Breakers Drills

With revival of road construction projects, hydraulic rock breakers and drills manufacturers expect improvement in demand prospects. P.P. Basistha takes a look.

Gradual improvement in aggregates off take for the road sector is being seen as a precursor of rising demand for hydraulic rock breakers and drills, by manufacturers in the near term. According to the industry estimates, breakers demand in 2015-16 can be to the tune of 3000 units. To take on the anticipated demand, manufacturers are banking on the technical attributes of their existing equipment and the new launches, which they claim offer lesser operation and maintenance costs in course of primary breaking.

Harinder Jit Singh
According to Mr. Harinder Jit Singh – President, Sandvik Construction India, "To complement our existing Rammer series of breakers, we launched new Bretec Series in the last quarter of 2014 in India which are suitable for varied applications and score highly on reliability, and performance. Bretec series offer one of the best operating costs per hour of operations in the industry."

Sandvik Hydraulic Rock Breakers
Sandvik offers around 34 models of hydraulic rock breakers. Bretec Range can be installed on base machines (backhoe, skid steer, excavators, etc) weighing 1.5 ton to 40 tons whereas Rammer series can be installed weighing 0.8 ton to 100 ton class. Sandvik also offers specialized breakers for primary breaking, tunneling, scaling, and hot metallurgical applications. Sandvik's breakers for the entire global market are manufactured at its plant at Lahti in Finland.

Mr. Singh says, "There are numerous advanced technical attributes allowing our breakers to provide higher equipment uptime and lesser operating and maintenance costs. This includes, rubber buffers and big size accumulators in Rammer Series to reduce stress on excavator hydraulics as well as structure. We use over hundreds of our own patented designed components in our breakers, all manufactured in house."

Mr. Singh points out, "the component RamdataII - electronic data recorder comes in Sandvik's Rammer series of higher capacity breakers as standard equipment. It records usage, impact cycles, operating practices, and servicing interval."

He mentions further, "To minimize equipment downtime, all our dealer technicians are trained by our factory product support team and are updated with real time latest information on all our products and technical updates. Our dealers provide safety, operator training, and preventive maintenance training during every commissioning."

Growing Demand Base

The urban infrastructure construction is a new area creating demand for hydraulic rock breakers. Growing high-rise construction in metro cities needs below ground free level for vehicle parking purposes. Hydraulic rock breakers are being extensively used to break the rock boulders at the ground level prior to the foundation. Newer demand of hydraulic rock breakers is also coming from the areas having ban on rock blasting. Further, upcoming road construction projects in hilly terrain, requiring fracturing of rocks boulders that come in way of construction. Though there are numerous newer demand pockets of hydraulic rock breakers in India, the market continues to remain volumes driven. Moreover, it remains fragmented. The rental sector continues to be user of economical products with lesser preference for premium products. This resultantly makes it challenging for premium quality breakers manufacturers to promote the products.

JCB HM 2180

Amit Gossain
To take on the emerging demand, JCB India has recently launched two new models of hydraulic rock breakers-HM980HD and HM2180HD for 12, 14 & 20 ton excavators. "The new products feature higher durability, lesser maintenance, and low operational costs. We look towards promoting our breakers as a complete package to our customers. We cater to the new customers who purchase breakers along with the base machine and also to our existing customers who purchase rock breakers separately for their existing machines," says Mr. Amit Gossain, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, JCB India. JCB India's range of hydraulic breakers includes, HM360HD/HM380 for backhoe loaders and 8 ton excavator and HM980HD/HM1180/HM2180HD for excavators between 12 ton -22 Ton. It also manufactures HM 140 for skid steer loaders.

Mr. Gossain says, "Our four regional training centers located in Ballabgarh, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune provide training and JCB certifications for right availability of breakers operators, crucial for any breaking operations. We are planning to increase the frequency of our trainings in 2015. Our robust network of over 600 outlets across India provides easy access to spare parts and after sales support. We follow a population based parts stocking system which helps in reducing the downtime drastically."

