First Epiroc-branded drill rig goes to EPC-UK
Commercial explosives, drilling and blasting services specialist take delivery of a new FlexiROC D55
FOLLOWING Epiroc’s separation from the Atlas Copco Group in June 2018, the first drill rig to carry the new Epiroc company logo – a FlexiROC D55 – was recently delivered to commercial explosives, drilling and blasting specialists EPC-UK, where it has joined the company’s existing fleet of mostly Atlas Copco machines.
Atlas Copco/Epiroc have worked in partnership with EPC-UK for a number of years and delivered a fleet of rigs that are commissioned, serviced and maintained to achieve a 98% productivity level. Through careful research and previous experience, the FlexiROC D55 was the obvious choice when replacing other rigs in the EPC-UK fleet, as they have proved to be extremely effective in meeting the company’s expectations.
Lead driller Steve Courtney, who has been with EPC-UK for more than 20 years and has witnessed developments from the Atlas Copco AirROC 404, ROC 460, ROCL6 and ROC L8 right up to the current FlexiROC D55, said: ‘They are undoubtedly one of the best rigs on the market and their reliability is second to none.
‘Hole accuracy is also excellent; wherever the drill rig is positioned the holes will always be in the right direction, thanks to the innovative Hole Navigation System, and by delivering 30 bar we achieve 20% faster penetration compared with the older 25-bar rigs. Another development is the fuel tank capacity, which gives 14 hours of drilling and allows us to work a full 10-hour shift without the need to stop for refuelling.
‘Also, the rig’s weight and dimensions allow us to deliver it to site without the use of a large low-loader, which means we have removed a requirement for a notifiable load application. A machine that is easily transportable between sites is a definite benefit for any contractor.
‘I have seen big changes in driller comfort and ease of use over 20 years, including air-conditioning, blinds, reclining/adjustable seats, heating, radio, and external noise that is kept to a minimum in the spacious operator’s cab.’
Health and safety has long been considered central to every aspect of EPC-UK’s daily operations, and to reinforce this the company fits 360-degree cameras to all new FlexiROC rigs. A further safety feature is the inclusion of powerful LED lights that permit safer drilling during the winter months.
‘We perform modern blasting procedures with meticulous skill and expertise, and place considerable focus on our customers’ specific requirements. To consistently achieve our exacting standards, we only invest in the most suitable, efficient equipment,’ concluded Ian Davies, general manager of Explosives & Blasting at EPC-UK.