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March 2015 - 5200 Pump Unit for the Akkerman Tunnel Boring System

Brownsdale, MN – March 10, 2015 – Akkerman Tunnel Boring Systems have been installing pipe around the world for over 40 years. Akkerman is pleased to introduce the 5200 Pump Unit, the most essential element of the Tunnel Boring System. This flagship product has been improved in several areas while retaining the best qualities of its predecessors, to achieve optimal pipe jacking performance.

The 5200 Pump Unit maximizes the Tunnel Boring System’s capabilities with enhanced functionality to offer the utmost power and precision in many geological circumstances. The unit presents application flexibility with three independent hydraulic sources – two low-pressure sources for the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) boring head supply and one high-pressure source for jacking and Intermediate Jacking Stations (IJSs).

Low-pressure hydraulic boring head supply is provided by two, 100 HP (74 kW), totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) electric motors. Each motor features variable displacement piston pumps managed with electronic displacement control, allowing the user to select between 30, 60, 90, or 120 gpm at the flip of a switch. The boring head system supplies 30-120 gpm of oil at 3,000 psi to all Akkerman TBMs or 30-60 gpm at 5,000 psi to Series II TBMs. The advanced 5,000 psi boring head supply is advantageous in demanding ground conditions which require increased cutter torque and greater horsepower in single feed applications.

All jacking and IJSs functions are accomplished by a 12.5 gpm, 8,000 psi capable pump, driven by a 60 HP TEFC electric motor. At 8,000 psi, the jacking system offers 400 tons of jacking force and 30% more pressure for the IJSs. Operators will appreciate the handling of jacking functions with variable pump output and electronic valve actuation.

A 240 gal (908 L) hydraulic tank supplies oil to the pumps and in-tank filtration keeps it free of contaminates. Oil also continuously flows through a dedicated cooling and filtration circuit.

The importance of operator’s safety is evident in the 5200 Pump Unit design. An emergency e-stop is located on the operator’s platform and an optional remote cabled e-stop is available for in-shaft personnel. The control panel on the operator’s station has an enhanced interface and simplified appearance.

The 5200 Pump Unit touts many additional quality features. The unit can be hoisted from a single lift point. The location of the laser slot ensures an unobstructed laser path. Removable, vandal resistant, lockable doors protect the unit during when not in use. Electric is facilitated through a 400-amp, 480-volt, 3-phase connection. The 5200 Pump Unit is 90-in. (2,286 mm) tall, making it ideal for clearance when used with most pit shorting configurations.

The 5200 Pump Unit is interchangeable with all Akkerman Tunnel Boring System components. Contact a sales engineer for more information about this and all Akkerman equipment offerings.

January 2015 - 21st Annual CSM Short Course

Brownsdale, MN – January 27, 2015 – The Colorado School of Mines will host the 21st Pilot Tube Microtunneling/Microtunneling Short Course on February 9-12, 2015. The event is considered one of the foremost educational opportunities in the microtunneling industry. Akkerman is main event sponsor and contributor to the course agenda.

The four-day format dedicates the first day to the field of pilot tube microtunneling and subsequent three-days to slurry microtunneling. A varied panel of experts will present such topics as design and bidding, site preparation, ground stabilization, shaft construction, case studies, pipe selection, production, and equipment specifications.

Making a stop enroute as they travel to the Paradise-Whitney Interceptor (PWI) Alignment project in Las Vegas, NV, an Akkerman SL60 Microtunneling Boring Machine (MTBM), control container and remote hydraulic power pack will be on display during the research lab tour on Wednesday, February 11. This equipment will be used to install over 10,000 lineal feet of 60-in. ID wastewater pipelines for the Clark County Water Reclamation District in the Las Vegas Valley. Microtunneling subcontractor Frontier Kemper Constructors of Sylmar, CA will launch the MTBM at the end of February. Construction is being performed by a joint venture of Pipe Jacking Unlimited of San Bernardino, CA and Frontier Kemper. In addition, several products from Akkerman's guided boring equipment line will be on static display.

A hospitality reception on February 11, 2015 from 6-9 p.m. at the Table Mountain Inn is open to all short course attendees, compliments of Akkerman.

The complete course agenda, and registration and travel information can be obtained here.

2014

June 2014 - P250D Power Pack

Brownsdale, MN – June 2, 2014 – New to the market, the robust P250D power pack provides plenty of hydraulic power to operate the GBM 4815A jacking frame and larger diameter GBM tooling, while incorporating many ease of use and safety features.

The P250D houses a 250HP (186 kW) engine to match the hydraulic requirements of our largest jacking frame with the engine supply to install up to 48-in. OD (1,219 mm) pipe. The P250D’s six-cylinder diesel engine is liquid-cooled. The 25 gpm (95L/min) cooling circuit makes efficient use of hydraulic oil, maintains low operating temperatures and requires less horsepower (kilowatts). Three load sense, variable piston pumps offer independent operation for jacking, rotation and PCH operation at 0-60 gpm (0-227L/min). The engine’s electric block heater assists starting in cold climates.

