Tags
Industry News

Mexico City’s Record-Breaking Crossover TBM makes Final Breakthrough

In June , a select group of project officials, including Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto, celebrated the final breakthrough of an epic tunneling project.  The 8.7 m (28.5 ft) diameter Robbins Crossover TBM is the first such hybrid machine to operate in North America, and it completed the Túnel Emisor Poniente (TEP) II on a high note.  The TBM, known an XRE—a Crossover (X) between Rock (R) and EPB (E) TBMs—navigated fault zones, variable ground, low cover, and more to achieve a national record of 57 m (187 ft) in one day as well as maximum rates of 231 m (758 ft) in one week and 702 m (2,303 ft) in one month. 

"The XRE has a great advantage as it is designed to work in open and/or closed mode (EPB); allowing it to excavate the tunnel either in soil or in rock. We've verified that its performance was very efficient," said Ing. Juan Alberto Herrera Moro y Castillo, TEP II Section Chief for owner CONAGUA, Mexico's National Water Commission. 

The unique machine and its Robbins continuous conveyor system were built on location using Onsite First Time Assembly (OFTA), and designed for a contractor consortium of Aldesem, Proacon, and Recsa. The Robbins XRE TBM featured components like a convertible cutterhead with interchangeable cutting tools, interchangeable TBM belt conveyor and screw conveyor, and multi-speed gearboxes to increase torque for tunneling through difficult ground. "The benefits of the design are in its exceptional thrust power and in the ease of changing the cutterhead torque. This makes the process much easier should the machine become stuck in difficult ground," said Alberto Martinez, head of the tunneling department for RECSA. The XRE machine was launched in August 2015 to bore the 5.8 km (3.6 mi) long wastewater tunnel.  The machine was set up in a hard rock configuration and mounted with 20-inch diameter disc cutters. Early in 2016 the TBM hit the first of several contact zones, a 30 m (98.4 ft) wide fault of fractured and blocky rock. While the excavation through the contact zone was slow going, progress picked up again in the more competent andesite rock. After an intermediate breakthrough in March 2016 into an 80 m (262.5 ft) deep shaft followed by inspection and maintenance, the TBM continued on.

While boring in fractured andesite rock in autumn 2016, the TBM encountered a naturally occurring cavern believed to be the result of either a rock fall in a transition zone, or an old, underground lake body that had eroded the rock away.  The cavern was estimated at 90 cubic meters (3,200 cubic ft) in size, including about 57 cubic meters (2,010 cubic ft) of unstable floor area. The TBM was stopped and immediate measures were taken to stabilize the ground in front of the machine with polyurethane foam before filling the cavern with a mixture of pea gravel and grout.

 By the end of October 2016, the TBM had reached a final 900 m (2,950 ft) long section of soft ground, where it was converted to EPB mode. In this final reach of tunnel with low cover, the distance from the top of the tunnel to residential home foundations was as low as 4 m (13 ft), and the ground had the consistency of reconsolidated soil.  In order to stabilize the soft soils and minimize the risk of settlement below the residential area, the tunneling crew drilled from the surface and installed 890 micro-piles at 1.0 m (3.3 ft) intervals.  "We were able to do this without causing damage to property owned by neighbors in the zone bordering the path of TEP II, or to the road or the urban infrastructure installed in that area," explained Ing. Francisco Miguel Lopez, Jobsite Manager TEP II for contractor Aldesa.

Now that tunneling is complete, the tunnel will receive a secondary concrete lining of 35 cm (14 in) thickness before going into service. The wastewater tunnel will overhaul the current system in western areas outside of Mexico City and serve to prevent recurrent flooding in Valle Dorado. In particular, the tunnel will benefit the cities of Cuautital Izcalli, Tlalnepantla, and Atizapan de Zaragoza, which altogether are home to 2.1 million inhabitants.

 

Company Info

Latest News

Michels receives 10,000th Cat excavator from Victoria facility: PLM

Michels receives the 10,000th machine to be produced at Caterpillar's Victoria, Texas facility. Present at the ceremony were Tyler Sternat (Fabick Cat), Kent Podobinski (Caterpillar), Chuck Riggert (Caterpillar), Art Strother (Victoria facility manager), Doug Fabick (Fabick Cat), Mary Morris (Victoria O&D Planning), Kevin Michels, Pat Michels and Terry Gassner (MICHELS Corporation), Adam Helleberg (PLM), Roger Montalvan (Victoria supply chain manager), and Craig McArton (Fabick Cat).

PipeLine Machinery International (PLM) has announced that the 10,000th machine to be assembled and delivered by the Caterpillar Hydraulic Excavator Facility in Victoria, Texas - US. The new 336F Hydraulic Excavator went to mainline pipeline contractor Michels Corporation, and was presented in ceremony to them on May 16, 2018.

