Latest equipment advances on show at bauma 2019 11 Apr 2019

TunnelTalk reporting

More, bigger, better - that is the only way to describe the 2019 session of the bauma Munich series of international construction equipment trade shows. Although convened on the vast show grounds of the MesseMünchin in Germany, the trade fair is truly the world of construction and mining equipment and supplies on display.

Table 1. Top 11 exhibitor countries
Germany 1,269
Italy 549
China 401
Turkey 189
UK 133
USA 126
France 120
Netherlands 116
Spain 96
Austria 91
Finland 56

In describing the reality of bauma 2019, the organisers confirm that this year’s bauma is ‘gigantic’ with more than 600,000m² of exhibition space at the disposal of the exhibitors. This is an increase of 9,000m² on the previous bauma 2016 and is comprised of 18 halls of 200,000m² of exhibition space and an increased 414,000m² of open air exhibition space - ample room to show off the latest developments for equipment, services and materials.

Among the 3,700 exhibitors presenting their products to an expected 600,000 visitors (both up on the previous bauma 2016 figures of 3,425 exhibitors and 580,000 visitors), it is those that are not here that are conspicuous – not because they had decided not to be an exhibitor but because they are waiting for a space to become an exhibitor , some of them into the hundreds on the waiting list.

Focuses of attention

Among the significant themes of the show this year is digitisation and efficiency, both of them targeting higher productively as an end goal. Within the tunnelling sector, all the main TunnelTalk industry partners were represented including a higher number of Chinese companies, some exhibiting for the first time.

Herrenknecht E-Power Pipe a 2019 <em>bauma</em> Innovation Award winner
Herrenknecht E-Power Pipe a 2019 bauma Innovation Award winner

TunnelTalk will bring further news of industry developments during the coming weeks and ahead of the WTC World Tunnel Congress in Naples in the first week of May. These are the highlights of the bauma experience.

As a full-range supplier of mechanised tunnelling technology, Herrenknecht presented its journey in tunnelling at its main booth in Hall C2. Through an impressive set of interactive screens, videos and graphics, Herrenknecht described how its focus is on making the tunnelling process faster and more efficient. A particular display illustrated an almost continuous single shield TBM operation with the segments erected one at a time as the forward thrust is applied to the previous ring segments. Counter intuitively, the concept demonstrates higher progress with narrower segments rather than the wider 2m+ rings used commonly with current single shield TBMs where excavation stops while the ring of segmental lining is erected.

SmartSpray SmartDrive shotcreting from Normet
SmartSpray SmartDrive shotcreting from Normet

Herrenknecht was also celebrating its presentation of the coveted bauma Innovation Award 2019 in the machine category for its innovative E-Power Pipe® installation method. Developed in cooperation with Amprion GmbH and RWTH Aachen University, the centre piece of the method is the newly developed AVNS350XB machine with an excavation diameter of 505mm and a jet pump for handling excavated material. Jet pumping of excavated material allows drives up to 10 times longer than previously in the small diameter range. Drives of more than 1,000m and at shallow installation depths of 1.5m are possible with the E-Power Pipe technology.

The system has been developed as an more environmentally friendly alternative to long distance pylons to bring high voltage electricity cables from the wind farm installations in the North Sea to the high electricity demand powerhouses in Southern Germany. The AVNS350XB machine excavates the pilot bore with fully fitted service pipes installed from behind using the Herrenkencht Direct Pipe technology. The sevice pipes are then retrieved, to be used again on the next drive, as a conduit pipe is pulled in from the front. Once installed the high voltage power cable is pulled through – each drive being 1,000m long to match the supply reels of cabling.

Liu Feixiang headed CRCHI for first time at <em>bauma</em> Munich
Liu Feixiang headed CRCHI for first time at bauma Munich

At its stand, Normet introduced its SmartSpray SmartDrive semi-automated concrete spraying machine. “This is the next step in the journey towards our end goal of fully automated shotcreting in civil and mining applications,” explained Mark Ryan, Vice President Equipment Offering and R&D at Normet. “When co-ordinates are entered, the SmartSpray machine will complete a spraying cycle automatically with the operator controlling just the angle of the nozzle. Ultimately, our aim is to have spraying machines operating underground fully independently of operators.”

The new SmartDrive Spraymec 8100 unit on display on the stand also featured a 100% electric battery drive with the laser scanner unit that assists the semi-automatic operation. The machine is plugged into the main electric power supply for the spraying operation, which at the same time recharges the on-board battery to provide electric tramming drive for up to 15km before needing a recharge.

Double power breaking from Brokk
Double power breaking from Brokk

As a major exhibitor at the bauma China trade shows in Shanghai, Chinese tunnelling equipment manufacturer CRCHI was exhibiting at bauma Munich for the first time. Discussions with the team was again of the extraordinary lengths of civil underground excavation achieved in China each year. Confirmation was that CRCHI manufactured 145 TBMs last year in the range from 0.5m to 13m diameter with most in the 6-10m range. As the manufacturing arm of Chinese construction company CRCC, one of the top three general construction companies in the world, CRCC completes more than 2,000km of tunnel infrastructure completed per year and has about 6,000km of tunnelling work currently under construction. As well as TBMs, CRCHI also manufactures drilling jumbos which are supplied to Chinese contractors to contribute to the 10,000km of tunnelling completed in China per year.

An interesting point by CRCHI Chairman Liu Feixiang is that 90% of tunnelling in China is by drill+blast and open face methods with the remainder by TBMs. As an example, Liu explained that some 85% of an 800km railway connection to Tibet from Chengdu will be in double-track single-tube drill+blast tunnels. He added that several of the company’s TBM are used in the coal mining industry in China to create the connecting roadways between levels of existing mines. These are often steep inclined drives of up to 45 degrees and more.

Table 2. bauma Network events
bauma China, Shanghai 24-27 Nov 2020
bauma CONEXPO India, Gurgaon, Delhi 2020
bauma CONEXPO Africa, Johannesburg 13-16 Oct 2021
bauma CTT Russia, Moscow 4-7 Jun 2019
M&T Expo Brazil 2021
Next bauma Munich 4-10 Apr 2022

For Brokk, the launch at bauma is of its Brokk 70 hydraulic breaker machine which offers 100% more power then its predecessor and the latest Brokk SmartPowerTM technology. The SmartPowerTM electric powertrain increases the unit’s power from 5.5kW to 9.8kW and enables the demolition robot to power twice the size breaker as the Brokk 60 and provides smoother, more precise movements of the heavier and more powerful attachments. The Brokk 70 comes with several brand new attachments including the new BDC40 drum cutter that brings real cutting power to the smallest segment of demolition robots and the G32 demolition grapple as the tool of choice for more efficient soft demolition.

It was a busy week for TunnelTalk at the 2019 bauma Munich show and connections were made with visitors from around the world including Canada (the partner country for the 2019 event), India, Australia, USA, Ghana, South Africa, China and Russia. TunnelTalk also visited many company booths including partner companies Bekaert Maccaferri, Robbins, Häny, Zitron, tacs, Mühlhäuser, DSI Underground and CREG-Wirth. It will be a few short weeks before we all meet again at the World Tunnel Congress in Naples, Italy during the first week of May.

For those who enjoy the intense and concentrated experience of bauma Munich, the next staging of the world’s construction equipment fair is from 4-10 April, 2022. We will see you there.


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