The Robbins Co. Celebrates 60 Years

Concurrent with the North American Tunneling Conference in Indianapolis, The Robbins Co. hosted a reception to commemorate the firm’s 60th anniversary on June 25 at the Indiana State Museum. On hand were company president Lok Home and Dick Robbins, longtime leader of the company and son of company founder James Robbins.

The Robbins Co. designed and manufactured the world’s first rock tunnel boring machine (TBM), shortly after the company’s founding by James Robbins in 1952. Robbins built the TBM for Mitry Constructors who were working on the Oahe Dam diversion project near Pierre, S.D. The major breakthrough in the design of hard rock TBMs occurred in 1956 when disc cutters were first used exclusively to cut rock.
The Robbins Co. also invented both the Main Beam and Double Shield TBMs. Robbins is best known for its very successful Main Beam TBMs, but it has also manufactured 50 Robbins Double Shields for 85 projects totaling over 550 km of tunnel.

Today, Robbins is an employee-owned company with three facilities in the United States, subsidiaries in seven countries and representation worldwide. Recently, the company supplied the TBM for the Niagara Tunnel Project in Niagara Falls, Ont., which at 45 ft in diameter is the world’s largest hard-rock TBM. Robbins also supplied four large-diameter EPB TBMs to Mexico City for wastewater/drainage and subway tunnels.
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