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MOBA Excavator System works in huge Chinese Construction Project

LIMBURG/GERMANY, August 22, 2013 -  Several billion cubic metres of earth will be moved and countless tons of concrete laid. The South-North water transfer is one of the largest infrastructure projects which have ever been realised in China. For the ambitious canal constructions MOBA’s excavator system Xsite Link is in use.

South-North water transfer project in China

The middle route of the South-North water transfer project goes from Danjiankou-reservoir to Beijing. | photo:MOBA

The canal construction project was initiated by the Chinese government to deal with the scarcity of water in the northern part of the country. In Beijing alone, with its more than 20 million inhabitants, the groundwater level has sunk by around one and a half metres annually in the last few years. That means that it is getting harder and harder to supply the growing metropolis with sufficient water. Water transfer from the wet south to the dry northern Chinese plains, the so-called "South-North water transfer project", is meant to help remedy this situation. This construction project will include the building of new canals in three routes with a total length of several thousand kilometres.

Canal Construction in the Middle Route: Precision required

The middle route will be more than 1200 kilometres long. It is the most important route and also the most difficult to build, since in addition to raising a dam, rivers have to be crossed and different types of rocks and soil exist here. The construction companies involved, Sinohydro Bureau 11 Co. Ltd and Military Police Hydroelectricity, are relying on technical support for the challenging earthworks: They equipped their excavators with the MOBA Xsite Link excavator system, which makes the earthwork visible and measurable. Because accurate preparatory work is particularly important under these difficult conditions so that the water will be able flow through the future canal and pipe system.

excavator system Xsite Link from MOBA in action at the South-North water transfer in China

The excavator operator gets the bucket’s position data at a glance – and always knows where to work. | photo:MOBA

Exact Measurement Values for exact Target Level

The sensors of the excavator system which are attached to the bucket, stick, boom and chassis, record the respective incline angle. They calculate the excavation depth, the incline and the range of the bucket. The reference height is specified by a laser beam which is detected by the laser receiver on the excavator arm. The laser receiver also compensates for changes in height which occur when the excavator moves or sinks into the ground so that the reference height is known at all times and the excavator operator can work in accordance with the specifications. Using arrow symbols, the LED display shows a view which indicates if more excavation work is necessary, or if the target level has already been achieved. The information from the sensors is immediately processed and represented in real-time as a profile or as a three-dimensional illustration on the panel in the vehicle cab. The numeric data indicating the deviation from the reference height which is also displayed shows how deep the excavator operator still has to excavate. In addition to the costs for material, the operating expenses of the excavator would rise due to increasing fuel costs.

excavator system Xsite Link from MOBA used at the South-North water transfer project in China

The accurate compliance to the height and slope targets is very important, so that the water can flow after the end of the construction period. | photo:MOBA

Quick Training, simple Handling of the System

Since a large number of people and machines are involved in such a project, it is advantageous when the employees can be trained quickly. Previously, the excavator operator had to constantly interrupt the work process, climb out of the cab and make manual measurements, or another worker had to measure the depth - now, the operator can work without interruption. The excavator also functions smoothly at night and underwater, since the bucket position is displayed accurately on the 7-inch display, which is also visible in the dark, and the sturdy sensors can be used for underwater work

Construction Time until 2050

After completion, up to around 45 billion cubic metres of water are to be diverted annually through the new canals. By 2012, the costs were around 27 billion dollars, 11 billion cubicmetres of earth were moved and 22 million cubic metres of concrete laid. The project began in 2002, and its target completion date is 2050.

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