A cutter (boring) head for horizontal drilling complete with pilot rods (jacking frames) for guided horizontal boring remote controlled using optical controls in any variety of soil. The boring head is an innovative product that can be mounted on practically any boring or microtunneling machine. The line and the grade can be monitored and corrected along the entire length of the bore/drill. The accuracy of the boring head is +/- 2 cm on a 100 m section. It is an upgrade that fills the gap between traditional boring/drilling and microtunnelling. The boring head uses a high-pressure hydraulic drive system. Its main features are accuracy and quality of pipejacking. It enables to install pipe in ground conditions that are generally below the water table (motorways, rivers, creeks, railway tracks) requiring precise line and grade even in poor soil conditions equipped with the appropriate boring head (cutter face) for precise ground excavation (+/- 2 cm) for diameters ranging from f 150 mm to f 1000 mm.
Key advantages of the project
Since meeting the requirements of conventional pipejacking has become much more demanding with guided boring and microtunnelling, at the company Vilkograd d.o.o. a decision was taken to cater for innovation and top quality by developing equipment and accessories as an “in-house” project. The boring head (cutter face) designated as HIP KRT05 (“the mole”) cannot be purchased anywhere in the world market at this moment. It is a pilot boring/cutter head designed to drill horizontally in all types of soil (gravel, rock…). What makes this boring head (cutter face) so attractive is its accuracy and precision: the line and grade can be monitored and adjusted along the entire length of boring/drilling. The accuracy of the precise guidance system guarantees the result of +/- 2cm on a 100 m section. It is an innovative product that fills the gap between two technologies: the conventional guided boring systems and microtunnelling. This boring/cutter head uses a high pressure drive system. The characteristics of this boring/cutter head is a high precision level and quality of workmanship. The company provides a complete and versatile solution: from the concept to the design to manufacturing of the boring/cutter head and the pilot rods for the jacking frame that enable power transmission and guiding the cutting/boring head. Another advantage of the system is that it can be mounted on practically any machine used for boring or microtunnelling (MTBM).
The project is still work-in-progress. The cutter head allows contractors to perform a wide range of jobs and these heads are already in use at various building sites, which means the project is in the implementation phase. As described above, the product is a cutter/boring head (cutter face) delivered separate from the boring machine can be mounted on most boring and microtunnelling machines (MTMBs) used around the world. Since we are not aware of any similar product offered on the world markets, we are convinced the product has all the necessary prerequisites for global distribution. However, the product has to go through further testing to confirm its control and accuracy in an array of soil conditions in order to reveal any deficiencies it may have. It will be followed by making all necessary modifications and corrections in order to strengthen the weakest links in the machine. Mass production is the next step supported by marketing activities and distribution.
This innovation enables the contractor to execute precise horizontal drilling/boring regardless of the variety of soil and this versatility of a single boring or cutter head is a breakthrough. Since no excavations are made, no infrastructure (service connections) are disturbed, there are no traffic closures, no activities affecting the environment, the works can be executed much faster and with less fuss, the cost is lower for the contracting authority or owner and last but not least, quality of the works is also higher. According to the available information, no such cost-effective, remote controlled product that cuts through rock, sand and other difficult materials is available on the market.
The investments made so far add up to 150,000 euros. To complete the project, carry out tests and make modifications where necessary, further funding in the amount of approximately 200,000 euros has to be obtained. The sales value of the product is from 50,000 to 60,000 euros per piece of which the cost of material accounts for approximately 15% of this amount. Manufacturing and marketing costs account for the rest.
On top of the already invested amount of 150,000 euros, the financing required has been pencilled in the amount of 200,000 euros.
Mr. Viljem Kolar