With a screening area of 8.4 sq m and an operating weight of 53,864 kg, the SPD-450 padding machine is the biggest padding machine manufactured by WorldWide Machinery.
The Australian Pipeliner spoke to WorldWide Machinery’s Vice President Pipeline Operations Jurgen Hafermann about the SPD-450’s features and capabilities.
WorldWide Machinery recently sold an SPD-450 padding machine to Nacap Australia for work on the South West Queensland Pipeline Expansion project, which involves the construction of 940 km of 457 mm diameter looping pipeline.
The padding machine has started working on the pipeline spread and has been backfilling at rates up to 360 cubic metres per hour using a 0.75 inch screen. WorldWide Machinery’s Jurgen Hafermann said that the longest run on the project so far has been 4.5 km.
The SPD-450 has a Caterpillar C-13 ACERT Tier 4 Interim Stage III B engine capable of 328 kW of power. The machine uses Bosch Rexroth hydraulic systems, gearbox and final drives. The hydraulic and shaker systems can be adjusted to suit any terrain, such as soft or wet material.
The SPD-450 machine is also being used on projects in Europe, such as the 56 inch diameter OPAL Pipeline. WorldWide Machinery builds equipment – including padding machines, pipelayers, and benders – for projects from 6 to 60 inches.
Tailoring machinery to client needs
All of WorldWide’s machinery is built under CE approval, meaning that it meets the European Union’s safety, health, and environmental requirements. The padders are assembled in the company’s factory in Italy. The main components of the machinery come from well-known, reputable manufacturers such as Caterpillar and are available all over the world, enabling easy replacement of parts.
“For us it is very important to use components that you can get from all over the world. We want to build customer-friendly machines.”
Mr Hafermann says that the company also makes a concerted effort to listen to its customers because the company wants to make their machines as easy-to-use and as safe as possible.
“We’re very open to listening to our customers. We want to make it easier and safer, and more comfortable for the operator,” says Mr Hafemann.
The company’s machines are constantly being upgraded. Machines can be tailored to client’s needs.
Once equipment has been ordered, shipping to Australia takes around 45 days, including 10 days of custom clearing.
WorldWide Machinery recognises the importance of safety on a pipeline construction spread. The company’s padding machines were the first padding machines to be fitted with roll-over protection structures . Recently, the company has added cameras to the back corners of each machine to reduce blind spots. Combined with the wide front screen, optimal vision is achieved.
The operator can control the machine entirely from the cabin, which is fitted with a dust filter and air conditioning.
The SPD-450 also has two operator platforms in the cabin so that the operator can work on both sides of the machine. “This gives the operator a much better view of what is going on in the ditch,” says Mr Hafemann.
WorldWide ensures that operators receive appropriate training before using the company’s machines. Technicians are sent with delivery of the machine to help with assembly and train operators in proper usage and maintenance. “The training takes approximately one week. The technicians take the new operators for a dry test run, then a test run together.
“The hardest part is getting used to driving with the machine on the backfill, and you stay on the backfill side when you have a big ditch. The backfill pile can be around 3 m high and the ditch can be around 2 m deep, so you can get quite a surprise if you look down at the ground,” says Mr Hafemann.
WorldWide Machinery also manufactures pipelayers, bending machines, earthmoving equipment, pipe bevelling and cold cutting machines and vacuum pipe lifting equipment.
WorldWide to send pipelayer to Australia
WorldWide Machinery is sending its first pipelayer to Australia. The equipment is expected to arrive early in 2011, and will be available for companies to test.
WorldWide supplies quality, fuel-efficient, easy-to-handle pipelayers, which require little training.
In addition to the pipelayer, WorldWide will be sending out Toby Hafemann to train companies in the operation and maintenance of WorldWide’s pipelayer equipment.