November 23, 2022
Milling work must be carried out in the Middle Rhine area, between Östrich and Geisenrücken, in order to guarantee a target depth of 2.10 metres below GIW (equivalent water level). For this profiling of the channel, obstacles (such as crags) are removed underwater at specific points. The scaly, cracked material with hardnesses of up to 100 MPA requires suitable drum cutter sizes and carriers.
The project – funded by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport – is challenging for all parties involved because the use of hydraulic breakers or blasting is not permitted due to harmful vibrations and uncontrolled sediment formation. Special conditions for working underwater also apply – not least nature conservation requirements.
The Wesel-based company Hülskens Wasserbau GmbH & Co. KG. The experienced hydraulic engineering company uses two floating pontoons for this purpose, on which the required technology is permanently installed. A Demag-H95 special excavator mounted on the front pontoon serves as the carrier. The usual tests for weapons were carried out beforehand. No weapons were found – but large amounts of scrap were uncovered. But the conditions on-site still enable the desired problem-free and good degradation of the material.
Powerful work in sensitive conditions – the perfect task for Epiroc’s high-quality ER 3000 drum cutter, equipped with special additional equipment. It not only has special wear protection for extreme underwater use, but also an additional suction hood installed in the first construction phase, which encloses the drum cutter over a large area. With this tried and tested technique, the excavation material produced during the milling work is extracted and transported to the rear pontoon in a controlled manner. There is a technically sophisticated filter and separation system as well as a loading container for the excavation material.
As if that wasn’t enough, the underwater work requires environmentally safe operation. So, it's good that the Epiroc drum cutter is not only powered by bio-hydraulic oil, but that a special bio-oil is also used as the gearbox lubricant – sustainable and future-proof. During operation, the ER 3000 is supplied with an oil quantity of 420 litres per minute.
All in all, the work has so far been carried out without any difficulties or damage. The low wear on the cutting tools once again underlines the high quality of the ER 3000 – to the delight of everyone involved. Erkat’s milling technology – which has been part of the Epiroc Group since 2017 – demonstrates the ideal combination of material, procedure, and know-how.
Epiroc is a vital part of a sustainable society and a global productivity partner for mining and infrastructure customers. With ground-breaking technology, Epiroc develops and provides innovative and safe equipment, such as drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment and tools for surface and underground applications. The company also offers world-class service and other aftermarket support as well as solutions for automation, digitalization and electrification. Epiroc is based in Stockholm, Sweden, had revenues of SEK 36 billion in 2020, and has 14 000 passionate employees supporting and collaborating with customers in more than 150 countries. Learn more at www.epirocgroup.com.
Epiroc’s Tools & Attachments division develops, manufactures and markets rock drilling tools, exploration drilling tools, ground support equipment and hydraulic attachment tools. The products are used for rock excavation, mining, construction, demolition and recycling. The division also provides related service. It has production facilities on six continents, including major facilities in Sweden and Germany. Learn more at www.epiroc.com.