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OUR EQUIPMENT SYSTEMS

Akkerman develops, manufactures and supports powerful and versatile guided boring, microtunneling, pipe jacking, tunneling and earth pressure balance underground construction solutions that accurately install 4-inch through 14-foot pipe diameters for a broad range of ground conditions and project challenges. Since 1973, our industry-leading equipment has enabled contractors worldwide to productively and cost-effectively install water, wastewater and other infrastructure. Learn more by expanding each section below.

Guided Boring Systems

GUIDED BORING SYSTEMS

Guided Boring Machine (GBM) systems are the leading solution for accurate and extended drive lengths in soft ground to rock geology for 4-48-in. OD pipe and larger diameters with the guided auger boring application. GBM jacking frames connect with a host of pipe increase tooling, skid extensions and shaft adapters for versatility on a multitude of pilot tube projects. Our GBM systems are comprehensive and feature robust and intelligent design, adaptable functionality and sensible ease of use features.

GUIDED BORING SYSTEM OVERVIEW

  • Most suitable for Displaceable N Value <50 soils and Non-Displaceable N Value >50 with select tooling

  • Drive lengths within a 1/4-in. accuracy up to 500-lf.+

  • Methods: Guided Boring Three Step Method, Guided Steel Casing, Guided Auger Boring, Guidance for Pipe Ramming, Utility Pullback Installations, Pipe Roofing

  • Longer drive potential in ideal ground conditions - over 600-lf.+ pilot tube installations have been achieved

  • Quick set-up

  • Small footprint

  • Common types of pipe: VCP, RCP, CCFRPM, PCP, steel casing, PVC

  • Active theodolite guidance system

  • Auger/dirt bucket soil management

GBM technology has significantly advanced since its introduction in 2001, and we continue to diversify our offerings to exceed contractor expectations. Our newest pipe increase tooling, the Guide Rod Swivel (GRS-50) and the Rock Boring Unit (RBU) excavate rock to precisely install up to 42-in. outside diameter pipe. Contractors can now harness the torque and jacking force of the GBM 4800 Series Jacking Frame to install steel casing on projects with or without space constraints when paired with the High Torque Casing Adapter or Augering Adapter Assembly.

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Guided auger boring has become one of the most common applications for guided boring systems in North America, and its utilization has positively impacted the auger boring market. Guided auger boring is a cost effective method of accurately installing pilot tubes, followed by steel casing installation with an auger bore machine to ensure bore accuracy, expedite installations, facilitate longer lengths, avert down time and realize project savings.

REASONS TO GUIDE YOUR AUGER BORING MACHINE

  • Improved accuracy - within a 1/4-in./300-lf. versus 36-in./300-lf. deviation with an unguided bore

  • Longer drive potential in ideal ground conditions - over 600-lf.+ pilot tube installations have been achieved

  • Smaller casing sizes = cost savings

  • Faster installation

  • Find obstacles before they find you!

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Microtunneling Systems

MICROTUNNELING SYSTEMS

Microtunnel Boring Machines (MTBMs) install gravity flow pipelines that require precise line and grade in poor soil. Microtunneling is a remote controlled, continuously supported pipe jacking method. Standard center drive and face access, periphery drive MTBMs are sized in the 30-114-in. OD range. Microtunneling operations are managed by an operator in an above ground control container alongside of the shaft. Soil excavation takes place by infusing the soil with slurry at the face of the bore and cuttings are forced into slurry inlet holes in the MTBM’s crushing cone for circulation to and from a slurry separation plant through a closed system. A complete slurry microtunneling system is commonly comprises a pipe specific MTBM, control container, guidance system, remote hydraulic power pack, keyhole jacking frame, a series of pumps, water cooling tank, slurry and additional lines, and a slurry separation plant. The launch shaft is outfitted with a pit seal to prevent shaft flooding and a project specific thrust block to distribute jacking force.

MICROTUNNELING SYSTEM OVERVIEW

  • Most suitable for saturated and flowing materials and pressurized soil under the water table, minimizes ground surface settlement

  • Drive lengths up to 1,000-lf.+

  • Two types of MTBMs - Center drive MTBMs and Face Access, Periphery Drive MTBMs for extended lengths to perform tooling changes

  • MTBMs are remotely controlled

  • Soil excavation takes place by infusing the soil with slurry at the face of the bore

  • Common types of pipe: VCP, RCP, CCFRPM, FRP, PCP, steel casing

  • Active laser guidance system

  • Slurry separation equipment for soil management

Center drive Microtunnel Boring Machines (MTBMs) in standard sizes of 30 - 74-in. OD, accurately install pipe in virtually any ground condition, allowing for operation in high levels of ground water. MTBMs feature high pressure jetting nozzles, an articulated steering joint with three-point steering control, and hydraulically activated dirt wings to minimize MTBM roll. The guidance system relays all critical operation data to the control container using proprietary control software programs. Additional MTBM attributes include a live, one-way audio system and camera allowing for system monitoring during operation, gas detector and submersible pump. MTBMs can be outfitted with increase kits for adaptability. The soft ground and mixed ground cutter heads and crushing cones are hard faced to withstand wear. Cutter heads can be customized for specific ground conditions.

