TBM Component Conditions Online Monitoring and Diagnosis System (TOMD)

CREC 1067 with the TOMD system

A tunnel boring machine (TBM) is the most safe and efficient high-end equipment in underground tunnel construction. Due to its remarkably complex and massive structural and control systems, when a defect appears, troubleshooting it is rather difficult. It will bring irreversible influence and result in primary economic losses, especially when the essential component or core system, such as the main drive, breaks down.

To deal with this problem, China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd. (CREG), based on manufacturing experience of over 1000 tunnel boring machines and the integration of AI technology, has investigated and developed the TBM Component Conditions Online Monitoring and Diagnosis System (TOMD) that is the first predictive maintenance system for full face TBM condition.

This system has multiple functions, encompassing TBM multi-source information perception, component condition online assessment, and fault information self-diagnosis. It can also help the operator to synchronously check the TBM operation and maintenance information in the control cabin, ground monitoring center, and remote management center, assist the construction party in enhancing the maintenance efficiency significantly, and ensure the TBM operates in the best conditions.

Moreover, this system is qualified with a series of sensors and edge computing intelligent terminals such as the acceleration sensor, the temperature sensor, the pressure sensor of the tail sealing system, the perception sensor of the cutter head and cutting tool condition, the online analysis for hydraulic oil and muck discharge characteristics, which can allow the clients control the most sensitive components or the system running condition at every moment.

According to CREG company, it has used big data analysis technology and developed diverse AI big data warning models of the central drive system, hydraulic system, and tail sealing system to realize the intelligent diagnosis of the TBM running condition.

For instance, the TBM “CREC 1126”, manufactured by CREG and applied in the Shenzhen Metro Airport Line project, has been equipped with this independently developed TOMD system. The mentioned system can guide the operator to carry out predictive maintenance for TBM as per the operation parameters and sensing systems on critical components.

In addition to conventional sensing systems, the temperature sensor, pressure sensor, vibration sensor, and others are also equipped on the specific positions of critical components, containing main bearings, main motors, and hydraulic pumps to acquire more plentiful condition parameters.

These data are diagnosed by AI and transmitted to PLC, the remote monitoring platform, and mobile terminals so that the operator, engineer, and manager can check information within the limits of their authority and react timely. It is worth mentioning that this system is equipped on many large-diameter tunnel boring machines like “CREC 1067”.

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