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Increases Safety Without Sacrificing Productivity

About Client

A customer of HydroAir manufactures a rock drill that is used for many different drilling functions in either quarries or mines. One of these functions involves drilling next to what is referred to as the “high wall.” This operation can be dangerous, however, as the drilling operations can cause debris to fall down on the machine from above. Traditionally, this type of machine’s human machine interface was on the machine itself, which puts the operator in danger.

Key Business Challenge

Keep the operator safe without sacrificing efficiency or accuracy of control.

Project Goals

  • Create a system that would accurately and efficiently control the rock drill remotely.
  • Combine all controls into one easy-to-operate radio remote.
  • Create a telematics solution that is economically responsible.


Hydro Air had significant input into the hydraulic design of the original rock drill, which already contained some electrical integration. For this project, the original design was enhanced to provide remote control of the rig functions. However, controlling the machine from a distance made it hard to see the work area, which could lead to far less accurate operations. Cameras built into the rig allow the operator to see the work area from a distance.

Technology Overview

Hydraulic components

  • Two Eaton 420 pumps.
  • Two Eaton Gear Pumps
  • Custom Manifolds
  • 4 Walvoil DPC130 valve stacks, 21 sections total
  • HAD supplied 90 series Motor with Auburn Gear Model 8 for feed
  • Schroeder Return Filter
  • AKG Heat Exchanger

Electronic components

  • Miratron Radio Control Transmitter (Belly Pack)
  • Eaton (2) HFX 48 and HFX 12 Controllers
  • Orlaco wireless vision system with cameras and display

Components were selected for two main criteria: the ability to perform all necessary functions, and cost effectiveness. The result was a machine that performed to standard without breaking the bank.

Testimonial/Social Proof

The customer had been working with HydroAir for over thirty years, so the choice was easy for the customer. HydroAir’s expertise is evident in the fact that the machine is currently running to standard with no operational limitations.

Belly Pack Remote Control InterfaceBelly Pack Remote Control Interface
Rock DrillRock Drill
Rock DrillRock Drill

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