Nitin Lall
To expand its offering, Atlas Copco India has recently launched, its EC series hydraulic rock breakers for the Indian market. Mr. Nitin Lall, Atlas Copco India says, "This range is strategically positioned in the value breaker segment which is occupied by value conscious customers. With the EC series breakers, our range plugs the gap in the customer need and is able to meet the requirements in the low cost range segment as well."

Atlas Copco mb1500
Atlas Copco's range of breakers weighs between 52 kgs for 700 kg excavator and HB 10000 for 140 tonne class excavator. The carrier equipments that can be attached with Atlas Copco breakers includes,backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, combi cutters, multi grapple and hydraulic compactors.

Mr. Lall says, "Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers have unique features which ensure minimum machine downtime. Specifically, the 'Conti Lube' which is a self-priming lubrication pump with adjustable grease volume is designed for uninterrupted operation and optimized lubrication. Auto stop mode is another feature where the hydraulic breaker starts without load applied to the working tool thus simplifying handling. In the auto stop mode the hydraulic breakers runs only when load is applied to working tool thus preventing blank firing. With minimal wear and tear of parts the machine does not remain idle. Atlas Copco has the highest impact energy for each breaker in every category coupled with energy recovery mode."

"During commissioning we provide on-site training to operators and maintenance staff of the customer during commissioning of the equipments. We check our breakers and interact with the operators and maintenance staff at regular intervals to ensure that not only is the customer getting the highest productivity but also that our breakers are maintained in a healthy way. We also do road shows and service camps very frequently along with on- site training to operators. At times, based on the population, we gather all operators on the same site and advise them on the do's and don'ts to maintain the good health of the breaker and get maximum returns." Says, Mr. Lall.

He mentions further, "our 50+ strong dealer network and growing each year, a healthy stock of equipment and spare parts is maintained across India. Our dealers have a Pan India presence from Leh in the Northern tip to Kanyakumari in the Southern tip of India. We are also competently covered from West to East, from the Eastern most part of Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh to make available appropriate marketing and services support for higher equipment availability."

Doosan Attachment Breaker

Doosan India is looking to tap the upcoming demand with its 'economy' and 'premium' range of breakers between 2-50 tons base equipment of skid steer loaders and excavators."There is almost a price difference between 40%-50% between two range of breakers. Both the breakers are suitable for myriad applications in crushing. For higher volumes applications, the 'premium' range of breakers are more suitable. One of the prominent feature of Doosan breakers are 'anti blank firing'. This makes the breakers operate, only when the chisel touches the rock surface. The structures of our breakers are more rugged, so as to take the high impact loads. " Says, Mr. Manjunath, Doosan Infracore. Doosan has 1500 hydraulic breakers operating in India with various contractors and rental agencies.

Siddhartha Sarkar
Mr. Siddhartha Sarkar, Associate General Manager Sales Furukawa Drill India says, "in the fragmented and volumes driven Indian market, we have looked to offer value added products and services, that brings down total cost of operations of the equipment owners. Our improved FXJ series hydraulic rock breakers economizes total cost of operations. The prominent features of the FXJ series are that it has no through bolts, redesigned piston, long rod pin and improved greasing. Owing to mono block design and incorporation of cylinder liners, the life of the cylinders in the breakers is now increased. Without through bolt systems the breakers are also 15%-20% less expensive to maintain. FXJ breakers are suited for typical applications of quarrying, mining, foundation, trenching, railway construction, and bridge and road projects."

Furukawa Rock Drill
He continues, "Combined with our improved FXJ and FXP series we offer wide range of breakers that can be mounted on base excavator carriers between 1 tons -100 tons providing at least 20-30 percent higher level of rock breaking. The frame design of our breakers achieves total performance and lower sound level. Lesser bolts and nuts design also makes scheduled maintenance quicker. One of the prominent features of the FXJ series of breakers is they are thermal resistant, suitable to work above 30 degrees, making them ideal for Indian conditions. "The company does not immediately plan to produce the rock drill and breakers in India. Furukawa has 50 service engineers to provide service support to its breakers located in strategic locations. Mr. Sarkar says, "Being premium products we will continue to market our breakers to quarry segments and in the segments where production is the prime consideration." The company is in the continuous process of developing and train distributor's engineers to increase its business network.

