Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge

The newly established Mandela Mining Precinct in South Africa has opened a challenge for the rapid development of a new rock drill for deep-level mining
Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge Mandela Mining Precinct issues rock drill challenge

The Mandela Mining Precinct has issued a design challenge for the development of a better rock drill

Staff Reporter

The Isidingo Drill Design Challenge aims to find how a new drill can be lighter, quieter, easier to use, introduce parallelism and reduce operator danger. It also wants to know how a new machine design can utilise alternative energy sources.

"Current technology is wasteful of energy, heavy and noisy, and prone to large vibration which results in fatigue, noise-induced hearing loss and white-knuckle syndrome, directly impacting the quality of life of rock-drill operators," the group said.

"The best innovative ideas and concepts come from a combination of necessity and diverse visions, and so this challenge is being run across South Africa calling on engineers, designers, architects and everyone with problem-solving skills to design the concept for a new rock-drill for application in deep-level, hard-rock mining."

Primary criteria for design are a weight less than 16kg, a source of energy other than compressed air, the ability to drill parallel holes and a set-up and take-apart time of 10-15 minutes or less.

It also will be seeking designs that produce more thrust, produce noise levels of less than 85 decibels, have a plan for reduced operator vibration, are easily operable and are an improvement upon current drilling speeds.

Those submitting entries should design the concept for a new drill while addressing those points. There should also be an emphasis on human-centred design.

Designs via technical sketch or computer-aided design are welcome.

The challenge opened August 20 and will close on September 18. Judging will be held September 25, with winners to be announced October 2.