Sustainability in tunneling is more than just a hot topic: current and future tunnel projects can and should seek ways to reduce environmental impacts. One of the simplest ways to reduce impacts and carbon footprint is with a renewable resource: a tunnel boring machine. TBMs have been proven to last for decades, and can be rebuilt cost effectively project after project with proper maintenance. In fact, several known, active TBMs are still boring tunnels after more than five decades of use and 50 km of total tunneling.
Just how successful can rebuilt TBMs be? We explore this question through the lens of the DigIndy Project in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, where contractor J.F. Shea is using a rebuilt TBM to great effect. The 6.2 m diameter Main Beam TBM on that project, originally built in 1980, recently bored the last of more than 40 km of tunnels below the city. During the course of boring, the machine set three world records in its size class of 6 to 7 m, including a best month of 1,754 m.
In this complimentary, 60-minute webinar we discuss rebuilt TBMs as a key to sustainable tunneling with Doug Harding, Robbins Vice President, and Christian Heinz, Project Manager for J.F. Shea. Listen in on our conversation with Julian Champkin of Tunnels & Tunnelling International as we discuss recommendations for rebuilt machine use, and case studies from around the world. The on demand recording is available now.
Large diameter tunneling in mixed ground has historically been seen as a challenge, but a recently completed tunnel in Turkey has changed the conversation. A 13.77 m diameter Crossover XRE TBM bored the Esme Salihli Railway Tunnel at world-record-setting rates of up to 721.8 m in one month, making it the fastest TBM over 13 m in diameter.
Join tunneling experts Brad Grothen P.E., Robbins Technical Director; Şevket Kılıç, TBM Engineer for contractor Kolin Construction; and Prof. Dr. Nuh Bilgin, Chairman of the executive board of the Turkish Tunnelling Society in this complimentary, 45-minute webinar. We’ll discuss the remarkable advance rates, experiences, and future applications for Crossover machines both within Turkey and worldwide. A live Q&A session will be held at the end where you can get a thorough answer from our expert speakers.
Deep underground ore bodies require a new approach: Rectangular rock boring machines create access and development drifts with flat inverts that enable immediate use of the tunnel by rubber-tired vehicles. These non-circular tunnel boring machines bore tunnels in rock up to 200 MPa UCS at twice the rate of drill & blast, and with fewer ground support requirements. Find out how to reach your ore body quicker, safer and more cost effectively in this exclusive webinar in conjunction with Mining Magazine.
In this recorded, 60-minute webinar you’ll learn about the successful use of a rectangular rock boring machine at Fresnillo silver mine in Mexico, where the equipment has advanced more than 1,700 meters at rates of up to 191 meters in one month. Listen in as Robbins President Lok Home discusses ongoing developments for underground mining, including ways to directly mine the ore body using tunnel boring machines. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on future developments in underground mining, moderated by Mining Magazine.
When you’re faced with a hard rock tunnel on your next small hydro project, which tunneling method works best? Intake tunnels can be at diameters as small as 2 meters and at steep grades of up to 45 degrees. Compared with the conventionally used method of Drill & Blast, small diameter tunneling machines offer increased production rates and reduction in cross section, among other benefits. The uniquely designed machines are engineered to take on steep gradients, and can bore tunnels kilometers long with minimal impacts to the surrounding environment.
In this complimentary, 60-minute webinar we discuss the use of small diameter tunneling machines on projects throughout Norway, where their popularity is increasing, as well as the method’s suitability on projects worldwide. Listen in on our conversation with Robbins Norway General Manager and Civil Engineer Sindre Log as we discuss recommendations for small hydro tunnels in hard rock. Join us for a live Q&A session at the end to get a thorough answer from our expert speaker.
France’s recently completed Galerie des Janots was the scene of some unforeseen challenges. During excavation with a Main Beam TBM, crews encountered a stalagmite studded 8,000 cubic meter cavern, and also a 4,500 cubic meter cavity directly under the bore path. In addition to the two large and uncharted caverns, there were also karst cavities of a multitude of sizes found throughout boring. What exactly did the crew do to beat the odds and power through?
