Process control

Ground breaking technology for top hammer drilling monitoring

R‌ockPulse™, a new technology and product introduced by Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, is the first practical solution for real-time tool stress monitoring in top-hammer drilling. The add-on system integrates directly with the rock drill and its control system, and can be used for drilling process optimization in varying rock conditions. This also helps to reduce the stress fatigue of drilling tools. RockPulse™ offers significant potential to improve overall drilling performance, by as much as 5 %.


Profitable rock drilling requires balancing between drilling power and cost-efficiency. While use of high drilling power is required for good performance, excessive power becomes counterproductive due to high stress levels and wear of drilling tools. Optimization of tool stress and consequently tool lifetime are essential for cost-efficient drilling operations. Conventional drilling control technologies have done this based on indirect performance indicators only, such as percussion or feed pressures.

RockPulse™ analyzes each piston blow in real time to extract data on the tool stress. This enables operators to optimize drilling power and to minimize inefficient use of percussion energy. Stress waves created by piston strikes are measured continuously using sensor technology developed and patented by Sandvik. The system consists of a Sandvik shank adapter and rugged contactless sensor inside the rock drill. Stress wave signals captured by the sensor are analysed within the Sandvik SICA control system of drill rig. The system is available for new Ranger DXi drill rigs and RD920 series rockdrills.


“Our tests from real-life conditions show 5 % increase in average penetration rate, even though the percussion power was decreased by 4 %. Drill operators have additionally commented that RockPulse helps them to optimize bit regrinding intervals and thus boost efficiency and productivity,” says Jarno Viitaniemi, Product Manager, Surface Drilling, with Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.


RockPulse™ user interface visualizes and alerts on three key parameters: drill bit response, tools load and feed level. Drill bit response helps to minimize the strain on the tools by indicating how much of the impact energy is used for breaking rock and how much is reflected back to the tool string. Tool load indicator shows the tensile stresses affecting on the tool string, which helps to avoid underfeed in weak rock and excessive wear of drilling tools. Feed level indication shows whether drilling is being done within the specified feed range – a key parameter for excellent hole quality and long tool life.


Related articles:

Sandvik Alpha 360 – the next generation drilling tool system

Sandvik is introducing the new drilling tool system Alpha 360 – an improved and amplified version that complements the company’s best-selling system Sandvik Alpha 330. With a reinforced design,...


The new Sandvik DD212 development drill – compact and intelligent

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions introduces the new Sandvik DD212, a compact and intelligent single-boom electro-hydraulic drill for tunneling and mining development in narrow vein drifts. This new...


Sandvik at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021

Sandvik will have several of its latest innovations on display for the first time anywhere at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021 at Central Hall 3, booth #6212, in Las Vegas, September 13 to 15, including...


Sandvik launches DS512i rock bolter

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology launches its new bolter for 5 x 5 m size headings combining a safe, ergonomic working environment with high levels of performance. Equipped with a completely new...

Issue 03/2023 Productive drilling

Asymmetric thread concept for mine development

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is launching Sandvik Alpha™ 340 asymmetric drilling tools, a new thread concept within its top hammer drilling offering for mining and tunneling. Replacing the...