Category: Webinars

Big Data: Innovative Technology to make TBM Tunneling more Efficient

Modern TBMs are data-driven systems, from ground investigation tools ahead of the machine to touch-screen technology in operator’s cabins, to integration with programs on the surface. Today’s TBMs, paired with cutting-edge data collection and monitoring, can efficiently bore in even the most demanding circumstances.

In this complimentary 40-minute webinar, Robbins VP of Operations Steve Chorley and Aaron McClellan, Tunnel Superintendent III for Kiewit Underground, will explore the latest and greatest innovations in technology for TBMs.  Nearly all the parameters of a TBM can be monitored today, and this data can be transmitted via radiating coaxial cables to offices on the surface or even mobile phones. Simple observations, such as cutterhead RPM and penetration rate in a given geology, can result in altered operational parameters and reduced thrust that can speed up advance and increase cutter life. All that is required is proactive analysis by management and engineers, and good communication with the TBM operator.

Watch the Recording

Rescuing & Refurbishing TBMs

TBM maintenance: it’s one of the most important factors predicting project success, but it is often treated with less importance than it deserves.  Experience shows, however, that maintenance plays just as much a part in the excavation rates as the proper TBM design. Regular maintenance can keep future rebuild costs low and keep equipment efficiency high while maximizing advance rates.  Conversely, a lack of maintenance, improper operation, and/or severe ground conditions can result in undue wear and slow advance rates. In a worst-case scenario, it can even require rescuing and refurbishing of a TBM.

In this 40-minute complimentary webinar, Robbins Sales Manager Europe Detlef Jordan and iPS Tunnel Manager Barrie Willis will discuss case studies of both optimal and suboptimal maintenance and operation of TBMs.  Suboptimal examples will be discussed where TBM maintenance was insufficient and required rescuing of the machine once it became stuck or immobile.  Optimal case studies will form a guideline for recommended machine maintenance to prevent the substantial damage that can occur.  Rebuild strategies for recovered TBMs in various adverse conditions will also be discussed.


Watch the Recording

Complimentary Webinar: How to Speed up Your TBM Tunnel

Rapid excavation is considered by many to be the ultimate goal in TBM tunneling—machines that reliably complete projects on time (or early) with faster advance rates, regardless of conditions. However, speeding up a project schedule is not as straightforward as pushing a machine harder, working longer hours, or increasing your crew size. The entire project schedule, from initial investigations to the design process, must be considered.

In this succinct, complimentary 40-minute presentation designed to better fit your workday, Robbins Engineering Director Brad Grothen and Elisa Comis, Associate at McMillen Jacobs, discuss what rapid excavation really looks like in the field including case studies on TBM design and real-world examples of project scheduling.

Watch the Recording Now 

Complimentary Webinar: Achieve Steady Results in Unsteady Ground

If you’re tunneling in mixed face conditions, where any combination of rock and soil may be present in the tunnel cross section, you expect the project to be a challenge. When variability is a constant, things like surface settlement, abrasive wear on your TBM, and the proper ground conditioning are a concern. Despite these variables, your project can still be a success. With the right technology, crew, and operating methods, consistent TBM advance rates are achievable in even the most variable conditions.

In this complimentary 60-minute webinar, Robbins Vice President Doug Harding and Engineer Greg Michaelson will explore mixed face conditions, delving into recent case studies of EPB and Crossover TBMs in the field. Harding and Michaelson will make recommendations based on proven designs and methods, drawing from the experience of our knowledgeable field service personnel. Whether you’re a contractor operating the TBM, a consultant specifying the equipment, or an owner with an upcoming project, consistent excavation is possible in variable geology.


Complimentary Webinar: How to Get Through Squeezing Ground, Rock Bursting, and More

If you’ve ever faced mountainous tunneling conditions, then you know what it is to face the unknown. Most deep tunnels under high cover encounter some unexpected conditions, whether its fault zones, squeezing ground, or rock bursting.  Without the proper planning, crew experience, and TBM design, these challenges can quickly halt a TBM in its path.  From severe squeezing that can trap a shielded machine in place to highly pressurized rock bursts that can damage the TBM itself, mountainous tunneling can get serious fast.

So how do you keep your TBM moving when the going gets tough? Spend 60 minutes with our tunneling professionals and learn from the best in this complimentary webinar—the first in our 2018 series. Using real case studies, we’ll discuss some of the most difficult conditions encountered in our decades of tunneling in the field. Find out how to overcome obstacles while keeping your downtime to a minimum and your crew safe.


2018 Webinars: A Look at This Year's Lineup

Have a taxing project coming up this year? Be sure to keep an eye out for the Robbins 2018 series of complimentary webinars. Over our long history, we’ve seen a variety of grueling tunneling situations from squeezing ground to water inflows to fault zones. Join us as we share our hard earned experience to help you face your own upcoming challenges.

