Demolition Equipment for Extreme Tasks

Published: 9/12, 2019

MB Spezialabbruch GmbH & Co. KG (MBS) is an extremely specialized demolition business, situated in the tiny municipality of Breitungen, Germany. This family-run demolition and recycling company is known for the clean and safe demolition and dismantling of industrial power plants, and cooling and exhaust air systems. MBS also develops and builds its own demolition machines and tools for many demolition projects.

A good example is the RDB 100 remote controlled demolition robot, based on the chassis of a CAT 308 D excavator. The 10t RDB 100 has dimensions of 16.4 x 5 ft (5 x 1.5 m) without the platform extending and outriggers, and a wheelbase of 10.8 ft (3.3 m). The machine has a 98-ft2 (9-m2) working area is 3x3m with the 1t Konverma HCM 600-M shear.

To demolish a 531.5 ft (162 m) tall natural draft cooling tower at the Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant, MBS used the MAMA method, its in-house demolition method. (Translated from German, MAMA stands for machine, automated, unmanned, demolition process.) MAMA was needed given the project’s proximity to active plant operations and active railroad tracks, heightening the need for safety.

“For this very special challenge we spent 14 months developing RDB 100 robot from scratch, starting with a handmade design,” says Andreas Kashadt, technical manager at MBS. “With the CAT 308 as the base machine, we developed and assembled all hydraulics, electronics, powertrain, and electrics here in our own factory. We also have a long-time partner company that make all the steel work for us.”

Other partners have been engaged to develop and design, for example, the radio remote control, TOPCON GPS system for altitude monitoring and camera system.

When the demolition robot was tested and ready, it was also a big challenge to lift it to the top of the cooling tower. For this purpose, an extensive height access technology was first mounted on the outer shell of the cooling tower to ensure safe access for the operating personnel.

Subsequently, the special demolition equipment was positioned on the edge member of the cooling tower with a specially developed lifting structure. After six months, the robot had dismantled the cooling tower in half, to approximately 262 ft (80 m).


Equipment for special projects all over the world

MBS has also developed various special machines and sawing and lifting techniques for demolition for large special demolition projects across Europe, as well as Russia and Dubai.

“This is due to the fact that standard machines often cannot be used in our special demolition of very complex industrial building,” says Peter Mittledorf, owner and manager of MBS. “Therefore, in-house development of special demolition machines has become a part of our company tradition.”

The first machine invention many years ago was the “spinnenbagger,” a spider-like demolition robot also used to demolish industrial chimneys. This first machine formed the basis for the next invention of the drivebreaker, that is currently used for dismantling of the 738-ft (225-m) high reinforced concrete chimney of the CHP nuclear plant in Jena.

MBS is also active in recycling, earthmoving, site logistics, and other industries, which means that they also handle all recycling on the demolition sites.  Together with the family, Peter, Birgit, and Anne Mitteldorf, the company has 42 highly qualified workers, mechanics, and design and mechanical engineers.

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