Key to the efficient operation of the compressor and other functions of the high-tech rig is the Atlas Copco Rig Control System (RCS). This system also facilitates wireless remote tramming, auto-levelling, auto-drilling, remote reporting functions and GPS navigation.
Other factors underpinning De Veth’s confidence in the Pit Viper includes the single-pass drilling capability. “Just the advantage of being able to drill a 12.2 m clean, single hole with the lead rod has been very advantageous to us with some of the interburden shots,” he says. “The new breakout system on the machine is unbelievable – it is better than anything we’ve seen before. The drill is just a lot quicker and smoother to operate.”
But there’s also another important benefit, De Veth says. “The operators don’t get tired. Everything is easy and accessible from the seat so you come out of the drill still fresh and alert. And that’s a big thing on the night shift.”
Besides the PV-235, the drill fleet consists of two DM25 rigs, one DML HP and two bigger PV-275, delivered in 2013. Atlas Copco has supplied more than a dozen Pit Viper rigs to customers in Queensland, all equipped with the computerised RCS control system.
Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.