Atlas Copco’s Edge drill monitor, originally developed for the oil and gas drilling market, was introduced to the mining community. Edge provides a simple graphical display to show the driller what is happening with the hammer and, therefore, the bit at the bottom of the hole. This real-time feedback allows the driller to optimize the penetration rate, maintain consistency and reduce the chance of over-extending the tools, thereby avoiding breakage and costly delays.
Edge is a system for continuous monitoring that can be fitted to all types of drill rigs that use Secoroc DTH (down-the-hole) hammers. It consists of a sensor, a data capturing and processing unit and a rugged personal computer with a 7-in. display screen. The sensor is mounted on the drill head or rotation unit, which is connected by a cable to the data capturing unit mounted on the rig.
When the piston in the DTH hammer strikes the bit, it creates vibration, which is captured, processed and interpreted, and that data is transmitted to the PC. The PC displays this data on screen in both a graphic representation and in actual numbers. Any problems or unexpected changes that occur are displayed in the graphical view in real-time with alerts when something out of the ordinary occurs. These spikes can represent different in-hole scenarios such as the sudden presence of a new type of rock or geological zone, the presence of water or flushing problems. This feedback enables the driller to continuously optimize the drilling process as if he has eyes in the hole.