The P250D’s power unit assembly is fully operational inside or outside of the container. The power unit assembly can be extended from the container for optimal access to the engine, hose reels, pumps, fluid reservoirs and gauges. With the doors open, operators can walk through to the pilot tube accessories storage area on the container’s wall. The assembly includes 50-ft. (15 m) hydraulic hose sets for jacking frame connections along with a remote control pendant for in-shaft operation.

This P250D is the first of its kind to introduce universal, hydraulic quick disconnect hose connections. The disconnect collars house bearings so the hose can swivel under load pressure, therefore eliminating twisting. The quick disconnects reduce set-up time by 70% due to their unique two-turn/two-start thread connection.

The P250D includes numerous safety features. An e-stop control button is easily accessible from the operational end of the unit and when on, is illuminated for clear visibility in low light. Interior lights shine on the engine, oil reservoir and main doors. The main pump valve features a safety switch, allowing for engine start-up only when the valve is in the full open position. When in operation with the doors closed, the engine’s 70dB level meets tier III standards. Air for the radiator is drawn from the top of the unit forcing engine noise upwards, which also contributes to the unit’s quiet operation.

The P250D is compatible with all GBM jacking frames and accessory tooling.

April 2014 - 1325G Pilot Tube Lubrication Pump

Brownsdale, MN – April 8, 2014 – Successful guided auger boring contractors know that their bore’s accuracy depends on competent pilot tube steering coupled with ground appropriate lubrication. The 1325G Pilot Tube Lubrication Pump enhances these skills while serving as an invaluable, multi-faceted tool.

The 325 gal (1,230 L) tank offers 2,000 psi (13,790 kPa) of pressure at 7 gpm (26.5L/min) of pump flow, providing enough fluid capacity for the average 400-ft. (122m) bore. The tank can be filled with liquid-based polymers to supply lubrication to the pilot tube string or with water for pressure cleaning operations.

The 1325G design is simple and self-contained. Power is provided via direct-drive from engine to pump through a gearbox. The pump’s in-tank agitation quickly and evenly mixes liquid-based polymers and prevents fluid settlement. A relief valve limits the pump’s pressures as necessary. The electric start Kohler engine offers 14HP (10 kW) at 3,600 rpm’s with a 1.8 gal (7L) gas tank capacity. The empty tank assembly weight is just under 1,000 lbs. (454 kg), making the unit highly portable to and on the project site. The unit’s overall dimensions are 52-in. (h) x 89-in. (l) x 50-in. (w), intended to make container storage possible in colder climates.

The 1325G Pilot Tube Lubrication Pump design integrates several safety features. The stepped platform makes it easy for operators to access or fill the 325 gal (L) tank. The battery is located inside a plastic housing to eliminate contact with operators. The lack of moving parts in the tank makes for safe interior access.

2013

September 2013 - Akkerman Appoints New Director of Sales

Brownsdale, MN – September 26, 2013 – Pipe jacking and tunneling equipment manufacturer Akkerman announces the appointment of Jason Holden to Director of Sales.

Holden has been an integral part of Akkerman for nearly 10 years. He began his career with Akkerman as an engineer for both the Microtunneling boring equipment (MTBM) and Earth Pressure Balance equipment (EPBM) product lines. In these roles, Holden developed designs for segment erecting EPBMs, several microtunneling system components along with providing onsite technical support. Most recently, he’s been responsible for sales territories in Eastern North America, Asia and the Middle East and will continue to maintain relationships in these regions. During his tenure at Akkerman, Holden has traveled and presented extensively at industry trade shows, seminars and educational forums. Prior to Akkerman, Holden traveled for Oxbo International as an international service technician and field engineer. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Minnesota State University.

September 2013 - Come See Akkerman at ICUEE, October 1-3

Brownsdale, MN – September 19, 2013 - Akkerman is planning a big presence at the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, October 1-3, 2013. ICUEE, known as The Demo Expo, allows Akkerman to bring our machinery direct to attendees. We're filling a large outdoor space with Akkerman pipe jacking and guided boring lines of equipment.

The newest product for reveal at the show will be the 4815A GBM jacking frame. The 4815A design was made essential with GBM projects trending towards 400-ft. + (122 m) length pipe installations. These drives require additional torque and jacking force to advance tooling strings accurately at these lengths. The 4815A jacking frame features 30% more rotational torque than other jacking frame models. The 4815A frame is able to install up to 48-in. (1,219 mm) OD pipe in 8-ft. (2.4 m) lengths or 10 and 20-ft. (3,6 m) pipe lengths with frame extensions.

