On December 28th, the world’s claimed first full-face hard rock shaft boring machine “CREC 599”, independently developed by China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co.,Ltd. (CREG) broke through the ventilation shaft on the Ninghai Pumped Storage Power Plant. The event marked the successfully completion of a full-face hard rock shaft boring machine and unmanned tunnelling operation in a shaft for the first time, says CREG.
CREC 599, with an excavation diameter of 7.83m, integrates traditional shaft construction technology with the concept of a full face TBM. The excavated shaft is nearly 200m deep, with good quality surrounding rock with a high rock strength.
The CREG team created a series of pioneering technologies with independent intellectual property rights, including: a tailored thrust technology which provides reliable and stable thrust power for the machine; a mechanical synchronous muck discharge system with a higher efficiency and lower energy consumption than traditional muck discharge methods such as by slurry and vacuum, solving the simultaneous operation of excavation and muck discharge; and a remote control system for shaft construction, which enables operator free work in the shaft, allowing the unmanned construction of an underground full face hard rock excavation for the first time.
CREG says that compared with other traditional construction methods, construction personnel are reduced by over 50%, and the tunnelling efficiency is increased by more than twice.