Rigonomics: Steering Tools Continue To Lead HDD Revolution

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2010 Vol. 65 No. 9
A Horizontal Technologies probe is readied.

What Suppliers Say About Their Products, Services
Digital Control Inc., Siggi Finnsson, sales and marketing manager: DCI offers a range of products, with the basic model being a walkover tracking model up to the top-of-the line model which includes wireline and magnetic guidance capabilities. All systems have walkover capabilities. Ease of use and increased productivity has been a particular focus for DCI as well as more locating frequencies and more advanced locating methods such as real time locating and target steering.

DCI has offered gravity-flow installation since the late nineties and this is a standard capability for all but the most basic systems. We anticipate there to be an increase in gravity-flow installations and have made that capability inherent to most DCI systems.

DCI’s entire product line consists of three-dimensional field view locating systems, commonly referred to as “ball in the box” locating in the industry. This is the closest thing available to seeing the drill head moving through the ground. The locating systems are intuitive and easy to operate with ions or menus. They feature real-time locating which improves productivity and makes for more accurate bores. Newer systems have a common user interface and design language so that a transition from one system to another requires very little adaptation. Transmitters are available in different frequencies and depth ranges which should meet most of the requirements of today’s typical HDD bores.

DCI continues to develop ancillary technologies such as the TensiTrak Pullback and Pressure Monitoring System which is used to monitor product pull force and annular drilling fluid pressure.

Ditch Witch, Mike Dvorak, electronics account manager: The 8500 tracking system has features that are not available on other walkover systems. The ability to locate the beacon without finding the front and rear “ghost” signals is a key to quick and accurate locates. Another key feature is the 8500’s “drill through” mode that allows the driller to drill not only to the tracker, but also beyond the tracker. This feature is very important when crossing busy streets and highways, and when there are obstacles in the bore path. The offset locating feature also can be used to track the beacon when obstacles are in the bore path.

The accuracy of the tracking electronics is key to making grade bores. The Ditch Witch 8500TK is superior in its accuracy for use in on-grade installations. In addition, Ditch Witch manufactures downhole tools that are specifically designed for on-grade applications.