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Super Quad Kong: Impressive and Environmentally Friendly

Modular Vibrating of Monopiles for Offshore Wind Farm Riffgat:
Halfway June APE Holland started on the North Sea near the German island of Borkum with a special  offshore project, vibrating 30 steel piles (monopiles) on which 30 windmills will be installed. The piles will be driven with the Super Quad Kong (SQK), an innovative and modular vibratory driver/extractor consisting of  four APE vibros, which are connected to four  hypermodern power packs, providing a total eccentric moment of 920 kg-m.  By using the SQK vibratory hammer it is able to drive these monopiles environmentally friendly in a single run in the correct position at the bottom of the sea.

Strict Environmental Regulation/Rules:
APE Holland is pleased that the contractor  Seaway Heavy Lifting chose the option of using a vibratory hammer. “By choosing this innovative way of vibrating, APE Holland can comply to the strict environmental rules which apply in Germany,”  explains Martijn Kleine, Sales Manager at APE Holland. “The damage to the environment by noise and vibrations remains within acceptable limits.” By using the traditional piling techniques with the conventional hydraulic hammers  the noise  is at a level that it causes major damage to marine life. “There are various solutions to reduce the noise, but it does imply that the piles have to be vibrated first,” said Martijn Kleine. From the wish to have such piles driven without the use of impact hammers, APE Holland developed modular vibration techniques. “The noise of our  hammer is much lower than a traditional hammer and the vibration process is faster than piling”.

[tubepress video="ViQbHoZ4EZI"]

Innovative:
The Super Quad Kong is specially developed for this offshore wind farm Riffgat in the North Sea, where Seaway Heavy Lifting is using their newest state of the art crane vessel “Oleg Strashnov”. “After driving the first monopiles it was clear that our modular built vibratory hammer supplies sufficient power to show impressive results. For the first piles, we only used 50% of the total power of these hammers. With our SQK vibro we are able to drive these monopoles to a penetration of 31 meters in one run. The reason that the last 10m of the piles on the Riffgat field still had to be driven with an impact hammer has a reason. The owner of the field required a so called “blowcount”, which indicates the bearing capacity of the pile. This can only be done with an impact hammer until now.” After the vibratory hammer was taken off the pile, a Noise Migration System (NMS) was put around the pile, after which the IHC S-1800 hydrohammer was put on the pile. Kleine: “Where the pile was moving in only a few seconds after the SQK was switched on, driving the first 10 meters with the hydrohammer started labored. For the first 25cm 100 blows of 1200 kJ were required to get the pile moving again. After that, the blowcount went back to 25 blows on the 25 cm.”

Heavyweights:
The monopiles which are used for the Riffgat wind farm project weighing between the 480 en 720 ton each. The length of the piles are between 53 and 70 meters with a diameter of 4,7 m on the top of the pile and a diameter of 5,7 up to 6,5 m at the pile tip. APE Holland got this contract awarded thanks to a nice reference project  in China. For the construction of two artificial islands in the fixed link between Hong Kong and Macau, the APE OctaKong was used. This enormous vibrator was built up out of 8 linked vibrators which vibrated 130 steel monopiles with a length of 40 m. about 25m into the seabed. The piles with a diameter of 22 m had a weight between 500 and 650 tons each. The insertion of each pile take less than 10 minutes.

Drive-ability studies:
APE Holland cooperated on this project with Allnamics (www.allnamics.eu), who carried out the drive-ability studies for the monopiles. The long and extensive experience in Geotechnical Engineering of Allnamics was of extreme value for the OctaKong project and showed the value on the Riffgat project again.

Experience:
APE Holland BV is the exclusive supplier in Europa and Russia of APE vibratory hammers and power packs. The sister company CAPE Holland BV designs and manufactures the modular systems with multiple vibratory hammers and power packs for  APE Holland BV. Both companies are part of the Cape Holland Group and have great knowledge and skill in developing innovative techniques in vibration. “We are unique in coupling different techniques, material and equipment that can be used together as one,” says Martijn Kleine. “Our experience with the OctaKong gave us an advantage in developing the Super Quad Kong for this project. Besides the vibratory hammer we are also supplying the required operational assistance for the operating our equipment for this wind farm project in the North Sea. And the next project for the piling of monopiles has already been signed.”

