Peter Schminkel is satisfied. It is 11 AM, the sun is shining, and the drill rig operator has already exceeded the production minimum for the entire day. “In the summer we usually start at 6 AM, and I am basically done,” he says, looking around. With weather conditions like this, he doesn’t even need to sit inside the SpeedROC 3F drill rig. He stands next to it or sits on a chair and uses a remote control. This device helps the operator to make positioning easier and provides a better overview. When he operates the rig directly from the cabin, two cameras on the front rail of the rig give him a good view of the work area. This morning, Schminkel is operating the rig at the VeroStone Petersbuch quarry next to Eichstätt in Upper Bavaria, Germany. VeroStone is a local supplier of natural stone, with clients all over the world. The operator has been in his job for 18 years now, working with all kinds of drill rigs. “The precision and velocity of the 3F, as well as its cleanliness, have made the work much faster and more efficient,” he says.
Featuring three hydraulic rock drills instead of two, Epiroc built the machine specially for the dimension stone industry to double performance – regardless of whether drilling in granite, limestone, marble or sandstone. During field tests in a limestone quarry, each of them drilled an average of 1.5 meters per minute, which equates to a total of two kilometers of drilling length over an eight-hour shift.
In order to reduce weight, the feeds and rails are assembled around a new architecture. This helps keep the total cost of ownership low. Furthermore, extensive boom coverage, 360-degree carrier rotation and very flexible terrainability allow the SpeedROC 3F to reach almost every part of the quarry. Additionally, its four support legs stabilize the rig during drilling.
The Petersbuch quarry consists of Jura limestone. It is one of six that belong to VeroStone. The company provides stone slabs for building façades and floor for museums, subway stations, universities, malls, operas and airports in countless countries worldwide. At the same time, it produces stair steps and windowsills for local homeowners. Marcus Hausner, managing partner of VeroStone, confirms the operator’s description of the new SpeedROC’s advantages. At the same time, he is very satisfied with the low fuel consumption of the drill rig. “Now it is around 15 to 16 liters per hour. Our former rig used to consume around 30 liters,” Hausner says, adding: “To sum it up, with the SpeedROC 3F our production practically doubled while costs were halved.”
At the same time, he stresses the big advantage of Epiroc’s service partner HeißHydraulik. ”The rig is very dependable and mainly needs preventiveservice, but with heavy work like ours, it is fundamental for us that a mechanic shows up fast whenever necessary. Heiß Hydraulik is very reliable.”
Franz Heiß, owner of the service unit, confirms the good working relationship. “We know very well the challenges of VeroStone’s work. That’s why we’re available to service their drill rigs whenever needed,” he says. While rig operator Schminkel gets back to his chair, operating the rig with his remote control, Hausner says: “VeroStone used to be part of the Sto Group, a multinational construction materials and facility full-service provider group. About half a year ago we realized a management buy-out. Buying a SpeedROC 3F was one of our first decisions when we started. The current results prove that our decision was right.”
VeroStone’s Jurassic limestone quarry is located at Petersbuch just out of Eichstätt, in Upper Bavaria, Germany. Its rock is 140 million years old and the total thickness of the deposit is approximately 25 meters. The site consists of twentysix layers (in different layer heights from 20 to 140 centimeters), and provides natural stone for stone slabs, stair steps and windowsills. Customers are based in countries all over the world, as well as in the region around the quarry.