Welcome to the fold

2019 Oct 02

Manually folding an 11-meter long feed from vertical to horizontal position can easily cause damage to a surface drill rig. Erik Hultgren, one of the persons behind Auto Feed Fold, explains how the process can now be automated.

Why is an automated feed folder needed?
“We wanted to develop a product that could perform feed folding completely without damaging the drill rig. Auto Feed Fold consists of two sensors that tell the software where all parts of the boom and the feed are in relation to the rig. It has primarily been developed as a separate option for surface drill rigs in the Epiroc SmartROC range.”

How will this product improve your clients’ business?
“It minimizes the risk of operator mistakes because it avoids damage to the rig that has to be repaired. The product also increases user-friendliness; the machine operator just needs to press a button instead of having to do manual adjustment from the cabin, where sight can be limited. It’s also an advantage when using the BenchREMOTE operator station to remotely control the rig from a distance.”

Erik Hultgren
Service Engineer, Mining and Rock
Excavation Service division

What were your biggest challenges during the development phase?
“It was developing the mathematical model that describes where each part of the boom system is in relation to each other. We also had tough demands for speed because we wanted the folding process done safely without losing valuable time.”

How can a rig be upgraded?
“You need a software upgrade, new cylinders with integrated sensors for feed swing and feed dump, and an electrical kit. Initial start-up requires calibration of sensors, start currents and setting the target transport position for all joints. A certified service technician should therefore perform the upgrade.”


Auto Feed Fold

  • Minimizes damage to the rig
  • Developed as a separate option for SmartROC rigs
  • An advantage when the rig is controlled remotely with BenchREMOTE
  • Currently available for the upgraded SmartROC D65 rig, launched in April 2019

Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.