Driconeq drills for success in the DTH market

Driconeq, founded in 1995 in Sunne, Sweden, has a wide product portfolio consisting of water drilling, geothermal drilling, RC and rotary drilling equipment.

Driconeq, a world-renowned developer and supplier of drilling pipes and equipment, has roots dating back to 500 years of tradition in the Swedish mining and industrial industries.

The company, which supplies pipes for various drilling projects in construction, geothermal engineering, water wells, mining and other sectors has a strong reputation with clients around the world and has experienced a remarkable period of growth since its foundation.

Driconeq was originally established in 1995 in Sunne, Sweden, initially providing drilling equipment for various Swedish industry sectors based around drilling and construction. Very quickly the business established a strong reputation in the industry, with clients recognising it for its production capacity, dedication to service and firm commitment to its customers.

Driconeq, founded in 1995 in Sunne, Sweden, has a wide product portfolio consisting of water drilling, geothermal drilling, RC and rotary drilling equipment

During this period the company continued to expand its service offering in order to enlarge its market footprint, with Driconeq products and services being used by clients worldwide; this was partly as a result of the growing interest in developing geothermal energy, establishing the Driconeq name in all of the world’s major mining regions.

In 2001 the Driconeq brand started to gain recognition in the market place and a new growth phase began. During 2004 Driconeq expanded its operations by investing 30% in the heat treatment company Härdtekno.

The company then acquired a stake of 51% in Advantage Inc and strengthened its position on the US market. The remaining stake of Härdtekno was acquired during first half of 2007, securing heat treatment capacity for the projected growth.

Driconeq manufactures product in factories in Sweden, South Africa and Australia and reaches all its customers in the world through its own technical staff and distributors. This was demonstrated with the opening of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2012. The company continues to invest in Australia, South America and other regions to be close to its customers’ operations.

The company has recently invested in two Victor Taichung VTurn S26 horizontal turning centers

Throughout this period of growth, the business has built an enviable level of knowledge and experience in the industry that is considered unique in its field, and which translates operationally to Driconeq having the ability to supply a client with the exact drilling equipment needed, wherever and whenever it is needed. This level of service is a key distinguisher of Driconeq, with the company priding itself on working closely with the client, carefully considering each aspect of a project, whether it is geography, timetable, equipment already in use, and finding the optimum solution to maximise production and minimise downtime.

Driconeq offers clients a wide range of drill pipe, which is high-strength steel pipe used during drilling operations with the most common lengths being three to 10 metres. Drill pipe is a critical part of a drilling operation as its end pieces – with either a male or female thread – are subjected to high loads, with the risk of breakage and loss of the entire drill string. It is in this area that Driconeq’s reputation for quality is vital. The company not only has the knowledge to exactly customise drill pipe to match the specific drilling conditions, but its end pieces are also made from high-quality, tempered steel that achieves superior durability.

A cell of machines that has four Victor Taichung machines in it

The company cuts-to-size pipe it uses to machine

This superior quality was recognised during a test by one of the biggest mining companies in the world on its, and comparative, drill pipes and saver subs. During the test, run in Germany, a contractor ran two drill rigs with one equipped with a Driconeq solution and the other equipped with a competitor’s solution. The results were remarkable, with the Driconeq solution extending the expected lifetime by far and the competitor’s product failing much sooner.

The success being enjoyed by Driconeq can largely be attributed to its focus on innovation, quality products as well as an unwavering commitment to customer service.

Proximity to active RC markets has been the driving force behind the development of the Driconeq RC product range, which provides the platform to offer solutions to most requirements, from a complete RC conversion to a retro fit trouble shooting solution.

Driconeq has a DN Solutions Puma 400L lathe on the shop floor

Large components machined at Driconeq

One of the company’s first innovations, which remain highly successful today, was the urethane snap seal for the RC inner tube. Prior to the introduction of this product, the snap seal O-rings were used as the sealing mechanism for the inner tubes, which required constant attention and maintenance.

Driconeq says its urethane snap seals not only last, on average, half the life of the inner tube but also offer a superior sealing solution.

Driconeq drilling construction equipment
Driconeq Drilling Construction Equipment manufactures drilling equipment for the mining, quarrying, ground engineering and water well industries. They have extensive experience in the manufacture and use of all their products.

The company has recently invested in two Victor Taichung VTurn 45 lathes

All components are manufactured in-house so this ensures prompt service and quick delivery. Driconeq have a comprehensive range of standard products and also the knowledge and resources to manufacture virtually any kind of specialist equipment required.

