COMPANY NEWS VMT celebrates 20 years of guiding TBMs 10 June 2014
VMT News Release
More than 500 invited guests gathered to celebrate to 20th anniversary of TBM precision navigation and guidance instrumentation specialist VMT. On Saturday (7 June), guests and partners from around the world gathered at VMT headquarters in Bruchsal, southern Germany, to mark the milestone event in the company’s history.
20th anniversary celebrations

20th anniversary celebrations, left to right: Gebherd Lehmann (Vice Chairman, Herrenknecht); Manfred Messing (Managing Director and co-founder of VMT); Kurt Stiefel (Herrenknecht board member); Martin Herrenknecht, Chairman of Herrenknecht and co-founder of VMT

Started as a two-man operation from a rented flat in Ubstadt-Weiher, just north of where the company is now based, VMT has since established itself as a technological leader for tunnelling and microtunnelling navigation systems since its foundation in 1994 by Martin Herrenknecht and Manfred Messing, who remains as General Manager of the business.
In order to drive growth VMT has had to continually adapt to changing market conditions and demand. The most recent, and growing, business segment of VMT is adaptation of its TBM-based technology for mining applications. Engineers have had to rethink from the horizontal to the vertical, and in Canada a project-specific adaptation of the TUnIS (Tunnel and Underground Information Software Structure) navigation system is currently being utilised. This is being used to navigate two 10.6m diameter Herrenknecht vertical shaft boring machines to depths of up to 1,000m. Prototypes of other products are also currently being designed and tested for applications in the rapidly growing area of valuable raw materials production.
In 20 years VMT, part of the Herrenknecht group of companies, has supplied more than 1,000 tunnelling projects with navigation, information, monitoring, and communication systems. The company’s other main specialism is industrial measurement, which evolved from mould and segment measurement for tunnelling applications but has since expanded into fields other than tunnelling.
More than 1,000 VMT systems supplied to date

More than 1,000 VMT systems supplied to date

By 2000 the company had grown to 20 employees and a turnover of €2.7 million, growth which necessitated relocation of the business to its current base at Bruchsal. Successful internationalisation of the business saw the establishment of subsidiary offices in Shanghai (2006), Melbourne (2008), Moscow (2009) and finally in Seattle in 2011. Last year VMT employed 200 workers worldwide (119 in Bruchsal), and a recorded a turnover of €29 million.
To continuously develop navigation systems, and to expand the product range for tunnelling, Manfred Messing brought in highly specialised partners including Qbit and ITC Engineering & Co. Today, VMT GmbH has a product portfolio for tunnelling that extends far beyond navigation and incorporates navigation into a comprehensive system of quality assurance that advances efficiency, budget compliance, and safety at work.
VMT is currently involved in construction of the underground railway line B in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It has supplied a complete set of equipment for navigating the TBMs as well as for providing information management, process monitoring and communications at the large construction site.
TUnIS system provides a big pictureTunnelTalk, January 2010
Curved microtunnel success in the USATunnelTalk, July 2010
Expanding VMT opens office in USATunnelTalk, October 2011
Advancing software based management systemsTunnelTalk, December 2010

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