Drilling rigs: Dependable workhorses

By Katherine WeirJune 03, 2020


Liebherr’s LB 36 drilling undertaking a challenging renovation of a historic bridge in Koblenz, Switzerland

The strength of offerings in the drilling sector show the importance of drilling rigs to the construction and quarrying industries


Klemm Bohrtechnik – part of the Bauer Group – introduced the KR 806-4GM anchor drilling rig for overburden drilling with an automatic MAG 6.1 drum magazine for double-head drilling. The manufacturer said the goal with this machine was to be below the weight class of the KR 807-7 series; it has a net weight of 21.9 tonnes (without pipes) and allows for a maximum load of 1,100 kilograms (kg).

The maximum diameter for the casings is 178 millimetres (mm) and the usable length of the pipe pairs is 3,000mm. Both plain drill rods and drilling augers can be used as internal rods, the manufacturer explains. The upgraded MAG 6.1 drum magazine has a rotatable drum, which ensures that the equipment operator always has a good view of the drill rod to be positioned.

It also has a newly developed kinematics system, Klemm said.

For the drive system, Klemm used the ‘proven design’ of the KR 806-3G, with a VolvoPenta diesel engine and an output of 160kW, complying with the latest emissions regulations.

The machine was presented for the first time at the ConExpo, Las Vegas, exhibition in March.


Klemm Bohrtechnik has introduced the KR 806-4GM anchor drilling rig for overburden drilling with an automatic MAG 6.1 drum magazine for double-head drilling

Klemm says that the hydraulic system uses two load-sensing primary pumps, and the optimal power distribution is automatically adjusted by the patented power sharing feature, which is part of the energy efficient power (EEP) system. The EEP system is also said to have an adaptive speed control feature that adjusts the speed of the diesel engine to the current drilling situation.

Along with lower noise emissions, this also gives fuel savings of up to 25 percent compared to previous models.

On the implementation of EEP, Roy Rathner, managing director at Klemm, said, “Reduction of energy consumption on construction sites is an ecologically as well as economically justified objective. In addition to reducing emission of CO2 and other pollutants, reduction of expenditures on diesel is a highly motivating factor, contributing to the efficiency of a construction site.

“Our latest generation of drilling rigs also have energy optimised primary and secondary loads, for example the summation control of main control blocks or use of temperature-controlled fan drives. Smart functionality is another feature. The control algorithms for increasing efficiency are automatically activated by default and do not require any additional user input.”

Keeping a safe distance

In terms of emerging trends in this sector, Rathner said, “The demand is leading towards bigger drilling diameters and drilling with remote operation. Also mechanised and automated rod handling systems are requested due to safety reasons. This includes magazines attached to the drill rig as well as external rod handling systems mounted to excavators.”

Bauer’s BG 36 twin rotary system was used recently for the construction of a 6 metre (m) deep and 22m wide water reservoir in the city of Riedisheim, Alsace. France-based construction company Durmeyer SAS used the machine to construct 96 piles with a diameter of 880 to 900mm.

With the twin rotary system and torque multiplier (DKS/BTM), the method developed by Bauer was used in France for the very first time.

Vincent Keller, Dirécteur Général at Durmeyer, speaks about the challenging aspects of this project.

2020-03_BAUER_BG 36 twin rotary system in France (1)

Bauer’s BG 36 twin rotary system was used recently for the construction of a 6m deep and 22m wide water reservoir in the city of Riedisheim, Alsace

“The space was very confined and there were also train tracks located very close to the drilling operations. In addition to this, we also needed to make sure that the groundwater was sealed off during the entire operation. All these issues, plus the fact that the construction soil contained stones over 25-centimetre (cm) diameter made us decide to use the twin rotary system method with a BG 36 from Bauer.”

The twin rotary system combines the continuous flight auger (CFA) method with provisional casing. The result is a cased borehole created with a CFA or hollow stem auger, Bauer said.

“Because the method can be used with many different soil conditions and the BG 36 is so compact compared to its performance, we also see plenty of possible future applications,” said Keller.

