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Collaboration results in new drilling machine – AdaptX

The current range of AdaptX machines includes the AdaptX Mini and the AdaptX Maxi.

OptionX Group is launching the AdaptX range – a fully adaptable drilling machine made in Australia. 

With a maximum thrust of 125 tonnes and a rotation torque of 180,000 ft lbs, this new machine is primed to revolutionise the drilling industry.

The AdaptX modular drilling system is the culmination of work from experts across OptionX Group, with insights from Bournedrill and Edge Underground as well as input from industry leaders. 

The innovation was spearheaded by Stuart Harrison, the inventor of the Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring system, who sat down to tell Trenchless Australasia how the industry will benefit from a machine like the AdaptX.

“Previously, contractors needed different equipment for vacuum, slurry, bed boring, auger boring and pipe jacking. With its modular design, The AdaptX can do all this and more,” says Harrison. 

Given how often ground conditions present unexpected problems, the ability to adapt methods quickly will save contractors time and money. Other capabilities of the AdaptX include pressure air vacuum, HDD, displacement pilot, canopy tunnel drilling, pipe assist and pipe bursting. Torque and speed can also be adjusted to suit the job. 

“The new AdaptX range has more than a dozen inventive features and we’ve sought protection of those features through the Australian Patent Office. We expect this to be granted in the coming years after positive feedback. International patents will also be sought in due course,” he says.

“The team at Edge Underground has enjoyed working closely with Bert Fourie of Fourie Tunnelling Systems, and Allen Henley, who is the Senior Design Engineer at Bournedrill. As the product moved into manufacturing, Bournedrill’s former General Manager Tom Chart was instrumental in production.”

To ensure the AdaptX has the features the industry needs, Harrison and his team took the time to further consult experts, including Tom Chart, now OptionX Group’s Head of Manufacturing. After working for many years at Bournedrill, Chart has the working knowledge to bring a new concept to completion. The AdaptX is made in Bournedrill’s Queensland workshop, securely under Chart’s supervision.

The AdaptX modular drilling system is a culmination of work from experts across OptionX Group.
The AdaptX modular drilling system is a culmination of work from experts across OptionX Group.

“The AdaptX is a great concept. Edge Underground has tested the equipment and we’ve worked with them throughout the design phase to finalise the machine. It’s something new for the Australian market, but it’s been put through its paces over the last year and held up in all conditions,” says Chart.

“Internationally, there’s already interest in the machine. When Stuart and I recently attended the Bauma Trade Fair in Germany, with all the leading manufacturers in the industry in attendance, everyone was looking for updates on the new AdaptX range.”

Local support
Along with being manufactured in Australia, having a local engineering and production team means that any repairs or modifications needed can be completed quickly. Bournedrill’s workshop, and its team, are equipped to service the drilling, tunnelling and boring industries, and have everything needed to continue to build the AdaptX.

Harrison says inevitable delays associated with using overseas suppliers have had a negative impact on Edge Underground projects in the past.

“Importing replacement parts has become slower and more expensive over the last few years. Any delay on a project is costly and contractors are always keen to minimise this. We know that if a piece of equipment breaks down or needs modifications, everyone on site is keen to get it back up and running as quickly as possible.

“The faster an issue can be rectified, and the works continue, the better for everyone,” he says.

AdaptX at a glance
The current range of AdaptX machines includes the AdaptX Mini and the AdaptX Maxi. Both can be adapted for pit launched HDD, vacuum microtunnelling, auger boring, hammer reaming, pipe jacking and more.

The AdaptX Mini features a torque range of 10,000 to 60,000 with a max thrust of 40 tonnes. The AdaptX Maxi torque range 17,500 to 180,000 with a max thrust of 125 tonnes.

For more information visit OptionX Group.

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This article appeared in the February edition of Trenchless Australasia. Access the digital copy of the magazine here.

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