Piling Canada

Compact and Lightweight

Comacchio drills to heart of safety and efficiency with two new rig offerings. The MC 20 A and the CH 320, both introduced at the end of 2020, target the anchor and large diameter drilling sectors, respectively
Written by Lisa Gordon
May 2021

Photo provided by Comacchio

Piero Guardigli has been in the drilling and foundation industry since 1980. It’s safe to say he’s seen the launch of many products to help foundation construction professionals get their work done with increased safety and efficiency. This year, Guardigli – who is the North and South American sales agent for Italian hydraulic rig manufacturer Comacchio – is excited about the launch of two machines.

He is sure industry will be interested in Comacchio’s latest rigs: the MC 20 A compact micropiling and anchoring drill rig and the CH 320 large diameter lightweight piling rig, both introduced at the end of 2020.

Compact performer: MC 20 A

The MC 20 A is the latest in a line of compact drilling rigs from Comacchio. Falling in the 46,000-pound weight class, the MC 20 A comes standard with a heavy-duty carousel that mechanically manipulates drill rods and casings, translating into increased efficiency and safety.

“The MC 20 A is an evolution of the MC line, especially designed for anchor drilling,” Guardigli told Piling Canada. “It is fully automated and needs only one person to operate it. It is very compact. We have been developing the MC A Series for almost five years, with the MC 22 A being the first model.”

Comacchio’s all-in-one radio control system lets one operator control all functions, including rod handling.
“The industry is going toward this automation,” said Guardigli. “That type of development has drastically reduced injuries. There is a very low rate of injuries with these machines.”

As well, the simple control system makes the machines very user-friendly. “Most Comacchio machines have the same system; even if they are using a different model, users will find a lot of similarities. We have only one radio control that allows the operator to position and drill – one console does everything. One remote does the rig, drilling, movement, carousel. This is very unique.”

Guardigli says the MC 20 A is largely used for shoring up temporary walls that must be built to facilitate excavation. It is particularly useful for urban high-rise projects that emphasize vertical construction.

According to company materials, the carousel handles up to nine pairs of rods and casings with varying diameters, reaching a maximum drill string length of 30 metres. When drilling and grouting are completed, the carousel remains loaded and ready for the next bore hole, with no need for an operator to handle the drilling tools. An advanced articulation system provides flexible movement and the MC 20 A can even reach low entry points for horizontal drilling, according to Guardigli. Even in confined spaces the rig is stable, with an oscillating undercarriage that adapts to uneven ground conditions.

The MC 20 A is powered by a 285-HP engine that complies with European Stage V emission standards, running a 200 litre per minute flushing pump and a dual head system simultaneously. Operators can use the electronic bore management system to shift the power to a different application. With its powerful engine and a variety of accessories from Comacchio, including single rotary heads and hydraulic drifters, the rig can be specially equipped for any client.

Guardigli says the first MC 20 A will join the Canadian Pile Driving Equipment rental fleet in Montreal this spring, which also includes an MC 22 A. He predicts the North American demand for the MC 20 A will be around 10 machines annually. The new rig has already been introduced in the U.S. by Comacchio dealer ICE (International Construction Equipment).

“It is a high performance machine in the upper price segment,” said Guardigli. “It’s not for everyone. It is for professional customers willing to invest in safety.”

He says that the main advantages of the MC 20 A when compared to similar machines on the market are its compact size, ample power and lower overall weight.

Comacchio in Canada

Comacchio is expanding its dealer partnership with Canadian Pile Driving Equipment (CPDE), headquartered in Lacombe, Alta., about 25 km north of Red Deer. The arrangement will see the company providing more Comacchio drilling equipment rentals to its Canadian customers.

Currently, there are about 50 of the Italian-made rigs in the country, representing various models.

“It’s difficult to work in Canada because the country is so spread out,” said Piero Guardigli, Comacchio’s sales agent for North and South America. “Comacchio has been in Canada since the early 2000s. I rely on having good people in the field. I’ve known CPDE for a long time and they’ve been working with us in the west for a while. Now, we are expanding to Quebec with them as well.”

Lightweight capability: CH 320

Comacchio has also released its CH 320 piling rig, targeted at the large diameter sector. The manufacturer began building equipment for this segment in 2015, releasing five models in five years.

The CH 320 offers many advantages in the field. Among them are its transport weight of less than 32 tons/70,500 lb (with rotary and Kelly bar installed) and self-erecting capability. Guardigli says it can be unloaded and put into operation in just a few minutes without the need for any external equipment. A variable gauge undercarriage with telescoping side frames further stabilizes the rig during set-up and drilling.

Despite its smaller size, the CH 320 is mighty. It offers high torque performance – up to 132 kNm of nominal torque – allowing users to complete drilling tasks that would normally call for bigger equipment.

On the job, the CH 320 shines for completing drilled shafts with the use of casings in areas with soft soil or where water is present. Working with casings up to 880 mm in diameter, it offers a winch pull down system that allows for a Kelly set-up, as well as a quick-CFA configuration with a special conversion kit that permits the installation of CFA piles with an 800 mm maximum diameter.

“The CH 320 emphasizes energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Guardigli. “Operators can efficiently control the power supplied by the pumps, which significantly reduces fuel consumption. It’s estimated to save around 30 litres per day.”

The engine also conforms to Stage V emissions standards and the CH 320 offers a more spacious, updated cab design while fully complying with relevant safety standards. The adjustable workstation offers a seven-inch colour touchscreen that connects to user-friendly control software, custom designed by Comacchio.

“The software allows the operator to manage every aspect of the machine, from fault diagnosis to drilling parameters,” said Guardigli. In addition, it can be configured for real-time performance evaluation, which allows for data analysis, production reporting and predictive analysis.

With its CH line of piling machines, Comacchio is expanding its solutions for large diameter drilling. In total, the manufacturer builds more than 80 drill rig models, with a commitment to continuous improvement.

Comacchio has more than 30 dealers worldwide. The first CH 320 in the U.S. will soon join the rental fleet of Hammer & Steel. Piling Canada

Category: Education

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