Automation to suit the operator

When it comes to better drilling efficiencies, it’s all about going the extra mile; something Cat’s latest rotary blasthole drills have taken to heart.

Suited for Australian mining conditions, the Cat MD6250 provides operators with a sophisticated option for drilling medium blastholes up to 250mm, while the Cat MD6310 is suitable for larger holes up to 310mm. The duo will soon be joined at supplier WesTrac by the Cat MD6200, designed for creating smaller blastholes up to 200mm.

WesTrac WA CEO Jarvas Croome said these drills represented some of the most advanced units in the market, with their electronic control strategies offering operators high levels of fuel efficiency and power.

“Because the MD6250 and MD6310 both feature Cat Product Link Elite, they are able to generate and send relevant statistics on machine health, location and production,” he said.

“This data is sent back to the office in real time and allows for timely analysis, increased productivity and greater uptime.”

WesTrac New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory CEO Greg Graham said in addition to offering advanced Cat technology as standard, both drills were able to be operated autonomously.

“Operators can choose a level of automation that suits them,” he said.

“They are suitable for all types of open cut mining, quarrying and heavy construction applications.”

Endowed with a Cat C27 ACERT engine, the MD6250 is ideal for single-pass 10m to 12m rock benches and can drill holes from 152mm to 250mm in diameter, while also being suitable for both single and multi-pass applications in rotary and down-the-hole modes. With its 11.2m mast attached it can achieve multi-pass hole depths of 53.6m, while the 13.7m mast can achieve depths of up to 37.9m.

The MD6250 can apply bit loads of 22,321kg and 32,655kg respectively for the 11.2m and 13.7m masts and is suitable for angle drilling up to 30 degrees in five-degree increments.

The MD6310 comes with a Cat C32 ACERT engine and is application-built for 12m to 15m bench heights and for hole diameters up to 311mm. The drill is also suitable for both single and multi-pass applications in rotary and down-the- hole modes.

With its 13.7m mast attached the MD6310 can achieve multi-pass hole depths of 62.5m, while the 17.5m mast can achieve depths of up to 48m. It can apply bit loads of 31,640 kg and 42,149 kg respectively for the 13.7m and 17.5m masts and is capable of drilling 30-degree holes for cast blasting.

Unlike other drills that run constantly at high load, the new Cat drills feature variable air volume that provides up to 50 per cent less engine load, reducing operation costs.

Both drills come with world-class cabs featuring large windows for greater operator visibility, a drill depth indicator and virtual head stops and interlocks, protecting the machine and the operator.

“The auto drill assist feature automates part of the drilling cycle – something that has the potential to improve accuracy and efficiency and drive down operating costs,” Mr Graham said.

“Remote control or semi-autonomous drilling can also be achieved through the use of Cat MineStar options.”

The Cat Terrain for Drilling feature uses satellite guidance to increase pattern accuracy by up to four times, while Cat Command automates the drilling cycle, allowing a single operator to manage multiple machines at the same time.

WesTrac is already supplying customers with the MD6250 and MD6310. New variants will be arriving throughout early to mid 2019, with the first MD6200s scheduled to arrive in the country in mid-2019.

Image: The Cat MD6250.

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