In October 2018, Caterpillar is to launch another new surface drill in the form of the small rotary MD6200, a highly transportable offering (has the option for example to leave the mast on and load it on a truck for moving to another mine, jobsite or bench area), which is expected to be available in the market in Q1 2019. While a large part of its market will be quarry applications it will also have several special mining applications. This model will drill holes of <8 in diameter.
At the other end of the scale, the company is also working on a new ultra class rotary machine to transition from the existing MD6640 and MD6540C for which it will commonise the diesel and electric platforms. Finally, following on from its announcement last year that it is now offering tricone rotary bits, later in 2018, Cat is expected to also announce availability of DTH hammers as part of its portfolio.
These new developments come after the 2017 launches of the MD6250 and MD6310. The most recent of these, the MD6310 for 8-12.25 in diameter holes, built on the solid performance of the MD6420C. A key advantage of the machine, Cat electronics deliver advanced troubleshooting for efficient drill operation and scalable automation. The building blocks include drill assist, semi-autonomous and remote control operation, and machine health reporting to improve drilling accuracy, reduce fuel consumption and lower total cost of ownership.
Ideal for 12 and 15 m bench heights, the new MD6310 is application-built for efficient single pass drilling down to 13.7 m (44.9 ft) or 17.5 m (57.4 ft), depending on mast configuration. Offering up to 30 degree angle holes for cast blasting, it is ideal for numerous mining applications. Reaching deeper hole depths than the MD6420C, the MD6310 better matches specific drill and blast requirements when working with electric rope shovels or other loading tools that require a tall and steep muck pile. Standard on the MD6310 is a drill depth indicator, auto level/retract and auto mast, all of which contribute to efficient cycle times.
Cat Command for drilling leverages remote and autonomous drill operation and serves as the off-board technology foundation of the drill. Scalable solutions allow customers to select the precise level of drilling automation to match operating needs. The Drill Assist option executes all major functions for single pass drilling. Drill Assist automatically adapts and adjusts drill power to match the ground conditions, which streamlines the entire drill cycle and lengthens bit life.
Cat Terrain for drilling guides the drill for up to four times greater pattern accuracy to ensure every hole is accurately placed and drilled to plan. The Terrain logging function ensures all production is timed, mapped and recorded, and the HP GPS navigation ensures accurate hole placement, proper hole depth calculated and adjusted based on altitude, and proper hole angle through orienting the drill heading and position.
The MD6310 offers semi-autonomous drilling of single row missions and remote control operation for remote operation missions. One remote operator station allows an operator to manage drill operations and run up to three machines simultaneously. Standard Cat Product Link™ hardware provides machine health and drill data. VisionLink® provides users secure access to customisable reports and mapping, giving users equipment data critical for better fleet management.