Tag Archives: John Deere

Rhino raiseborer set for work in Botswana, South Africa

Having been introduced to the southern African market only a year ago, two Rhino 100 ‘plug-and-drill’ raiseborers from Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions are already destined for local mining sites.

One unit will soon be at work in Botswana, while the second will be delivered to a large South Africa mine later this year, according to Saltiel Pule, Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions’ Business Line Manager for Underground Drilling in southern Africa.

“This machine has raised considerable interest in our market, and we fully expect to see five units at work in our region by the end of 2022,” Pule says.

The primary application of the Rhino 100 is for drilling of production slots, but it also makes a valuable contribution in a range of other applications – from ventilation raises and escape routes to ore passes and connections between tunnels, the company said.

“Using conventional drill and blast methods, these vertical or inclined holes can take mines three to six months to complete,” Pule says. “With the Rhino 100, we are talking about durations of less than a week.”

Drilled as relief holes in sub-level open stoping, slot raises provide the necessary void space for blasting, allowing the expansion of blasted rock into the void to improve fragmentation.

Dean Zharare, Sales Engineer for Underground Drilling at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions, says the conventional blasting of slot raises often creates a bottleneck for mines.

“We have encountered situations where mine personnel have to return two or three times to a slot raise before it is ready, due to misfires, for instance,” Zharare said. “This creates a bottleneck in the mining process, reducing the monthly metres achieved.”

The mobility and drilling speed of the Rhino 100 can transform this scenario, he says, with an expectation that monthly metres drilled could improve by 65%. There is even the possibility that one of the units in South Africa will be operated remotely with the operator based on surface while it drills underground stopes.

Drilling holes of 750 mm in diameter, the Rhino 100 boasts penetration rates of about 2 m/h, more than double the rate of conventional methods, Sandvik claims. As important as the speed, Zharare says, is the reliability of the result.

“These larger holes make the blast much more reliable, avoiding any time consuming and dangerous redrilling in the event of a block ‘freezing’ after an unsuccessful blast,” he says.

Underpinning the machine’s mobility is its ability to carry its own components, including rods, cables, hydraulics and the raiseboring head. It is pulled by a specially adapted double-axle John Deere tractor. To optimise the set-up time – which can take as little as 10 minutes – it has outriggers for stability rather than needing a concrete pad to be poured. No roof bolting is required either, as an inclinometer gives the operator the necessary coordinates for a surveyor to confirm before drilling operations begin.

Since the Rhino 100 was launched 2017, it has achieved a strong global footprint, with over 20 units operating worldwide. Australia has seen particularly strong take-up, with one contractor already ordering four machines. Underground expansions at almost a dozen operations around southern Africa present exciting opportunities for the future of the Rhino 100 in this region, Zharare says.

The Rhino is manufactured by TRB-Raise Borers in Finland but is equipped with Sandvik tools and is distributed by Sandvik.

John Deere Power Systems electrification and engine solutions to take centre stage at Bauma

John Deere Power Systems says it will showcase its proven electrification solutions in addition to a range of new engines at the upcoming Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, on April 8-14.

The company’s 644K (pictured) and 944K hybrid wheel loaders have collectively logged more than 1 million operating hours in the field, it said. “This level of real-world experience is key as more OEMs look to John Deere Power Systems for technologies to reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and enhance machine performance and reliability.”

This milestone follows the announcement that the John Deere family of Stage V engines recently received official certification, the company said.

John Deere said it was among the first to introduce electric drive technology in off-highway equipment, producing the 644K hybrid loader in 2013 and the 944K hybrid loader in 2015. This saw John Deere Power Systems join forces with John Deere Electronic Solutions to “successfully design and implement fully integrated electric drivetrain systems”, it said. This concept was first introduced at Bauma 2016.

While off-highway equipment manufacturers continue to explore and evaluate hybrid and electrification solutions for their respective markets, the demands of the end customer for reliability and productivity continue to increase, according to the company.

“In response to this, John Deere is developing technology to meet manufacturers at various phases of implementation and development,” it said.

Darren Almond, Drivetrain Product Planning Manager for John Deere Power Systems, said the company is working closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to understand their application needs in the field of electrification. 

“Exceeding 1 million operating hours shows that John Deere has an in-depth understanding of how to make hybrid drivetrain systems work in the field,” he said. “We can use our expertise to discover innovative ways to develop reliable, efficient, cost-effective alternatives to traditional drivetrain systems.”

The OEM electrification approach of John Deere seeks to offer integrated solutions that address the interfaces between the electrical generator and/or motors, power electronics, and mechanical interfaces, according to the company. 

To accompany its hybrid solutions, John Deere Power Systems will showcase new engine options at the upcoming Bauma fair. 

The new 13.6 litre engine from John Deere will be part of the Stage V line-up for industrial and generator set markets. In addition to the 13.6 litre engine, John Deere will display its 4.5 litre EWS engine for the first time. 

“The 4.5 litre EWS engine serves both the 80 kVA and the 100 kVA markets and expands the non-EGR engine generator drive lineup for Stage V from John Deere,” the company said.