21 APRIL 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Electronics have their Limits in Rock Drilling Adapted from Information by Soosan America Just because technology makes it possible to automate a system, doesn’t mean the system will function better automat- ed. The current trend in the drilling industry is to mimic the automotive makers in attempting to automate every function in a rock drill. While automation will suit a few applications, the majority of rock drilling projects require operators and blasters with experience and skill to complete the tasks at hand. Electronics offer users digital displays and measurements helpful to the operator, but not always necessary. These electronic components are especially susceptible to the oils, grease, and extreme vibration associated with the drilling process, yet many drill manufacturers contin- ue to add more and more of the fragile systems to their equipment. Failure of these digital systems can lead to extended downtime and lost production for systems, which many times are not even required for the drill to function effectively. Soosan America of Louisville, Kentucky, takes a different approach to drilling. All functions are kept as simple as possible. The simplified systems in Rock Commander drills are more reliable and easier to main- tain with the bare minimum of electronics. At the end of the day, these simple systems reduce downtime and increase the profit margin. There is no need to call and wait a week or more for a technician to diagnose a problem using a laptop. Most problems can be addressed over the phone with input from the operator and troubleshooting experts in Louisville. Parts can be sent out the same day with next-day delivery almost anywhere in the United States. The motto at Soosan America is “Keep It Simple”. When it comes to rock drilling, the smartest thing in the drill should be the operator. C&G In Memoriam Raymond J. “Ray” Jaeckels (1943~2021) With great sadness, the Minnesota Water Well Association shared the news that Raymond J. Jaeckels of Northfield, passed away on February 5, 2021. Born in Duelm, he moved to Bloomington at the age of 15. This was the beginning of his 60-year career in the water well drilling industry. Ray worked for Dependable Well for 20 years, then Hartmann Well Drilling for 25 years. In 2005, Ray and his youngest son Todd partnered to create Jaeckels Well Drilling in New Prague. Although he retired in 2010, Ray continued to be the “advisor” by phone and made occasional trips to jobsites. He was extremely proud to watch his son succeed. His dear friend, Jerry Bolton shared: Ray was a self-made man, always a workaholic. A guy with massive hands and a big heart. He was the “go-to guy” in our neighborhood. Ray left behind his wife of 58 years, Grace; daughter Michelle; sons Kelly (Janine), Kalvin (Michelle), Todd (Shawn); grandchildren Joe (Stacy), Melissa, Tristan, Cody, Matthew (Katie), Samuel (Nellie), Taylor, Logan, and Tiegan; great-grand- children Ellie, Wyatt, Jackson, Evelyn, and Ella; and several siblings and extended family. Lest we forget . . .