Erkat supports university’s Rockfeel project

By Steve Ducker14 October 2021

The founding team of the RockFeel project at the Technical University (TU) Bergakademie Freiberg is celebrating a milestone with the commissioning of a mobile cutting test stand.

RockFeel is designed to detect changes in rock strength, material differences, chisel blockage and wear during operation, making applications including demolition significantly more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly in the future.

Erkat at RockFeel Erkat and TU Freiburg staff with the mobile cutting test stand

“Several industrial partners were heavily involved in achieving this important interim project objective, which, through advice and action, ensured that, with a tight project budget, we could operate a drum cutting machine specifically adapted and equipped for our requirements on a medium-weight tracked excavator on a well-equipped site with all the necessary emissions permits,” said Dr Jörg Bretschneider of the RockFeel team.

Erkat, part of the Epiroc group, adapted an ER 650 transverse drum cutter for the cutting test bench and intensively instructed the team in the optimal handling of the cutter on a tracked excavator. Next, excavators and drum cutter are equipped with various sensors and the wireless transmission of data is tested so that the actual data collection and analysis can begin.

After a brief project presentation, visitors were able to experience the challenges for the sensor technology live when the drum cutter was used to make initial cuts to the concrete test specimen as preparations for the first measuring cuts.

“Reliable real-time analysis of the rock would bring a whole range of advantages for our customers,” said Erkat managing director Martina Schierholz.

“We save time, improve yield, increase safety and contribute to our environmental protection efforts. We couldn’t ignore these many good arguments.” 

“We are following the progress of the RockFeel project with great interest and hope that this innovation will be a milestone for our customers.”

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