Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Microtunnel Support In A Digital World

As essential infrastructure projects continue, an increased demand for highly skilled field service technicians challenges manufacturers to provide adequate training for new operators

As essential infrastructure projects continue, an increased demand for highly skilled field service technicians challenges manufacturers to provide adequate training for new operators. Installed as a standard option for new Akkerman microtunnelling systems, MTBM Cloud Data allows for secure, real-time monitoring and permissioned control. Akkerman’s MTBM Cloud Data software communicates through a web-based portal and displays live operational data with a historical graphical interface. Enhancing the once state-of-the-art report generator tool, the MTBM Cloud Data enables the contractor to grant permission to all required individuals to view real-time operational functions of the system.

On a recent project in Fort Lupton, Colorado, USA, BTrenchless mobilised its SL60C unit outfitted with an increase skin to install 800 ft (224 m) of 66 in (1,675 mm) diameter Hobas pipe through ranging geology. After a broken bone from a recent dirt bike accident that left him unable to travel, Jake Howton was able to remotely train and monitor project activities while in constant communications with the operator. Connected through headsets for immediate communication, Jake assisted the operator for three weeks while crews tested, launched, and successfully completed the microtunnelling drive. Although Jake did not have access to control the MTBM during training, he was able to instruct on the proper procedures to set control flags, monitor MTBM performance and offer advice as geological conditions changed along the alignment. Jake Howton said: “The ability to train through the MTBM Cloud Data works very well. You have a one-on-one experience with the operator.”

As technology continues to advance in microtunnelling equipment, so does the need for continued education of crew and staff. Akkerman’s MTBM Drive Data software is designed to allow the transfer of this knowledge to a team at the speed of the digital era.

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