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Bucyrus Introduces Enhanced Operator’s Cab for 49HR Drill

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Bucyrus International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BUCY), a leading innovator in the mining equipment industry, introduces an enhanced, state-of-the-art operator’s cab for the Bucyrus 49HR line of rotary blasthole drills. The cab enhancements were predicated upon the premise that drill operators work more efficiently when they are comfortable and alert. Both physical and cognitive ergonomic improvements were made, creating a first-class work environment that promotes productivity and safety! The new and improved operator’s cab for the Bucyrus 49HR series of rotary blasthole drills continues the company’s tradition of supplying EDGE Technology products to their valued customers.
Physical Ergonomic Improvements
A major aspect of Bucyrus’s reconfiguration of the 49HR controls and console centered on improved ergonomics and comfort for drill operators. Subscribing to the theory that a drill operator’s comfort level is directly correlated to the operator’s productivity, Bucyrus incorporated a six-way adjustable seat with a mechanical swing suspension into the cab design. In addition, in-seat controls were included, allowing drill operators to work in an ergonomically correct position. Between the seat and the front window, a footrest was added. This will aid in reducing operator fatigue and will help to minimize lower back pain. All primary controls (e.g., drill operation controls) are included on the in-seat control panels, while secondary controls (e.g., air conditioning, lights, and boarding stairs) are on a secondary control panel, which is still within reach of the seated operator. Control positioning was designed with the operator in mind, grouping associated function controls within the same area on the panel, and establishing an “outside-in” correlation between control sequencing and machine operation. In other words, to operate the machine, the sequence of controls used would begin on the outer portion of the panel and would progress inward in sequential order.
Not only was physical comfort considered, so too was visual comfort. The operator’s on-board monitor was programmed for enhanced visibility in all conditions, including direct sunlight and night conditions. The incorporation of contrasting colors creates an aesthetically pleasing display, an aspect that has been tested and validated in the field. Likewise, operator screens were positioned to facilitate easy viewing without associated head and neck movement by drill operators.
Improved and Intuitive Programming
In conjunction with physical ergonomic improvements, Bucyrus addressed cognitive ergonomic hurdles with improved programming, making it more intuitive and robust. The enhanced programming includes “Active Logic Screens” for all major drill functions. These screens allow drill operators to view and follow permissives to facilitate proper functioning of a given drill operation. In addition, the pre-set programs for “Program Drill Control” (auto-drilling) have been increased from five programs to twenty, covering more operating parameters than its predecessor. Both the Active Logic Screens and Program Drill Control enhancements incorporated universally recognized symbols which further contribute to their intuitive usability.
Drill operators and drill maintenance personnel both benefit from self-diagnostic program enhancements that not only alert operators that a fault has occurred, but also identify the source of the fault. This capability allows drill maintenance personnel to quickly repair the area in question in an effort to minimize drill downtime. It also allows maintenance personnel to mitigate safety risks associated with fault diagnostic activities. Ultimately, less drill downtime and mitigated safety risk equates to greater productivity and safety, a fact that Bucyrus is confident will positively impact the mine’s bottom line!
Enhanced Safety
The new operator’s cab for the Bucyrus line of 49HR Drills is SAE-J 231 certified, making it Falling Object Protection Systems (F.O.P.S.) compliant. In addition, the new cab design allows for a better line of sight for drill operators, improving safety during propulsion and drilling operations. Bucyrus also offers an optional camera system to provide a 360 degree field of visibility for additional safety and production.
Greater Productivity
Bucyrus believes that a comfortable drill operator is a productive drill operator. Ensuring that the newly configured 49HR drill cab is both physically and cognitively comfortable for all drill operators is another contribution Bucyrus can offer to their customers by way of increased productivity. Factors such as intuitive controls and programming, visually pleasing graphics, and ergonomically compliant seating make a Bucyrus 49HR drill operator’s job easier to perform, which in turn enhances the operator’s productivity.
Bucyrus EDGE Technology
Bucyrus is committed to supplying the mining industry with innovative products that provide a competitive edge by way of productivity, reliability and safety gains. The enhanced operator’s cab for the Bucyrus 49HR drill is the latest addition to the company’s expanding stable of EDGE Technology products. In today’s competitive mining environment, Bucyrus EDGE Technology products, like the enhanced operator’s cab for the Bucyrus 49HR drill, will give mine owners/operators the edge they strive for!
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