Author: Sarah Crawford

BAUMA China 2018

Event Name: BAUMA China 2018
Dates: November 27-30, 2017
Location: Shanghai, China
Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre

The Robbins Company will be exhibiting at the 2018 BAUMA China in Shanghai from November 27 through 30. We invite you to stop by booth E2.641 to learn more about how Robbins can help you save time and money on your next tunneling project.

BTS 2018

Event Name: The British Tunneling Society (BTS) Conference
Dates: October 9-10, 2018
Location: Westminster, London
Venue: QEII Conference Centre

The Robbins Company looks forward to seeing you in Westminster, London for the 2018 British Tunnelling Society (BTS) Conference. Join us on October 9 and 10 at stand B26 to learn more about current projects and recent innovations.

ICID Conference

Event Name: International Commission on Irrigation on Drainage (ICID) Conference
Dates: May 2-4, 2018
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

The Robbins Company hopes that you will join us in Kathmandu, Nepal from May 2 through 4, for the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) Conference. Stop by our booth to speak with one of our knowledgeable associates about projects running worldwide.


Event Name: EXPOMIN
Dates: April 23-27, 2018
Location: Santiago, Chile
Venue: Espacio Riesco Convention Center

The Robbins Company is looking forward to exhibiting at EXPOMIN in Santiago, Chile from April 23 through 27. We hope that you will join us at booth C27 during exhibition hours to learn more about projects in the area, such as Los Condores II, which is currently underway in the Andes Mountains, as well as other boring projects around the world.

2018 Webinars: A Look at This Year's Lineup

Have a taxing project coming up this year? Be sure to keep an eye out for the Robbins 2018 series of complimentary webinars. Over our long history, we’ve seen a variety of grueling tunneling situations from squeezing ground to water inflows to fault zones. Join us as we share our hard earned experience to help you face your own upcoming challenges.

Here’s a sneak peak at what the year will bring:

April: TBMs in Squeezing Ground & Mountainous Conditions

June: Tunneling in Mixed Ground Conditions

October: Water Inflows in Hard Rock Tunneling

Breakthroughs While Breaking Ground: The First TBM Conveyor

Modern Achievements

The 100th conveyor system has been refurbished and customized for the job in a process that Robbins has been perfecting for decades.

There are many elements that contribute to the success of a project: having an accurate report of ground conditions, choosing the proper equipment, having a well-trained team operating the tunnel boring machine—and behind it all—the utilization of a high-quality conveyor system. As tunneling machines evolve and bore at continuously faster rates, rapid muck removal becomes more important than ever. Robbins conveyor systems are capable of moving more than two thousand US tons of muck per hour—saving time and money on every project that uses the complete system.

In Akron, Ohio, a major milestone has been reached for Robbins conveyors. Running behind a Robbins 9.26 m (30.4 ft) diameter Crossover TBM is the 100th Robbins Continuous Conveyor System supplied for muck removal—more than any other TBM conveyor supplier has sold. The conveyor in Akron is just one landmark event in the long history of Robbins conveyors, the start of which can be traced back to the first ever documented use of a continuous conveyor system behind a TBM.

Pioneering Muck Removal

No roads were at the site in West Pakistan so goods were transported by rail car, requiring surveying of hundreds of bridges from the port city of Karachi.

The prototype for the conveyor systems we know today was developed by James S. Robbins in 1963 and was built using a Goodman coal-mine conveyor instead of muck cars which were more commonly used during that period. The conveyor ran behind what was, at the time, the largest TBM in the world. The 11.2 m (36.7 ft) diameter Robbins Main Beam was built for the Mangla Dam Project in what was then known as West Pakistan. The 4.3 km (2.7 mi) long tunnel was built to control water flow from the Jhelum River for use in agriculture and hydro-electric power.

Temperatures at the jobsite climbed up to 53 degrees C (127 degrees F) in the shade.

The conveyor design had originally been used for coal and potash mines and was adapted for use behind the TBM. An extendable belt was side-mounted in the tunnel, leaving room for man-access and rail tracks to carry materials. Belt tension was maintained using a belt cassette. “They were able to operate continuously. It worked like a charm—and then the extensible conveyor was forgotten by the industry because it was perceived by contractors and owners as too much of an investment,” explained Dick Robbins, former President and CEO of The Robbins Company, in a 2013 article for World Tunnelling. It would be another 30 years after the successful completion of the Mangla Dam tunnel until conveyors became a standard means of muck removal in the tunneling industry.

