EVO keeps tun­nel ma­chine on straight and nar­row

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - HYDRAULICS -

The largest tun­nel-bor­ing ma­chine ever de­ployed in the South­ern Hemi­sphere is us­ing ad­vanced En­er­pac syn­chro­nous hy­draulic tech­nol­ogy to tilt, push and turn the 3600-tonne ma­chine.

The 100-me­tre long monster – aptly named Alice – is us­ing its 14.5m di­am­e­ter cut­ting head to chew through more than 800,000 cu­bic me­tres of sub­sur­face rock as part of the Water­view Con­nec­tion mo­tor­way project in Auck­land.

De­scend­ing as much as 45m, Alice is bor­ing Aus­trala­sia’s largest-ever tun­nel as a cen­tre­piece of one of the most im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ments ever to take place in the coun­try.

The $1.4bn project will com­plete a mo­tor­way ring route around the city by 2017, cre­at­ing a di­rect link be­tween the air­port and Auck­land’s CBD – re­duc­ing travel times be­tween the two points by around 15 min­utes.

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency has ap­pointed a team that in­cludes the En­er­pac or­gan­i­sa­tion, and En­er­pac’s Aus­tralasian part­ners, Smith Cranes and sis­ter com­pany Uni­ver­sal Cranes.

En­er­pac and part­ners are giv­ing Alice a pow­er­ful but del­i­cate hy­draulic help­ing hand in her work, us­ing a new gen­er­a­tion En­er­pac EVO syn­chro­nous lift­ing sys­tem that re­places man­ual con­trol of hy­draulic heavy lift­ing with PLC con­trol of mul­ti­ple cylin­der lifts.

With syn­chro­nous lift­ing, one op­er­a­tor con­trols the en­tire pre­ci­sion low­er­ing, po­si­tion­ing and push­ing process, dur­ing which the sta­tus of ev­ery cylin­der is con­stantly mon­i­tored and dis­played at a cen­tral con­trol point.

EVO tech­nol­ogy in­volves a 12-point sys­tem on the Water­view Con­nec­tion project, con­trol­ling 10 cylin­ders weigh­ing 600 tonnes with in­ter­nal stroke sen­sors.

When Alice com­pletes one length of tun­nel, the syn­chro­nous sys­tem is re­de­ployed to tilt and turn her around to com­plete the other par­al­lel length of the dual car­riage­way.

“By us­ing dig­i­tally con­trolled hy­draulics to ac­cu­rately and safely lift, shift and bal­ance some of the largest and most chal­leng­ing struc­tures on earth, the EVO sys­tem of­fers ac­cu­racy, safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity ben­e­fits for pre­ci­sion lift­ing of heavy in­fra­struc­ture and re­sources in­dus­try ma­chin­ery,” says Richard Ver­ho­eff, Aus­tralasian in­te­grated so­lu­tions man­ager for En­er­pac.

The firm’s syn­chro­nous sys­tem has been widely em­ployed in the Asia-Pa­cific for tasks as di­verse as split­ting min­ing draglines and hoist­ing ball mills and gen­er­a­tors, through to launch­ing ma­rine struc­tures, in­clud­ing a 50,000 tonne float­ing oil pro­duc­tion plat­form in Malaysia.

“In ad­di­tion to pre­ci­sion and safety, time sav­ing is a ma­jor ad­van­tage of syn­chro­nous lift­ing,” says Ver­ho­eff. “The process does not have to be stopped af­ter any in­cre­men­tal value, checked, man­u­ally re­mea­sured and cor­rected.

“The EVO sys­tem car­ries out these ac­tions dur­ing the en­tire lift­ing process, even with low lift­ing or low­er­ing speeds. Depend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion, time sav­ings up to 60 per cent can be achieved.”

The ver­sa­til­ity of En­er­pac’s fam­ily of syn­chro­nous sys­tems is fur­ther il­lus­trated by the fact that a crane-borne ver­sion of the tech­nol­ogy, called SyncHoist, was used ear­lier to po­si­tion the tun­nel bor­ing ma­chine (TBM) parts while the cus­tom-de­signed ma­chine was be­ing as­sem­bled. The TBM was built by

the Ger­man com­pany Her­renknecht in China.

A crane-borne En­er­pac SynchHoist sys­tem han­dling con­trol tower sec­tions of one of the 28,000 tonne land­ing he­li­copter deck ves­sels be­ing built by BAE Sys­tems Aus­tralia

Alice is the 10th largest bor­ing ma­chine in the world and has a top speed of 80mm a minute or 0.005 km/h. This will al­low it to cover the to­tal 4.8km jour­ney to Water­view and back in two years.

The pri­mary ad­van­tage of an EPBM is that it main­tains the pres­sure in the shield’s cut­ting head to that of the soil around it, thereby stop­ping the ground above from sub­sid­ing as the ma­chine drills through it.

En­er­pac’s EVO syn­chro­nous sys­tem of­fers eight stan­dard hy­draulic con­trol modes and can con­trol four, eight or 12 points with one hy­draulic power unit (HPU). A mas­ter con­trol unit is also avail­able that of­fers daisy chain con­trol of up to 16 EVO sys­tems, giv­ing a max­i­mum of 192 lift­ing points.

The firm’s syn­chro­nous sys­tems is em­ployed glob­ally for safe and ef­fi­cient lift­ing, launch­ing, po­si­tion­ing, hoist­ing, jack­ing, weigh­ing, load mon­i­tor­ing, de­ter­min­ing cen­tre of grav­ity, tilt­ing lev­el­ling, skid­ding slid­ing, ten­sion­ing and pre-stress­ing, syn­chro­nous dis­place­ment, data record­ing, test­ing, de­prop­ping, load trans­fer and press­ing.

Ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude per­ma­nent hy­draulic in­stal­la­tions, oil, gas and petro­chem­i­cal, power gen­er­a­tion, wind power, min­ing, ship­build­ing, ma­rine, pro­duc­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing, load trans­porta­tion, aero­space and trans­port in­clud­ing rail­road.

demm.co.nz/read­eren­quiry #D140320

The tun­nel bor­ing ma­chine in Auck­land is con­trolled us­ing the En­er­pac EVO syn­chro­nous lift­ing sys­tem. Photo sup­plied

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