Bauma Innovation Awards presented

By Sandy Guthrie16 April 2013

Martin Herrenknecht, founder and chairman of the board of Herrenknecht.

Martin Herrenknecht, founder and chairman of the board of Herrenknecht.

Herrenknecht and Wirtgen were among the winners in the Bauma Innovation Awards 2013, which attracted 156 entries and were presented this week.

Of these, 15 new developments and solutions made it through to the final round, divided into five categories.

In the machinery category, the winner was tunnelling expert Herrenknecht for Pipe Express. This is a new semi-trenchless method for installing pipelines.

Herrenknecht said that for the last five years it had been working on the development of a new method of installing pipelines. It claimed the new system was fast, environmentally friendly and economical.

The company said that the steel milling unit ate its way forward at almost 1m/min underground. It said that until now, the job of laying pipes had involved leaving scars in the landscape of up to 50m wide. The new process is designed to minimise the intervention to a width of 9m and it is claimed that it even works well in ground with water-bearing strata.

Herrenknecht said that in comparison with conventional open-construction methods, Pipe Express considerably reduced the impact on the environment and at the same time minimised the costs of the building site.

Wirtgen was the winner in the machine components category for its AutoPilot system. This allows automatic, stringline-free concrete paving.

The 3D control system comprises a computer that is integrated in the machine and an intuitive control panel. Two GPS receivers mounted on the machine communicate with a GPS reference station on the job site. A digital terrain model is not required as surveying and programming is carried out on the spot.

The company said a key advantage of the system was its simplicity – it can be used by a machine operator and does not require a qualified surveyor.

Other winners were Bauer Spezialtiefbau and its Monopile foundation for a tidal engine turbine, and hybrid-energy wind towers constructed with revolving tower cranes from Max Bögl in the construction process/construction work category; the Online Grain Size Analyser from the Technical University of Clausthal in the research category; and the Walking Mobile Excavator 2013 from Kaiser AG Fahrzeugwerk in the design category.

Dr Thomas Lindner, president of the VDMA (the German Engineering Federation) and a speaker at the awards ceremony, pointed out that these awards were “valuable proof of the innovations strength of German engineering”.

The Bauma Innovation Awards this year was run for the tenth time this year. The competition is a joint project between the VDMA, the industry federation HDB (Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie), the industry associations ZDB (Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes) and BBS (Bundesverband Baustoffe – Steine & Erden), and Bauma.

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