He added "The brand image of our hydraulic drill machines and breakers is its cost competitiveness. Operating and maintaining our hydraulic drills is not as complicated. Furukawa Rock Drill products make work more efficient and help reduce manpower needs and also contribute to improved ease of operation and safety."

Advanced Hydraulic Rock Drills

Road construction projects requiring aggregates at quarries through blasting has been creating spurt in demand of hydraulic rock drills. Dressing of granite marbles and rock stabilization is another newer application for hydraulic crawler drills.

Atlas Copco India has recently recently launched new hydraulic crawler rock drill-PowerROC D40.The drill is manufactured at its Nashik facility. Enlarging the product portfolio it plans to introduce its new generation drills, PowerROC T35 along with FlexiROC T45 produced in Japan and Sweden.

Mukesh Chaturvedi
Mr. Mukesh Chaturvedi, Business Line Manager-Surface and Exploration Drilling, Atlas Copco India says, "The new offerings would add true value to the quarry operators in terms of high productivity, safety and ergonomics. PowerROCD40, our focused product, for aggregates, limestone, coal overburden and iron ore is designed with a straight forward hydraulic system. It is a one man operation drill where all controls are conveniently placed in the operator's standard air conditioned, ROPs and FOPs cabin. It is a highly flexible and stable drill, designed for drilling holes between 105 - 152 mm diameter and comes with dust collection system or water injection system for dust suppression."

He continues, "PowerROC -T35 and FlexiROC- T45 are our top hammer drill rigs designed to meet productivity in challenging rock conditions. Top Hammer drills achieve high productivity and are normally low on fuel consumption. They are designed for drilling holes between 64mm to 115mm diameter and is the ideal choice for hard, compact and consolidated rock formations. Our FlexiROC T45 rig is loaded with useful features to tackle various drilling applications. This drill has ergonomic controls in the operator's cabin which support excellent rod handling, smooth drilling and easy tramming. These rigs also have multiple optional equipment comprising dust collection system, water injection system, auto fire suppression system and central lubrication system etc."

Atlas Copco's present crawler rock drills for the Indian market includes, locally assembled AirROC series drills eg- AirROC D35, AirROCD40, AirROCD45, AirROCT25 . It also promotes ICM 260 and Power D40. Atlas Copco also offers, imported units PowerROC T25 / PowerROC drills. Fitted with air compressor, which acts as power pack for drilling operations, AirROC series drills are capable for drilling hole diameter 95mm to 115mm. Atlas Copco offers tools like hammers, rods and bits as consumables for drilling operations.

Mr. Chaturvedi says, "We offer drills based on the productivity needs of our clients .Output can vary from5 to 50 metres per hour".

Atlas Copco PowerROC D40
To expand its business presence in the rock drilling sector, Atlas Copco India is banking on its product support. Mr. Chaturvedi informs, "We have a well organized and strong service and parts support set-up in India backed by extensively technically well exposed service engineers and service specialists. On the field service support is either provided directly by Atlas Copco service engineers or through our distributor service network. It is a standard practice to commission every single drill by our trained service personal. Training the operator on safe and effective operation is part of the commissioning activity. Schedule maintenance of a drill or attending the drill under service agreement is taken care as per the agreement with end user. Conducting schedule training with our customers and distributor engineers is a continuous process which is well organised and executed by a dedicated training team, well-coordinated by service specialists and service managers."

He adds, "spare parts support being the most critical function is taken care by a dedicated team for Inventory planning and maintaining stocks for various drills. Spare parts are distributed directly to some of the large customers while most of the parts are stocked and sold by our authorized distributors located at close proximity to customers using our equipment."

Furukawa Rock Drill makes are available in HCR series hydraulic crawler rock drill. The rock drill is capable of drilling between 64-165mm diameter penetrating up to 25-35 meters depending on the rock condition. The crawlers has intelligent monitoring system and gauges to monitor the drilling and flushing system. The drills have Dual Damper System for maximum energy transfer. Mr. Sarkar says, "compared to lower levels of fuel consumption, our crawler drills offers high levels of penetration."

While newer demand areas of hydraulic rock breakers and crawler drills augur well for the industry, it will be pertinent for OEMs to offer critical product support.
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