The article and pictures of the project from the CAPE Holland website can be found here (pictures) and here (article). For further information about modular vibratory systems the OctaKong and Super Quad Kong contact:

APE Holland BV
Martijn Kleine
Romhof 5, 9411 SB Beilen The Netherlands
Telephone: +31(0) 593 54 08 91. Telefax: +31(0) 593 54 27 84
E-mail info@apeholland.com

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PDCA Project of the Year Award

Back in April APE attended the PDCA Annual International Conference and Expo from April 25 -27th. During the conference APE was given the honor of receiving the project of the year award for projects over 5 million. The project APE received the award for was the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge where the OctaKong Vibratory Driver Extractor was used to drive the 72″ perimeter piles for the reclaimed islands. The OctaKong has finished the two island and has been taken apart into 8 Super Kong Vibratory Driver Extractors and is being used in multiple ways throughout the foundation work of the bridge. We want to send a big thanks out to everyone who made the project a reality, and to the PDCA for noticing our companies largest accomplishment to date.

 

 

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DFI 2012 Superpile: Large Diameter Pile Presentation

APE was given the opportunity to present at DFI’s 2012 Superpile on the benefits, challenges and complexities of driving large diameter piles. The presentation was given by David White, the Managing Director of APE China. Along with Steve Gough, the APE China team and APE Corporate team, we all made the foundation work of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge a reality. They worked tirelessly to design, negotiate and deliver the “OctaKong”, the largest Vibratory Driver Extractor to ever be seen on planet earth.

David White wrote an article back in December detailing the role that APE and our team played in constructing the foundation for the reclaimed islands of the bridge, this was after the final pile had been driven. During the process we have written several more articles with details on the construction of the bridge and APE’s continued involvement. We look forward to what future projects will bring with the benefits seen through the use of large diameter piles.

 

[tubepress video="U18gkY-rSP4"]

 

Below are the links to all of the articles we have written over the past year on the OctaKong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge:

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Peak Oilfield Service Drives Through Frozen Alaskan Ground with APE 200-6

We owe a big thanks to Shane McWhirk from Peak Oilfield Service and the APE Parts Department for getting us this story and pictures from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.  The APE 200-6 was used successfully in cold temperatures (-10 F thru -35 F) for driving the piles for Peak Oilfield Service’s job.  The Hydraulic tank was insulated and heated with heat pads that were supplied electricity from a generator.  Permafrost layers are between 6 to 15 feet making driving  some of the toughest a vibratory driver/extractor could encounter.  A 30 year crane operator from Florida that has put thousands of piles in the ground compares the permafrost layers to granite.

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International Construction Magazine: New Direction for Chinese Construction

We recently received the 2012 January - February issue of International Construction Magazine, and we are more than pleased to see an article on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project where the APE OctaKong was driving the largest diameter piles every driven in history. For those of you unfamiliar with the project, here is a rundown on the scope of the project courtesy of Wikipedia:

“The in-construction Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is a series of bridges and tunnels that will connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities situated on the Pearl River Delta in southern China. The proposed 50 km (31 mi) link is expected to cost US$10.7 billion.[citation needed] With its length, it would become one of the landmarks within the area. The longest bridge section will be 22.8 km (14.2 mi) long and include three cable-stayed spans between 280 m (920 ft) and 460 m (1,510 ft).[1][2] Construction formally began on 15 December 2009.[3] The bridge is due for completion in 2016.”

David White, Director of Operations of the APE China Office and Manufacturing facility wrote an article back in December detailing the role that APE and our team played in constructing the foundation for the reclaimed islands of the bridge, this was after the final pile had been driven. During the process we have written several more articles with details on the construction of the bridge and APE’s continued involvement. We look forward to helping the Chinese build quality foundations for any of their coming construction projects. Below are the links to all of the articles we have written over the past year on the OctaKong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge:

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APE Vibratory Hammers Building the New Seattle 520 Floating Bridge

The Seattle Times just posted a news article this morning about the new 520 floating bridge project spanning Lake Washington just east of Seattle. The bridge has been in development for last couple years, with dry dock construction for the pontoon sections taking place in Aberdeen Washington (See Chris Wang’s article on the dry docks here). Construction on the actual bridge site has been in the prepping phases and is now ready for major foundation work which is slated to start next week.

