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Sandvik upgrades Ranger

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Sandvik’s Ranger has been upgraded with a series of new features that have added to the efficiency and environmental credentials of the drill rig.

A Finnish company, Louhintaliike Ylimäki Oy, has been using its new Ranger DX800 since 2015 noting that fuel economy has been improved, whilst still delivering the same levels of outstanding performance. Louhintaliike Ylimäki Oy manager Matti Ylimäki states that the company is no stranger to Sandvik’s Ranger. “We have five Rangers and a Tamrock CHA 660. We remove five million tons of rock every year and that includes both cutting and breaking. For breaking, we have nine machines in the 30–35-ton class. We also have a Volvo A35 dumper mainly for taking away surface material,” he explains.

The update includes the use of new relatively large emission filters, which have necessitated some design changes as the filters are mounted on the engines and raise the profile of the back of the rig. Additionally the urea tank is located in front of the engine, at the base of the boom where the drill bit grinder was previously located. The grinder is now situated on the left flank of the machine.

Dual pressure compressor

Another significant new feature in terms of fuel economy is the dual pressure compressor. Once drilling is complete the system drops air receiver tank pressure to the level of three bars letting the compressor idle when air pressure is not needed. Once the drilling continues the air pressure is raised again. Engine lifetime is also enhanced by the automated engine shutdown. When the work of the rig is finished, the operator is able to leave the engine running and the automated system will shut it down after a couple of minutes once the temperature has evened out. This helps with long-term engine durability when it is not shut down abruptly on a full load.

Other new features

As well as the above, the new Ranger DX800 now comes complete with other customer focused features. The most visible being the light grey color of the cabin which gives the Ranger the familiar Sandvik look. In order to improve operations the winch is now operated by remote control – something that has been particularly well received by operators. The Ranger is now available with a full radio control system; the same system which is used on the new Dino DC400Ri drill rig. In Finland, the Rangers are almost always equipped with a HF (high-frequency) rock drill but a normal HL rock drill is also available should this be preferred. These are also being developed based on user experience and the latest versions possess a reinforced back cover to maximise durability.

Well received in Finland

Markku Viitanen, drilling operator at Finnish company Louhintaliike Ylimäki Oy, has enjoyed use of the new Ranger, gaining invaluable experience about how the new urea technology functions. “I haven't had any problems. I just have to have one more can in the car for the AdBlue solution. Regeneration is automatic and does not affect the work in any way,” he says.

“After the engine shuts off, the system automatically pumps the urea line empty. This is why the system should not be switched off immediately after switching off the machine. There's a LED light next to the main power switch. When it goes off it means the AdBlue pumping operation is over and that the main power may be switched off,” explains Viitanen.

Viitanen has not precisely measured the fuel consumption of the new Ranger, but looking at the number of drilled meters with a full tank provides an accurate idea of the consumption. Naturally this depends a great deal on the type of rock, but according to Viitanen, he can easily manage 700 drilled meters with a full tank (380 litres), with his record being 800 drilled meters; all this on highly challenging rocks. This means that the consumption has been well under half a litre per drilled meter at its best and approximately 0.55 litres per meter on average. In addition, the Ranger is quieter than the previous model, which Viitanen favorably compares to the Ranger DX780 which he previously operated. “You don't need hearing protection with this one (the new Ranger DX800). With the old model the rpm was more than 2000 while drilling, now 1450 is enough. Flushing is possible with this rpm.”

GPS alignment system

Louhintaliike Ylimäki Oy's Ranger is also equipped with a GPS system which enables the alignment of the holes drilled to be based on satellite measurements. The machine comes equipped with a TIM 6500 system which has been complemented with this GPS feature. “When you determine the inclination at the first hole others will be directed the same way. It is not affected by the moving or the shutting down of the machine, which means that you can carry on from where you left off the night before. This is particularly useful in the dark and on inclined surfaces,” says Viitanen.

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