Nearly four centuries ago, the first underground drilling of a gold mine in Hungary in 1627 changed the world forever. Now the many types of underground drilling industry is worth billions of US dollars.  From onshore to offshore, drilling fuels the world with oil and coal, making countries rich with many metals and minerals. With technological innovation, there are many drilling equipment now, with their market size expected to grow at 7.13 % to reach 30,406 million US dollars by 2023.

Top 3 innovations in underground drilling

Gone are the days of using chisels and hammers for underground drilling. Over the centuries, one after other, it is the use latest innovative underground rigs & bolters for all types of underground drilling to unearth many things, building tunnels, providing underground spaces to expand cities and others that includes

Software for underground drilling

For precise automatic underground drilling, now software helps in a big way.  There is no need for an operator to drill a hole with exact depth as required.  The drills are auto-positioning to automatically record key parameters like penetration rates to develop borehole logs to understand the rock automatically. It is now transforming to fully autonomous to automatically sampling the rock to find its properties like Young’s modulus, compressive, and tensile strengths to report on the rock’s grade.

Increasing efficiency of drilling

There are now many upgrades in the underground rigs & bolters to increase efficiency and reduce the overall drilling costs.  This robust drilling equipment is centring on the value of ownership, reliability, and also efficiency.  And in the future underground drilling will be more electric powered by large batteries.  But due to not much advancement in battery technology, it may take a few more years for implementation.  Some other innovative underground drilling may happen with thermal fragmentation that could transform the whole mining industry.

Few other innovations in underground drilling

Many underground rigs and bolsters are now available in the market with a variety of uses for complex drilling functions that include

  • Rock support drill rigs with inbound camera mixes, steel strand rods, cement bag platforms, and silos that help in operate autonomously for more than one shift
  • ITH or in the hole production rigs with their unique design provides high mobility for digging deep and straight holes that are nearly 328 feet or 100 meters

Underground drilling will further advance with technology’s many more innovations to make more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective underground rigs and bolsters.

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