Read More

John Deere launches its largest reduced tail swing Excavator

The new John Deere 345G LC reduced tail swing excavator adds another option to the manufacturer's 33 - 40 metric ton size class, providing customers with a larger machine with increased lift capacity, more reach, deeper dig depth and greater breakout forces compared to the 245G LC. The excavator is ideal for work in road building, underground, building, landscaping and site development applications.    

Read More

Tunnel version of Epiroc SB hydraulic breakers features application-specific modifications to extend lifetime, minimize dust intake

Tunnel versions of Epiroc's SB breakers are suitable for excavators in the weight class from 4.5 to 13 tons (10,000 to 28,500 pounds) and standard underground scalers.

The new SB 302 and SB 452 Tunnel versions of Epiroc's Solid Body breaker range provide application-specific modifications that extend equipment lifetime and reduce overall operating costs in underground applications. 

Read More

Mecalac introduces cabbed site dumpers at Intermat

With the growth of urban construction sites, the associated challenges of  working in confined space, and concern over environmental impact, Mecalac says that site dumpers have returned to the forefront of European city building sites, even supplanting trucks – that are more polluting, more bulky and less agile – on some sites. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Ditch Witch partners with Vacuworx

Vacuum lifting technology offers an effective approach to moving materials on tough concrete demolition and construction, road and landscaping projects. Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has partnered with Tulsa-based Vacuworx to bring the benefits of vacuum lifting technology to an expanded network of underground construction contractors, landscapers, municipalities and utilities.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Granite Acquires LiquiForce

Granite Acquires LiquiForce

Granite Construction Incorporated has announcedthat it has acquired LiquiForce, a privately-owned company which serves public and private sector water and wastewater customers in both Canada and the U.S. Today, LiquiForce provides a variety of underground contracting services including lateral liner rehabilitation, mainline Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP), project management, manhole rehabilitation, and mainline point repairs. In addition, they are recognized as a leader for their patented LiquiForce Junction Lateral Liner. Through this acquisition, we welcome more than 100 employees to the Granite team. Going forward, LiquiForce will continue to operate from offices in Kingsville, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, and Romulus, Michigan. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Granite's 2018 earnings per share.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Ditch Witch of Houston's Robbin Womack honoured as top Ditch Witch salesperson worldwide

Ditch Witch honours Robbin Womack (centre) with the 2017 Lowell Highfill Award.

Ditch Witch recognized Robbin Womack of Ditch Witch of Houston with the 2017 Lowell Highfill Award – the organization's most prestigious award for salespeople worldwide. This award is presented annually to the top individual salesperson in the global Ditch Witch organization for his/her superior product knowledge and performance in promoting and marketing Ditch Witch products, jobsite solutions and services. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Equipment Sales & Service Limited recognized as Platinum Club winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Equipment Sales & Service Limited recognized as Platinum Club winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Equipment Sales & Service Limited (ESS) has been recognized for overall business performance and sustained growth with the prestigious Canada's Best Managed Companies designation. The 2018 Best Managed program award winners are among the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million demonstrating strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth. Having achieved the Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years, ESS joins an elite group of companies that have attained Platinum Club status.

Read More

Volvo adds three new models to its wheeled excavator lineup

The latest wheeled excavators from Volvo Construction Equipment – the short swing EWR150E and EWR170E, and the conventional swing EW220E – give contractors three new models to choose from to take advantage of the versatility and mobility offered by wheeled machines. "Wheeled excavators are underutilized in North America, and contractors are missing out on the benefits they bring, especially in applications like roadbuilding and in urban utility work," said Matt McLean, product manager, wheeled excavators at Volvo Construction Equipment. "They can travel on their own up to 22 mph from site to site, even towing a trailer, rather than being loaded on a lowboy. Wheeled machines also have lighter footprints and don't damage hard surfaces like their tracked counterparts. That equates to less cleanup and lower labour costs. We really see these wheeled machines as an opportunity for contractors to rethink the way they're building their fleets."

Versatile on the jobsite

Read More

Tags
Water & Sewer Rehabitiation

New, low-profile Ditch Witch HX vacuum excavators enhance performance on compact and large-scale jobs

Ditch Witch HX30

Ditch Witch has released a new, advanced lineup of vacuum excavators to boost operator productivity and versatility on municipality and underground construction jobs. The new HX-Series models feature innovative and patent-pending designs that meet the diverse and evolving customer needs on a range of applications - from compact, urban projects to large-scale excavation, potholing, slot trenching and microtrenching applications.

Read More