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The new automated drill ensures greater operational safety and efficiency by allowing around-the-clock labour-free drilling

 Automated drill improves safety and efficiency


(Date), 2015: An entirely automated nickel briquette drilling solution has been successfully developed for a South African mining operation by internationally-recognised automation and robotics expert IMP, which worked in close collaboration with specialist drive engineering company SEW-EURODRIVE.

IMP pride themselves in engineering ground breaking innovation solutions. The company specializes in automated laboratory facilities and has a staff of around 250 globally. Staff includes a team of chemists, metallurgists, engineers and highly skilled technicians.  The new automated drill ensures greater operational safety and efficiency by allowing around-the-clock labour-free drilling of nickel briquettes, and the subsequent collection of shavings for laboratory analysis, states IMP mechanical engineer Charles Glossop. 

"Safety is a major priority in the local mining sector, and the client approached us to develop a solution that would minimise any threats and hazards posed to workers during the drilling process. Another major advantage of automation is that productivity rises too," he explains.

SEW-EURODRIVE assisted IMP with the movement of the drill by supplying a servo motor. IMP electrical co-ordinator Christopher Muir adds that the company also assisted IMP in utilising the drive to replace the programmable logic controller (PLC) for this project.

"SEW-EURODRIVE supplied the servo motor and the drive, and added great value by teaching us how to use the drive to control all the pneumatics and vibratory feeders on the machine. This saves on costs, as the project does not require a PLC to function at full efficiency," he reveals.

Glossop indicates that SEW-EURODRIVE also assisted in the programming of the new system, in addition to training the IMP programmers. "An advantage of working with SEW-EURODRIVE is that its representatives are always willing to help and find a solution, when others are hesitant. Another major benefit is unrivalled turnaround times for parts. As a result, SEW-EURODRIVE will remain a supplier of choice for IMP in future projects," he concludes.

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