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Enclosed Rotary Encoder Technology Improves HDD Reliability, Performance

d50da162-5994-43b4-8fa4-7210118b32c2Reliable sensors & switches for the most challenging environments around the world

Horizontal boring offers advantages beyond trench technology for underground utilities. The demands of pipeline and utility construction, however, remain as unique as the measurement-while-drilling (borehole telemetry) technology itself.

In traditional horizontal directional drilling (HDD) machines, the status of the boring is determined by a series of proximity switches. The proximity switches allow for detection of rod location into the bore and rod carriage position. The proximity sensors give limited feedback on the status of the pipes relative to drill hole and rack position. Drilling depth and speed, however, remain unknowns. During HDD pipe installation, underground boring systems inevitably encounter environmental factors detrimental to externally mounted proximity sensors. The demands and shock loads of drilling, proximity switches regularly become damaged or ripped off machine structures. This damage impacts machine reliability and machine operators’ ability to meet functional deadlines.

GS Global Resourcesfully-integrated rotary encoder—installed internally in the hydraulic thrust motor—protects sensors from external debris and damage. By utilizing an internal encoder, exact depths and speed of the drilling head operation are always known.

While multiple proximity switches monitor a machine’s fixed-key positions, limited feedback is provided on rack position. This extremely robust rotary encoder solution delivers motor rotation measurement that allows OEMs to determine infinite rack positions and customers to monitor rack position. This provides full machine control throughout drilling operations.

The GSGR in-motor speed and position sensor is a non-maintenance solution to ongoing threats to reliability and performance. It never requires adjustment or alignment. This vibration resistant installation motor encoder is tested to MIL STD 202, is IP67K rated, can withstand temperatures-40°C to +80°C, and is available in multiple output styles. The sealed non-contact position sensing sensor is internally mounted into a high-torque, low-speed motor (which provides thrust force to the HDD rack) mounted to the machine, which meets the unique demands of HDD.  GSGR’s motor encoder solution assists in creating a more accurate solution, which results in improved machine efficiency