Customised ELGi compressor–drill-rig-combo delivers efficient drilling solutions


An ELGi diesel compressor, customised by Integrated Air Solutions to fit a state-of-the-art JCB-derived drill and blast drill rig, provides direct flow to all on-board air-dependent equipment and delivers substantial cost savings for the end user.

Integrated Air Solution, a GiGi Investments Company, is the exclusive regional distributor of the world-leading ELGi compressor range. Successfully tried and tested over 25 years in Southern Africa’s harsh climate, ELGi air compressors have proven their suitability to compressor applications across the region. “As one of only a few companies in South Africa to offer highly customised air compressor solutions, Integrated Air Solutions remains the unrivalled market leader when it comes to providing individually customised and engineered high pressure compressor packages,” states Group CEO, Graham Russell.

Russell explains that in close consultation with Kemach Equipment technicians, Integrated Air Solutions replaced the counter-weight at the rear of the JS205 with the customised ELGi compressor. Customisation included shortening of the 900cfm compressor from 4m to 3,2m as well as fabrication of the custom sub-frame compressor housing.

The JS205 excavator was converted into a drill rig by Basie Roelofse from contract drilling company, Liyema Drilling. The combination of the compressor and drilling machine on a single platform met the call for a compact, economical and uncomplicated drill rig. The on-board compressor solution provides a multitude of cost saving benefits: The need for a standard 60m airline link between rig and compressor is eliminated and direct flow means that a much smaller compressor can get the job done. As a tow vehicle is no longer required, the complete system subsequently only has two engines, the excavator and the compressor, with reduced fuel consumption, maintenance and repairs as a result.

ELGi’s skid-mounted 475 to 1500 cfm range of compressors are ideal for mounting on drill rigs or utility trucks and are well suited for water well drilling and borehole drilling applications. ELGi is one of the few companies in the world to offer the full line of single stage (up to 250 psi) and two stage (above 250 psi) compressors in this range and these machines are widely used by drill rig OEMs globally. The range features a centralised control panel for ease of use while large access doors facilitate maintenance.

Integrated Air Solutions boasts decades of experience with the ELGi brand, and are highly committed to supporting the full sales and service value chain. “In addition to carrying an extensive stockholding of compressors, parts and accessories, our trained service and workshop technicians are always available to ensure the highest levels of uptime for mission critical air installations,” affirms Russell.

The drill and blast drill rig is also fitted with two separate independent fire-suppression systems from Integrated Air Solutions’ sister company, FOGMAKER South Africa (Pty) Ltd. This triple action system makes use of water, the purest extinguishant, to attack all three components in the fire triangle namely heat, oxygen and fuel. Suitable for any engine compartment, the system uses high-pressure water mist (50-micron droplets) to effectively suppress a fire and cool down the compartment to prevent re-ignition.

Close collaboration between Integrated Air Solutions, Kemach Equipment and Liyema Drilling has ensured the seamless integration of a premium excavator, a premium compressor and a locally designed, bespoke drilling tower to produce an innovative drill and blast drill rig that conforms to all OEM specifications. Liyema Drilling is currently successfully operating the JS205 drilling machine at a coal mine in Delmas.


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