Another trend across the whole construction industry is the push towards raising eco credentials with equipment. The world’s first battery-powered drilling rig – the LB 16 unplugged – was released by Liebherr late last year.

The company said that customers will benefit from the electro-hydraulic and battery mode through a combination of efficiency and local zero emissions. The new deep foundation model has a maximum drilling diameter of 1,500mm, a maximum drilling depth of 34.5m and an operating weight of 55 tonnes, said to be equivalent to its diesel predecessor.

Speaking about the European market in comparison to the US, Wolfgang Pfister, head of strategic marketing and communications at Liebherr-Werk Nenzing, said, “Rotary drilling rigs are very popular in developed markets such as western Europe with the highest population of these machines. However, in the US market, very often a conventional duty cycle crawler crane is used as a carrier for foundation tasks although rotary rigs are gaining ground.”

Dependable workhorses


Husqvarna Group has two new electric drill motors – the DM 400 and DM 430. Both are single-phase 3.2kW electric drill motors, the first to have embedded connectivity (an enhanced version of Husqvarna Fleet Services)

In February of this year, Sweden-based Husqvarna Group introduced two new electric drill motors – the DM 400 and DM 430. Both are single-phase 3.2kW electric drill motors, the first to have embedded connectivity (an enhanced version of Husqvarna Fleet Services), the company said.

The all-aluminium casing is said to have ‘a solid feel and a compact design’ to make it usable even when drilling in narrow corners. The carrying handle also works as an impact guard and is easy to remove when needed, giving extra clearance in tight spaces, the manufacturer explains.

Håkan Pinzani, global product manager for core drilling systems at Husqvarna, said, “The new DM 400 and DM 430 are designed for rough handling and heavy drilling jobs. But, they’re also very easy to handle in any drilling conditions.”

An LED load indicator and the SmartStart (half speed) button typical on other Husqvarna equipment can be found on the new drill motors, as well as a three-speed gearbox making it easy to adjust the RPMs for core bit diameters from 55 to 350mm for the DM 400, and 100 to 450mm for the DM 430.

To protect the motor and gearbox in case the drill bit gets stuck, Husqvarna says the DM 400 and DM 430 have two independent systems – a mechanical friction clutch and the Husqvarna Elgard electronic motor overload protection.

Remote control


The new Dino DC410Ri surface top hammer drill from Sandvik is an upgrade on the remote-controlled Dino DC400Ri, with 15 percent higher tramming power

Sweden-based Sandvik released its upgraded Dino DC410Ri surface top hammer drill back in November, presenting ‘two years’ worth’ of upgrades on the remote-controlled Dino DC400Ri. Improvements include enhanced mobility with 15 percent higher tramming power (compared to the previous model), as well as low tramming height, low centre of gravity and high

ground clearance.

Said by Sandvik to be ideal for tackling cramped urban construction sites, as well as demanding quarry and infrastructure applications, the compact machine is for 51 to 76mm hole sizes.

The Dino DC410Ri has a remote radio control (with redesigned joysticks for easier handling and metallic military-grade components), 14 kilowatt (kW) RD414 rock drill, advanced i-series torque control system and up to 18m2 coverage area. It comes with a new electrical system.

Customisation of the rig for various applications is now easier with new options, such as the NoiseShield-DC – a noise reduction solution giving up to a -7.5 dB reduction in A-weighted sound pressure within a 16m radius of the drill rig. This ‘patent-pending’ system is easy and quick to install by replacing the standard mesh panels of the safety cage, Sandvik said.

The feed auto-aligning option has been designed for contractors aiming for minimum set-up times, maintaining the alignment of the feed beam at the preset angle even if the position of the boom changes from one hole to the next.

In terms of controlling the drill, the control display can be duplicated on a tablet or Android phone. The remote screen, which is attached to the remote-control unit, gives a ‘perfect view’ of the drill rig alignment and displays the drilling and tramming parameters for easy and accurate control. Even if the rig itself is on the bottom of a deep trench or close to the edge of a hazardous bench.

