China moving on from pneumatic to hydraulic
Atlas Copco’s PowerROC T25 DC drill rig, made in Japan, is convincing Chinese customers of the wisdom of making the transition from pneumatic to hydraulically controlled equipment.
The city of Suizhou in China’s northern province of Hubei, is well known as the hometown of the ancient Chinese emperors Yandi-Shennong and Huangi. It is also the home of China’s famous chime bells which have been used as percussion instruments for thousands of years.
Nowadays, however, the city also functions as an important hub for East-West business development and a transition to more modern technology. A typical example is the current move by local contractors away from pneumatic towards hydraulically-driven drilling equipment.
One of these is the company now helping China Railway’s 12th Bureau Group to build a 665 km highway from Macheng to Zhuxi, using an Atlas Copco PowerROC T25 DC surface drill rig. This tophammer rig, manufactured at Atlas Copco’s plant in Yokohama, Japan, is used to drill holes of 89 mm in a quarry to provide aggregate for the new road. In these hard granite conditions, the penetration rate is 30 m/h. The contractor is small, cost conscious and used to operating locally made pneumatic drill rigs, but recently switched to the PowerROC T25 DC which gives a much lower fuel consumption of just 0.3–0.35 liters per minute. PowerROC T25 DC is equipped with the 12 kW COP 1240 rock drill and R32, T38 and T45 rods for drilling 58–89 mm holes to a maximum depth of 21 m. “It was not easy to persuade this company to buy the PowerROC T25 DC so they had extremely high expectations on the rig’s performance,” says Chi Zeng, Account Manager at the Atlas Copco dealer, Wuhan Zhongnan. “When introducing them to the rig, we provided them with a calculation showing how much they could save in relation to a pneumatic rig and how much more they would benefit from the PowerROC T25 DC. In the past few months, they have been running the rig with high frequency and the efficiency is so impressive that sometimes they have to stop drilling to wait for the downstream process to catch up.” The contractor says it is satisfied with the rig’s high reliability, performance, mobility and low fuel consumption. Concludes Zeng: “We are always very happy when a customer discovers the advantages of hydraulics, especially if the customer has been used to using the locally branded pneumatic machines.”
Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.