ZED Tunnel Guidance develops and manufactures electronic systems for use on tunnel boring machines (TBM’s) to provide and display precise information on their position and orientation relative to the designed axis. This information is presented to the TBM operator in a clear and unambiguous manner allowing them to steer and control the machine so as to keep it as close as possible to the designed tunnel alignment.
The principle of operation is based on establishing a reference within the tunnel, typically with a laser but it could also be provided by infra-red laser technology which has been recently developed by theodolite manufacturers called ATR or automatic target recognition. An optical transducer is mounted on the TBM to monitor the reference and with a dual axis inclinometer permits the machines orientation to be measured.
A central processing unit linked to the transducers is uploaded with the designed alignment, survey data and other relevant data defining the machines geometry. Following processing of this data the results are then presented to the operator.
We are a small company based in north Surrey, started in 2002, but were previously the tunnel guidance department within a larger firm, and in that guise produced the first practical computer based system in 1977. All design aspects of the equipment, mechanical, optical and software are provided by the dedicated workforce of 7 employees to produce systems that use the latest available technology to provide high levels of reliability and robustness for operation in the hostile environment found underground on tunnelling projects.
Since a company is the sum total of its employees, it is these people who must be duly recognised and thanked for their efforts in producing equipment that has allowed ZED to have an established pedigree within the global tunnelling community and who are responsible for ZED receiving the honour of a Queen’s Award for International Trade.
ZED Tunnel Guidance Ltd
Unit 1 Russell House, Molesey Road
Walton on Thames, Surrey
KT12 3PJ UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1932 251 440
Fax: +44 (0) 1932 244 971
McNally / Aecon JV, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
SELI SpA, Gilgel – Gibe II Hydroelectric Project, Ethiopia