Persistently Moving Forward

Conveyors have come a long way since their first use. Unlike the system used for the Mangla Dam project—which was limited to the use of a straight belt—conveyors can now wrap around curves and bring rock vertically up a shaft to the surface. “The control system, along with monitoring systems, has dramatically improved,” says Dean Workman, Robbins Director of Conveyors, Cutters, and SBUs. “The components have all been enhanced, giving a much longer life to the conveyor system. Contractors are using the same conveyors on multiple projects with minor refurbishments between projects.” While the basic function of a conveyor has stayed the same—muck hauling—the quality of conveyor systems has certainly changed.

Did You Know: At least 75% of all world records achieved by TBMs were done with a continuous conveyor system for spoils removal rather than muck cars.

In a new design that is being used for the Los Angeles Purple Line Extension, continuous conveyors have gained another ability, they are now able to change direction. The unique system can be flipped to accommodate two machines boring parallel tunnels eastward before being re-launched to bore west. Due to the narrow launch shaft, modular components were designed to save space, and were built using a kit of secondhand parts, showcasing the long-life conveyor systems are capable of. “We are always looking to improve the design and function of the system,” says Workman, “modular components are a benefit to the contractor when installing, maintaining, and shipping the equipment.”

As progress continues and new technology provides advancements for the industry, The Robbins Company continues to uphold the pioneering spirit that James S. Robbins brought to tunneling with his trailblazing developments.

Read More:
Robbins Conveyor Systems
Conveyor Spec Sheet
100th Conveyor

NAT 2018

Event Name: 2018 North American Tunneling Conference
Dates: June 24-27, 2018
Location: Washington, D.C.
Venue: Washington Marriott Wardman Park 

The Robbins Company looks forward to seeing you at the 2018 North American Tunneling Conference in Washington, DC, June 24 through 27. Stop by booth 317 to learn more about past successes and exciting current tunneling endeavors.

Robbins Presentations

Monday, June 25

Technology Track – Project Controls
“Logistics and Performance of a Large Diameter Crossover TBM for the Akron Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel”
P. Salazar (presented by D. Ofiara); Robbins, Solon, OH and C. Maxon; Kenny-Obayashi JV

Case Histories Track – Sewer/Water 1
“Boring Hard, Abrasive Gneiss with a Main Beam TBM at the Atlanta Water Supply Program”
T. Fuerst; Robbins, Solon, OH and D. Del Nero; Stantec, Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 26

Technology Track – TBM Technology 1
“TBM Tool Wear Analysis for Cutterhead Configuration and Resource Planning in Glacial Geology”
K. Mosavat; The Robbins Company, Kent, Washington, J. Aguilar; CDM Smith, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, U. Gwildis; CDM Smith, Bellevue, Washington

Wednesday, June 27

Planning Track – Planning for Success: Risk Management & Contracting Strategies
“The Risks Associated with TBM Procurement and the Next Steps Towards Industry Change”
L. Home; The Robbins Company, Solon, OH and G. Brierley; Doctor Mole Incorporated, Denver, CO

WTC 2018

Event Name: WTC 2018
Dates: April 21-26, 2018
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre

The Robbins Company will be attending ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 21 through 26. Be sure to visit us at stand 70-71 between April 23 through 25 to learn more about Robbins TBMs operating world-wide.

Robbins Presentations

Monday, April 23

14:20 – 14:40 Robbins Vice Present Doug Harding, “Excavating Turkey’s Hardest Rock at the Bahce-Nurdag Railway Tunnel”

Wednesday, April 25

9:40 – 10:00 Robbins Director of Engineering Brad Grothen, “Excavating Turkey’s Most Challenging Project – The Gerede Water Transmission Tunnel”

12:15 – 12:35 Robbins Mexico Managing Director Roberto Gonzalez, “Excavating Mexico City’s Mega-Tunnel in Mixed Ground at 150 Meters Deep: Emisor Oriente Wastewater Tunnel Lot 5”

NASTT 2018

Event Name: NASTT’s No-Dig Show 2018
Dates: March 25-29, 2018
Location: Palm Springs, CA, USA
Venue: Palm Springs Convention Center

The Robbins Company is looking forward to seeing you in Palm Springs, CA for NASTT’s No Dig 2018 March 25 through 29. Visit booth 470 during exhibit hours to discover how renting or owning a Robbins Small Boring Unit (SBU) can save you time and money on your next boring project.

Congreso Nacional de Ingenieria Civil

Event Name: Congreso Nacional de Ingenieria Civil
Dates: March 1-8, 2018
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Venue: World Trade Center

Join The Robbins Company at Congreso Nacional de Ingenieria Civil March 1 through 8, in Mexico City, Mexico. Visit our booth to learn more about current techniques being used on Robbins projects throughout the world.