Remote control advantage
Another advantage of SPD’s drill rigs is that they can be
controlled remotely. That means instead of being stuck in the
cab, the operator can locate their self anywhere within viewing
distance of the rig and can get a much better view of how the
machine is operating.
“With the remote-control system, the driver gets more
control over the rig and they see what’s going on all around
the machine,” Schönberg said. “With the drilling, you have to
be around where it actually happens. With our machine you
have the operator outside and they have a remote control.
They have a much better view of what’s going on and is also
Over the years, SPD has earned a reputation for its
attention to detail with all of the machines it manufactures.
This is especially true when it comes to safeguarding the
people who operate those machines.
At Bauma, SPD unveiled one of its newest innovations:
replacing the safety cage around the DT145’s drill head with
an infrared rotary sensor system that can shut down the
machine as soon as it detects an object moving towards it.
The hardware for the system can be mounted on all of the
company’s machines and Schönberg says SPD is in the final
stages of fine-tuning the software the system requires. The
company has also adopted a system with over-centre valves
that provides greater operator safety. Three-inch screens that
are part of the remote-control operating system allow the
operator to see the inclination of the rig, and will warn the
operator if there is too much inclination.
In addition to manufacturing its own foundation mast
attachments, SPD also offers a complete line of ABI rigs for a
variety of piling and drilling applications through its German
ownership group. It also carries a number of Swedish-built
Interoc rigs including the AN150 which has been dubbed the
“drilling machine of the future.” The fully remote-controlled
system features a colour display, 60 per cent less hydraulic
hose which reduces the risk of oil leakage, software that
allows for more effective communication between its
controls and hydraulics, and consumes less fuel than many
rigs on the market.
Innovation has been a staple of SPD since Andersson
founded the company just over 25 years ago in Sala, a small
Swedish town of about 30,000 people. Andersson started
his career as a mechanic before launching the company.
He remains actively involved in the company’s day-to-day
operations as its CEO with much of his attention focused on
construction and development.
A strategic partnership
Anxious to expand his company’s reach in Europe, Andersson
realized he would need some help to do so. Two years ago,
he sold a majority stake in the company to ABI to form a
strategic partnership with the German manufacturer. The
partnership helped SPD add some of its own touches to the
AN150 including its remote-control system.
“The sale was actually Andersson’s idea. He felt like he
wanted a strong partner when going into an international
venture like this,” Schönberg said. “I think it was a very good
idea. It’s opened a lot of doors for us in the rest of the world.
ABI is big in the foundation drilling business all over the
world. It’s one of the biggest manufacturers of multifunctional
rigs. When we call customers now and talk with them and
tell them we’re part of ABI, they already know about ABI. It’s
really helped us get a foot in the door in a lot of other countries.
People notice us more now.”
Drill rigs remain an important part of SPD’s core business,
but the company has branched out to other areas. It sells a
full line of spare parts for all of the machines it sells, including
ABI, Delmag, Eurodrill and Interoc, and has a large rental fleet
for businesses in Sweden and some of its Scandinavian
neighbours. They are also the Scandinavian dealer for
Despite its increasing global reach, SPD remains very
much a small business at heart. Its corporate headquarters
in Sala employs a staff of about 30 full-time employees with
10 office staff and another 20 in the workshop, including a
handful of travelling field technicians. Andersson is quick to
say much of the credit for his company’s success belongs to
“A good working environment makes the production more
effective,” he told a Swedish magazine.
As for the future of SPD in Canada, Schönberg believes the
recent deal with Preco-MSE is a sign of things to come.
“I think we can sell a couple of more machines there,” he
said. “I think it would be a good fit. We just need to reach out
“I think that’s one of the reasons
we want to get into Canada is
that you have pretty much the
same kind of soil conditions
as in Scandinavia….This is the
perfect machine for that.”
– Jacob Schönberg,
Scandinavian Pile Driving
SPD’s remote control interface
20 Q4 2019 www.pilingcanada.ca