Face access, periphery drive Microtunnel Boring Machines (MTBMs) are available in standard sizes of 72-114-in. OD to precisely complete extended and curved tunnels* with exceptional drive and cutting torque. This new generation of MTBMs enables face access to replace cutter head tooling. The periphery drive, face access MTBM features an on-board electric over hydraulic power pack for cutter head drive with low, medium, and high torque modes for accurate control in changeable geology. Back-loaded tooling mounts on the cutter head make access and replacement of worn tooling a simple process. Soft ground, mixed ground and rock cutter heads and crushing cones are hard-faced to withstand wear. Cutter heads can be customized for specific ground conditions. The SL82P-SL114P face access, periphery drive MTBMs can be configured for use with a compressed air lock package.

*Extended and curved alignments are achieved with the use of the AZ100 Total Guidance System.

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Tunnel Boring Machines

TUNNEL BORING MACHINES

Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) are used to install 48-96-in. OD jacking pipe and are interiorly controlled by an operator. TBMs excavate soil at the face of the bore when hydraulic motors rotate the inner drum, the cutter head excavates and soil is transported via conveyor and haul unit for disposal from the launch shaft. The pipe laser in the launch shaft projects a laser point on the cutter face for the operator to monitor and make steering corrections as necessary. For extended length drives, the AZ100 Total Guidance System is used for tunnel navigation. The all-in-one Tunnel Boring System easily adapts to any jacking pipe with an appropriately sized TBM, yoke and skid sections. A complete Tunnel Boring System is comprised of a TBM, pump unit, yoke, skid, haul unit, conveyor, pipe laser and often a bentonite pump.

TUNNEL BORING SYSTEM OVERVIEW

  • Most suitable for ground conditions allowing for personnel entry including sand, medium to stiff clay, dry or dewatered geology, weathered rock in non-pressurized ground water conditions

  • Drive lengths up to 1,000-lf.+

  • Common types of pipe: RCP, CCFRPM, FRP, PCP, steel casing pipe jacking applications and liner plate, ring beam and lagging tunnel building applications

  • Passive laser guidance system

  • Conveyor and haul unit system soil management

Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) range in size from 48-96-in. and consist of nine TBM models with common ease of operating controls. The TBM has a sealed steering joint that allows for bidirectional, full articulation at the face of the bore and a high capacity main bearing. Two-speed drive motors operate in either low-speed/high-torque or high-speed/low-torque modes. This functionality allows operators to precisely tailor cutting speeds and torque in varying geology for optimal productivity. The operator controls steering, maintains line and grade and monitors the soil removal process from an interior control station. As soil is excavated, dirt paddles propel it onto the belt or into the screw conveyor for transport to the haul unit. The carbide single bar, quad bar cutter head comes standard with a TBM purchase and can be changed underground as necessary. Mixed-ground disc cutter heads for high compressive strength geology, closed face cutter heads for unstable ground, sand shelves for loose unstable soil or custom cutter heads are also available.

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Excavator Boring Shields

EXCAVATOR BORING SHIELDS

Excavator Boring Shields (EBSs) and EX-50 Excavators are used for 100-168-in. OD pipe jacking, and liner plate and ring-beam lagging tunnel building applications. EBSs perform best in sand, medium to stiff clay, dry or dewatered soil, and weathered rock in regions without ground water. The EX-50 Excavator is positioned in a slide mount to the interior top of the EBS and is interchangeable between EBS models.
The operator controls the EX-50 Excavator’s backhoe claw with a joy stick and foot controls to excavate soil at the face of the bore which is deposited onto the belt conveyor and transported with a 1548 Haul Unit for removal in the launch shaft. The EX-50’s rotating boom has a full range of motion and can extend beyond the face of the bore to remove obstructions. EBSs come standard with sand shelves and can be equipped with close-able hydraulic doors to prevent subsidence from entering the interior.

EXCAVATOR BORING SHIELD SYSTEM OVERVIEW

  • Most suitable for ground conditions allowing for personnel entry including sand, medium to stiff clay, dry or dewatered geology, weathered rock in non-pressurized ground water conditions

  • Drive lengths up to 1,000-lf.+

  • Access to face allows for obstruction removal

  • Low cost of operation

  • Simple design

  • Common types of pipe: RCP, CCFRPM, FRP, PCP, steel casing pipe jacking applications and liner plate, ring beam and lagging tunnel building applications

  • Passive laser guidance system

  • Conveyor and haul unit system soil management

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Earth Pressure Balance Systems

EARTH PRESSURE BALANCE SYSTEMS

Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBMs) Systems are used for direct pipe jacking, concrete segments, liner plate and ring beam and lagging tunnel installations of 102-in. OD pipe and larger on runs generally exceeding 1,000-ft. lengths in poor soil conditions. EPBMs excavate soil while balancing machine advancement and soil pressures to minimize ground settlement. Excavated soil from the EPBM cutter chamber is injected with foam and slurry to counterbalance the face pressure which is then removed through the screw conveyor and haul unit. The operator guides the EPBM and monitors targeting data, pressures, position, speed, torque and flow from a control console to pilot an accurate course and achieve maximum productivity rates. A series of back-up cars, each with a special function follow behind the EPBM. The power container distributes power to EPBM operations and foam and slurry plants provide additives which aid in soil removal. The EPBM cutter head design and power source can be configured to best meet project geological and performance requirements.

EARTH PRESSURE BALANCE SYSTEM OVERVIEW

  • Most suitable for saturated and flowing materials, foam injection is used to stabilize ground

  • Drive lengths up to 1,000-lf.+

  • EPBM systems are customized for each project

  • System monitors and maintains earth pressures by balancing machine advancement and excavation rate

  • Common types of jacking pipe: RCP, concrete segments

  • Active laser guidance system

  • Auger and haul unit system soil management

Scroll through our earth pressure balance system image gallery to learn more.