Maximising drill line life

Paul Boughton

John Josendale reports on a digital cut-off program that provides enhanced cost-saving results.

As the need to continually find ways to save on costs becomes more pressing, developing a wire rope cut-off program will ensure operators receive the maximum service life for drill lines. Researchers on a South African project recently found that the lifecycle of a wire rope can double when it is properly maintained and documented.

Although the inspection of wire rope is important, using only visual inspections for determining when to make a cut of the drill line can result in uneven wear, trouble with spooling and longer cuts. By using a digital cut-off program users can remove the heavily worn rope from use and introduce new rope from the storage reel.

Established more than 30 years ago, Union has overhauled its current CD digital cut-off program and has now developed a new, advanced USB computerised program that can calculate, log and track the service life of drill lines. In addition, the system can now be used in multiple languages and units of measure.

In this high-tech update from Union, operators can replace their paper notebooks and CDs with a specially designed USB flash drive that can be plugged into a computer and is compatible with both Windows and Apple operating systems. With the new ability to use the program in four languages (English, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese), companies can easily share results with co-workers around the world. Also, the ability to take units of measure in ton-miles, tonne-kilometres or megajoules limits the risk of errors in calculations.

Another feature of the new system is the ability to set ton-mile goals and monitor the goal results. The program calculates the ton-miles for each operation and provides recommendations on when to cut and how much rope should be cut.

When used with required visual inspections, Union's new digital cut-off program can help provide the maximum service life from a drill line. Now exclusively for Union drill line users, the new digital format makes it far easier to send and save information, while protecting the data. Drilling contractors are now being encouraged to move towards new digital cut-off programs to get the most out of their drill lines.

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John Josendale is with WireCo WorldGroup, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. 

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