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Cat launch C-Series rigs with new MD5150C model

First published in the March 2014 issue of Quarry Management

Caterpillar have announced the introduction of the new MD5150C tracked drill rig, the first of their C-Series models. Delivering top-of-class power and high airflow for fast, efficient drilling of holes from 101.6mm (4in) to 152mm (6in) in diameter, the MD5150C offers a choice of three different rock drills, a patented carousel rod changer, ergonomic cab and many other features to boost productivity and reduce operating costs.

Compared with the MD5125, which the MD5150C will replace, the new drill has 18% more power, a compressor that can deliver 33% more air volume and 40% more air pressure, 19% faster tram speed and 40% greater ground clearance. And with less than half as many moving parts as competitive rigs, the MD5150C’s simple, reliable design is said to offer high reliability, long life and low ownership costs. Moreover, Caterpillar are the only manufacturer offering rock drills designed to be serviced on site, to reduce downtime and control costs. The new rig also features an automated lubrication system, which eliminates the need to stop the machine for manual greasing every 2h.

The three different rock drill choices allow the rig to matched to the application to achieve the highest production rate. The standard rock drill on the MD5150C is the HPR5128, which uses 51mm drill steel, but also available are the HPR6832, which can use 68mm speed rod, and the HPR6030, which is designed for 60mm drill steel.

The MD5150C significantly reduces set-up time thanks to its innovative carousel rod changer and feed assembly, which have seven patents pending. The system holds six rods and accommodates two lengths and multiple diameters of drill steel. Powerful dual-rod grippers and a unique gate design let the rod and gate move simultaneously, reducing cycle time. The rod changer is supported by a sturdy feed and heavy-duty 2.7m boom that extends to 3.3m for larger pattern coverage with fewer set-ups. Because the carousel rod changer weighs less and holds more rods than linear models, the boom extension can reach farther and drill deeper while maintaining stability. Holes can be drilled within 610mm (24in) of the highwall, which is 50% closer than with a linear rod changer.

The MD5150C delivers sufficient power and airflow for faster, more efficient drilling in hard rock applications thanks to its Cat C11 engine, which is rated at 287kW (385hp) at 1,800 rev/min. Designed for high performance and fuel efficiency, the high-horsepower engine meets US Tier 3 and EU Stage IIIA emissions standards and works as a system with the high-capacity air compressor to optimize air flow. An oversized, high-efficiency cooling system further improves performance and life.

The cab on the MD5150C is designed to enhance safety and productivity. It is ROPS/FOPS-certified and provides numerous shutdown controls accessible from the ground. Large windows, streamlined front structures and a skylight enhance visibility, as do well-placed mirrors and a high-resolution camera. The front window also provides an emergency exit. For operator comfort, the cab features automatic climate control, a fully adjustable seat, ergonomic controls and switches, and low sound levels (approximately 80dB).

To further improve operator productivity, the machine is equipped with an intelligent drill-monitoring system that tracks changes in rock formation and automatically adjusts impact and feed pressure based on the hardness of the rock, whilst anti-jam, anti-plunge and anti-plug capabilities keep the drill rig working efficiently and extend drill string life.

Service technicians benefit from the rig’s simple component layout and convenient service access. A walk-in service station provides easy access to major service points for the engine, compressor, air-conditioner, hydraulic valves etc, while a boom-mounted camera provides a view of the front of the drill while working inside the service center. In addition to its serviceable design, the new rig also utilizes exclusive Caterpillar technologies to maximize uptime. Cat Electronic Technician speeds the troubleshooting process, improving repair accuracy and reducing downtime, while Cat Product Link allows remote monitoring of machine location, service meter hours, fuel usage and other critical factors, providing managers with the information they need to optimize utilization and reduce costs.

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