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Construction : Case Study | June 2016 | Source : Equipment India

Keeping Subway Project on Track

A challenging underground rail project outside the South Korean capital Seoul is due to open on schedule in 2018, thanks to the consistency, manoeuverability and fuel efficiency of the ECR235E from Volvo CE which is leading earthmoving operations on the job.

In South Korea´s Gimpo Hangang New City, major construction work is well-advanced on a subway project that will alleviate debilitating road traffic currently hampering this commuter town. Tunnelling work on the KRW 15,000 billion ($13.1 billion) Gimpo Urban Railway began in 2014 and includes nine stations over a 23 km stretch of line that will link to Line 9 of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. At the project´s start, underground excavation work was initially hampered by the operating limitation of the excavator that was installed on the project. As a result, main contractor Gwanghyuk Constructions contacted equipment rental company Donglim Construction Vehicles for advice on an alternative.

¨There is little space available underground and the construction timeline is very tight so we knew very early into the job that we needed to change excavators,¨ said Donghyun Yoo, construction site manager for Gwanghyuk Constructions. ¨There was also pressure from the local community, because the construction work has inevitably caused some disruption, and traffic in the area is already very bad.¨

After reviewing the job requirements, with operating widths of just 6.5 m and numerous pipe racks obstructing the working space, Donglim Construction Vehicles recommended its Volvo ECR235E for the work, a compact unit with a short swing radius but without any compromise in performance. Gwanghyuk Constructions agreed to switch machines and the 14.5 tonne-rated Volvo immediately proved its worth, speeding up work and facilitating other operations on the job.

Having been introduced on the first stage of construction work, the ECR235E is currently leading earthmoving work in the fifth and final stage of the tunnelling project. Donghyun Yoo has been extremely pleased with the performance of the ECR235E over the course of the construction.

¨The excavator has been the key to the success of this construction process, from the first to the fifth stage. We´ve had no malfunctions or breakdowns during the work, which has helped us achieve excellent productivity and efficiency, and also saved us money,¨ he said.

Carbon footprint
In addition to its productivity and reliability, the inclusion of the ECR235E is also improving the ecological aspects of the project.

¨One of the main reasons we recommended the ECR235E is for its Tier-IV Final engine, with lower carbon emissions,¨ said Kyusub Woo, CEO, Donglim Construction Vehicles. ¨We´ve experienced improvements in air quality since using the newly released ECR235E model, which was one of the first machines in South Korea to feature a Tier-IV Final engine. Also, when the engine is idling, which is quite often due to the nature of the job, Volvo CE´s Engine Shutdown and Auto-Idling functions - which automatically slow down or turn off the engine when work pauses for a certain duration - are very useful in delivering the excellent levels of fuel efficiency that Volvo is so well-known for.¨

Staying safe
The lower emissions of the ECR235E are not only beneficial for worksite health, but they also create safer site conditions underground as poor visibility caused by bad airflow is mitigated.

¨Compared with other job sites, there is always that extra attention to safety in subway construction. We are always looking at conditions and the working environment, which is why it was so important to use Volvo excavators on this project,¨ said Woo.

The solid roll-over protection structure (ROPS) of the ECR235E enhances safety by protecting the driver from falling objects and other external shocks. Also, the unit´s rear-view mirror allows a 360¦ view of the job site, improving efficiency and minimising the number of times the machine must be re-positioned.

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