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SmartROC D50 at quarry  in Czeck Republic

Epiroc at the heart of improved Czech drilling service

November 20, 2023

Explosia takes drilling performance and sustainability to the next level in quarries across the Czech Republic.
A surface drilling team in the Czech Republic is successfully providing first-class drill and blast services to quarries across the country after purchasing a new fleet of Epiroc equipment. Some years ago, the Fospol division of Explosia made the decision to renew its fleet and has since then been continually phasing out its older drill rigs and replacing them with modern equipment.

The company currently has six drill rigs, three of which are from Epiroc, including the top-of-the-range SmartROC D50 MKII, and is aiming to boost its capacity to five Epiroc rigs by year-end 2023.

Both of these SmartROC T40 MKII rigs are equipped with the Hole Navigation System (HNS) and are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2023.

In addition, the whole fleet will be backed up by Epiroc’s ROC Care service and maintenance contract which includes regular service inspections using Epiroc’s RigScan scanning technology.

Operator next to SmartROC D50

Major boost to productivity

Přemysl Gromada, Head of Drilling Group, points out that when the first SmartROC D50 arrived in the country it represented a milestone for Explosia.

“It was a DTH rig unlike any other in the whole country and it was a great success for our company,” he says. “It felt like a reward for a job well done in terms of the company’s modernisation and investment plan.
Přemysl Gromada, Head of drilling Group

"Since then we have increased our productivity by about thirty percent, not only due to the modernization of the fleet, but also to the replacement of personnel in drilling positions."

Přemysl Gromada ,Head of Drilling Group

Allround performer

The Epiroc fleet performs well in the hard rock quarries of Litice-Plzeň, achieving penetration rates of 0.3-0.5 m/min, as well as in the softer limestone quarries of Velké Hydcice where the average penetration rate is 1.3 m/min.

With tophammer drilling, the rigs drill 89, 95 and 102 mm diameter holes and 100 and 105 mm diameter holes with Down-The-Hole (DTH) drilling. The holes are normally drilled to depths of 15–20 m.
Operator with Remote control

Overall, says Gromada, a hole of 15–29 m is completed in 30-60 minutes, much to the drillers’ satisfaction.


He continues: “As the previous rigs we had were about 15 years older than the latest models, our drillers see improvements on almost every level. But they probably value the automatic processes the most, such as full drill cycle automation DTH, tophammer rod extraction assistance, remote control and the Hole Navigation System.

“This high level of automation eliminates interventions by the driller and accelerates the whole drilling process.”

Efficiency gains

The drillers are looking forward to achieving efficiency gains with features such as one-hole automation and the Hole Navigation System (HNS), but the company says it is early days and the full benefits will not be fully realized until 2024. However, performance monitoring using the Epiroc Certiq system has already proven its worth.

Says Přemysl Gromada: “We have been using Certiq since the Autumn of 2021 when we purchased the Epiroc SmartROC T40 and T45 drilling rigs and that was a big change for us. It was a move towards more efficient monitoring of production and simplification of records.

“This gave us a much better overview of inputs and outputs of individual drilling rigs, which made calculations easier for us.”

The same can be said of the My Epiroc application which Explosia also adopted into its drilling operations in the second half of 2020. This tool, Gromada points out, has been particularly helpful when it comes to production monitoring and planning of regular service activities.

In addition, the company has noted significant improvements in overall fuel consumption. The average consumption of diesel using the previous Epiroc ROC L6 drill rig was approximately 1.9 liters per drill meter.


With its replacement, the Epiroc SmartROC D50 MKII in 2023, fuel consumption averaged 0.96 liters per drill meter – almost half. Currently, the monthly savings on diesel average about 3,000 liters.

Operator in cabin

Business looking good

In the past, due to its aging fleet and lack of repair and maintenance services, Explosia has urgently and regularly had to request assistance from its competitors to complete drilling projects, but not anymore, explains Přemysl Gromada.

“The situation has changed significantly over the last three years, and this is the first year that we have the capacity to offer drilling work to companies in the Czech Republic who unexpectedly get into a situation where they are not able to meet deadlines.

“Fortunately, Explosia realized in time that without modernization and investment it will not be possible to continue fulfilling our existing or future obligations, let alone be a full-fledged competitor to other companies in the drilling business. The quality of the drilling is completely different now and on a much better level.”

Sustainability in focus

In terms of all its operations, Explosia is a company with a comprehensive sustainability policy. By commissioning the new Epiroc drill rigs, the drilling team has reduced fuel consumption by 30-50 percent.

“Whether it concerns raw materials, energy, production or any other resource, sustainability is something that concerns is important for everyone,” continues Přemysl Gromada, who proudly claims a strong personal commitment to environmental protection.

“Epiroc has helped us in this regard by significantly reducing exhaust fumes, primarily as the new rigs have better fuel consumption than the old ones, and lowering emissions further through the use of AdBlue. So, I can see that over the last four years that Explosia has made a significant shift in the field of ecology towards conservation and more consideration for nature.”

2023 Quarrying Mining SmartROC D50 International Surface Surface and Exploration Drilling division Customer story