The coming weeks will include huge foundations and concrete spans near shore, twin sloping transition spans that reach down to the lake, floating pontoons, and road decks fastened upon them. APE will be on the scene with a 600 Vibratory Driver extractor, the largest vibratory pile driver in the APE fleet will be pulling the outer casing for 12.5′ drilled shafts. We will also see an APE 200-6 driving the sheet piles for the cofferdams. See the Seattle Times new article here http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017862072_520bridge29m.html for more details.

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Passing of Gary Kranz, Owner of Western Dynamics

I met Gary Kranz in 1987.  He was the instructor for a hydraulics course provided by Rucker Fluid Power.  My first day of the week-long class was a nightmare because Gary was a serious ass hole teacher and he jumped me for talking in class.

Gary was the best hydraulics person I have ever known.  His motto was, “Be cautious of bull shit hydraulic sales people” because he believed they would change their stripes as fast as they changed jobs.  Gary told his class that all hydraulic sales people will sell you what they represent that day.  In other words the salesman might tell you that Vocac was the best hydraulic motor in the world because that is what their company represents but next week if the salesman leaves the company and now represents RexRoth then of course Rexroth is now the best product in the world.  Gary was fired more than once for bad mouthing the sales staff of the company he was teaching.  Gary never changed his ways and finally pissed off so many hydraulics suppliers that could not find a job so he ventured into his own business which he named Western Dynamics.  APE invested in his company and stayed with him to the end.

I loved Gary for sticking to his principals.   Gary was involved in designing the first APE power units which were built in Portland, Oregon at Rucker Fluid Power.  Those power units still run and are considered the best units in the industry.  Many of the main components on those power units were not products that Rucker Fluid Power represented.  The owners and managers of Rucker would beg Gary to use what they represented but Gary would only use what he considered to be the best and was not swayed by pressure from Rucker Fluid Power or anyone else.  It was his way or the highway but his final product was golden.

Gary handled APE’s sales staff the same way.  He would tell them off in his own strong vulgar words.  He would say there is no god and use his experiences in Vietnam as an example.  He was hated and loved at APE.  I, for one, wanted to choke him several times and I pledged many times never to work with him again when he would do or say things that were so out of line it would make me scream.  But I would always come back to him because he was the best at understanding and troubleshooting hydraulic problems.

Gary was a fighter.  He hated to lose.  He won far more bets than he lost.  One time when he lost a bet he could not come to admit the loss and finally said “Ok, you were right this time but that does not mean I have to like it”.

Gary fought to the very end with his battle with cancer.  Just a week ago he was still working on a new manifold for our drills.  He still had that drive in him, saying “when this f%$king manifold is done it will be the best thing in the world”.  That was Gary.  He put the fight into it.  He was part of APE and we are all going to miss him greatly.  Gary- we love you and thanks for keeping APE on top of the world hydraulically.  God has to deal with you now and I am sure he has his hands full.  We all know he would be too much for the devil to handle.

Everyone in this company has a Gary Kranz story.  He touched us all.

 

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Ferris Wheel on the Seattle Waterfront? You Got It! Courtesy of Manson and APE

Along with the on-going demolition of the Alaska way viaduct, a Seattle landmark second only to the Space Needle, rises a new attraction on Pier 57- a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel. Pier 57 was originally built in 1902 as a rail-loading facility for a saw mill. Today, it houses a plethora of marine-oriented shops, restaurants, and even an antique carousel. Hal Griffith, owner of Pier 57, fears losing business due to the viaduct replacement and hopes a new waterfront attraction will keep the publics’ interest alive. With the loss of the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center, this will be the only Ferris wheel available in the city. Once completed with 41 air conditioned gondolas, it should prove to be quite an accommodating attraction to locals and tourists alike.

Manson Construction, a major player here in the PNW, was chosen to drive the foundation piles of this soon-to-be “landmark” on the water ward side of the existing pier. With a total of 53- 36” x .5” wall and 30” x .625” wall pipe piles on deck, the Manson crew set out to drive these piles with the APE Super Kong.  What else would you want driving the piles for a 175-foot marine based Ferris wheel, right?

