Pentruder MDU3 in the Field: What’s the Impression?

Published: 28/12, 2023

Pentruder’s new MDU3 field tested by the pro Andreas Trönnberg.

Many readers have probably seen Andreas Trönnberg’s Facebook posts in the Concrete Cutting Nutters Association (CCNA) and other groups about different jobs he has done. Trönnberg, who joined the Swedish concrete cutting company Göteborgs Hålmetod in 2016, was already well-known in the industry. He started when he was only 15, as school wasn’t really his thing. Figuring out new solutions and solving problems soon became a passion.

“I loved the fact that no project was the same and I realized soon that even if it’s hard work, you need to do it with some finesse to be both effective and develop your skills,” Trönnberg explains. “Let’s just say I spent my fair share of hours learning from others and the experiences they’ve shared, both online and out on the field. Now, after almost 20 years, I have reached the point where I’m the one sharing my experiences in hope that others might also learn from the jobs I’ve done.”

Over the years, Göteborgs Hålmetod has taken on a lot of high precision cutting and drilling projects and this has become one of its strengths. The company uses several brands of gear in the workshop, from smaller to bigger machines, but the way it has made good use of the Pentruder Core drills stands out. The Pentruder MD1 heavy duty core drill, both with hydraulic and electric feed is the company’s go-to machine for bigger and tougher jobs, and the “NTGRA MDU” is the first option when many holes have to be drilled fast.

With a new Pentruder core drill planned to hit the market in mid-2024, Trönnberg was the obvious person to test the new MDU3 in the field. And the invitation to take part was too good to pass up.

“I absolutely love the old MDU NTGRA and there is no other machine that has ever been able to compete with it according to me,” Trönnberg says. “To get the chance to test the new Pentruder MDU3 and see what it’s capable of was like asking a kid if he wants to meet Santa at Christmas.”


The new MDU3 means three different machines

The MDU3 is actually three different machines within the new Pentruder HFi core drill generation. The MDU3-30 is for core bits up to 11.8 in (300mm) with a 200-1,800 rpm range, and 44.3 lbf (60Nm); MDU3-60 is for core bits up to 23.6 in (600mm) with a 100-900 rpm range and 88.5 lbf (120Nm); and the MDU3-100 is for core bits up to 39.4 in (1,000mm) with a 50-450 rpm range and 147.5 lbf (200Nm).

“We know that the previous MDU NTGRA was very well liked among our Pentruder users,” says Pentruder marketing communications director Elin Skantz. “However, we had quality issues with parts from one of our key suppliers of motor drives and therefore that machine couldn’t live up to our quality standards and we had to stop selling it.”

Skantz adds that since sales of MDU NTGRA ended, there has been a high demand from customers for a replacement. “We have been working hard for years with the development of the HFi-system with the RS2 wall saw being the first machine in the new platform,” she says. “We knew from the beginning of the MDU3 project what sort of machine we wanted to develop, and after a close collaboration between our designers and engineers we are now able to launch three MDU3 core drilling machines at once.”

The drill rig for the MDU3 is based on the same tracks as for the Pentruder wall saws. Together with the BTS-4 base plate, it is a very sturdy yet easy to mount system. The TStrack system also offers a wide variation of core drilling accessories for stitch or line drilling, a pivoting head, angle feet, and other features.


“This is it!”

The test took place on a cold and snowy morning in November at old hydroelectric plant undergoing renovation outside the Swedish city of Borlänge, where all Pentruder machines are designed, produced, and assembled. Here, concrete is old and full of aggregate. Drilling was undertaken both manually and with the auto feed, as well as with small and larger drill bits.

Although the Pentruder team cautioned Trönnberg that certain features such as the auto-feed, software and carriage had yet to be finalized, he was not disappointed in the least. “Let’s just say it cuts like a warm knife through butter,” he says. Indeed, he adds, the MDU3 behaves a lot like the older hydraulic core drills, but with the advantages of modern technology and with the power of a proper HF motor

“It reacts instantly on whatever the drill encounters in the concrete, yet the reactions are very soft,” he says. “I love the new display that shows the cutting performance, depth, and how much power the motor is using, which means that in the future I can choose the best suitable segments for the drill bit on tougher jobs.”

The machine software shows great promise as well. “You can set the desired cutting depth, turn on the water, press play and then just sit back and watch the MDU3 do the work,” he adds. “And when it has reached the set depth, it stops and starts pulling out. These new features together with the fact that you can use the same tracks for drilling and wall sawing, and the range or different drilling accessories, is a dream combination.” In sum, Trönnberg says the MDU3 will be “the machine” for any core drilling challenge.

“It won’t matter if it’s a normal-sized hole, hundreds of holes being drilled in a line, or an unusually hole,” he says. “Just rig it up and trust the machine. The need for other core drills will disappear with this machine!”

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