The ABB SM3000
videographic data recorder was initially ordered by Costain’s chartered electrical engineer, Martin Godfree, to record data from pressure and other transducers in the TBM’s hydraulic propulsion and articulation rams.
“Driving the TBM with the information that the SM3000 provided on the screen enhanced the driver’s ability to avoid undue stressing of the main bearing. A failed bearing costs many thousands of pounds to replace and could have taken twelve or more weeks to fit,” said Godfree.
“To carry out these repairs would have meant bringing the TBM to the surface either by dismantling it and withdrawing the parts through the constructed tunnel or by sinking a shaft in front of the TBM and lifting it out. Either option was no small task. We therefore decided to install the SM3000 to provide the driver with enhanced information and to record the TBM’s behaviour.”
By collecting and analysing the data, it was possible to identify abnormalities in the various parameters recorded and carry out the necessary steps to improve them.