Drill Master: The Technology Quest

Electronics continue to shape the way we live and work. The Internet has revolutionized the way we receive our information, and e-mail has forever changed the way we communicate. Computers are a staple in businesses, schools and households, and are becoming interactive in our appliances and automobiles.

The new technologies developed by manufacturing often spill over into other sectors of the economy. The technology in ATMs originated with equipment used on the factory floor. Antibiotics and vaccines developed by pharmaceutical manufacturers have been used by physicians and hospitals to nearly wipe out pneumonia, measles and polio.

// ** Advertisement ** //

In utility construction, the emergence of horizontal directional drilling technology continues to be a key driver in the creation of the fiber infrastructure that connects our world.

The underground construction equipment industry is entering an era of technology that demands a new level of professionalism: a working knowledge of integrated electronic systems and software. We are thinking in front of the machine so customers can work smarter, faster and safer than ever before. One of the most helpful tools in this technological quest is bore planning software.

// ** Advertisement ** //

Bore planners bridge the communication gap between the contractor and the engineer. It gives them a common language they can both understand, namely a cut-away view of the job site and the detailed rod-by-rod plan data. This planning and mapping software provides a graphic visualization of the job, helping a crew see the job from start to finish.

Bore planning software increases boring accuracy and reduces downtime in the field by allowing individual bore profiles to be tested on the computer before they take place in the field. This planning and mapping software provides a visual of the proposed bore, taking into account previously identified roads, rivers and utility obstacles.

// ** Advertisement ** //

It allows multiple steers up, down, left and right; helps prevent equipment or product damage by warning if the bore path plan exceeds the drill rod or product minimum bend radius, if the backreamer enters a utility’s minimum clearance area; and electronically downloads as-built bore path data during or after the job.

By choosing parameters, such as drill rod diameter and length, desired bore path depths and minimum cover, product pipe diameter and allowable bend radius, the software plots a proposed bore path. These data are displayed in two formats: one screen shows a top and side view and the other a numerical report consisting of the depth, pitch and heading of each rod that will be used by the operator to complete the bore.

// ** Advertisement ** //

Bore planning software optimizes borepath length, depth and entry and exit points; allows the bore plan to be routed around known existing utilities; and reduces potential damage to the machine and product by ensuring that minimum bend radii are not exceeded along the bore. In addition, this software helps determine the amount of rod and mud and, ultimately, allows the user to more accurately estimate costs.

Bore planning software offers the latest advancements in tools to further advance this electronic underground revolution. It is a drill crew’s high-tech solution.