Improving staff and machinery performance
BTS Tunneling Ltd (BTS) is a significant player in the construction industry. The company's specialty is the design and construction of underground structures such as various tunnels (railway, traffic, and metro) and objects of the underground building.
BTS has been working in partnership with Caterpillar for many years, mainly due to their shared vision for innovative underground construction methods. The LOVAT tunnel boring machine (Caterpillar - TBM) has always been a primary machine in the day to day operations at BTS.
Pending an upcoming project, BTS needed to shelter TBM LOVAT machine and ongoing works from weather conditions in the region. The main issue was in the cold environment which extended the startup time of operations, generating additional costs associated with increased power requirement and extra labor. BTS wanted a heated temporary facility to ensure the TBM machine is operated at maximum efficiency.
Aviatech clear span hangars have built a reputation across a broad array of industries in developing large structures to house industrial works which withstand extreme weather conditions. The lightweight, yet durable facilities are portable allowing BTS to relocate the hangar with little effort through the various stages of the project.
Facing temperatures as low as -30°C and heavy snow often leads to labor efficiency losses. In such an environment, workers spend hours at the start of the shift shoveling the snow away from the construction site. Naturally, this also leads to higher unplanned leave within the team due to being exposed to the extremes resulting in lower immune systems and illness.
These climatic conditions contribute to a loss in machinery performance as well. The fluctuation in external temperatures results in the extension of the machine startup time and decreases the working speed. For this winter operation, BTS wanted to stabilize the environment and temperature, allowing quick start of their activities in rock drilling and concreting the tunnel arch.
Building a tunnel is not a stationary exercise. The result of this project would see a 610 to 770 km (380 to 480 miles) tunnel fully formed. The facility BTS required had to be easily relocatable, following the boring machinery for the length of the tunnel.
Keywords: loss of efficiency, machinery performance, temperature stabilization
The portable nature of the inflatable hangar allowed BTS to utilize a single movable structure for the whole life cycle of the project. Aviatech engineered and produced a facility 15 meters in with and 100 meters in length (1500 m²). BTS received their new inflatable structure within 60 days in one 40-feet sea container, allowing seamless deployment at their working site.
Forward thinking, Aviatech provided BTS multiple fastening options solution, which allows the customer to attach the hangar to any surface – gravel, concrete, hard soil.
The critical challenge was to develop a facility with stable temperature conditions. The hangar is integrated with diesel-powered heating systems to maintain a constant temperature of the surrounding environment. The independent backup generator is a fail-safe standard of the structure, to ensure climate control in blackout situations.
For staff comfort and security, the hangar came customary with cutting edge modular illumination (200 LUX LED), remote access telematic coordination, and full lifetime rental of the sea container for secure storage.
The first erection of the inflatable facility was carried out in -30°C snowy terrain. For client convenience, Aviatech deployed the inflatable structure with LOVAT equipment already in place. The change in deployment method required the utilization of an overhead crane, and division of the hangar into eight (8) independent sections.
Aviatech supervisors presented a comprehensive training module for 20 of the BTS team. The modules included: customary theoretical course, hands-on deployment exercises, HSE elements, and repositioning of the facility.
“Our company is built on the foundation of constant innovation. We want to make sure we reach integrity on all projects, and with the assistance of inflatable hangar, we were able to do just that. Through excellent engineering and problem solving, we got the perfect solution to keep our staff and equipment safe.”
Thirty years of experience has established BTS Tunneling as a reputable organization for their dedication to undertaking the most complex projects. During this time, they have completed over 50 major complex tunneling projects, building great lengths of underground tunnels.
BTS focus lies in efforts on the construction of mixed underground structures. In recent years, the company has branched out to include the development of airports, traffic roads, civil and industrial engineering objects.