Industrial Applications of Robotic Hammering

Industrial demolition by Robotic Hammering

Some demolition and decommissioning jobs call for breaking materials or structures into rubble. When that is the case, the right tool for the job is a tough, reliable robotic hammer. Robotic hammers marshal force, power and remote control technology to get the job done efficiently and safely. In addition to the diamond wire saws and patented diamond rail saws we are known for, Bluegrass Bit has a fleet of robotic hammers and a team of skilled operators ready to deploy when project plans demand such tools.

When presented with a job needing robotic hammering, Bluegrass Bit sends hydraulic/electric robotic hammers for effective, efficient, and reliable modification or demolition of concrete structures—including reinforced concrete—and refractory castables.

How Robotic Hammering Works

Robotic hammers are versatile demolition tools operated remotely by skilled operators using fingertip controls that allow precise and effective maneuvering in confined spaces. The remote operation capability removes workers from exposed areas, harmful fumes and vibration. An additional benefit is the ability to stage and operate equipment from elevated or suspended platforms.

The techniques and methods utilized for effective robotic hammering include considering which model will perform best on the job. Bluegrass Bit exclusively uses Brokk equipment for robotic hammering. With a fleet of over 30 Brokk robotic hammers, we can select the model best suited to the particular job and application.

Bluegrass Bit uses three different types of Brokk robotic hammers:

  • Brokk 150 — This compact machine is useful for confined space demolition. It’s a relatively lightweight machine able to fit through most doorways.
  • Brokk 250 — This is Brokk’s original model that was developed in the 1970s. It’s a powerful combination of reliable technology and force which makes it suitable for a variety of tasks. Unlike other models, this one rides on rubber wheels.
  • Brokk 330 — This is the most powerful robotic demolition solution in the Brokk series, with the world’s high capacity for this type of machine. Although the machine weighs only 9,240 lbs., it can be equipped with tools weighing an additional 1,210 lbs.

Advantages of Using Robotic Hammering

Often there are multiple options for accomplishing a demolition or decommissioning job. When and why should robotic hammering be considered as part of the solution?

1. Saves Time

When combined with other solutions like diamond wire saws and diamond wire rail saws, robotic hammering saves significant time in the demolition process. Even when used alone, a robotic hammer can ensure the job is expedited more efficiently than would otherwise happen.

2. Easy Access

Robotic hammers are operated remotely using an advanced controller. These unmanned machines are able to reach remote locations and hard-to-reach areas. Amazingly, robotic hammers can climb stairs, roll over debris, and the smaller models fit through most doorways. When necessary and with appropriate equipment, they can operate while suspended.

3. Safer Approach

Robotic hammering is the ideal solution for demolition jobs in hostile and hazardous environments which pose a risk to workers on the job and people in the vicinity. These remote-operated machines keep the operators and workers safe while the job is completed as quickly as possible.

Industrial Applications of Robotic Hammering

When a project involves segmenting a structure into pieces too large for removal, we may use a robotic hammer to break the concrete or refractory into smaller pieces. Bluegrass Bit robotic hammers clean kilns by hammering out materials which have built up over time on interior surfaces.

Other industrial applications for robotic hammering:

  • Repair and demolition of bridges and heavy civil structures construction
  • Modifications to industrial production facilities
  • Maintenance at metals processing and refractory facilities
  • Interior demolition at limited access/confined space worksites
  • Any application where emissions present a significant challenge

Bluegrass Bit Projects Involving Robotic Hammering

Examples of jobs Bluegrass Bit has completed using robotic hammering solutions:

Nucor Rolling Mill

Through a contract with this steel mill client in Norfolk, NE, Bluegrass Bit worked around the clock for four days using eight robotic hammers to demolish six hundred cubic yards of concrete foundations in a congested area.

Each foundation was 8′ thick, up to 16′ long, and 8′ wide. Other contractors continued to work in the same area while Bluegrass Bit completed this precise demolition work safely and successfully.

Death Valley Stadium Expansion

Bluegrass Bit was contracted to help with the updating of Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium (AKA Death Valley Stadium). Using a combination of Brokk robotic hammers and diamond wire saws, we cut the enormous upper deck into precise sections for removal.

Dumbarton Bridge Seismic Retrofit

The Dumbarton Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area needed a seismic upgrade which required cutting the existing pier into six individual sections, each weighing roughly 85 tons. This was accomplished using diamond wire saws. Once the pieces were cut and removed, we used our largest Brokk robotic hammers (Brokk 330) to break up the footers.

Contact Bluegrass Bit for Your Precision Demolition Needs

When you need demolition services in tight spaces, robotic hammering can be particularly useful. This is one of the many solutions Bluegrass Bit can put to work to accomplish your project safely, affordably, and on schedule.

