Heating/air conditioning: The air conditioner on a drill can be one of the most important systems for keeping the drill productive. Martin recommends regular service including changing filters, maintaining the R134a refrigerant, and regularly checking belt condition and tension.
Keeping the cabin door shut is the simplest and most cost-effective way to ensure a comfortable operator and also help the system remain in good operating condition. When working with customers on the job site, Martin often observes operators exiting the cabin and leaving the door open with the air conditioning running. Doing so means the cabin has lost all of the cold air, plus it causes an infiltration of fugitive dust. The result? The air conditioning unit operates at partial efficiency, works harder than needed, and could possibly encounter premature failure.
When setting up on your next drill hole, try to keep the sun to the back of the drill to assist with cooling. This will not only improve cooling, but also remove the glare of looking into or in the direction of the sun, which can reduce operator strain and increase safety.
In many conditions, a light tint on cabin windows can improve cooling efficiency by up to 30 percent.
Going for the extra point
For operations interested in a higher level of maintenance, some manufacturers offer additional programs aimed at keeping drills working at optimum efficiency. Training programs are available for service technicians and drillers to hone skills related to periodic maintenance of their operation’s drill fleet. Additionally, drill manufacturers extend their internal expertise and maintenance data to customers to help optimize drill maintenance and performance.
For example, Sandvik offers customers the Audit/Train/Troubleshoot (ATT) program. With ATT, a factory technician conducts scheduled audits of one or more drills and provides a customized list of recommendations that might include specific repairs, planned component replacement schedules, standard maintenance schedule adjustments, and possible customized training for the customer’s drillers or maintenance team.
Sandvik also offers a Remote Asset Management (RAM) program. With RAM, customers submit weekly reports of accumulated operation hours or accumulated production (drilled meters). The RAM planners then enter the data into a computerized maintenance database and send customers a report that forecasts maintenance requirements (based on part and component history life-cycles under corresponding application). Specifically, the report projects parts, materials, and labor, as well as a recommended schedule for suggested preventive maintenance work.
In addition to regular audits, oil sampling analysis from major drill components can verify wear characteristics according to the predicted change-out intervals.
Work a plan
While drill maintenance may not be at the top of your daily strategy, it is clearly worthy of a well thought-out game plan. Working that game plan will help operators control drilling costs and meet their drilling goals. AM
Christian Blunck is vice president of marketing for Sandvik’s U.S. and Canadian region.
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