New Furukawa HCRL100-E3 drill rig reduces cost of drilling

The new FRD HCRL100-E3.
The new FRD HCRL100-E3.

Japanese master manufacturer Furukawa Rock Drills (FRD) has released an all-new crawler drill to drive down the cost of drilling in southern Africa. FRD has customised a cost-effective and economical drill rig, developed especially for local operating conditions.

The new FRD HCRL100-E3 is an evolution of the well renowned FRD HCR 1500 ED-II model which has become a mainstay of mines, quarries and construction contractors across the region. The wide raft of changes was brought through operational input and feedback from its longtime distribution partner, ELB Equipment.

The company’s national product manager, James Linton, says the latest adaptations are the culmination of decades of successful operations in the field, in Africa, which has allowed the manufacturer to continue fine-tuning its operation for even better performance, speed and cost per metre drilled.

“It is a tough ask to improve on one of the most successful drill ranges in the industry but one that FRD has accomplished with the assistance from our customers’ feedback and experiences.”

He elaborates that at first glance the FRD HCRL100-E3 has a more powerful 280 kW engine and larger compressor to enable better efficiency at reduced RPM with its new Super Economy Mode that only uses power when it is needed with automatic throttle control and idling plus compressor low-pressure standby. This reduces fuel consumption by up to 8,5% and enables more power to be directed towards increased speed and more metres drilled per shift with bits up to 127 mm (5 inch) diameter.

“If you need power, it’s got that in spadefuls but with its Intelligent Drilling System (IDS) engaged it will only use as much as is needed to save fuel and minimise unnecessary wear and tear on the system. This also contributes to its already legendary Japanese reliability and ease of operation. Like all FRD equipment the clever engineering is done upfront at the design stages so that operators are not saddled with unnecessary, complicated machines that need highly specialised staff to maintain and repair,” he says.

“FRD achieves the same or better results with less complex mechanical and electrical systems on board. In African conditions this is a heaven sent as it means the machine can be maintained and kept productive with minimal outside assistance and is one of the key objectives of FRD, which is one of the world’s most respected drill rig manufacturers.”

Its simplicity runs all the way to the controls and cab that gives operators a commanding view of every parameter of the operation in progress, with smart controls complimented by inputs from the IDS system. The cab is ergonomically designed to provide the operators with a productive workspace with air conditioning and other comfort features allowing the operator to remain alert and productive throughout, while safety features are in line with local requirements.

He concludes that the efforts in designing the ultimate crawler drill rig resulted in the FRD HCRL100-E3 and culminated in a rig that is tough, reliable and made available to the market at a price that is affordable and right for the market it serves. Yet, its main selling point is bound to be its high productivity rate and unmatched reliability in tough conditions. FRD drills simply cannot be beaten in that regard he says.

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