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DaltronX Patented Drill Steels Win MEMSA Innovation in Soft Rock Mining Award

23rd May 2024


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DaltronX has been honoured with the prestigious MEMSA Innovation in Soft Rock Mining Award for its groundbreaking Patented Drill Steels. These drill steels redefine traditional designs by addressing the failings of rubber ferrules used in securing the steel within the drilling machine's chuck. These ferrules, prone to failure under operational stress, lead to slippage and ineffective coolant liquid sealing, resulting in potential equipment damage and inefficiencies.

Technical Product Description

The innovation features a hexagonal cross-section with a central bore designed for optimal coolant flow, highlighted by an integrally formed collar for a precise fit within the drilling machine's chuck. A strategically placed ferrule next to this collar prevents excessive movement into the chuck, overcoming a common shortfall of existing designs.

Manufacturing involves an upset forging process at the rod's narrower end, enlarging its diameter for a secure chuck fit. This is achieved through a careful application of force and electric current, ensuring the collar's precise formation without compromising the central bore's integrity. A washer between the ferrule and the collar reinforces the assembly, enhancing its resistance to the significant forces encountered during drilling.

This design significantly improves drill steel reliability, reduces dependency on adhesive bonds, and minimises rubber collar deformation under pressure, marking a significant advancement in drill steel technology. The meticulous production process ensures a consistent collar width, preventing coolant leakage and securing the steel's stability in the chuck. This advancement in drill steel fabrication reflects DaltronX’s commitment to innovation, setting a new standard for performance and reliability in the mining industry.

Innovation in the Mining Industry

The product's core innovation lies in its integrally formed collar and upset forging process, which counters the prevalent issue of ferrule slippage—a notorious cause of downtime and equipment damage. Unlike traditional drill steels, this design ensures a secure fit in the drill chuck, enhancing the durability of both the steel and chuck while allowing for seamless operation that curtails the common hindrances of slippage and coolant loss.

The drill steel is equipped with an enhanced Drill Depth Indicator that promises exact depth measurements, marking a significant improvement over older models that lacked precision and bond strength. This design advances safety in mining operations by reducing mishaps related to drill steel failures, contributing to a safer mining environment. Furthermore, the robust construction of the drill steel minimises the need for frequent replacements, leading to substantial cost savings in both maintenance and operation.

This technology embodies a leap towards sustainable mining practices, emphasising not only economic but also environmental benefits of reduced waste and lower energy consumption.

Demonstrated Impact

DaltronX's breakthrough in drill steel technology showcases a significant leap in performance within the mining industry. The products demonstrate an exceptional capacity to withstand an average maximum load of 229 kN, outperforming competitors by more than 150% improvement in pull-off force. This distinction not only emphasises the drill steels' enhanced durability but also their capability to excel in demanding environments.

This advantage translates into fewer failures, decreased downtime, and substantial cost savings in maintenance and operation, alongside promoting a safer work environment through increased reliability and precision.

Industry Context and Influence

As global energy demand evolves, South African Coal producers are adjusting their operations to optimise efficiency and output. DaltronX directly addresses the critical need for production efficiency and cost reduction, vital for coal producers facing the challenge of low coal commodity prices. The technology enhances drilling control and precision, reducing wear and tear on equipment and thereby lowering maintenance costs, resulting in cost savings for coal producers.

By delivering products that set a higher standard for reliability and efficiency, DaltronX plays a pivotal role in advancing the mining sector’s dedication to the Zero Harm initiative. This proactive approach to safety is integral to product development, ensuring that each innovation contributes to a safer mining environment.

As a Level 2 B-BBEE contributor, DaltronX is not just participating in the industry; they are leading the charge towards sustainability, efficiency, and inclusivity.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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