So far, the Manson crew has driven a dozen test piles. With some fine tuning of the equipment to account for the infamous Glacial till the Northwest is known for, the 150’ piles are down to grade. Some were driven only a couple of feet away from the Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar. Needless to say, some diners became spectators and spectators became diners.  Fair trade.

Today, the Manson crew is running production piles. Most are on 4:1 fore and aft batters. To accommodate the tight driving schedule and the layout of the pile driving grid, APE and Manson teamed up to outfit the Super Kong with a custom vibro sled fit for Manson’s leader system, as well as a custom swing arm pile gate. More pictures and updates to come!

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Final 72′ Pile Driven to Grade, OctaKong Project Finished

On December 8th 2011, the APE “OctaKong” hammer drove it’s final pile to grade in front of a crowd of 200 people on the South China Sea.  Many Engineers, officials, contractors, and China T.V. Stations came to witness the final pile drive to grade.  In total, 120 piles were used to create the east and west man-made islands for the HongKong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project.  The largest pile was 72 feet in diameter, 180 feet high, and 660 US tons.  The entire project lasted just under 7 months, an incredibly fast time to make two full island foundations.  ZPMC, the Shanghai based company who fabricated the piles, could hardly keep up pile production with the driving speed of the project.  At the fastest point the OctaKong drove 6 piles in 3 days.  One of the biggest challenges of the East island was learning how to drive 72 foot diameter piles in complex soil conditions.  When driving large diameter piles the soil conditions on one side of the pile can be very different than on the other side of the pile.  At some points the right side of the pile was facing N47+ soil while the left side only saw only N15.  Soil layers are not flat, which is not usually not a problem when driving small diameter piles, but when faced with super large piles often times one full side of the pile will cut through a soil layer for 10 feet before the other side of the pile hits the same layer.  This creates a big challenge when trying to get the pile to go into the soil perfectly straight.  These new challenges forced us to learn a new pile driving method specific to large diameter piles.  No doubt a huge step for the pile driving industry for the future of even larger bridges, land reclamation, and wind power.

It was a surreal feeling to watch the last pile go into the ground after nearly 2 years of research and planning.   As the pile reached it’s final feet many surrounding boats launched fireworks and large cheering could be heard as soon as the machine was shut off.  It’s not very common in Chinese culture to see grown business men and engineers hugging and shouting, but as the OctaKong drove it’s last few feet I think it sent overwhelming joy throughout everybody who’s worked on the project, including myself.  The timeline for this project was so tight that tensions were high for the last 7 months.  I think everybody knew that if the OctaKong hammer broke for whatever reason the entire project had no chance to finish on time, and with no backup hammer, APE China felt the heat to make sure the project kept going smoothly.  I’m glad to report that the OctaKong hammer never had even one day of downtime, something our APE team should be very proud of.  The APE 200-6 tandem special is driving the final 37 foot shell-pile-walls over the next week and that project should conclude soon as well.  Thank you to everybody who worked so hard on this project!

We are working on a 30 minute documentary for this project with some pretty amazing video and pictures.  Please stay tuned for that to be released soon!

Should you have any specific questions about this project, I invite you to e-mail me or call at anytime.  Phone: 206-422-2475  E-mail: davidw@apevibro.com

 

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APE Photo Op with Carl Edwards

At APE today we are taking a moment to recognize one our most important vendors, Fastenal. They are responsible for many of the parts involved in putting together a diesel impact hammer, vibratory driver extractor etc. Jim Winn is our Fastenal representative at the APE headquarters here in Kent WA. For the most part he’s an all around good guy, especially when he went down to Florida for a Fastenal convention and had a chance to get a picture and autograph with Carl Edwards. For those who don’t know, Carl Edwards is the 2nd place driver in the Sprint Cup Series, following Tony Stewart. Jim Winn took his opportunity with Carl Edwards and got him to take a photograph with him holding a sign saying “GO APE!”. All of us at APE have to say (including Wayne), that’s pretty cool Jim, much appreciated!

Sprint Cup Series Rankings: http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2011/data/standings.html

 

 

 

 

 

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