caterpillarAt Glencore's Ravensworth mine, two new Cat® MD6420B Rotary Drills have been cutting their teeth on the overburden of Australian coal for the last 12 months.

Their production results are in—with engine hours well above the industry's "good" rating of 5,000 engine hours per year and even beyond the industry's "excellent" rating of 6,000 engine hours per year. The first unit, #112 (aka Judy) has achieved a record level 6,876 hours in her first year and #113 (John) has come in at 7,006 hours in his.

These operating hours results are unprecedented and are fully supported by Ravensworth's maintenance summary reports. The table shows the mean times between failure are 33.5 and 38.2 hours for the two drills, and the average repair durations are 1.9 and 2.3 hours. Mining managers' expectations are about 6 hours.

According to Andrew Elbourn, Caterpillar Product Support Representative – Drills, "What this means is the MD6420B is a low maintenance drill overall. It self-monitors and diagnoses issues, which drives low MTTR – Mean time to repair. The performance of these drills has been incredible. They just keep drilling."

With a maximum bit load force of 42 000 kg (92,594 lb) and three different mast lengths to choose from, the MD6420B can drill holes as large as 311 mm (12.25 in.) in diameter and as deep as 74.4 m (244 ft)—making it ideal for high-production drilling in hard- or soft-rock applications. The rotary drill features heavy-duty structures, rugged components, a comfortable cab, convenient service access and many other attributes that reduce cycle time, improve productivity and lower ownership costs.

One example is the new operating system. The MD6420B has advanced controls and technology such as the control system that is ECM / CANbus, which is fully electronic with state-of-the-art user interface. Drill monitoring and diagnostics are displayed on a large touch-screen panel. History files detailing machine performance and health are downloadable. Advanced automation features include:
• Auto-Level
• Auto-Drill
• Auto-Mast
• Virtual Stops in upper and lower head positions
The control system also includes real-time machine health monitoring and built-in diagnostic tools that contribute to strategic service and maintenance planning.

Glencore Ravensworth North mine site is in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and uses Cat equipment almost exclusively. The mine equipment is supported by regional Cat dealer, Westrac, under a maintenance and repair contract (MARC). Drills now operating at Ravensworth include two MD6420B's, one MD6420A, two MD6290's and one SK40.

With the right equipment, people, careful planning and low-cost production, you can look for more records out of Ravensworth.

Glencore is one of the world's largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities. Their operations comprise over 150 mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities.

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