DCA Europe

Members‘ Forum

Recommendation – Education – Networking

Members‘ Forum

Since January 2018, the DCA has been offering a new event, the so-called DCA Member Forum HDD Technology.The forum offers a platform for members of the association to exchange experiences and is primarily aimed at site managers and machine operators, but is also open to interested technical supervisors, planners and Clients as well as interested parties from the supplier industry. Participation in the forum is free of charge and reserved exclusively for members. Since 2022, the event has been held in parallel in two linguistically separate rooms (German speaking/English speaking group).

The following member forums have already been held:

The 6th DCA Members’ Forum took place on April 25, 2024 in Aachen at the Novotel on the topic of “Grouting the annular space”. Many forum participants attended the get-together the evening before at the Luna restaurant to exchange ideas. A total of around 75 participants took part in the event, 45 in the German-language workshop and around 30 in the English-language workshop.

DCA board member Ronald Siebel and André Seyrich from TenneT TSO GmbH welcomed the participants of the German-speaking group, while Vice President Atef Khemiri, DCA representative Benny Jensen and Luurd van der Leest from Beermann Bohrtechnik GmbH led the English-speaking group. The topic was divided into four blocks, which then led to a final discussion. The very interested participants took part in numerous discussions, which took place in a factual atmosphere as always.

The discussion generally focused on the question of the necessity of “grouting the annular space”. Although no specific examples of damage resulting from non-execution or incorrect insulation of the outer annular space were mentioned, but the possible risks that may arise from a failure to dam (e.g. flood protection). As a result of the discussion, it was the wish of many to determine the number and scope of insulation measures to be carried out with a sense of proportion and after weighing up all the advantages and disadvantages. It was also considered important to define and fully describe the insulation requirements in the tendering process in order to ensure equal opportunities for bidders and a uniform basis for evaluation.

There was also agreement that there are no practical ways of determining the actual condition of the annular space to be insulated in order to determine the extent of the insulation to be carried out. Only conclusions and assumptions can be drawn from the course of the borehole, which can then be used to determine the actual damming process. There are no generally applicable rules for the procedure.

In order to prove that insulation has been carried out, appropriate retention samples of the inserted material should be taken so that meaningful material is available afterwards. Unfortunately there are no regulations or standards on the taking and, above all, the storage of such reserve samples. This situation should be changed in the future and incorporated into the relevant regulations. Corresponding specifications already exist in deep drilling technology.

In summary it can be said that the assessment of the insulation of the annular space is subject to many unknowns (boil-outs, mud losses, subsoil), which make it very difficult to determine exactly how and to what extent and even the quality of the measures carried out. Ultimately the success or failure of insulation measures depends not only on the local conditions but also heavily on the experience of the person carrying out the work and the equipment constellation available.

The topic of internal insulation of cable conduits is largely due to the thermal problems associated with the operation of power lines. In addition to filling with materials that have a high thermal conductivity, alternative options such as the use of thermal convection for better heat dissipation inside the pipes were also discussed and thus provided suggestions for dealing with this topic in the future.

See you again in April 2025 for the 07th DCA Members’ Forum in the imperial city of Aachen!

Great interest in the “HDD Technology” members’ forum

Topic “Accuracies in HDD Drilling”

On 03.05.2023 the members of the DCA met for the 4th time for the forum “HDD technology” in Aachen. Only in 2018 the opening event of the forum took place in Essen at Open Grid. Also the “Get together” on invitation of the DCA on the eve of the forum in the restaurant Elisenbrunnen in the heart of the imperial city was very well received and used by many for an exchange of experiences. A successful start to the event.

In recent years, the forum has featured a wide variety of topics such as “HDD trouble shooting”, “requirements for small bore technology”, “new trenchless techniques in the HDD environment” and “use of downhole tools”. The annual members’ forum is primarily aimed at decision-makers, project and site managers, technical supervisors as well as planners and clients of DCA member companies, but is also open to foremen and equipment operators trained in accordance with GW 329 from the HDD drilling technology. Participation is free of charge and reserved for DCA member companies.

During the all-day forum, which was very well attended this year with more than 50 participants, the members of the association were able to inform themselves about the topic “Accuracies in HDD drilling” and join in the discussion. Once again, numerous member companies were involved in the preparations leading up to the event.

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The 4th DCA Member Forum, which took place in Aachen at the beginning of May 2022 under the topic “Use of tools in the borehole”, had a new record participation of about 50 participants from different countries. For the first time the forum which was designed exclusively for DCA members, was held in two linguistically separate groups, analogous to the workshops at the annual congress.

Under the direction of the two moderators President Jorn Stoelinga (English-speaking group) and board member Jörg Himmerich (German-speaking group) a total of five one-hour blocks were filled with interesting presentations and discussions: The overarching theme was “the use of tools in the borehole,” with the first block serving to explain how tools work in general: How is a drill head controlled, how do the different reamers actually work, and why do different ground conditions require different tools. The following four other topic blocks explained in more detail the different soil conditions and their specific tools.

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The 3rd DCA Member Forum, which took place in Aachen under the theme “New trenchless techniques linked to HDD technology” at the end of January 2020, was well attended with 23 participants. 10 regular and 13 associate member companies, including clients from both gas pipeline construction and cable laying, took part.

At the annual congress in Krakow in October 2019, the DCA had held a workshop on the topic of “New trenchless techniques linked to HDD technology”, in which intensive discussions were held with the participants on the areas of application of the other laying methods as well as on the advantages and disadvantages compared to the classic HDD technology.

In addition to the above mentioned points, the application limits and the costs of the individual methods were also discussed. The methods compete with HDD in the field of large and small drilling technology and complement the classical construction method.

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On 05.02.2019, the second DCA Member Forum HDD Technology took place in Aachen. The event was held as part of a workshop on the topic of “Requirements for small drilling technology”. A total of 18 people took part in the members’ forum. Nine drilling companies, three planners and one client and further suppliers were present. Three participants had to cancel due to illness.

The following points were discussed:

  • Definition Small Scale Drilling
  • Requirements in the DCA-Guidelines to small scale drilling technology
  • Project classification according to degree of difficulty (see chapter 10.5.1 ff of the TR)
  • Drilling mud disposal
  • Dealing with inadequate planning on the construction site/ Dealing with unreasonable demands of the client etc.

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The first members‘ forum on HDD technology took place on 18th January 2018 in Essen at the invitation of DCA member Open Grid Europe. Under the motto “HDD Trouble-Shooting”, the DCA has set itself the goal of establishing a kind of “error culture” within the membership.

The HDD drilling companies in the DCA are well aware of the unplanned and undesirable incidents that can complicate the work or cause additional work in practice during drilling. In order to increase the quality and reliability of the HDD process as a whole, these experiences should be used more and more in the volume.

Read more in our members’ area.