Chinese jumbos for domestic and overseas markets Nov 2020

Roger Murrow for TunnelTalk

Development of many Chinese drilling jumbos was driven initially by China’s need for effective machinery for its own infrastructure projects. As a result, transportability and flexibility of use on site has been essential in the developments. Chinese jumbos, which to a certain extent have lagged behind European manufacturers, are in the main diesel powered, but the use of electric power has become more common as environmental concerns become more prevalent. This perhaps can be seen as a rebalance, as historically drilling jumbos were powered by compressed air. As electricity, and compressed air power, produces no exhaust gases, electricity is proving to be the preferred power source, especially when operating in environments where ventilation can be problematic.

To coincide with bauma China, staging in Shanghai from 24 to 27 November 2020, TunnelTalk takes a look at the offering of an increasing number of Chinese manufacturers of drilling jumbos which are taking strides to align their offerings with those of the more established western suppliers. The companies produce a range of equipment designed for tunnel excavation, drawing on links with Chinese universities and extensive R&D activities. In the main, the Chinese offerings can be seen as direct competition to USA and European equipment, sharing many of the same features and looks.

Kamach twin-boom jumbo
Kamach twin-boom jumbo

A large range of loading and transporting equipment is produced by Nanchang Kama or Kamach Mining Co. These include LHD loaders, excavation equipment and components. With a history of more than 50 years, the company possesses a strong technical background with major investment being provided by the Chinese Government.

With regard to excavation operations, the Kamach twin boom jumbos are the CMJ2-17 and CMJ2-30 models. According to the company, the rigs possess an anti-explosion design, enabling them to safely operate in areas where there is a danger of naturally occurring gas explosions. The rigs are in the 13 tonne and 9 tonne weight categories respectively, and are diesel powered, with electrical power available as an option. The CMJ-14 hydraulic single boom jumbo is an 8 tonne diesel powered rig, again with electric option available, and is designed for drilling charge holes for small faces of 4.2m2 to 14m2.

Of interest is the 6 tonne Kamach SC3014 jumbo which is a multifunctional drilling rig and scaling machine. It is powered by an imported Deutz TD2011LO4i diesel engine for low emissions and is able to work at elevations of up to 5,000m above sea level and operate on a 30° slope for the harshest of operating environments. Also in the range, the 11.5 tonne HT71 hydraulic scaling jumbo, is equipped with a high powered HC109RP drifter and has adopted electro-hydraulic control technology with a high degree of mechanized operation. The HT72 hydraulic drill jumbo is used for charge hole drilling in civil underground applications. The HT81, HT8 and HT83 four wheel-drive drilling jumbos range in weight from 8.5 tonne to 12 tonne all being hydraulic single boom jumbos that use an advanced hydraulically controlled drilling system, which is claimed to be safe and simple to operate.

Single boom Fucheng being readied in the workshop
Single boom Fucheng being readied in the workshop

With a long history of technical and R&D development, Jinan Fucheng draws on the expertise of a highly experienced technical team. The company now manufactures a full range of 13 drilling jumbos on wheels, tracks and rails of the FC10, 20, 30 series plus two additional models and two scaling jumbos. The Fucheng 8.50 tonne crawler or wheel mounted FC20-2BCD, DF20-2BD, and FCMJ2-18 hydraulic drilling jumbos have been purpose designed for the drilling of charge holes for civil project applications. The models are all hydraulic drive, with their two booms aiming to deliver high efficiency and high drilling speed. The advanced hydraulically controlled drilling system, which the company reports is safe and easy to operate, incorporates an auto-stop at end-point and anti-jamming function, together with auto-wash and reduced energy consumption.

Single boom jumbos are provided by the Fucheng FC10 and FC30 product series that range in weight from 6 tonne to 12 tonne. The eight models are available either wheel or crawler mounted, and in the case of the FC10-1DBG, is track mounted. As with the double boom rigs, they possess the flexibility to drill holes in the crown, sidewalls and heading invert, and being able to drill rockbolting holes using the company’s patented impeller. All models are electrically powered. As well as an impressive selection of drilling jumbos, the company also manufactures the 11 tonne wheel mounted FC62 scaling jumbo, which has a folding boom and rotary cylinder powered hydraulic hammer.

