Machine Failure to Perform
---on behalf of contractor---
Manufacturer provided a microtunneling machine
(with detailed specifications) to excavate silt, sand, gravel, cobbles, boulders
as per anticipated geotechnical conditions;
Coluccio Construction Co. retained us to investigate. Problems
manifested, were as follows:
The (rock type) cutterhead supplied for mining the silt, sand, gravel, cobbles,
and occasional boulders actually mined upward into material above the tunnel
that contained a larger fraction of boulders
and collapsed the
pavement and stalled without advancing.
The cutterhead was replaced, yet the machine kept
It was discovered that the machine could not deliver manufacturer specified forces at the
on a number of occasions collapsing the pavement and/or necessitating dig up.
The source of the problem was mismatching of components (cables, VFD,
etc.) and TBM
manufacturer's absolute refusal to acknowledge them.
ARBITRATION AWARDED THE CONTRACTOR NEARLY ALL OF THE
CLAIMED AMOUNT, AROUND $5 MILLION.
Contractor tunneling problem bankrupts Herrenknecht.
contractor that had cutterhead, torque and electrical problems with a new model
of German microtunnel boring machine has won a $5.8 million arbitration award
against Herrenknecht Corp. for the defects. However, on the day before the award
was to be made final, the Auburn, Washington-based subsidiary of
's Herrenknecht AG filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court.
Construction Co. agreed to lease-purchase a $2 million Herrenknecht AVN 1600E
microtunnel boring machine with a new type of electric drive in May 1997. It was
used on a 500-foot-long, 84-inch diameter utility crossing of the
, and for a 5,000-foot-long, 78-inch diameter tunnel in
. According to Coluccio, the machine had a warped jacking frame, which caused
the jacks to bind during retraction. A drive motor failed as did a
hydraulic heat exchanger. In April 1999, the contract was terminated.
Herrenknecht started the
arbitration under the lease-purchase agreement. Last Nov. 11, arbitrator Greg
attorney, found partially in favor of Herrenknecht. He awarded the firm
$430,571 for parts and services. Harris also awarded the contractor $32,526 in
damages for the Duwamish project and $5 million for the
project. Harris said Herrenknecht did not have an obligation to repurchase the
machine, but had to pay $300,000 to repair defects. Those largely had to do with
the electrical configuration which reduced torque.