Extreme test for Liebherr rig


Liebherr’s 115 tonne LB 36 drilling rig

A Liebherr LB 36 drilling rig was shipped by barge to the site of the 130-year-old historical Aare Bridge in Koblenz, Switzerland as renovation work was conducted. It was said to be a huge challenge for contractor Birchmeier Spezialtiefbau AG bringing the 115-tonne machine to the bridge.

It was necessary to create a small harbour, specially built on the Aare, in order to assemble the rig, which now serves as an access to the pontoon. From there, the drilling machine was transported upriver.

Days of rain raised the water level which made the plan to manoeuvre the LB 36 under the bridge even more difficult.

The renovation is being done through four pillars. The contractor is making four piles surrounded by a sheet pile wall for each pillar. Using the Kelly drilling method, Birchmeier is boring the 16 piles with the drilling rig. Each pile has a diameter of 1.5m and is between 12 and 20m deep.

After the hole has been drilled and the reinforcement cages have been inserted, the next challenge is transporting the concrete through 280m of concrete lines, Liebherr said.


Klemm rigs power Bauer to success


A new highway called the ‘Blankeburgverbinding’ (Blankenburg Connection) is currently being built west of Rotterdam, Netherlands, between the existing A15 and A20 highways, to better direct traffic in the city and permanently alleviate road congestion.

The new A24 highway will be approximately 4km long and will cross the Scheur River by the Maasdelta tunnel and a recreational area by the Holland tunnel. As part of the project, Klemm customer Bauer Funderingstechniek – the Dutch subsidiary of Bauer – was contracted to deliver and install GEWI piles (micropiles with threads).

Between July 2019 and May 2020, it is estimated that 10,000 tonnes of GEWI material will be delivered by Bauer and installed as 4,500 individual piles for the southern ramp of the Maasdelta tunnel, said Klemm.

Maarten Daalmeijer, project manager at Bauer Funderingstechniek, said, “In total, 11 teams with 11 Klemm drilling rigs are currently being used in the joint project with our partner De Vries Titan. This way we can be sure to keep to the tight schedule.”

Nine Klemm KR 806 series drill rigs (with engine power between 129kW and 160kW and ‘powerful’ hydraulic drifters) and two KR 807-7GP drill rigs (with a 245kW engine, high frequency sonic drilling motors and 10m extra-long drill masts) are being used.



TEI downloads knowledge for pros

Skelair's Sales Engineer Stephen Greatbank at TEI Training

Skelair’s Sales Engineer Stephen Greatbank at TEI Training

Ground engineering and rock drilling specialist, Skelair International, attended an ‘exclusive’ event at TEI Rock Drills headquarters in Montrose, Colorado, at the end of last year, providing international dealers and customers with insight into new products and operations.

TEI, manufacturers of excavator drill attachments, rock drill components and limited access drill rigs, used the event to conduct technical training sessions and network with like-minded people in the industry. A series of presentations demonstrated the use of TEI’s drill equipment on jobsites worldwide. Visitors were then allowed to use the drilling equipment within it compound under the supervision of TEI instructors.

New products at the event included the HCC10X tooling and casing handler, an excavator attachment designed to meet safety guidelines regarding the handling of drill pipes and casings in field application. TEI also showed its latest dust suppression systems that inject water to supress the dust at the point of drilling.

Stephen Greatbank, sales engineer at Skelair International, said, “The TEI event was an opportunity for us to see the new products that are coming to market, whilst receiving essential technical training on the TEI range from the manufacturers themselves.”


Digging beneath the surface


Sweden-based drill rig manufacturer, Epiroc, has created a new 207-page reference book for knowledge about surface drill rigs, the applications they work in, geology, automation and rock drilling.

The book, named Drilling in surface mining, quarrying and construction, is divided into three sections: Talking Technically (26 technical articles about applications, drilling methods, principles of rock drilling and parts and services), Case Studies (covering operational challenges in different applications from around the world) and Product Specifications (for all surface rigs in the 27 to 229mm hole range).

It also includes a fold-out with an overview of the company’s surface drill rigs, their specified hole range, drilling method and applications.

It is available both as a printed and digital version in the Epiroc Print Shop.

 This feature first appeared in the May issue of Construction Europe magazine.



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