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Drilling innovation allows for hands-free bit changes

By |  August 24, 2022
Epiroc says the automatic bit changer option is designed to change rotary tricone bits significantly faster than manual exchanges, eliminating human interaction with the drill string for a safer, more efficient way to operate a drill fleet. Photo: Epiroc

Epiroc says the automatic bit changer option is designed to change rotary tricone bits significantly faster than manual exchanges, eliminating human interaction with the drill string for a safer, more efficient way to operate a drill fleet. Photo: Epiroc

Epiroc introduced an automatic bit changer for hands-free bit changes on Pit Viper 270 and Pit Viper 290 series drill rigs used in rotary drilling. 

The automatic bit changer option is designed to change rotary tricone bits significantly faster than manual exchanges, Epiroc says, eliminating human interaction with drill string for safer, more efficient operation.

According to Epiroc, operators can do bit changes with a single touch of a button and stay informed on their screen. Operators can make or break joints, select drill bits and add or remove them. Bit changes can be done either from a control room or from the cab. 

“The early collaboration with customers and cross-functional teams resulted in an auto bit changer that is repeatable, keeps the operator out of the line of fire and improves machine uptime,” says Matthew Fosler, senior design engineer of Epiroc’s surface division.

A carousel design allows up to four bits to be changed significantly faster and safer than a single manual exchange, Epiroc adds. The removable bit carousel can store rotary tricone bits in varying sizes and cutting structure.

The automatic bit changer is available for new drills and retrofit of drills already in the field, the company adds.

“Through its development and trial, the automatic bit changer has proven to be the safest and most efficient way to change bits that is currently available,” says Carla Chaname, product manager, of automation for Epiroc’s surface division.

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Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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