Glebe Stone Sales, which quarries Ancaster limestone from Glebe Quarry near Grantham, Lincolnshire, has become the first customer of Atlas Copco's new Dimensional Stone Industry (DSI) product range with its new Rock Buggy rock drill rig.
Atlas Copco has formed its DSI portfolio as a result of its acquisition of Perforo, an Italian company based in Bagnola, close to the heart of the Italian Carrara marble centre in the region of Turin.
Rock Buggy is a compact mobile drill rig with a three-way steering system that offers versatility to the operator as well as high capacity and accuracy of cut.
Glebe Stone is a family-run business headed by Terry Smith and his son Andy. Andy Smith says: “With the demand in sales for our products, we knew we would have to look at increasing our production to satisfy the expanding market.
"Examining ways of increasing that productivity, as well as meeting safety, environmental and quality standards, led us to selecting the Atlas Copco Rock Buggy.”
After a site visit to Bagnola to see the production facilities and to trial the equipment, Andy stated that: "We instantly knew that this could deliver – we had a solution to our production problems."
And in the quarry it has beaten all expectations. "It reduced our drilling costs, both in fuel and man hours. Where it was taking us 30 minutes to set up and drill a hole, now it's taking two minutes to drill the same hole. And with the automatic drilling we know each hole is exactly where it should be, giving us a quality pre-split."
The Rock Buggy has also improved health and safety thanks to its remote control system that allows the drillers to work away from the quarry face. And the rig's on-board dust collector makes for a more pleasant working environment.
The drilling unit is an important part of Glebe’s growth plans – and also Atlas Copco's. This is the first step for Atlas Copco UK in establishing its DSI products in the UK market. It is now looking forward to introducing the whole of the range to the UK.