Pacific Technologies and their supplier of drilling rigs, Hanjin D&B, have released a 100% hands-free rod drilling system which fully automates the loading of drill rods and core barrel operation for applications such as exploration drilling, water drilling, reverse circulation and geothermal drilling.

Image credit: Pacific Technologies

Image credit: Pacific Technologies

“Most hands-free rod handlers only automate the rods but not the core barrel. The introduction of this fully hands-free system performs better than competitive products and offers a safer working environment due to the requirement for less human intervention,” says Eddy Mathe, managing director at Pacific Technologies.

“Most governments are leaning towards 100% hands-free rod handling solutions, and especially in Southern Africa,” he adds. “A safer hands-free system could very likely result in an improved safety record. This is something that businesses and governments are striving towards. In addition, users of the product will now have access to the latest technology as well as being able to comply with the latest government regulations,” Mathe says.

“The technology comes with a remote control for tramming of the rig, the rod loader and rod carrier. The technology entails the handling of drill rods from the rod carrier using the rod loader, feeding the rods into the rod feeder, which in turn feeds the rods into the rod handler. All of this is automated and done 100% hands free.”

The technology comprises an air-conditioned cabin with the rod handler attached to the rig. The rod loader comes with a magnetic handler which lifts the rod magnetically. As an added safety and security feature, the rod loader has jaws for the handling of rods.

“Because of the magnetic and jaw system, the rod loader is able to handle the core barrel with greater ease, all without manual intervention. With all these benefits, we see significant opportunities for the product throughout Africa,” says Mathe.