Just the Drill For Aircraft Parking Bays
Phase 1 of a $10 billion upgrade for Melbourne International airport involved creating new aircraft parking bays. These comprised 200,000 square meters of new concrete.
The airport authority awarded the work to contractors, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell, who subcontracted the concrete and formwork to Oak Park (Tullamarine) Pty Ltd.
During the course of the project, Oak Park completed work in two areas.
At the international terminal, they drilled holes for 21 new aircraft parking bays. For Terminal 4 construction, they drilled holes for the aprons where airplanes park while loading and unloading passengers.
Renee Bell, Oak Park’s general manager said that although they had the experienced crew to take on the project, the challenge was to determine the best equipment to use. The equipment needed to be extremely fast and efficient to keep on target with project pace.
In other projects where Oak Park worked as the subcontractor, the primary contractor supplied the rock drill. However, too often the drill significantly lacked manoeuvrability, reliability and efficiency. They could take up to 5 minutes to drill a single hole which was not fast enough for this project.
Oak Park decided to follow the advice of the principle contractor, Folton Hogan who recommended the 210-3 SRA 3-gang slab rider drill from E-Z Drill based on past experience. This model has a typical hole diameter of 5/8 to 2.5 inches (15.9 to 63.5 millimetre) and depth up to18 inches (45.7 cm).
Before the project started, Shane Dunstan, executive director of Aran Australia, recommended the 3-gang slab rider drill to Fulton Hogan, the project’s principle contractor. Fulton Hogan knew the benefits of the E-Z Drill already, which is why they recommended it to Oak Park, which purchased one.
With nearly 12,000 holes waiting to be drilled, speed, reliability and manoeuvrability were key to deliver the project and make it more profitable.
Throughout the numerous stages of the project, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell poured 580 concrete strips from 450 to 525 mm deep. The crew turned over the 5 m wide sections that ranged from 30 to 100 m in length to Oak Park for drilling.
The E-Z Drill operator drilled sets of three holes — each set taking less than 90 seconds - some 70% faster than the previous equipment used. Commenting on the progress, Renee Bell said:
We drilled as many as 300 to 400 holes in one stretch of concrete. When it was time to start drilling, our E-Z Drill operator completed the work quickly and this dramatically increased our overall efficiency. This significantly reduced the cost per hole compared to the old machine. The slab rider has been a very productive purchase for us.
The drill has a patented tri-steering system and foam-filled tyres that makes repositioning the drill easy for operators. Plus, the auto alignment feature ensures that workers do not require extra time to accurately space holes.
The drill’s automatic shutoff stopped the drill motor after reaching the desired depth. This prevents dry firing and the multi-point oil injection system ensures each drill motor has enough lubrication, reducing wear on the drill motors, which minimized servicing downtime for Oak Park.
When operators changed worn bits, the quick-bit release guide allowed them to replace the bits in minutes with minimal interruption to drilling.