Additional GBM equipment on display will be the GBM 240A jacking frame, the Powered Reaming Head (PRH) kit, a Powered Cutter Head (PCH) 22.5 and 2325D Jetting and Lubrication Pump. Attendees will also be able to experience the all-in-one Series II pipe jacking system featuring a TBM 600 along with a 1548 Haul Unit.

A full force of Akkerman sales and engineering staff will be available for discussion and questions.

ICUEE is held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY. ICUEE attracts contractors and municipality professionals involved in the utilities industries and features over 800 exhibitors. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the show owner and producer.

September 2013 - Akkerman 4815A GBM Jacking Frame for 8-ft.+ Pipe Lenghts

Brownsdale, MN – September 11, 2013 – Akkerman is pleased to introduce the 4815A jacking frame, the newest addition to the Guided Boring Machine (GBM) line of equipment.

The 4815A design was made essential with GBM projects trending towards 400-ft. + (122 m) length pipe installations. These drives require additional torque and jacking force to advance tooling strings accurately at these lengths. The 4815A jacking frame features 30% more rotational torque than other GBM jacking frame models. Operators using the 4815A have precision, two-speed advancement control options through the gear box for installing GBM tooling. The 100-ton fast and 265-ton slow advance speeds with 100-tons of pull-back force give operators complete control over GBM accessories. The rotational torque operates in two ranges of force, 0-10,500-ft-lbs. and 0-26,000-ft-lbs. to match the tooling requirements. Each torque range offers two speed options with 35 and 50-rpms in the low torque and 23 and 35 rpms in the high torque settings.

The 4815A frame is able to install up to 48-in. (1,219 mm) OD pipe in 8-ft. (2.4 m) lengths. Frames extensions for 10 and 20-ft. (3,6 m) pipe lengths are available. The frame’s 7.5-in. (191 mm) cylinders have a 30-in. (762 mm) stroke and latch on center every 24-inches (610 mm). The 4815A is designed to work out of a minimum 15-ft. (4.6 m) round or square shaft. The frame weighs in at 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg), nearly half the weight of its predecessor.

The 4815A performs with all existing GBM tooling currently used on 240, 308 and 4812 jacking frames. An optional Power Cutter Head/ Power Reaming Head hydraulic control package is available.

The 4815A GBM jacking frame will be revealed at the ICUEE show in Louisville, KY, October 1-3. 2013.

February 2013 - Eliminator: GBM Tooling for Non-Displaceable Spoils

Brownsdale, MN – February 12, 2013 - A manufacturer and customer collaboration between the City of Edmonton and Akkerman this past fall, proved to be mutually advantageous. In fall of 2012, Akkerman put its new GBM system tooling, the Eliminator through the paces of real world testing in Edmonton, AB Canada. With the Eliminator and the assistance of Akkerman’s crew of accomplished technicians they successfully completed two, 250-foot (76.2 m) drives of 27-inch ID (686 mm) No-Dig clay pipe through non-displaceable clay and clay stone.

The Eliminator is a new 16-inch (406 mm) diameter boring head designed to work with the standard GBM family of Akkerman tools that has been in service since 2001. Named the Eliminator, the cutter head excavates as the lead tooling in soils that are considered too hard for Akkerman pilot tube penetration, therefore eliminating the use of pilot tubes.

The Eliminator is optically guided using typical GBM guidance system components and a target which can be viewed through the string of hollow stem augers. The hollow stem augers are used to drive the cutter bit and transport cuttings back to the launch shaft. Several cutter face bit configurations are available and can be tailored for specific ground conditions. While mining, steering changes are negotiated using three independently controlled, hydraulic shoes. The head is equipped with high pressure jetting nozzles to supply lubrication to the cutter face bit during operation. Once launched, the Eliminator has the ability to be retrieved by pulling it back to the launch shaft. This functionality is extremely beneficial in the event that that there is a change in ground conditions so the operator can make a cutter bit change.

A member of the Akkerman sales team was informed of a project by customer, the City of Edmonton, where pipe installations were required in non-displaceable clay and clay stone. Akkerman and the City of Edmonton viewed this project as an ideal prospect for the Eliminator and soon organized the logistics. Using the Eliminator would prove to be a time saving alternative method for this gravity flow sewer alignment, which was designed as a ring-beam and lagging hand-minded tunnel with a carrier pipe followed by grout fill. The alignment had to maintain an accuracy of at least 2-inches (51 mm) for gravity flow.

The contractor, The City of Edmonton designs, constructs and maintains all of their sanitary and storm water services through their Drainage Services Branch. They began providing pilot tube microtunneling services in 2008, with the addition of an Akkerman Guided Boring Machine (GBM) 4812 jacking system.

