European Tunnel Seminar
On September 24th and 25th , 2019, HERRENKNECHT AG and HERRENKNECHT FORMWORK hosted more than 50 tunnelling experts from the USA and Canada within the ETS (European Tunnel Seminar) #14, an educational journey to Europe regularly organized by David R. Klug & Associates, Inc. in McMurray, PA. On September 24th we gave the group in a half-day event in Schwanau, an update on the current status of automation and innovations in segment production, especially for large diameter tunnels. HERRENKNECHT FORMWORK was supported by our partners VMT GmbH, Optimas Solutions and CTS Cordes tubes & seals. On September 25th the focus was on large diameter TBMs, mechanized shaft sinking and cross passage technology in traffic tunnelling projects and data management system.
The European Tunnel Seminar has a long tradition. Having started with a group of 15 people from the U.S. visiting some tunnel projects in Switzerland in 2002, David R. Klug initiated the idea of a formal tunnel seminar in 2004 including a visit of the Herrenknecht plant. In the meantime, the seminar comprises a week of informative site and company visits travelled by bus or short flights.
Besides the main purpose of educating the attendees on new technologies and construction practices being used outside of North America, another aspect of the ETS is networking. The seminar provides an arena where industry issues and concerns can be observed and discussed in a neutral forum not impeded by formal meeting structure.
The current issue of the European Tunnel Seminar was dedicated to technology exchange on the design and construction of large diameter tunnels for different end-user applications with an emphasis on large diameter transit tunnel construction. Herrenknecht Formwork’s contribution to the program consisted of a visit of the segment production plant of the company Marti in Switzerland using robots for some of the tasks within the production of tunnel lining segments. In addition to this view insight production, Stefan Medel, Managing Director of Herrenknecht Formwork, showed state-of-the-art and future possibilities for automation in segment production. Another aspect, also connected to “Industry 4.0” is customized software for precasters. Florian Werres, Sales Manager from VMT GmbH, presented the “Modular segment production and logistics management system SDS” which controls, monitors and documents all key processes of the production. Andreas Diener from Cordes and Christophe Delus from Optimas showed innovations regarding gaskets and dowels for segmental lining of large-diameter tunnels. Verya Nasri from AECOM completed the series of lectures presenting ITA 2019 guidelines for tunnel lining segmental design, thus bringing into a structured framework the topics of the day.