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Construction : Feature | January 2016 | Source : CW-India

In India, our biggest size machine is 10 m diameter

Kapil Bhati, Managing Director, Robbins Tunneling and Trenchless Technology (I) Pvt Ltd
With more than 60 years of innovation and experience, Robbins has been involved in 100s of projects and tunnels excavated using tunnel boring machines (TBMs) around the world. Kapil Bhati, Managing Director, Robbins Tunneling and Trenchless Technology (I) Pvt Ltd, shares more on the company+ås offering in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.

How do you view the current market scenario and opportunities for you?
At present, several infrastructure projects are already in the pipeline, tendering stage or award stage. As far as opportunities with Robbins is concerned, there are a number of metro and water tunnel projects under the award stages and this would lead to a huge requirement of TBMs within the next year or so.

What is the size of the TBM offered by Robbins?
We make machines from 3 m diameter to 14 m diameter. In India, our biggest size machine ++ used especially for water tunnel projects ++ is 10 m diameter. As far as the metro sized tunnels are concerned, the standard requirement of TBMs is 6.6 m diameter. We are pioneers in the rock technology and will offer machines to cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, which have rock geology.

So, how does the boring speed differ in rock geology?
As far as the earth pressure balance (EPB) mode machines are concerned, it starts from 0 to 2 or 3 revolutions per minute (RPM), but in the case of a rock machine, it goes to 7 to 10 RPM. So, the penetration rate depends upon the geology. Simultaneously, when there is a soft ground or a mixed geology, the requirement is a minimum of 1 to 1.5 RPM.

What sets you apart from your competitors in the market?
We invented the first rock machine, made the first double-shield rock machine, invented the disc cutters, 19-inch rim disc cutters and invented the floating drippers for the main machine for rock. The weight of our machine and cutter head is far more than the others. Robbins machines are more robust. The largest size of the main bearing installed on the machines is from Robbins, along with the highest main bearing ratio and the maximum installed power in our machines, which keeps us ahead of our competitors.

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