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EPC-UK purchases new drill rig from Epiroc

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

In order to keep at the forefront of drilling technology, EPC-UK has taken delivery of an Epiroc SmartROC D65 ‘down the hole’ hammer drill rig, the first of its kind in the UK. Incorporating cutting-edge automation and GPS technology, the SmartROC D65 has the intelligence and power to consistently drill accurately located, high quality blast holes. The accurate drilling of blast holes, combined with fully digital blast design and analysis via EPC-UK’s in-house software Expertir, means the blast process can be managed with precision from beginning to end to deliver the desired outcome for the customer. 

The rig’s Hole Navigation System enables faster setup at each hole location, whilst the automated drilling process ensures consistent contact with the rock, which controls the compressor and air flow to maximise fuel efficiency. The HNS navigation system’s in conjunction with the built-in GPS removes the need to manually mark and survey hole positions, greatly improving both efficiency and safety.


“EPC-UK is continually investing in the future to ensure its technologies and engineering expertise are industry-leading,” explained Ben Coppock, National Operations Manager at EPC-UK, “which demonstrates our continued commitment to providing customers with the most up-to-the-minute drilling and blasting technology.


“The Epiroc SmartROC D65 will help us to further optimise the blasting process to produce the best possible fragmentation, as well as reduce fuel consumption due to its intelligent control of compressor-load and engine rpm.”

Paul Warren, SED Sales Manager at Epiroc, explained the importance of EPC-UK’s inaugural UK investment: “The SmartROC D65 is our first ‘Down the hole’ smart rig to be deployed in the UK. This is a significant step for Epiroc in terms of product development and we are delighted that EPC-UK has decided to introduce this new technology to the industry.”


“We have worked with EPC-UK for a number of years and understand its business ethos of constant development and improvement, as it mirrors our own.”


Coppock concluded: “The addition of the new SmartROC D65 drill rig to our portfolio will put EPC-UK at the forefront of drilling and blasting technology and when combined with our other technologies – drone surveys, fragmentation analysis, digital blast design – and our engineering expertise, will enable us to provide our customers with the next level of blasting services.”


In conjunction with these technological developments, EPC-UK is also in the process of constructing a new bulk emulsion facility at its Rough Close Works facility in Derbyshire, which will enable the company’s Ammonium Nitrate Blasting Intermediate (ANBI) manufacturing process to incorporate some of the latest, safety enhancing technologies. The plant will provide a safer and more ergonomic working environment for both operations and maintenance personnel and will be the first emulsion plant to comply with BS EN 61511 standard (Functional Safety for the Process Industry). The construction and installation will meet or exceed a wide variety of British and International standards and provide enhanced protection above the already high EPC Groupe standards.


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