkgruvan Mining
Picture no: 203174
"Precision and intelligence - the key words for the new concept" says Robert
Almqvist, Project Leader Atlas Copco Rock Drilling Equipment
More pictures of the New Simba: 203194-203204
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