Atlas Copco says it “has taken underground rock bolting and reinforcement operations to the next level with the introduction of the new Boltec EC, equipped with the sturdy, accurate and stable BUT 45 boom. Boltec EC is a fully mechanised bolting unit based on Atlas Copco’s well-known bolting platform that provides high productivity and precision in the installation of rock bolts in lengths of 1.5-6 m at heights of up to 13.5 m.”The new rig is designed to improve productivity, safety and comfort for the operator.Paul O’Neill, Product Manager at Atlas Copco, explains: “- This new rig is fast, accurate and stable for bolting in large mining applications. With Atlas Copco’s already high-tech platform we are now offering several levels of automation to suit customer requirements. This includes great features such as Bolt Angle Indication and Bolt Plan Navigation.”The Boltec EC is built on a sturdy, articulated carrier with four-wheel drive. It is equipped with the new BUT 45 heavy duty boom for direct, fast and accurate positioning between holes and has a reach of 13.5 m. The BHR 20 feed rotary unit is versatile and robust and also has a double rotation unit for ±190o degree feed roll-over and ±135o feed rotation.Designed for a hole range of 35-64 mm, the rig is equipped with the COP 1435 (14 KW) rock drill which has a frequency of 80 HZ and an impact energy of 170 kJ, providing up to 30% higher penetration rate than the already successful COP 1132.Boltec operator Markku Paakkolanvaara at the Kemi mine in Finland, says: “I have used Boltec rigs for about five years and now I have been working with the new rig for about three weeks. I am extremely satisfied with it, especially with the boom which feels much steadier and also gives a much better reach.” Among other tasks, the rig has been used to drill holes for power lines and water pipes and has installed some 3 600 bolts at an average rate of 120-130 bolts per shift.Supervisor – Underground Contracting at Kemi mine, Ari.M.Keskitalo, is also impressed by the performance of the new rig and its BUT 45 boom. “I think the Boltec is beyond comparison, especially for the fast installation of bolts in large quantities, he says.“I also believe that service and maintenance costs will decrease significantly with the new Boltec and that the slide pieces and bearing housings will last longer. I think this rig exemplifies the lead Atlas Copco has over its competitors with regard to bolting rigs.”Further orders have been placed in Scandinavia for the new Boltec EC including Sweden’s iron ore mine LKAB and the Swedish mining contractor Bergteamet.