Deep drive record-setting in India 19 Nov 2013
Desiree Willis, Technical Writer, The Robbins Company
- A Robbins team has overcome difficult ground conditions and water inflows experienced during early construction of the 8.3km Mumbai Water Tunnel in India to notch up a hat-trick of national records.
109m deep shaft at Mumbai
- Deep below the Indian capital Mumbai, a Robbins 6.25m (20.5ft) diameter Main Beam hard rock TBM that is excavating for the joint venture contractor Unity/IVRCL, has been reaching impressive advance rates. In October (2013) the TBM achieved 870.16m (2,855ft) in one month, overturning the previous Indian record of 816m (2,677ft) set at Kishanganga by a Seli TBM in November 2012. This added to the Robbins team’s December 2012 Indian record of 57.4m (188.3ft) in a single day, and a best weekly advance of 252.6m (828.7ft).
- The Robbins machine achieved its latest impressive advance rate in the size class of 6m-7m (19.7ft-23.0ft) TBMs. "We have a great machine and a great client that is making every effort to do daily maintenance and cutter inspection on the TBM, with a dedicated 4-hour shift per day," said Robbins Field Service Site Manager Leif Schmidt.
Muck removal is via Robbins continuous conveyor
- The achievement is especially notable considering the 109m (357ft) depth of the launch shaft. At that depth heat in the tunnel is a significant factor, as are the time requirements for lowering equipment for machine maintenance. Despite these challenges, the machine has performed exceedingly well. "Performance is good," said Pravin Titare, General Manager for Unity.
- Difficult ground conditions have also been an added challenge, including hard basalt rock, fractured ground and water inflows. Although the machine is currently working in stable ground, tough geology was encountered in early 2013. "Our team has resolved the problem, and the Robbins crew have helped us strengthen the affected portion of the tunnel," said IVRCL General Manager Bipin Arey said.
- "High advance rates are expected to continue for the duration of the project," said Kapil Bhati, Managing Director of Robbins India.
- Once the tunnel is completed, it will provide Mumbai's approximately 20.5 million residents with a consistent flow of clean drinking water, even during the seasonal monsoons that contaminate the city's water resources.
Deep level drive for Robbins TBM in Mumbai - TunnelTalk, July 2012
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