Automation technology is transforming the mining industry and empowering drilling operations across the globe. The updated SmartROC D65 is the latest drill rig from Epiroc to make evolutionary strides. This tried and trusted rig now has Epiroc’s innovative automation-ready platform as its foundation. The new SmartROC D65 will premiere at Bauma in Munich, which runs April 8-14.The new SmartROC D65 has the intelligence and power to consistently and efficiently drill high-quality blast holes with accuracy and precision, and is loaded with smart features such as automated drilling and rod handling. The automation-ready platform also includes the new Auto Feed Fold feature. With the press of a button, Auto Feed Fold enables the operator to fold the feed for tramming or position it for drilling. This also comes in handy when operating one or more drill rigs remotely.“The SmartROC D65 really proves the power of autonomous machinery and brings the future of mining within reach today,” says Mattias Hjerpe, Global Product Manager at Epiroc. “Automation is revolutionising the industry, and we want our customers to remain at the forefront to secure the rewards.”“Customers are looking forward to the new generation SmartROC D65 which has been tested with the latest technology at an iron ore mine in northern Sweden,” Hjerpe told IM. The rig was developed both as the result of planned development of a new SmartROC D65 within Epiroc but also from customer feedback and requests.The SmartROC D65 is available in three different feed beam sizes to carry five, six or eight-metre pipes, and has the capacity to drill down to a depth of 56 m. When using 8 m pipes, it is possible to drill 16 m production holes with just one rod adding. The added power of the COP M7 hammer enables the SmartROC D65 to drill holes up to 9 in (110 to 229 mm) in diameter.Thanks to intelligent control of compressor load and engine rpm, the SmartROC D65 not only helps to optimise the blasting process with improved fragmentation. It also cuts an already low fuel consumption by a further 20% compared to the same size FlexiROC rig model. In addition, the rig offers multifunction joysticks and adjustable-speed tramming to further improve operator comfort and make trailer loading safer and easier.“The new SmartROC D65 will help our customers to decrease operational costs and boost productivity,” says Hjerpe. “Automation translates to greater efficiency, and efficiency translates to greater profits.”The operator interacts with the rig’s advanced control system via a responsive, 15 in touchscreen that presents everything from drilling parameters and diagnostics to real-time Measure While Drilling data (MWD). In addition, the updated SmartROC D65 is equipped with an efficient hydraulic system that reduces fuel burn and works with fewer pumps and hoses than the previous versions. The new SmartROC D65 uses 300 litres less hydraulic oil than previous versions. As other new features and improvements are released, they can easily be installed via software upgrades to keep the SmartROC D65 up-to-date and on the cutting edge at all times.“Yet another intelligent new rig from Epiroc, the SmartROC D60, has been updated with the new automation-ready platform. This robust and dependable surface drill rig features a shorter boom specially designed for efficient and demanding quarry work.”The new SmartROC D65 rig has also been designed to be ready for more forthcoming automation features soon to be released hence the description of it having been future proofed. Including the machine being tested in Sweden, several of the next generation SmartROC D65 rigs are understood to have been built, and are ready to be shipped to mining customers in Australia.