Herrenknecht’s Pipe Express® Wins 2013 bauma Innovation Award

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Herrenknecht’s Pipe Express®, a complete new mechanized method for the near-surface installation of pipelines of up to 1,000 meters in length and with diameters of 800 to 1,500 millimeters (32- to 60 inches), was recently awarded the 2013 bauma Innovation Award.
  The main components of the new installation system include a tunnel boring machine that works underground, a trenching unit with a buggy and an operating vehicle on the terrain surface. The modular design of the entire system allows easy transport and relocation, as well as high flexibility in changing project conditions. The compact system is remote controlled from the operating vehicle and no trenches have to be dug, minimizing heavy earthmoving equipment and manpower while increasing work safety.
  How it works. A tunnel boring machine loosens the soil which is then directly conveyed aboveground using a trenching unit which is carried along. At the same time, the Pipeline is installed underground. Since earthwork is reduced to a minimum and no groundwater lowering along the route is necessary,
Pipe Express® has very little impact on the environment.
  Pipe Express® is said by developers to be ideal for projects in which the groundwater level is only a few centimeters below the terrain’s surface, in mainly swampy terrain or when nature protection is of special importance.
  The new method has a positive influence in projects taking place in particularly challenging areas with unstable ground, water-bearing layers and at great installation depths. Compared to the conventional open construction method, with Pipe Express® the route width can be reduced by up to 70%, thus reducing the necessary earthwork.
  After Herrenknecht AG carried out test drillings on the company site at the company’s headquarters in Schwanau, Germany, the new machine was applied in a first reference project in Sevenum, The Netherlands, at the end of 2012.
  “Pipe Express® has exceeded all expectations,” said Project Manager Andreas Diedrich. “The machine works with a Tunnelling speed of up to one meter per minute, which means that 500 meters of pipeline were installed in three days.”
  The construction company Visser & Smit Hanab is currently building a new high pressure gas line between Odiliapeel and Melick in The Netherlands for Gasunie where a section of the line was installed with the Herrenknecht system.  Visser & Smit Hanab’s Managing Director Wilko Koop said, “I am very enthusiastic, everything worked excellently.”