Product Spotlight - April 2022

Product Spotlight - April 2022

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A hole opener is a cost-effective way to enlarge a pre-drilled pilot hole or to ensure that the gauge is maintained in a deviated hole. The aggressive tools are made to be worked. Hard. With that comes inevitable maintenance and repair concerns. Falcon FR Series Hole Openers from Century Products are engineered specifically to allow for versatility and easy maintenance, keeping contractors on the job.

“Typically in the horizontal directional drilling industry, hole openers have welded arm and cone assemblies, so when maintenance or repairs are needed, this type of hole opener would require the unit to be sent off the job site for repairs,” says Todd Bielawa, president at Century Products. “But our Falcon FR Series hole openers have a unique pocket design which allows for replacement assemblies to be installed right on the job site with minimal downtime.”

These field-replaceable assemblies also allow technicians to easily switch from one cutting profile to another right on the job site. Designed for the 50,000- to 200,000-pound class rig, the Falcon FR is available in 18- to 30-inch sizes, with 12.5- and 17-inch arm and cone assemblies. Engineered to withstand the high rotational torque and pull forces required to fracture rock, the Falcon FR can go from pilot hole to 24 inches in a single pass.

“While excavating has its place in the industry, our product enhances the contractor’s ability to use directional drilling, which is more efficient, rather than open-cut excavation,” says Bielawa. “The Century Falcon FR line can be used in the water, sewer, gas, oil or electrical utility fields. With versatile cutting profiles (Milled Tooth, Conical TCI, Chisel TCI and PDC) the Falcon FR allows contractors flexibility in the field for changing ground conditions.”

Units include interchangeable jet nozzles and offer active gage and shirttail protection. They feature balanced rotation with multiple point stabilization, a robust self-energized/self-aligning dual pocket joint, a machined solid body welded to the shaft for superior strength, and rear jets which aid in cutting removal and tripping out of the hole.

“Upon an internal and customer review, we selected a design that met our intention and the customer’s needs,” says Bielawa. “This design was thoroughly tested via FEA simulation along with life cycle testing by a third party off site. The result was a successful product development which has all the versatility of a bolted joint with the strength of a welded joint.” 



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