Keeping up with trench work - connecting people

by Keith Powell
MB screening buckets being used at the construction of the South Caucasus Pipeline in Turkey.

MB screening buckets being used at the construction of the South Caucasus Pipeline in Turkey. — Photo courtesy MB Crusher

When we are not connected we feel isolated. Some remote places are really isolated from the rest of the world because there are no roads to get to the districts where secluded people live, no gas pipelines to carry methane for central heating, no water mains, no oil pipelines, no telephone lines and no fibre optics. Today, being connected means that it's easier to communicate, easier to travel, easier to transport things and easier for business. But it is not only roads that connect towns, cities, and countries. Beneath us, there are invisible underground junctions: a tangle formed by a web of conduits, cables and pipes. This grid constitutes a real network, like the way our blood circulates around our bodies. They are the lifeblood of a country.

All over the world thousands of construction sites are being built, where trench work is under way to put together new pipelines for the transportation of gas, oil and water. These are often enormous infrastructure projects, divided into sections, and often located in isolated places where it is necessary to build miles of tracks and roads to allow access. Heavy equipment units follow the site for miles and miles to dig the trenches, prepare the trench bed, install the pipes, prepare the materials to cover the pipes and close the trenches. Traditionally, large-sized crushing and screening equipment is used to obtain the required aggregate size to lay and cover the pipes - ideally it needs to be moved near where the pipes are being laid. But at times, large-sized equipment cannot reach certain sites because there are no roads to connect them. Therefore the aggregate to be reclaimed is taken elsewhere, processed, and only after re-used. These operations are proven to be time-consuming and costly.

Instead, MB Crushers and Screening Buckets follow the job step-by-step. They are installed directly onto the on-site excavators, so operators have no other transport costs. They collect the materials extracted from the excavation site and process it, reducing it in size and screening it. And so on and so forth along the whole length of the trenching site.

There are examples of this way to operate all over the world.

In Turkey, two dozen screening buckets were used at the construction of the South Caucasus Pipeline, almost 700 km of natural gas pipelines. These buckets screened the materials extracted from the trenches directly on site, thereby eliminating the costs of transporting excavated materials, and reducing processing times.

The same took place in beautiful Patagonia in Argentina. A leading energy infrastructure company dealing with key pipeline projects for the transport of natural gas and oil has chosen to work with an MB-S18 screening bucket and a BF90.3 crusher. The two machines were installed on the on-site excavators: the crusher reduced the size of the materials, while the MB-S18 screened them directly on the pipe laid into the trench. Why did they choose to do this? Because they were able to work quickly and efficiently with just one machine – the excavator - obtaining materials of different sizes.

In Spain, between Malaga and Marbella, an MB crusher and screening bucket were used to complete a trench project to lay a water main far away from any built-up areas. With the two MB machines, it was possible to prepare both the fine materials to cover the pipes and the coarse materials to cover the aqueduct.

Machinery maintenance is also time-consuming and expensive, especially when the construction sites are located in areas not served by roads, away from built-up areas and workshops. The maintenance of MB products can be done directly on-site, without the need to take them to the maintenance facilities. Maintenance is relatively straightforward: just a few pumps of grease every now and then which can be done by the operators themselves. The drums of the cutters can be removed directly on site. No extra costs, no time wasted. In Bolivia, for example, in the Gasoducto Sucre-Potosì site, an MB drum cutter was used to dig part of a trench at more than 4,000 metres above sea level. A major work, which was carried out in an area consisting of plateaus and the Andean mountains, far away from towns.

Regardless of whether it is a small site or a large-scale construction site, MB offers high-performance machines designed to meet every need. In addition, those who use MB products can carry out the entire production process while respecting the local environment without changing any of the stages of the process. 

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