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Jacking & Skidding a Tunnel Boring Machine for the Next Drilling Phase


Ekatama Group


Jakarta, Indonesia


In 2013, Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, broke ground on a mass rapid transit (MRT) system in hope to alleviate the city’s traffic congestion. The rail-based MRT is expected to stretch across over 108 kilometers. A tunnel boring machine (TBM) is being used to construct the underground routes. One of the critical phases of the tunnel construction is the pass through, in which the TBM needs to be moved through the underground stations to be relocated to the next drilling position. The narrow composition of the underground stations requires a complex maneuver involving moving the 260 ton TBM sideways 1.47m, lifting .65m, pushing 200m, lowering .65m and finally moving sideways again 1.47m. Moving a heavy load with an uneven weight distribution as in the case of the TBM mandates a system with high precision. Lifting using a traditional method or manually, would not be efficient due the complexity of the job.


The Ekatama Group used a Synchronous Lifting System and hydraulic jacks to lift and skid the TBM with an accuracy of 1mm throughout all positioning operations. All movements were managed by one person at central control system that displayed real time status updates of each lifting position. Stroke sensors at each lifting point produced real time updates and measured the load’s displacement to ensure an accuracy of 1mm was maintained. Sliding the TBM was performed in three stages using two RR-Series double-acting hydraulic cylinders with a capacity of up to 150 tons. Lifting operations used four RR-Series 150 ton hydraulic cylinders. Pushing the TBM a distance of 200m was performed with two 30 ton cylinders equipped with a custom self-locking mechanism that allowed the system to automatically position itself to its starting position and repeat the pushing cycle without manual intervention. After six days the tunnel boring machine was successfully and safely repositioned to begin its next drilling phase.


EVO Synchronous Lifting System, RR-Series Cylinders, ER-Series Load Skates