Case Study

Dunstans Reamer Positioner

Client Background

Dunstans, one of our esteemed clients based in Victoria, specializes in large-scale earthworks and directional drilling projects across Australia. They approached Quantech Design to develop a solution for in-house fabrication of reamers, essential tools in drilling, transport, logging, construction, and dewatering projects. Reamers required for their operations could be as large as 3.3 meters in length, 1.5 meters in diameter, and weigh up to eight tonnes. These massive dimensions posed a challenge as existing manufacturing methods were inadequate. Quantech Design was entrusted with the task of designing a custom structure that could handle reamers of varying sizes, meeting Dunstans' specific requirements.

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  • Unprecedented Size: The sheer size and weight of the reamers made it impossible to use conventional jigging and overhead cranes for their fabrication.
  • Customized Solution: Dunstans needed a tailored solution that could handle reamers of different sizes while ensuring safe and efficient manufacturing.

Quantech Design's Approach

Quantech Design addressed Dunstans' unique requirements with a highly customized solution:

  • Welding Jig: A specialized welding jig was developed to lift, rotate, and secure the reamers in place. This jig was engineered to handle the reamer's substantial weight and size.
  • Jib Crane Integration: A separate jib crane was integrated into the structure to facilitate the lifting and attachment of reamer components while the reamer was suspended in the welding jig.
  • Rotational Mechanism: The main rotating slew ring was driven by a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer, enabling a 360° rotation in the Z-axis. A hydraulic motor was incorporated into one of the positioner's arms for a 360° rotation in the X-axis. Hydraulic cylinders were used to adjust for varying reamer lengths. Additionally, a pair of hydraulic cylinders allowed for vertical translation, offering precise positioning for efficient welding.
  • Design Process: The design process involved several stages. It commenced with an initial client meeting with Dunstans, followed by the creation of a 2D concept to establish reamer size, member size, and rotational requirements. Subsequently, a 3D model was generated, then hand calculations and preliminary FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulations were performed to validate member sizing. After the general design was confirmed, a complete functioning model was created for Dunstans' review and feedback. Once Dunstans' requirements were fully met, a comprehensive finite element analysis was conducted on all critical structural components, including the D8 drive, crane beam, lifting arms, crane structure, and safety locking mechanisms. Upon FEA approval, full shop drawings were prepared for all parts and assemblies, ready for manufacture.


Quantech Design's innovative and customized solution yielded significant results:

  • Custom Fabrication Solution: The welding jig and integrated jib crane provided Dunstans with the capability to fabricate reamers of varying sizes in-house, eliminating the need for outsourcing.
  • Efficiency and Safety: The design allowed for precise positioning, enabling rapid and efficient welding of reamers. Safety was enhanced through the inclusion of locking mechanisms and comprehensive finite element analysis.
  • Collaboration: Quantech Design worked closely with Dunstans to ensure that the final solution met their specific needs and requirements.


The Dunstans Reamer Positioner project exemplifies Quantech Design's commitment to creating unique and tailored solutions for complex challenges across various industries. This case demonstrates how our team can collaborate with clients, such as Dunstans, and their existing suppliers to engineer innovative solutions that address specific problems. At Quantech Design, we thrive on pushing the boundaries of design and engineering to provide practical and effective solutions to our clients' most demanding projects.