Sandvik DPi success at Talvivaara

The first of Sandvik's new, revolutionary surface top hammer drill rig series are working at the first customer sites, one of which is Talvivaara (Europe's new and largest nickel mine, and to be the IM November Operations Focus), and the experiences have been very good. The new DPi series includes five different models and offers a wealth of advanced, practical features that put the latest technology to serve drill owners and operators alike.

As the offspring of the successful Tamrock Pantera family, the Sandvik DPi series encapsulates 10 years of experience in drilling in the 76-152 mm hole range to lift productivity. "The old Pantera, nowadays called Sandvik DP, has been a very succesful machine. However, as we all know, the business environment is continuously changing nowadays. This is why we had to, already at the very beginning of the project, address issues of increasing energy cost, diminishing fossil fuel resources, lack of workforce and environmental matters [reduced emissions especially]. This is shown in many ways in the technical solutions of the machine: in its ability to produce information and increase productivity, efficient fuel economy, simple and practical user-interface, to mention just a few," explains Pekka Kesseli, Market and Offering Manager.

The Sandvik DPi rigs are equipped with practical intelligence and puts an end to guesswork. A fully equipped DPi series rig is capable of providing the user with information on drilled metres and holes, diesel and percussion hours, the amount of fuel burned as well as the condition of the drill. This allows the user to make accurate work and service schedules and minimise unwanted downtime while the use of the drill is optimised.

"We have had the DPi series in use for a couple of months now. One of the upcoming features we found particularly beneficial is the possibility to transfer the drill pattern to the rig directly from the designer's computer, and, furthermore, the possibility to send the actual pattern back to the charging planning," Arto Suokas, Manager Mining at Talvivaara notes. "The supplied information provides an excellent tool not only for managing preventive maintenance but also for giving actual, solid feedback to operators, and we are planning to utilize this feature in our continuous operator training."

The Sandvik DPi rigs have an advanced user interface with simple screen views for different operations. The joysticks are integrated into the arm rests, which greatly increases drilling comfort.

The DPi series is equipped with powerful high frequency drifters. The new easily adjustable drilling control system with all parameter settings in the cabin is a result of six years of experience and extensive tests. As a factory setting it offers several preset drilling parameters for different rock conditions and a possibility to store suitable settings for each of the sites where the drills work. The operator has the possibility to tune the settings to his or her own needs, without a risk of confusing the system as a return to original mode is always possible.

The drilling control systems provides feed percussion follow-up for maximum penetration rate. The power level automatically adjusts to the penetration rate, and torque control supplies smooth rotation and excellent rock contact.

The DPi series also optionally offers automatic feed alignment and one hole automatic drilling to depth that guarantees a stable drilling result. "We have chosen the one hole automatic drilling to depth for our machines and, from a productivity point of view, it is an excellent solution: one operator can easily manage two machines at the same time. Together with the forthcoming GPS navigation system that puts every hole in exactly the right place, the blasting results will be more predictable. We expect this to decrease our total costs," Suokas points out.

Yet another feature increasing productivity is the large fuel tank of 680-litre capacity, which keeps the machine drilling for two shifts without refuelling.

The DPi rigs are fast, nimble and easy to turn. At the same time, they offer top-level safety – wide tracks and an optimised centre of gravity guarantee excellent stability.

Environmental issues have also been carefully considered. Low fuel consumption is achieved with smart solutions like load-sensing compressor pressure control, active diesel RPM control and ambient oil cooler fan control.

Machine care is as easy as it gets. Ambient-controlled oil cooler fans for oversized coolers, a fuel cooler, and long cleaning intervals guarantee continuous performance in any temperature. Thanks to the clear component layout and gullwing service doors, it is easy to reach the components when they need service. All oil removals in the machine are centralised. Daily and weekly service points are accessible from ground level which means less uncomfortable and risky climbing, increased safety and shorter service time. "In our experience, the operator can go through the daily check up very quickly," Suokas says. Another new feature in the DPi series is a five-level diagnostics system. Also, Talvivaara used Sandvik's new rig simulator training for its operators, and this will be examined in detail in next month's advanced open pits article.
The Sandvik DPi series consists of five models:

DP800i Hole range: 76 – 127 mm

DP900i Hole range: 89 – 127 mm

DP1100i Hole range: 89 – 140 mm

DP1500i Hole range: 89 – 152 mm

DP1524i Hole range: 89 – 152 mm, fixed boom. www.sandvik.com