BAUMA - a chance to maximise global reach 06 Mar 2013
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
It is hard to overstate how big and global in appeal is the triennial bauma construction industry exhibition: 18 halls, some with as many as 280 exhibition stands in each, an outdoor exhibition space that covers hectares of demonstration and display, and crowds that make the shortest walk seem like a trek.
Bauma 2013 is expected to draw more than 500,000 visitors

Bauma 2013 is expected to draw more than 500,000 visitors

To help readers visualise this year's record-breaking 570,000m2 of exhibition space, populated by more than 3,200 exhibitors, it is the equivalent area to that of 111 football pitches..........
The good news is that TunnelTalk has sifted through all the exhibitors to give a snapshot guide to the precise location of the tunnelling company stands, as well as those of associated companies in the many and diverse supporting industry categories. See our Exhibition Locator.
Event organisers have done their best to keep those stands relevant to civil tunnelling together, mostly in Halls C2 and C3, with much of relevance to be seen also outdoors where most of the heavy construction plant and machinery is to be found.
The tunnelling supply group, as a division of the global construction equipment industry, may only make up a relatively small percentage of the total number of exhibitors, but their importance is significant and growing according to organisers. .
Bauma official figures record that the number of exhibitors representing the mining and civil tunnelling sub-sector (they are not split for bauma classification purposes) has increased this time round to just under 700, up from just over 600 in 2010.
So in addition to the major TBM manufacturers Herrenknecht, Aker Wirth, Robbins, NFM Technologies and Caterpillar, there are manufacturers of roadheaders, jumbos, locos, tunnel service vehicles, conveyor systems and other heavy equipment.
Fig 1. Average 1,000km/year of larger diameter tunnels

Fig 1. Average 1,000km/year of larger diameter tunnels

With these, there are suppliers of associated technologies including rockbolts and support systems, drill bits, disc cutters, shotcrete and concrete additives, grouts, conditioning agents, steel and poly fibres, tunnel lining formwork and segment moulds, sealing gaskets, waterproofing membranes, survey equipment, guidance systems, and safety sensors among many others.
Minova, the US-based manufacturer of speciality chemicals, drill bits, rods, rockbolts and anchor systems designed to enhance the safety and efficiency of underground infrastructure, is one of many companies that views the civil tunnelling sector as a "growth driver" for its business. "Tunnelling is a key growth opportunity for Minova," the company's General Manager of Tunnelling, Marek Grocholewski, told investors at a briefing. The company estimates the average annual demand for larger-diameter tunnels (not including the extensive sub-sectors of microtunnelling and trenchless excavations) to average 1,070km/year over the next 15 years, 37% of them in China alone. By comparison, it under rates the USA share of this demand average at approximately 60km/year, with the rest of the Americas at 40km/year, Europe at 260km/year, China at 400km/year, India at 100km/year and Japan at 130km/year (Fig 1).
Rail and road infrastructure is expected to make up 70% of a total demand estimated by figures sourced from Germany's STUVA organization and the ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association). Of this, the organisations further suggest that TBMs will account for a greater share of excavations for larger diameter tunnels (Fig 2).
Fig 2. TBM excavation method expected to dominate

Fig 2. TBM excavation method expected to dominate

The growth in the scope and variety of tunnelling exhibitors at bauma is reflective of a buoyant global market for tunnels and underground infrastructure. Investment in the transport sector across the globe is more than holding up, despite fears of global recession and the threat of a hard landing as economic growth rates shrink in China.
Interest in tunnelling is further fuelled by an array of metro and wastewater projects that are set to be awarded in the coming months. As well as metro systems in the Middle East, including the Doha and Riyadh systems, projects in South America are advancing in Peru (Lima Metro Line 2 which is currently in procurement), Panama (Line 1 now 72% complete), Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and Argentina in Buenos Aires. There are also firm plans in South America for railway and highway tunnels through the formidable Andes mountain range.
In the USA excavation is due to commence before year end on the Deep Rock Connector Project in Indianapolis and the Seattle Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel, while in the high speed rail category, plans are advancing at pace in Brazil, California and the UK. Germany's Stuttgart-21 rail project continues to progress, as does Crossrail in the UK where five of the eight TBMs to be used on the project are in operation.
Tunnelling activity in Australia in the coming year should include start of work on the North West Rail Link in Sydney and on the city's West Connex highway project. Elsewhere, tunnelling also remains buoyant in China, India, Singapore, and Russia.
Closer collaboration between the mining and civil tunnelling sectors has led to major tunnelling contracts for civil tunnelling contractors in Chile, while in Australia, Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future program has established technological collaborations with civil tunnelling equipment suppliers Aker Wirth and Herrenknecht, among others. This may increase possibilities for the crossover of civil tunnelling into the mining sector in the future.
The truly global nature of the industry, and the vast array of current and future projects, makes a presence at bauma critical, not least because of the increasing levels of international visitors. Figures show that in 2010 exhibitors from 53 countries were represented with the 420,000 recorded visitors for that year coming from more than 200 nations, many of them with budgetary authority.
Visitor numbers for 2013 are tipped to top the half a million mark with industry representation preparing to take advantage of the opportunities that exposure to that ever-increasing international audience brings.
References
2013 BAUMA Exhibition locator page - TunnelTalk, March 2013
BAUMA prepares to break all records - TunnelTalk, February 2013

           

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