A better blasthole: Caterpillar’s new MD6310 drill

Cat MD6310 blasthole drill

Building on the legacy of its predecessor, the new Cat MD6310 blasthole drill is reaching new depths.

A key advantage of the machine is Cat Electronics, which delivers advanced troubleshooting for drill operation and scalable automation. The building blocks include drill assist, semi-autonomous and remote-control operation. As well, Cat Electronics offers machine health reporting to improve drilling accuracy, reduce fuel consumption and a lower total cost of ownership.

Ideal for 12- and 15-metre bench heights, the new MD6310 is application-built for efficient single pass drilling down to 44.9 ft. or 57.4 ft., depending on mast configuration. Offering up to 30-degree angle holes for cast blasting, it is ideal for numerous mining applications. Reaching deeper hole depths than the MD6420C, the MD6310 better matches specific drill and blast requirements when working with electric rope shovels or other loading tools that require a tall and steep muck pile. Standard on the MD6310 is a drill depth indicator, auto level and retract and auto mast, all of which contribute to cycle time improvement.

Technology equals blasthole accuracy

Cat Command serves as the MD6310 drill’s off-board technology foundation and leverages remote and autonomous drill operation. Scalable solutions allow operators to select the precise level of drilling automation to match operating needs. The Drill Assist option executes all major functions for single pass drilling which automatically adapts and adjusts drill power to match the ground conditions which streamlines the entire drill cycle and lengthens bit life.

Cat Terrain for drilling guides the drill for up to four times greater pattern accuracy to ensure every hole is accurately placed and drilled to plan. Furthermore, Cat Terrain’s logging function ensures all production is timed, mapped and recorded. Cat Terrain’s HP GPS allows accurate hole placement, as well as proper hole depth and angle.

The MD6310 offers semi-autonomous drilling of single row missions and remote control operation for remote operation missions. One remote operator station allows an operator to manage drill operations and run up to three machines simultaneously.

How low can it go?

In down-the-hole and rotary drilling for soft, medium and hard rock applications, the MD6310 drills up to 12.25 in. hole diameters. When equipped with the 44.9 ft. mast, it delivers up to 65,000 lbs. pull-down and hoist capacity to drill hole depths reaching 205 ft. The 57.4 ft. mast delivers up to 86,000 lbs.  pull-down and hoist capacity for drilling hole depths to 157.5 ft.

The drill also features angle drilling to 30 degrees from vertical in five-degree increments. With its 14-degree approach angle for easy ramp access and loading, the drill boasts a Cat 349E EL excavator-type undercarriage, equipped with either a 23.6 in. triple grousers for hard rock applications or 29.5 in. triple grousers for working in soft rock.

To function in a variety of extremes, the new MD6310 operates at elevations as high as 15,000 ft. and subzero temperatures reaching -40 C, when equipped with a cold weather package. It is powered by a Cat C32 ACERT Tier 4 Final engine that produces 1,018 hp at 1,800 rpm, or a Tier 2 equivalent engine producing 1,032 hp at 1,800 rpm.

Variable air control and dust collection

The MD6310 compressors feature variable air control, adjustable to 50 per cent less volume to meet application requirements. Air flow modulation, load sensing hydraulics and on demand cooling fans are all geared towards improving fuel efficiency.

Water injection with tank capacity of 1,514 litres is standard on MD6310 and is integral to Drill Assist for collaring the hole and dust suppression while drilling.

A high-volume water injection system is available with additional tanks for total capacity 3,785 litres. A 7,200-cfm dry dust collector with self-purging filters and dust chute with a clean-out door is optional.

Drill in comfort

The MD6310’s new FOPS cab offers 30.1 sq. ft. of floor space and rubber shock-mounts to absorb mechanical drilling vibration. Joystick controls for all drilling functions and dual 10-in. colour touch screen displays are included to improve operator productivity.

A roof mounted HVAC system provides clean air and efficiently cools or heats the cab.

Multiple drill cameras provide a full view of the pipe rack carousel/top drive operation and a 360-degree view from the operator’s seat to improve safety.

The cab’s full-length driller window offers unobstructed view of the drill deck, while large cab windows surround the operator to improve work area visibility for safe machine movement.