XMCG three-boom wheeled jumbo on site
XMCG three-boom wheeled jumbo on site

Well-known manufacturer XMCG, Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, produced an impressive range of equipment for underground construction projects. In recent years the company has launched a series of drilling jumbos for use on a variety of excavation applications. Ranging in weight from 12 tonne to 45 tonne, they include single, twin and three boom versions with all models wheel mounted and diesel-powered. The jumbos possess a hydraulic rock drill drifter which has been purpose designed to possess a high deflection resistance capacity, high drilling speed and low drilling tool exhaustion. These features effectively improve the performance of hole drilling operations.

XMCG states that the series of jumbos possesses other leading features including a high efficiency/low emission engine, articulated frame, full-driven adaptive walk system and efficient manoeuvrability. The drifter boom is designed with an interlocked telescopic structure, capable of enlarging the rock drilling range, and a drilling system designed with automatic rod jamming, idle drilling prevention and automatic rod retrieval functions. The three current jumbos comprise the TZ2 twin-boom, TZ3 three-boom and CYTJ45 single-boom jumbos. What is interesting on all of these models is the emphasis the company places on low levels of emissions and fuel-efficient performance.

Huatai twin-boom drill rig heading to the face
Huatai twin-boom drill rig heading to the face

Huatai Drill, or to be more correct, China Pangolin Intelligent Machinery Ltd, manufacturers one of the largest ranges in China of specialist underground excavation equipment. As with many of the Chinese manufacturers, it draws on experience from the mining industry to now produce an exhaustive range of drilling jumbos, long hole top hammer drilling rigs, rock scale drilling rigs and rock bolting drill rigs. The company’s stated focus is to provide reliable and intelligent underground equipment to make underground excavation work safer, more efficient and more economical.

Within the product ranges manufactured is the 8.6 tonne CMJ2-17 jumbo which uses a fully hydraulic drilling system along with its own anti-jamming device, while the 30 tonne CYTJ45-2 twin-boom hydraulic jumbo has a compact design making it suitable for excavation of inclined shafts with smaller cross-sections. The 13.5 tonne CYTM41/2 rockbolting rig is designed for narrow headings, with a compact structure, and for energy efficiency and low noise operation. The 11 tonne XMPYT-74/325 is a scaler designed and developed specifically for narrow headings and is equipped with a folding boom equipped with a hydraulic breaker driven by rotary cylinder and mechanical translation mechanism.

Of specific interest is the emphasis the company places on safety with FOPS, falling-object protective structure cabs. Additionally, and continuing the theme of Chinese companies working with other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), the jumbos are equipped with Montabert drifters to deliver what the company claims are the highest levels of drilling accuracy and speed.

Reach and dimensions of the YikYui three-boom jumbo
Reach and dimensions of the YikYui three-boom jumbo

Henan Easy Volks Industries or YikYui specializes in the research, development and manufacture of various kinds of drill rigs and rock excavation equipment including 11 single-, twin- and three-boom jumbos. Of note, the company places emphasis on it geological expertise, based mainly on mine exploration, and geological conditions analysis thereby being able to provide its customers with a distinct perspective. The features included on the drilling rigs include the facility for the working mechanism of the machine to use full hydraulic drive for a high drilling speed, while a hydraulic translation arm keeps the drifter boom parallel in all directions.

The system also enables point impact stop, automatic anti-jamming and induction water slag discharge. All rigs possess a compact structure and low centre of gravity for safe and efficient operation. The drilling rigs are designed to deal with a wide range of excavation requirements, although specific details about the equipment are light.

New standards of manufacturing

Chinese construction and excavation equipment has traditionally been seen as not possessing the same quality or standards of manufacturing as western equivalents, nor of placing sufficient emphasis on the environment, worker safety and low levels of emissions. However, recent developments in the design and manufacture of Chinese drilling jumbos have gone hand in hand with extensive R&D, geological expertise and an increasing commitment to operating conditions and efficiency. Furthermore, where the manufacturer feels that it is lacking in expertise, the increasing willingness to enter into arrangements with global OEMs, means that not only are these manufacturers here to stay, but will undoubtedly provide more competition to the established players in the global market.


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