Wirtgen Group’s cold milling machines have been developed for a wide range of applications on complex and demanding projects. The manufacturer’s newest machines are proving a hit in Australia and abroad.
Since 1927, the Sachsenring racetrack in Germany’s Ore Mountains has played host to a plethora of high-stakes motorcycle races, including the German MotoGP.
Thousands of riders have graced the track throughout the decades, and like any heavily trafficked road surface, needs to be safe and preferably smooth.
Wirtgen cold milling technology was exclusively used to assist in a recent project to rehabilitate the track surface at the Sachsenring but also, importantly, to re-profile sections of the circuit to change the geometry of selected corners.
In high-speed pavements such as racetracks where every 1000th of a second counts, millimetre accuracy is paramount. Even though a lot of justified attention on paving is placed on the importance of surface smoothness, accuracy of the pre-milling also has a considerable influence on the final surface quality.
To deliver the required precision, the project’s milling service provider, SAT, employed the Wirtgen W200 and W220 cold milling machines, complete with 3D levelling technology.
At the Sachsenring, SAT used the digital terrain model created by the client to feed the processed data for levelling into the cold milling machines.
“This means that it’s no longer necessary to scan references on the ground. Instead, the machines receive their milling depth information via a total station that is set up next to the pavement surface to be milled,” says Gerald Kluge, Head of Milling Division at SAT.
Rarely is there a major and critical project anywhere in the world that doesn’t have a tight schedule and the Sachsenring was no different. Both Wirtgen W200 and W220 high-performance milling machines not only met expectations with regard to the milling performance (specifically speed and accuracy), but also machine reliability and availability.
Stuart Torpy, General Manager Road Technologies at Wirtgen Australia, says the combination of accuracy and availability are partly attributable to automatic machine alignment by means of PTS (parallel to surface) and the advanced wear and precision capabilities of Wirtgen’s in-house designed and manufactured milling drums.
“PTS, in combination with the Wirtgen Level PRO levelling system, takes a lot of the complex and high risk requirements away from the operator, enabling them to concentrate on the job at hand,” he says. “The entire milling drum design, from the tool geometry to the tool holder system, have been optimised and refined over decades to produce the most reliable and robust available on a two-metre milling machine.
“Not only does this produce an efficient and accurate milling drum over time, but also speeds up tool and tool holder replacement.”
The accuracy and precision of Wirtgen’s cold milling technology is widely experienced on projects in Europe, such as the Sachsenring, and Mr. Torpy says the Australian market is beginning to reap the same benefits.
Civil contractor SU Tunnel and Civil Services – specialists in tunnel excavation and profiling – is one such business to utilise Wirtgen’s cold milling technology, specifically the Wirtgen W210XP two-metre cold milling machine with 3D levelling.
The business is engaged to undertake work on the WestConnex Stage 1 project in Sydney, which involves final tolerance levelling of the sandstone tunnel floor prior to commencement of pavement construction.
“All machines in the tunnel run in a very trying environment characterised by sandstone dust and slurry. The machines also run on long shifts, with little downtime,” Mr. Torpy says.
“In this testing environment, any flaw in a milling machine is quickly exposed. After a number of months, the client decided to make the switch from a different machine to the Wirtgen W210XP – which is their first Wirtgen purchase.”
Mark Moore, SU Tunnel and Civil Services General Manager, says the milling machine was chosen for its robust 800-horsepower single engine design, proven milling technology and operability. The W210XP has performed at a level to fully justify the machine selection decision.
“The integration of our existing TOPCON system with the Wirtgen Level PRO 3D system and the machine just makes it easier in the tunnel environment all-around – it allows us to operate more efficiently and effectively 24 hours, seven days a week,” Mr. Moore says.
Coupled with durability and dedicated local aftersales support the SU team considered the choice to move choose the Wirtgen W210XP an easy one.
“Our operators like it – the Level PRO 3D system is user friendly, easy to maintain and Wirtgen have been very good with after sales support,” Mr. Moore adds.
Mr. Torpy says although the accuracy required in the WestConnex tunnels is not as tight as that at the Sachsenring, the need for a machine that can mill to level and maintain that level hour after hour is a prime consideration of any milling machine owner.
“Although the W210XP is a new high output model, it utilises the proven design and operating features of the established W210 machine, which are also being operated by Wirtgen customers on other Sydney tunnel and major road projects,” he says.
While these are just a few examples of the range of projects and applications, Mr. Torpy says Wirtgen cold milling machines are being used on critical projects such as airports, race tracks and tunnels, as well as less high profile, but none-the-less important, local road and highway resurfacing and rehabilitation projects across Australia. “Driven by innovation in action and through-life local support and expertise, Wirtgen continues to strive to offer machine solutions that underpin the success of its customers. SAT and SU Tunnel and Civil Services are perfect examples of what can be achieved by making the Wirtgen choice.”