Sandvik Mining will soon become the industry’s first supplier to offer fully ROPS-compliant, acid-proof cabins for underground drilling. The cabins will be available on the company’s forthcoming range of Next Generation underground rigs, starting with Sandvik DD422i development drill, which is due for release in mid 2014.

Sandvik Mining Director of Underground Drilling Jan Petzold said: "Acid-proof cabins on our underground drill rigs have been FOPS-compliant since 2005, but ROPS certification is an important complement to the existing standard safety features on all our Next Generation drill rigs."

Many underground mines around the world have highly corrosive conditions, requiring the use of stainless steel for components, including cabins, in order to protect machines against rust and corrosion.

Stainless steel used in the construction of acid-proof cabins has not previously been able to satisfy the strength requirements for ROPS compliance.

Recent independent accredited testing by Finland’s MTT vakola, measurement and standardisation, confirms the acid-proof cabins on Next Generation underground drill rigs from Sandvik Mining are now fully compliant with both EN ISO 3471 (ROPS) and EN ISO 3449 (FOPS).

"Sandvik Mining has long been at the forefront of safe cabin design, but we’re now the only equipment supplier in the world offering FOPS/ROPS-certified acid-proof cabins for drill rigs up to 35t," Petzold added.

In addition to ROPS/FOPS compliance, Next Generation underground drills from Sandvik Mining will offer the highest levels of operator protection and comfort as they arrive on the market over the next two years.

"Ergonomic features include a fully adjustable control panel and operator seating, significantly improved visibility through larger windows and improved illumination with LED lighting, reduced noise, heat and dust levels and an easy-to-use touchscreen graphical user interface," Petzold said.