An Akkerman technician and engineer arrived on site to assess the project and meet the eight-man crew. They worked inside a 14-foot (4.3 m) diameter shaft at a depth of 46-feet (14 m). The customer’s 4812A jacking frame, powered by a P275 diesel power unit were used to propel the Eliminator through the ground connected to the 16-inch diameter 1-meter long casings and hollow stemmed augers. The installation was a two-pass method. The first pass, consisting of the Eliminator attached to the casings and hollow stemmed augers represented a mere three-day of production time. The second pass, made with the 28.5” Powered Cutter Head (PCH) outfitted with an increase kit and the final product pipe, was completed in seven days. The tooling was recovered from a 10-foot (3 m) diameter reception shaft. The second drive produced a similar production rates.

2012

August 2012 - Exclusive Notched Thrust Casing Assembly for Efficient Installation

Brownsdale, MN – August 14, 2012 – The Notched Thrust Casing Assembly is an exclusive design, wholly created and engineered by Akkerman. The differentiating points with the new casing include symmetrical notched connections that are secured with a casing collar and common hardware, along with their capacity for extended wear and tear.

The foremost inherent value in this casing is that it ensures improved production. The casings join together by positioning the symmetrical notches into one another and are then secured with a collar for a flush circumference. The collar wraps around the join with common hardware. The casing connections are non-particular, since both ends are the same, so crew members need only orient the auger during positioning. Not only do they quickly connect, their removal is also expedited at the end of the drive. The casing’s multiple wear points also prolong the casing life.

The Notched Thrust Casing Assemblies are available in standard and heavy duty sizes. The standard variety are able to withstand up to 100-tons of jacking force and 50-tons of pullback force and the heavy duty models with bear up to 200-tons of jacking force and 100-tons of pull back force.

The Notched Thrust Casing Assembly can be used with standard Akkerman augers, powered cutter heads and the powered reaming head kit to suit most typical sizes of product pipe for a wide range of geology. Each assembly is commonly packaged in a transportable, heavy duty basket that contributes to site safety and tidiness.

March 2012 - Akkerman Receives MNSHARP Recertification

Brownsdale, MN – March 26, 2012– Akkerman received a recommendation for continued Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MN SHARP) certification following a three-day comprehensive site visit last week.

MNSHARP is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) program of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MNDLI). MNSHARP recognized companies substantiate exemplary health and safety programs that supersede applicable OSHA standards. Akkerman is one of 39 MNSHARP certified worksites in Minnesota out of 150,000 OSHA regulated companies.

The three-day comprehensive survey included meetings with various personnel plus safety committee members. Two representatives from the MNDLI performed a thorough site inspection in all areas of the manufacturing facility. The site visit concluded with the review of the 58-point evaluation, OSHA Form 33, with recommendations for further safety enrichment.

At the closing meeting, Jeff Wasvick, Occupational Health and Workplace Safety Consultant, stated that he was “impressed when talking with employees and seeing their pride in participation in Akkerman’s safety program”. He further noted that “It is evident that Akkerman has successfully adopted a safety and health culture that is apparent at all levels in the company.”

In the past two years since MN SHARP has been in effect, Akkerman has noticed cost savings in terms of lowered medical treatments related to injuries and illnesses. Akkerman has posted only one recordable injury but no loss time injuries for calendar year 2011. Improvements Manager, Gary Medgaarden noted that “We also investigate all near misses that occur. Our goal is to have zero recordable injuries, and the best way to get to zero is to investigate all near misses. In addition, training and enforcement also enhance our program.”

MNSHARP compliance entitles Akkerman to an exemption from MNOSHA inspections for another three years with the remittance of interim self-evaluation reports.

February 2012 - Sivesind Join Sales Team

February 21, 2012 - Akkerman welcomes Chris Sivesind to its sales and marketing division.

Sivesind's qualifications and expertise in the pipe jacking and tunneling industry will complement and further enhance the Akkerman team. Sivesind’s was most recently employed by The Robbins Company in Kent, WA as a sales engineer for their small boring and auger boring equipment. Prior to this, he spent several years with United Rental Trench Safety as a sales representative and specialty shoring installation consultant on the West Coast. Sivesind’s family owned Tunnel Systems, Inc., a pipe jacking and auger boring business where he worked at the Spokane, WA satellite office as a regional manager and partnered with civil engineers to encourage trenchless project designs. He’s an active participant in industry associations NASTT, ISTT and CSITT, has authored and presented several papers at their conferences and serves as secretary for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of NASTT. He received his formal education from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Rob Tumbleson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing states, “It’s not often that we have the opportunity to bring on a staff member with Chris’s level of sales expertise and personal integrity. I anticipate that Chris will be integral to our efforts, as we grow and expand our line of products and areas of geographic representation.”

Sivesind will be based out of his home in near Seattle. Contact Chris at csivesind@akkerman.com or 800.533.0386 ext. 155.