Control Technology For Roof Drill Operators

Thomas, Bob
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
The roof drill operator productivity can be enhanced by the introduction of control technology The operators control station can be improved by considering human factors such as handle forces and control location. The smaller electrical controls can be located much easier than the traditional hands on valves. The operators control can he improved by using processors with programmable subroutines that assist the operator in the decision making process. For example to increase feed rate - to slow rotation - to avoid clogged steels - etc. The overall affect is to improve drilling and bolting consistency. The control system uses a dedicated processor packaged as an intrinsically safe control station. The roof drill operator is assisted in the drilling; arid bolting by a closed loop feedback system. The processor monitors the drilling parameters such as feed force, feed rate, rotation torque, RPM, drill position, and vacuum condition Based on the drilling parameters the processor executes pre-determined condition statements intended to enhance drilling The drill operator has an active display to alert him to the real time machine status. For example if the feed were to slow or delay due to a high vacuum level the display would show "high vacuum". The dedicated processor is available on the arm feed style machines, The prototype machines used programmable logic controllers to develop the feedback relations. The ability to record drilling parameters was extremely helpful in this development project. The extended use of the recording feature will aid operators in mapping the mine roofs Interpreting the recorded drilling parameters can reveal a void in the top or hard competent drilling The prototype machines also showed the importance of vacuum monitoring This feature is extremely valuable in softer materials, The benefits of the control system range from efficient use of the consumable bolting materials to uniform operator performance.
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