For the answer, be sure to listen in as Detlef Jordan, Robbins Sales Manager Europe, goes into detail about the obstacles, lessons learned, and recommendations for future tunnels in karst conditions.
Difficult ground doesn’t begin to describe the challenges overcome at a recent tunnel in central Turkey. The breakthrough of a 5.5 m diameter Robbins Crossover XRE TBM at the Gerede Water Transmission Tunnel was a feat of modern construction. The 9 km leg was the final section of the 31.6 km long water supply line bored through what is widely considered to be Turkey’s most challenging geology: from 48 fault zones to water pressures up to 26 bar, the ground put the machine and the crew to the test.
Listen in on the conversation with Robbins Vice President Doug Harding as we find out how the unique TBM design and experienced crew overcame a gamut of challenges.
Nepal’s first TBM-driven tunnel was a success by any standard: The Robbins Double Shield machine bored up to 1,200 meters a month and finished the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project nearly a year early. But how were crews able to bore so quickly? And what made the contractor and owner ultimately decide to use a TBM for the first time?
Watch our complimentary 30-minute webinar with Brad Grothen P.E., Robbins Technical Director, and Missy Isaman P.E., Robbins Project Engineer, as we discuss the challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations for future tunnels in mountainous geology.
Modern TBMs are data-driven systems, from ground investigation tools ahead of the machine to touch-screen technology in operator’s cabins, to integration with programs on the surface. Today’s TBMs, paired with cutting-edge data collection and monitoring, can efficiently bore in even the most demanding circumstances.
In this complimentary 40-minute webinar, Robbins VP of Operations Steve Chorley and Aaron McClellan, Tunnel Superintendent III for Kiewit Underground, will explore the latest and greatest innovations in technology for TBMs. Nearly all the parameters of a TBM can be monitored today, and this data can be transmitted via radiating coaxial cables to offices on the surface or even mobile phones. Simple observations, such as cutterhead RPM and penetration rate in a given geology, can result in altered operational parameters and reduced thrust that can speed up advance and increase cutter life. All that is required is proactive analysis by management and engineers, and good communication with the TBM operator.
TBM maintenance: it’s one of the most important factors predicting project success, but it is often treated with less importance than it deserves. Experience shows, however, that maintenance plays just as much a part in the excavation rates as the proper TBM design. Regular maintenance can keep future rebuild costs low and keep equipment efficiency high while maximizing advance rates. Conversely, a lack of maintenance, improper operation, and/or severe ground conditions can result in undue wear and slow advance rates. In a worst-case scenario, it can even require rescuing and refurbishing of a TBM.
In this 40-minute complimentary webinar, Robbins Sales Manager Europe Detlef Jordan and iPS Tunnel Manager Barrie Willis will discuss case studies of both optimal and suboptimal maintenance and operation of TBMs. Suboptimal examples will be discussed where TBM maintenance was insufficient and required rescuing of the machine once it became stuck or immobile. Optimal case studies will form a guideline for recommended machine maintenance to prevent the substantial damage that can occur. Rebuild strategies for recovered TBMs in various adverse conditions will also be discussed.
Rapid excavation is considered by many to be the ultimate goal in TBM tunneling—machines that reliably complete projects on time (or early) with faster advance rates, regardless of conditions. However, speeding up a project schedule is not as straightforward as pushing a machine harder, working longer hours, or increasing your crew size. The entire project schedule, from initial investigations to the design process, must be considered.
In this succinct, complimentary 40-minute presentation designed to better fit your workday, Robbins Engineering Director Brad Grothen and Elisa Comis, Associate at McMillen Jacobs, discuss what rapid excavation really looks like in the field including case studies on TBM design and real-world examples of project scheduling.