A roof bolting drilling operation in an underground coal mine can expose the operator to a high concentration of respirable coal and crystalline silica dusts (smaller than 10 µm). Overexposure of high-level quartz dust for a roof bolter operator can lead to the development of silicosis in as little as three years . This study proposes a drilling control algorithm for the bolt hole drilling process. This algorithm can be integrated into a current drilling control system on the roof bolter machinery and is expected to reduce the generation of respirable dust while enhancing the energy efficiency of the roof bolter machine. In addition, the drilling efficiency and bit condition can be evaluated while drilling based on the real-time feedback parameters. This capability enables the algorithm to ensure the drilling is performed under a relatively high energy efficiency with less respirable dust generation and to avoid drilling with an excessively worn bit that can cause bit clogging or steel buckling failure.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2022) 39:241–249, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-022-00566-4