Erkat transverse drum cutters

Published 10/5, 2021 at 14:31

Five Erkat transverse drum cutters have been chosen for New Zealand’s largest ever transport infrastructure project.

Supplied by Erkat distributor Digga NZ, the Erkat attachments will be used for the 3.45km twin tunnel underground City Rail Link (CRL) now under construction up to 42m below Auckland city centre. The two larger Erkat drum cutters are currently in operation excavating the tunnel opening. The smaller attachments will be used for wall profiling, excavating service tunnels and other tasks.

New Zealand has a population of around 5M, with Auckland home to 1.7M, being the country’s largest city. Jointly funded by the Government and Auckland Council, the CRL is estimated to cost around €2.63B. The project will transform Auckland’s downtown transport centre into a two way through station that better connects the Auckland rail network, doubling its rail capacity. The main CRL works, including stations and tunnels, will be delivered by a consortium of seven companies called the Link Alliance. Completion and handover of the City Rail Link is scheduled for late 2024. 


Digga NZ’s scope of supply

Dean Hewlett, product manager, Digga NZ Ltd. stated: “CRL Link Alliance requested quotations for Erkat transverse drum cutters suitable for 8t, 14t, 34t and 45t excavators. We discussed the project application with them and determined that these attachments would be a suitable choice to handle the geological formations they would be working in.” 

The transverse drum cutter attachments supplied by Digga were an Erkat ER1500 and   ER250, two Erkat ER600’s and an Erkat ER2000-2TU. With the assistance of Digga NZ, the machines were mounted on a Yanmar Vio80 excavator, two Doosan DX140LCR excavators and Liebherr R924 and R950 tunnel excavators respectively. The Erkat ER1500-1X and ER2000-2TU are now being used to excavate and create the opening/starting point for the journey of the 7.15m diameter TBM’s (Tunnel Boring Machines). The smaller ER250 and ER600’s will be used for wall profiling, excavating service tunnels and other tasks.

Dean Hewlett added: “To date, CRL Link Alliance are extremely satisfied with the performance of the Erkat drum cutters. Digga NZ provided the support they needed during the procurement and mounting of the attachments on the carriers. We have also provided parts and service assistance and will carry out repairs on the machines if required.”

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