What would it be like if an underground tunnel system with high-speed trains could be used to rapidly transport passengers in a climate-friendly way? This is clearly a thought-provoking idea, but it would require a new generation of tunnel boring machines. Elon Musk's Not-a-Boring Competition sought out teams from around the world to enter their best machine innovations in a boring challenge staged in the Mojave Desert. The competition not only measures boring speed, but also accuracy in reaching a specified point at the other end and the amount of time it takes to make the tunnel passable. The Mosbach Dirt Torpedo not only navigates more precisely and clears away the debris faster, it also lines the tunnel while it is still drilling. MOSCA CEO Simone Mosca explains: "The project is exciting in two ways. It focuses on innovative mechanical engineering and visualises the future of our planet. These are topics that we deal with every day here at MOSCA. We're proud to support the success of the Mosbach project and are keeping our fingers crossed for the Dirt Torpedo and its developers."
Technological progress and sustainability
The development team is made up of ten students from four different degree programmes at the DHBW (Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University) campuses in Mosbach and Ravensburg as well as the TU Darmstadt. Team support and guidance is provided by Mosbach mechanical engineering professor Dr Gangolf Kohnen. Some 30 companies – including MOSCA – along with the Pro DHBW Mosbach Foundation and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science are backing the project as main sponsors with around half a million euros in cash and in-kind donations. "We have a close relationship with the DHBW Mosbach," Simone Mosca adds. "As a dual partner, we also employ students from the university. For many years, MOSCA has focused on how technological progress can foster sustainable development."
Sustainability has long been a key focus at MOSCA. The company works continuously on developing eco-friendly processes and optimising products to make them more environmentally sustainable. Examples include the use of recycled materials for strapping, integrating sustainable components into machines and practising controlled energy management in production. MOSCA most recently received a sustainability award from Germany's Focus Money magazine.