Monday 23 January 2012

Unique test rig for mobile drilling platforms!

Froude Hofmann and its wholly owned subsidiary Go Power Systems, well known for its engine testing systems have developed a unique drilling test rig for Boart Longyear, an organisation providing mineral exploration services and drilling products for the global mining industry. This new test system is designed to test motors prior to final assembly as well as complete mobile drilling rigs including self propelled, stationary and truck mounted and is currently operational from Boart Longyear’s Adelaide facility.

Pit installation
Two Brakes form the basis of the torque measuring system, which are linked via a right angle drive 1:1 ratio gearbox and innovative alignment device to the drill rod of the drilling rig. The whole system is installed in a pit to allow the drilling platform truck to be positioned directly over the test rig, and the drilling rod connected vertically via a coupling & cardan drive shaft.  The rig was conceptualised by Froude Hofmann’s Australian office, designed and built at the Go Power facilities in Detroit, before being shipped to Australia, where a team from USA and Australia completed the installation and commissioning.

“This project demonstrates the depth of engineering skill and knowledge within our organization.” explains John Harris, Froude Hofmann’s Chairman and Operational Director. “Not only were we able to understand the complex technical and safety requirements of the project but we delivered on time and on budget. Also pivotal to the success of the project was the collaboration between our North American and Australian companies. All manufacturing was carried out at our Detroit factory, so we could guarantee optimum quality of work and ensure we met all deadlines”

Acquisition of this system allows customer rigs to be carefully load tested in the refurbishment process.  Given the remote locations in which rigs operate, the ability to load test at the shop greatly reduces the risk of unwanted downtime when the rigs return to service. With the new dynamometer system, sub-assemblies can be full load tested prior to final assembly which improves the build process.  Load testing and data acquisition can be carried out on the complete rig, collecting information such as bearing temperature, oil pressures and load charts, which the test system can provide in an automated and repeatable manner. 

Boart Longyear Vice President of Global Engineering commented, “In addition, the system is used in the New Product Development process to thoroughly test prototype rigs before sending them to field test – allowing a more comprehensive evaluation of the prototype in the controlled engineering environment.  This capability is part of our accelerated New Product Development process – accelerating time to market for our next generation drilling systems”. 

As pioneers in the drilling industry, Boart Longyear, once again, lead the field and provide their customers with an even better service for optimising and guaranteeing the performance of their rigs.

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