Sandvik Mining and Construction has developed a new compressor-management system (CMS) that, it says, helps blasthole drill-rig operators to save money and reduce environmental impact. The system does this by managing the volume of air required at all times, so the compressor runs at full volume only when needed.

Yet, full productivity is still delivered, Sandvik adds, with less expense on fuel, and fewer emissions into the atmosphere. The system will be an option on new Sandvik drills, starting with deliveries after May 2011, and can also be retro-fitted to machines already in the field.  

The CMS concept is simple and intuitive, Sandvik says, using “intelligent” implementation with a programmable logic controller to cut fuel consumption during tramming, setup and pipe handling, with the added benefit of allowing for cool shut-downs of the drill. When the drill is drilling, the system delivers the precise air volume to meet flushing needs. The overall result will depend on the drill, but the initial installation delivered total fuel savings up to 40%, the company claims. Less engine load also means lower service costs, higher rig utilization, longer engine and compressor lives, and infrastructure savings, while the fuel reduction could also represent annual carbon savings of up to 40%.

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