Intelligent Epiroc hydraulic breakers ‘think for themselves’
The range of hydraulic breakers with integrated Intelligent Protection System (IPS) technology from mining equipment specialist, Epiroc, delivers efficient and reliable performance over an extended life cycle, presenting customers and end-users with lowest total cost of equipment operation and ownership. IPS is a fully automated function that enables the breaker to autonomously self-adapt to any working condition with no manual intervention or reaction required. A first of its kind in hydraulic breaker technology, IPS uniquely combines AutoStart and AutoStop in a single function. Previous generation models featured only AutoStart and AutoStop. “Essentially IPS ‘tells’ the hydraulic breaker when to begin and when to end operation, in effect giving the breaker the ability to ‘think for itself,” says Business Line Manager for Epiroc‘s Hydraulic Attachment Tools division, Wayne Sterley. “So the breaker ‘knows’ to exert power only when required and when to deliver varied strokes and this is where the true value in terms of savings resides.” As soon as it is activated, the hydraulic breaker will begin in AutoStart mode. The piston will continue to operate in short stroke even without contact between the chisel and the piston and as long as the application requires only slight contact pressure between the chisel and the material. As soon as this contact pressure increases and the piston begins working in long stroke, the breaker will automatically switch to the AutoStop mode. Once the chisel cuts through the material and the piston can no longer reach its impact face, the breaker will automatically shut off. The AutoStart mode permits more accurate and substantially faster positioning of the breaker (centering effect) and, as no adjustments are required there are no start delays or interruptions while work is in progress, uptime is significantly increased. From a protection point of view, the AutoStop mode eliminates blank firing and damage to the tool and extends the service life of all wear components. In addition, the mechanical strain on the carrier is removed and reduces the physical load on the operator. Although IPS has been designed to automatically operate within these modes, the user has the option to switch manually between AutoStart and AutoStop, providing an elevated level of control during operation. Alongside the easy, simple mode switching capability, access is also hassle-free. Sterley explains that while previously the StartSelect /manual mode was located within the cylinder and could only be reached through the opening of hydraulic circuit, the IPS is conveniently fitted in the cylinder cover to making automated mode switching possible without the need to open the hydraulic circuit. IPS offers an efficient solution for a variety of applications such as primary and secondary breaking for example that require different set ups. The HB 2000, 2500, 3100 and 3600 models are already available with IPS and the HB 7000 to HB 10 000 hydraulic breakers will debut with IPS towards the end of 2018. “With significantly decreased costs coupled with increased uptime and productivity, Epiroc hydraulic breakers with IPS are next level in the breaking space,” concludes Sterley.