Three new DI550 drill rigs from Sandvik Construction have given BAM Ritchies’ UK drill and blast operation a major boost. The drill rigs will operate on a number of quarrying drill and blast contracts throughout the north of England and Scotland. The DI550 is the first of Sandvik’s new generation down-the-hole drill rigs, designed for large and medium-sized quarries and contractors, matching perfectly with 4” and 5″ hammers, making the rig uniquely productive whilst keeping fuel consumption and operating costs to a minimum.

BAM Ritchies, part of BAM Nuttall Ltd., a Royal BAM Group company, is a leading, award winning, geotechnical contractor, providing fully integrated ground engineering services throughout the UK and other parts of the world. These services include ‘design and construct’ for government organisations, local authorities, main contractors, utilities and public / private companies. Its worldwide reputation is based on delivering innovative solutions for complex geotechnical problems, with exceptional levels of service accomplished by a large highly skilled and well-equipped workforce.

Over the years the organisation has proudly developed a first class reputation for assisting the aggregates industry, drilling and blasting over 40 million tonnes in the UK alone last year. However, its expertise and versatility allows its services to be provided in other related areas. These include larger civils contracts which sometimes require hard rock excavation by blasting, or require site sourced aggregates. Thus BAM Ritchies can confidently claim to be second to none in assisting its customers to undertake a variety of often complex work, safely and cost effectively.

This varied and extensive work is undertaken worldwide, with the provision of solutions wherever they are required. Thus BAM Ritchies now finds itself involved in a variety of projects which include aggregate production, rock armour production, pre-split blasting for smooth slopes, underwater blasting where the rock is too hard for dredging, non-explosive rock breaking, road widening and realignment, re-profiling and trench blasting. What all these operations have in common is that they are undertaken with the company’s overriding mission of creating a sustainable future by bringing engineering to life, being at the fore of its operations. Hence over the years BAM Ritchies has sought to create a sustainable future in all its operations, with this being a core principle since the business was established in 1963.

As the 2014 Ground Engineering Contractor of the Year, a forward looking and advanced culture pervades the company, with a commitment to the continual training and development of its people. Additionally the company places emphasis on the almost exclusive use of its own plant and technology. This is matched by a rigorous approach to ensuring the highest operational safety, as well as the highest levels of environmental and quality performance for its operations. In effect this defines the BAM Ritchies’ service. In fact these facets of the business have been recognised by nine other key industry awards in recent years.

BAM Ritchies capabilities now encompass ground investigation, ground engineering, concrete techniques and rock removal, with flexibility of operation and performance proving to be key. It is essential that the company is therefore equipped to be able undertake whatever type of project its customers require. To this end a series of newly won drill and blast projects located at quarries throughout the north of England, reaching as far as Ayr in Scotland, required a modern, effective drilling solution from a company that shares the same priorities as itself. To this end, when seeking out a new drill rig, BAM Ritchies turned to Sandvik Construction and its new DI550.

The acquisition of the very latest in drill rig technology is vitally important to the company, as BAM Ritchies is now the largest drill and blast contractor in the UK, blasting over 40million tonnes of rock in 2014. Hence the 3 x DI550 drill rigs from Sandvik Construction have been acquired so as to help maintain this position and are set to work in quarries the north of England and Scotland. In effect the acquisition continues BAM Ritchies proud record of challenging the status quo in order to develop new and better ideas so as to solve problems, and improve project delivery for customers.

The new drill rigs fit in perfectly with this approach, as in common with all Sandvik drill rigs, the DI550’s are equipped with powerful down-the-hole hammers, being designed specifically for high-capacity rock drilling in quarries, opencast mines and construction projects. They are completely self-contained, with on-board compressors, efficient dust suppression, and a comfortable cab with ergonomic controls and excellent visibility. Meaning that from the very beginning of the design process they are focused on delivering high productivity with low lifecycle costs.

The DI550 itself is the first of Sandvik’s new generation down-the-hole drill rigs, designed for large and medium-sized quarries and contractors. It matches perfectly with 4” and 5″ hammers, making the rig uniquely productive and keeping fuel consumption and operating costs as to a minimum. Equipped with the latest technology, it provides BAM Ritchies with great usability, efficient rig operation and low operating costs.

With its 328 kW diesel engine and a 24.4 m³ compressor airflow at 24-bar pressure, it is a perfect match for the 4” and 5″ DTH hammers. All power is fully utilized, translating into low energy consumption, low operating costs and maximum productivity. The rig performs efficiently and economically also with 6″ hammers. On top of high performance and productivity, the machine offers a first class operator environment with solutions that enable seamless interaction of man and machine: the operator handles drilling and the automation takes care of all machine controls.