This remarkably low spare parts figure was recently released by Tsurumi, the chosen pump supplier for the Katzenberg tunnel project, run as a joint venture comprising operating companies Wayss & Freytag, Züblin, Marti and Jäger. The Japanese manufacturer supplied pumps from its KTZ, KTV and KRS ranges – multi-purpose and heavy sludge pumps, ideal for use in tough operating environments.
The parts needing to be replaced mostly consisted of the impellers located at the pumps' suction openings. These are the parts that come into direct contact with the sediment in the water, which is an action that leads to unavoidable wear and tear since no material is capable of withstanding this level of torture for any length of time. That the pumps have been able to survive four years of non-stop operation is down to Tsurumi's unique design.
The pumps are certainly distinct from other models in terms of their design. One clear difference is Tsurumi's oil lifter, which uses centrifugal force to ensure constant lubrication of the pump shaft. Proven effective over a number of years, this inhouse developed system is now installed in every Tsurumi pump. Competitor manufacturers have only recently begun to offer continual lubrication as an option, which means they are thus far unproven for long term operation.
Besides the oil lifter technology, Tsurumi also knows how to impress with other well thought out design features, such as the single isolated cable phases, which physically prevent short-circuits from happening. This proves once again how Tsurumi's advanced technology ensures that pumps are always insulated against overheating, even in long term operating situations.
The Katzenberg tunnel, which measures almost nine kilometres in length, is a building project commissioned by the Deutsche Bahn (German National Railway) to construct a rail tunnel between Karlsruhe in Germany and Basel in Switzerland. One of the most noteworthy geological aspects of the project is the presence of tectonic faults with scattered stratified layers. Considering the tunnel depth, which was only 25m below ground level at certain points, significant demands had to be placed on the dewatering system: the whole construction site lies below the water table. The project is scheduled for completion in 2011 and it is expected that all pumps will remain on site until then.
Tsurumi will be attending the IUT trade fair in Sargans, Switzerland on 17th and 18th September 2008 – The IUT is a global trade fair dedicated to Underground Innovation in the tunnelling industry. This is the fifth time that the show will have taken place and Tsurumi will have a range of their contractor pumps and new technologies on display on their stand – P06 in the Pink Area.