Since it was established in 2010, Edge Underground has been at the forefront of the Australian microtunnelling industry, pushing its boundaries, improving equipment and finding ways to complete some of the most challenging projects that no one else will take on.
Edge Underground was founded by Managing Director, Stuart Harrision, a well-known figure in the Australian and international microtunnelling industry as a trenchless expert, pioneer of innovation and the inventor of the AXIS laser guided boring system.
“When I first developed the AXIS in the early 2000s, it was because there was a gap in the industry for equipment that could provide high efficiency, productivity and pinpoint precision. There were machines that offered one or two of these, but not all three,” Mr Harrison said.
“The AXIS is a versatile, pit-launched, laser-guided machine that can install pipelines on-grade and with pinpoint accuracy to within +/-5mm. I designed it so that the head and cutter style or configuration can be swapped out to deal with changing ground conditions, making it the most versatile machine on the market.”
The AXIS is now a leading machine on the market. It is the most accurate, and it has been designed with a host of unique features, such as being able to perform pilot lines and retract to reduce problems occurring from unexpected ground conditions, and safety elements including pressure gages and a Falling Object Protective System (FOPS) safety enclosure.
Driving growth and development
Since developing the AXIS, Mr Harrison has continued to push the boundaries of what it is capable of, and encourages his team to find ways to improve practices, products and design to make microtunnelling a competitive alternative to open cut.
This mindset has allowed Edge Underground to set benchmarks for the industry and take on some of the most challenging pipeline installations that no one else is able to or wants to risk doing.
In mid-2019, the company set a new benchmark for pipeline installation when it was subcontracted to install about 180m of pipe, comprising five separate lines of pipe on grade in six days.
Edge Underground used a sewer max pipe – a pipe type that is not known for being used when pipe jacking. However, as the ground was very stable, the team knew it would be able to install it without any structural damage, and save the project a lot of money.
In another project, Edge Underground completed a high-risk project no other contractor wanted to take on. The problem was the pipeline needed to be installed 12-14m deep and there was a high chance of wedging occurring due to ground conditions – a combination of extreme hard rock with seams of clay and fractures.
Using the AXIS’ unique retract feature, the team performed a pilot line to inspect and confirm ground conditions in order to configure the reaming tool to best suit conditions for pipe jacking, allowing the project to be completed successfully.
“These are just a couple of examples of what we’ve been able to achieve with innovation and looking at how we can achieve better outcomes on more projects,” Mr Harrison said.
“The exciting thing is there is still a lot of scope for evolution in the microtunnelling industry and I look forward to what advancements we can achieve next.”
This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by Edge Underground, go to edgeunderground.co for more information.