Founded in 1979, Bluegrass Bit has revolutionized the precision demolition and decommissioning business through its non-explosive methods and techniques for concrete and metal cutting. Our solutions operate in some of the harshest environments and serve clients worldwide. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Uses for a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Bluegrass patented rail saws at Gross Reservoir Diamond wire saws have been around for some time. These tools were initially used to cut through stone in quarries and later modified for other building and demolition purposes.

However, there is another type of saw that has proven vital to the completion of complex projects: the diamond wire rail saw. A diamond wire rail saw is a rail saw that uses a diamond wire to cut through a variety of surfaces. These are customized and versatile tools that deliver the most accurate concrete and metal cutting available. 

A rail saw is a series of metal beams, or rails, assembled to fit a particular structure. Rather than using a standard diamond wire saw to approach a job, rail saws are a superior means of deploying diamond wire within a rail framework to cut concrete structures. The wire is moved across a surface using wheels, pulleys, and hydraulic motors. The saw operates by rotating the diamond wire to penetrate the concrete.

There is a distinct difference between a diamond wire saw and a diamond wire rail saw. A diamond wire saw is a free-form saw that has diamond-embedded beads on a cable strung around a structure for cutting. Many people refer to these as “rope saws” due to their appearance. The diamond wire rail saw was designed and patented by Bluegrass Bit. No other company has created or uses diamond wire in a rail saw that functions in this manner. 

Advantages of Using a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Bluegrass Bit invented the diamond wire rail saw, patented it, and is the only company building and using it. Because it’s our creation, we have the ability to modify it, reconfiguring the dimensions to meet the client’s needs and the job specifications.

Partnering with Bluegrass for your precision demolition needs means you will be working with a company using superior equipment. Your job will be done safely, precisely and on schedule, using a diamond wire saw customized for the job.

Rather than drilling core holes, we can drop the rail saw onto a concrete block and push the wire using hydraulic motors and wheels to create the desired cut. By eliminating that step, a diamond wire rail saw saves significant time and money. 

Uses for Diamond Wire Rail Saws

Diamond wire rail saws are excellent for projects requiring underwater cuts. They’re frequently used in heavy civil projects, cutting items like underwater bridge piles and concrete sills.

Rail saws are also used on offshore projects. While we have other saws able to handle some of these projects, we also customize rail saws when a job is large or complex enough to require one. 

We work with private companies, contracting firms, and government agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. We decommission structures as diverse as military vessels, bridges, and nuclear reactor heads. Our saws are also used to segment blocks for removal on structures undergoing modification, such as locks and dams, stadiums and foundations.

Projects Using a Diamond Wire Rail Saw

Two recent examples of projects Bluegrass successfully completed using diamond wire rail saws:

Blount Island Sill Removal

Located in Blount Island, FL, this US Marine Corp Support Facility needed to remove an underwater concrete sill that was impeding the ability of resupply vessels to fully access the location. 

Bluegrass Bit was awarded this project by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to remove concrete blocks located 50 feet underwater. The blocks were 426 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 15 feet tall. The diamond wire rail saw was custom-built for this job. 

Divers operated at 50-foot plus depths with minimum visibility. The job consisted of 27 vertical cuts and 28 horizontal cuts, with cut times averaging anywhere from 12-15 hours. The average size of a cut block was 32.5′ W x 15′ L x 10′ H. 

After simulating the job on land with the customized saw, our team successfully completed the project on-site, on schedule, and without breaking a single diamond wire.

Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion

Bluegrass Bit was contracted to assist with Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion project in Boulder County, CO. In Project Phase I, the task was to remove the dam’s ogee crest, which measured 160′ L x 28′ W x 13′ H. 

This was another project taking place in extreme conditions; rather than operating underwater, this job location was high on the dam’s face. Multiple saws ran simultaneously to cut cement blocks weighing up to 60,0000 lbs. for removal. 

Our customized diamond wire rail saws were used to make precise vertical and horizontal cuts.  We also used traditional diamond wire saws after drilling core access holes.  This enabled us to accelerate cutting times and create a pattern allowing the installation of the rods needed for the safe removal of the cut blocks.

Using our patented rail saws combined with the expertise of our technicians, we were able to cut through over 20,000 SF of concrete at a rate of roughly 20 SF/hr with no safety incidents. 

Contact Bluegrass Bit for Your Precision Demolition Needs

If you have a unique or precision demolition project, learn more about how Bluegrass Bit can help. Since 1979, our team of experienced engineers and demolition experts has been serving clients’ needs in a broad spectrum of industries.

Not only are we the pioneers of many precision demolition techniques, we are also the only company offering our customers the option of accomplishing their goals by using diamond wire rail saws. Our solutions cut through the most challenging structures items in the harshest conditions with proven success, saving you time and money. Contact us today to learn about our services.