Wear parts for down the hole hammer drilling
Driconeq offer a comprehensive range of wear parts for down the hole hammer drilling. The broad knowledge of each segment of the market and their expertise and experience are key resources for their company. Equally important is their advanced machinery and state-of-the-art technical equipment.

The raw materials they select for production are adapted to the environment and those used in their production systems are one of the most reliable in the business. The continuous quality control of materials and manufacturing means that the equipment they deliver meets the highest standards set in the industry.

Deep hole drilling done by Special Steels for Driconeq

Drilling accessories
Driconeq uses advanced technology to produce the various components used in the company’s product range. This leads to rational, quick and accurate production. Highly skilled operators using CNC controlled machines ensure consistent high-quality. Some of their production equipment is also unique.

The company is also renowned for its innovative approach to drilling and provides design facilities with CAD facilities, and expert advice on materials such as plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, lubricants, bearing and structural calculations and sealing techniques.

By means of a particular marking given to each product series, each manufactured component by Driconeq can be traced, from the cutting of the raw material, through machining to the end product.

Driconeq makes use of robotic welding

Various accessories including fishing tools, lifting tools, non-return valves, wrenches and other tools complete the Driconeq range. They also produce drill bits and hole openers. All Driconeq drilling equipment and accessories meet the highest quality standards and the experience and the unique know-how of the company’s personnel, are also available to all customers.

Adaptors, sleeves and custom drilling components
The comprehensive product range includes various types of adapters and sleeves in standard dimensions, along with special components manufactured to meet the specific requirements of customers.

Drill bits and hole openers
The company also produce drill bits and hole openers in various dimensions and profiles. Drill bits can also be produced using special steel.

Piping and components coming together

Worldwide drilling equipment distribution
No matter where you are in the world, if you are working in the mining, quarrying, ground engineering or water well industries you can rely on Driconeq to supply quality drilling equipment.

Driconeq in South Africa
In 2011, Driconeq acquired Anceriz Industries (Pty) Ltd, a prominent South African developer and manufacturer of reverse circulation mining drilling products. The company opened the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is located in the Germiston, Gauteng area, in 2012.

Besides investing in CNC machines, the company also installed a direct drive rotary friction welding machine. The machine, critical for drill pipe welding, incorporates a number of special features, including extended tie bars for welding pipes over 10 metres in length and an alignment device to orientate spanner flats on the tool joints within 2° of each other.

An example of the joining on a larger pipe

Direct drive rotary friction welding occurs when the two components to be joined are brought into contact with each other and frictional heat is generated using rotational motion for a pre-determined amount of time. Direct drive rotary friction welding is a completely mechanical solid-phase process creating a high-integrity welded joint between similar or dissimilar materials. Two components are held in axial alignment, one component is rotated relative to, and in pressure contact, with the mating component generating heat at the faying surfaces. The bond is completed by the application of a forge force during and or after the cessation of relative motion.

Within the last year, Driconeq Africa has invested in four new CNC machines, all supplied by Victor Taichung. The company machines both large and small components for its products and has CNC machines to cover both these possibilities.

Besides investing in CNC machines, the company also installed a direct drive rotary friction welding machine

Of the four new machines two were Victor VTurn 45s and two were Victor VTurn S26s.

The VTurn 45 horizontal turning center caters for a turning length from 1 250mm to 4 250mm, a maximum turning diameter of 580mm with a swing of 620mm and a large spindle bore of 160mm.

The VTurn S26 horizontal turning center caters for a turning length from 610mm to 1 090mm, a maximum turning diameter of 430mm with a swing of 600mm and a high rapid feed of 18/24m/min on the XZ. The company now has six Victor Taichung machines.

Driconeq is part of the Mincon Group
On 19th March 2018, the Mincon Group completed the acquisition of Driconeq AB, the holding company for the Driconeq Group of companies.

Driconeq’s die store

A general view of the machine shop

Mincon Group PLC was founded in 1977 in Shannon, Ireland. Mincon manufactures and distributes a range of precision engineered hard rock drilling tools for a variety of industries including mining, exploration, waterwell, geothermal, construction, horizontal directional drilling, oil-gas and energy. Mincon Group PLC has a worldwide presence with factories located in Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, South Africa and the UK.

Mincon offers customers full drilling package solutions customised to your specific sub-surface conditions and drilling requirements. Mincon’s range includes DTH hammer and drill bits, drill mast attachments, rotary drill bits, construction systems, drill pipes and accessories.

For further details contact Driconeq Africa on TEL: 011 873 2259 or visit www.driconeq.com