1 min read / May 15, 2023
While innovation has always been front of mind in underground face drilling; a function that, quite literally, sets the pace for development and production across the entire mining operation, demands for greater safety, sustainability and productivity have seen OEMs step up the pace in their research and development (R&D) efforts over the past decade.
From semi and fully autonomous features that allow the drill cycle to be completed remotely, to battery-electric versions of industry-favorite models and even the unveiling of a cabinless concept vehicle… Never before have new technologies and capabilities been brought to the fore and accepted so quickly. And, rather than slowing down, this new pace in drilling excellence looks set to continue well into the future.
E&MJ asked three key OEMs to share their latest developments and where they see the industry heading next. Johan Kempe, Product Director for Underground Drills at Komatsu, began by reflecting on key changes in the design and functionality of jumbos that he has seen over the past 10 years.