Splitting boulders of hard rock weighing tonnes requires a time-consuming, high usage of material. This was also the case with SHB Steinbruch + Hartschotterwerk Blausee-Mitholz AG.
To date, the operation run by Jürg Tummer and his son Patrick in Blausee-Mitholz used a drill for blast holes. The boulder was split with explosives, a very costly operation. In the gravel and hardstone gravel plant, managers developed the specifications for a more effective solution: the plan called for an excavator that, thanks to a quick-changer, could accommodate a variety of devices, one of them both a drilling and splitter mast. Yet solving something as simple-sounding as this presented construction machinery manufacturers with considerable problems.
The only one in a position to offer a fully operational, CE-compliant and fully documented, radio remote-controlled drilling/splitting machine was Morath GmbH with Robert Aebi AG, trading partner of Volvo CE in Regensdorf.
A Volvo EC220EL was chosen as the carrier. It is equipped with a 175-horsepower engine and meets all applicable requirements for exhaust emissions. The carrier on the EC220EL is designed for heavy-load operation and delivers outstanding traction. But most importantly, the excavator is a perfect tool carrier.
A combined attachment developed at Morath introduces boreholes in a horizontal or vertical direction and then, without cumbersome equipment change, inserts the hydraulically operated split lance into the borehole with a quarter-turn of the mast. The process, together with the movement of the excavator, is controlled using the FFS600 portable remote control unit.
At the first demonstration, the combination of EC220EL and drilling-splitting attachment (BSA) met all of the expectations. The gain in time compared to the previous method was enormous.
About the result, Patrick Tummer observed: ‘Only Robert Aebi, with which we have a long-standing partnership, and Morath together could make this happen.’ After the briefing, machinist Stefan Roth took over the control panel. ‘Even the time spent in development was very exciting. Everything works perfectly now. This is my first large Volvo excavator. I’m very delighted that it’s been entrusted to me. Now comes the long-term testing. This system is something completely new.’