Staying safe underground with BULLDRILL Drilling Rigs Manufactured By BARKOM GROUP

Barkom Group announces its recently ATEX-certified underground core-drilling rig, the Bulldrill BDU 400EX.

An underground drill rig can be used in mine galleries that contain risk factors such as high temperatures and the existence of ignition sources that might give rise to an explosion.

Possible threats can include the overheating of hydraulic equipment; metal-to-metal friction; corrosion; chemical reactions; a state of insufficient oxygen; sparks from electric motors; residues that remain on internal surfaces with the possibility of emitting gas or smoke; and the dissemination of methane gas and its mixing with oxygen that leads to a gas called firedamp, which can, in turn, bring about a flammable and explosive environment.

ATEX explained
According to the European

Commission, a potentially explosive atmosphere exists when a mixture of air gases, vapours, mists or dusts combine in a way that can ignite under certain operating conditions.

Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) cover a range of products, including those used on fixed

offshore platforms, petrochemical plants and mines, among others.

The ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU covers equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The directive defines the essential health and safety requirements and conformity assessment procedures, to be applied before products are placed on the EU market.

 

BDU400EX is an underground drill rig with a special feed system that can perform drilling with +90 to -90° vertical mast movements and 360° steering from the chassis. It is easily adaptable for use in mining operations, particularly coal mines, and all underground environments, especially narrow and small galleries.

The rig design comprises three parts: the electric unit, the main chassis with the mast and the control panel.

The mast can be easily separated and removed from the main body of the rig, making it easier to transport. This way it can also fit into an elevator leading down to the mine galleries.

With the rig, coal mine exploration operations can be performed with NQ, BQ, and AQ -size coring tools.

The electric motor, electrical panel, connections and power transmission cables, and extra remote control panel are all explosion-proof and certified.

The hydraulic system is operated via an electric propulsion system of 1,100V with the ex-proof electric motor.

Due to underground temperature limitations, the system automatically of the electric motor’s internal protection. A special fireproof paint with a certain thickness was selected for the machine, and the metallic  material and connecting cables and fasteners are all in compliance with ATEX (ie, European  directive for controlling potentially explosive atmospheres) standards.

As the first and only underground drill rig with ATEX certification in Turkey, our product has proven its reliability for use in underground galleries.

The first step is to acquire the ATEX directive and do a comprehensive review thereof at the design stage. All standards and requirements need to be taken into account for the implementation of the design specification. Certified components are used at every design stage. All materials are checked following their supply through a material control system together with the quality control department; the samples are then subjected to necessary tests. The technical file for the product includes CE requirements, and contains all machine details and safety information, as well as the risk analysis done for the assessment. Once the machine is ready for testing and all hydraulic and electric connections are made, the auditors (an ATEX Notified Body) are informed and the inspection schedule is arranged. The machine is then examined, and all testing is done in the presence of the authorised supervisors.

A report is prepared according to the results, and it is established whether the machine is appropriate for the grant of an ATEX certificate. A conforming product is then issued with the certificate and marked with the Ex symbol.

Our BDU 400EX underground drill rig has broken new ground in Turkey by receiving an ATEX Certificate. We want to emphasize the fact that the ATEX certificate not only covers the electric equipment, but the machine has been assessed as a whole and tested on that basis and certified accordingly.

As this is a necessary requirement underground, especially in coal mines, we have widely expanded our customer portfolio. We can now meet the needs of the businesses that perform drilling in potentially explosive environments. As a consequence, demand for this machine has increased, particularly from coal miners. Before the ATEX certification, our underground drill rigs had already attained CE certification, which is the first step towards ATEX.

Therefore we have been selling our underground drill rigs to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, etc.