Atlas Copco Announces the EDGE Drill Monitor for DTH Drilling

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Roanoke, VA – Atlas Copco is revolutionizing down-the-hole hammer drilling by providing a simple graphical display to show the driller what is happening with the hammer and, therefore, the bit at the bottom of the hole. This real-time feedback will allow the driller to optimize the penetration rate, maintain good flushing and reduce the chance of over-extending the tools, thereby avoiding breakage and costly delays.

EDGE is a device for continuous monitoring that can be fitted to all types of drill rigs that use Secoroc DTH (down-the-hole) hammers. It consists of a sensor, a data capturing and processing unit and a rugged PC with a 7-inch display screen. The sensor is mounted on the drill head or rotation unit which is connected by a cable to the data capturing unit mounted on the rig. When the piston in the DTH hammer strikes the bit, it creates vibration which is captured, processed and interpreted, and that data is transmitted to the PC.

The PC displays this data on screen in both a graphic representation and in actual numbers. Any problems or unexpected changes that occur are displayed in the graphical view in real-time with alerts when something out of the ordinary occurs. These spikes can then be interpreted as representing different in-hole scenarios, for example, the sudden presence of a new type of rock or geological zone. This immediate and continuous feedback enables the driller to continuously optimize the drilling process

Testing by experienced drillers has revealed that EDGE equalizes production at a higher level from one driller to the next and decreases the training period for new drillers. EDGE also gives companies the ability to move drillers to locations unfamiliar to them, bringing them up to speed on the local geologic formations and their specific drilling characteristics instantly.

“Around the world, experienced drillers use Secoroc tools because of the advanced technology and productivity. Yet, because of lack of training or experience, some customers are unable to benefit from the full value engineered into our products. The Secoroc EDGE drill monitor provides the driller the ability to squeeze every dollar out of our tools,” said T.J. Plunkett, Atlas Copco’s Engineering Manager for Secoroc DTH Products.

Plunkett and the DTH engineering group have many new innovations in the works, all focused on increasing productivity and tool life. “We realize our customers invest heavily in us, and we want them to know we are investing heavily in them, too,” Plunkett said.

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