New drill rig redefines productivity for local mines

New drill rig redefines productivity for local mines
CBN Audio:

Local mining equipment supplier ELB Equipment has teamed-up with world leading Japanese drill rig manufacturer Furukawa to develop a tough, rugged-terrain down-the-hole crawler drill rig to conquer Africa’s harsh environment.

Initially developed for blast hole drilling on Zambian Copper-belt operations, the newly launched Furukawa DCR22 drill rig is a larger capacity unit than its predecessor Furukawa DCR20 rig, with considerably increased and unstressed drilling performance and an extensively modernised operating system, as well as vastly improved ground clearance and track stability to add to its rough terrain capabilities

Jimmy Linton, national product manager Furukawa & RTDrills, says ELB Equipment and Furukawa embarked on building the perfect unit for southern African drilling conditions. The Furukawa DCR22 was born from that agreement and brings new productivity to the market with its versatility and impressive productivity. When the new rig arrived in South Africa there was no shortage of takers and the first machine was recently sold to Wepex Geotechnical Engineers Botswana Limited mining contractors where it will be used for high wall lateral support, as well as blasthole production drilling.

Top seller

Linton explains, “Furukawa DCR20 has been a top seller across the region in SA, Botswana and Zambia for many years now. With the ongoing push for improved productivity, we wanted to introduce a rig with a bigger capacity compressor system, big rotor head and more robust undercarriage as requested by many of our customers for their kinds of operations.

“The Furukawa DCR22 is the end result of the research and development undertaken by Furukawa and as a result, the new drill rig has incorporated all the specifications they asked for plus more. For example, the air capacity has been boosted from 24m3/min to 27m3/min FAD (free air delivery) at 25 bar. The new high efficient compressor design also makes it more fuel efficient and the operating system is also new using a Canbus system for ease of maintenance, parameter adjustments and monitoring, and fault finding

“Using a centralised interface, the operator can now easily manage all operations of the machine while integrating the engine functions with the drill functions. The machine can be configured for different requirements and can be equipped with navigation systems and controls. Traction is delivered via substantially larger track frames for a 50% increase in traction and the ground clearance now stands at an impressive 475mm.

More power

“It has a larger capacity rotary head for larger diameter drilling and deeper holes than the previous generation. The redesign also allows for a new cab that is larger for more operator comfort with all creature comforts, safety features including ROPS/FOPS and has noise insulation to prevent operator fatigue. Dust collector system and water injected dust suppression systems are available as options.

“Another key feature is the new rigs ability to swing the guide shell to a horizontal position for horizontal drilling of lateral supports, dewatering and other requirements. It also makes for easier and safer maintenance of the drill rig. The guide shell also allows easy access to its angled breakout clamps with increased clamping force to ease loosening of rods and provide a better view from the cabin for semi-automated rod changes. This results in less time spent on non-productive actions.

Power is delivered through a CAT C13 6-cylinder motor providing 328kW. provides more power to drive the rig and the higher capacity compressor two-stage screw compressor with 953 CFM 28 cubic metres per minute. The rotation speed of the drill pipe can be controlled from inside the cab and gives control from 0-120 rpm, with a rotary head torque of 4200 Nm.

“All this combines for a safer, faster more powerful and efficient machine for the best possible cost per metre for drilling. This type of drilling calls for reliability and durability 24/365 low cost of ownership with the highest availability for the best utilisation, Linton concludes.

<<Fast facts>>

Furukawa DCR 22 key benefits for Southern Africa

Fuel consumption

  • Higher efficiency compressor delivers more air at lower engine speeds for better economy per meter drilled
  • Larger diameter drilling tube requires lower flushing volume at lower engine speeds

Improved productivity

  • Increased torque from the rotary head for more consistent production in bad ground
  • Longer drilling tubes to reduce time adding drilling tubes
  • Higher break-out clamp force for faster drilltube loosening
  • Implements a collaring mode for more effective and accurate start of drilling


  • Larger cabin for improved operator comfort
  • Reduction in interior noise
  • More friendly drilling controls
  • One display to control all settings, history, diagnostics, pressure levels and engine data


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