Here’s a sneak peak at what the year will bring:

April: TBMs in Squeezing Ground & Mountainous Conditions

June: Tunneling in Mixed Ground Conditions

October: Water Inflows in Hard Rock Tunneling

Complimentary Webinar: Reducing Risk—How to Manage the Unknown in TBM Tunneling

Let’s face it: tunneling projects are inherently risky.  The actual geology can harbor unforeseen conditions even with rigorous testing, and even when a highly-qualified consulting company creates the Geotechnical Baseline Report. In TBM-driven tunnels, the machine and the crew operating it are key components of the risk management strategy. So, how can we ensure that the tunneling operation is done effectively as often as possible?

In this complimentary 60-minute webinar from the manufacturer perspective, Robbins Chief Engineer Dennis Ofiara and Project Engineer Elisa Comis will explore that question, delving into contract structure, TBM design, case studies, and more to find the answer. Whether you’re a contractor operating the TBM, a consultant specifying the equipment, or an owner with an upcoming project, risk reduction is possible in even the most complex tunnels.

Click to View Recording of Webinar

Complimentary Webinar: Performance Under Pressure

Earth Pressure Balance Machines (EPBs) are by far the most widely used type of TBM in the tunneling world, but their proper design and use in varying geologies is not often discussed. Clay, sand, gravel, mixed face conditions and boulders each require unique EPB designs and expert operation. Whether that means utilizing abrasion resistant plating, heavy duty screw conveyors, or customized cutting tools, today’s EPBs are up for the challenge. With regards to operation, using the right RPM, the proper additives, and detailed monitoring can keep subsidence at a minimum and reduce downtime.

In this complimentary 60-minute webinar, Robbins Engineering Manager Brad Grothen and Robbins Chief EPB Engineer Shinichi Konda will explore how EPB TBMs work, their various designs, and real-world applications. They will draw from field data in multiple types of geologies to make informed recommendations on EPB design and operation. Areas for advancement will also be discussed”” including high tool wear and the ability to properly form a plug.

We invite you to submit your questions beforehand to to get a thoughtful and well-researched answer during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar.

Day: April 12, 2017
Time: 7 AM PDT/10 AM EDT/2 PM GMT

Click to View Recording of Webinar

Complimentary Webinar: Know What's Ahead of You

Your project has to keep moving forward, whether the challenge is high cover, squeezing ground, fault zones, or water inflows.  New ground investigation and treatment options can give you the tools to conquer what you face while maximizing TBM performance and safety.

In this complimentary 60-minute webinar, Robbins Chief Engineer Dennis Ofiara will discuss Difficult Ground Solutions (DGS)–a suite of options available for shielded hard rock and Crossover TBMs that can keep your machine moving in long tunnels, high cover, and challenging geological features. DGS is about visualization: A machine shield doesn’t have to obstruct your view of the ground around you. With a host of features like 360-degree, long distance probe drilling, convergence measuring sensors that alert operators to squeezing ground, and canopy drills for ground consolidation, you can stay a stroke ahead of your TBM operation.

We invite you to submit your questions beforehand to to get a thoughtful and well-researched answer from Dennis during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar.

Day: November 2, 2016
Time: 7 AM PDT/10 AM EDT/2 PM GMT

Click to View Recording of Webinar

Complimentary Webinar: What is the Total Cost of Owning a TBM?

Subject: What is the Total Cost of Owning a TBM?
Date: September 24, 2015
Time: 07:00 PST, 10:00 EST, 15:00 BST
Hosted By: Robbins
Register Now, Limited Spaces Available!

Tunnel Boring Machines exist today that have excavated over 50 km (31 mi) of tunnel, and have been in operation for nearly 50 years.  These workhorses have been built and rebuilt to satisfy requirements of various tunnels while their durable steel structure endures.

Today’s underground construction contractors often face a higher capital cost during the initial investment for a TBM, but what is the total cost of owning a TBM? Much more than the initial price tag must be taken into account: while a heavier TBM with durable steel structure may cost more initially, reusing it on multiple tunnels will ultimately result in substantial savings. Paying for a custom-designed machine often results in increased efficiency and faster advance rates, with the end result that the tunnel is completed on or even ahead of schedule.

In this complimentary 60-minute webinar, Robbins Vice President-Sales Doug Harding will explore the true cost of owning a TBM, considering the entire lifespan of the machine. He will draw on real project data and cost estimates to demonstrate that a machine designed for multiple tunnels will pay for itself over time.

We invite you to submit your questions beforehand to get a thoughtful and well-researched answer from Doug during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar.