October 18 to 21 will see the BICES construction equipment exhibition held in Beijing, China. The event is held every two years - alternating with the Bauma China exhibition in Shanghai - and this year it is expected to set a new record, with 1200 exhibitors taking a total of 200000 m2 of exhibition space.
The event will be held at the Beijing Jiuhua International Exhibition Center, which is to the north of the city, about 30 km from the centre.
As one of the two leading shows for the Chinese construction equipment industry, BICES is often the scene of some significant launches. Last time it was held for example, in 2009, the show saw the launch of both the biggest dozer and biggest wheeled loader ever manufactured in China. It also saw the country's largest crawler crane launched, although this has now been surpassed.
This year's exhibition promises to be similarly dynamic, with the Chinese construction equipment sector still on a high from the country's massive stimulus spending programme during the global economic downturn. BICES is an exhibition that attracts all the big names in the industry, be they international players or big names in the Chinese domestic industry.
New from Shantui this year is a range of concrete equipment, which it has added to its portfolio following the acquisition of Wuhan, Hubei Province-based Hubei Chutian Construction Machinery in 2008. Following the acquisition, Shantui entered into a joint venture with Japanese concrete equipment specialist Nikko and local Shantui dealer Zhongnan, which has seen the product portfolio grow.
Deputy General Manager of Shantui Chutian Wang Ding Hong said, "We used to have just a single 8 m3 mixer range, now we have 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14 m2 machines. With concrete booms we just had 27 m and 42 m reach models, but with the technology from Nikko our range now goes from 26 m to 51 m."
Products on display at BICES will be the HZS180 mixing plant, again developed by Japanese technology partner Nikko. The plant can handle a variety of mixes, including high-strength and self-levelling concrete, which the company says makes it suitable for booming areas in China such as high-speed railway, high-rise and power plant construction.
Also new is the 52 m reach HJC5391THB -52 truck-mounted placing boom. This features a range of premium components, such as Rexroth hydraulic pumps, a Stiebel transmission and Weldox high-strength steel for key structural parts. The pump itself has a 600 l capacity hopper and a mixer that will automatically switch into reverse if there is a material jam.
But not forgetting what it is most famous for, the Shantui stand will also feature several models from its dozer range. Among these will be the SD52-5, a 67 tonne machine, which the company says is the largest dozer built in China. The dozer is fitted with a low emission, fuel efficient Tier 3 engine.
Komatsu's 800 m2 stand at BICES will include a number of new machines, but there will be a particular focus on the company's growing range of hybrid excavators.
Its original 21 tonne HB215LC-1 has now been joined by the lighter HB205-1, which weighs in closer to the 20 tonne mark. Continuing in this theme of low fuel consumption, BICES will also be the first chance to see one of the smallest machines Komatsu markets in China, the 6 tonne class PC60-8 compact excavator.
Komatsu says its key focus at the show will be the fuel savings that can be achieved with the HB205-1, compared to other 20 tonne excavators.
Other machines on display will include the 36 tonne class PC360-7 excavator and 24 tonne class PC240-8. Komatsu's BICES stand will also feature a WA380-6 wheeled loader configured for handling coal and a D65EX-16 dozer.
Four out of the eight foundation construction machines on Sunward's stand will be new at BICES, alongside more familiar machines from it's down the hole (DTH) hammer and rotary drill rig ranges.
New additions include an updated spiral drilling rig based on an excavator carrier. The company says this allows it to either drill or carry out traditional excavation tasks.
Sunward's hydraulic grab is a brand new unit, as is its anchor drilling machine. Also on display will be a new DTH drill rig, aimed at the heavier end of the market. It can drill diameters from 90 mm to 255 mm to a depth of 48 m, positioning it in the mining and heavy civil engineering sectors.
In the lifting segment, Sunward will unveil a range of 50 tonne class cranes at BICES, including a 50 tonne crawler crane (based on an excavator body, with a telescopic boom), a 55 tonne rough terrain crane and a 55 tonne truck crane. The RT crane may be popular outside China thanks to the use of control systems from Italy's 3B6 and an Allison transmission.
The company has also released pictures of a telescopic boom access platform that may be at the show, but as yet no details are available.
Breaker specialist Giant will have several new products on display, which take its breakers into interesting niches. The company's stand will feature an all new track-mounted demolition robot, as well as a pedestal-mounted breaker for applications like boulder breaking on crusher hoppers.
The company also offers a range of different excavator attachments, as well as breakers. These include log grapples, boulder handling attachments, tilt buckets, tilt rotators, demolition grapples and rippers.
The company says its attachments are available throughout China and Asia.
Sinoboom will be taking three platforms to BICES in the shape of the GTJZ06/08/10 scissor lift, GTZZ14E/18 articulated boom and GTBZ30 large stick boom.
The new GTBZ30 has been designed with the needs of the ship building industry in mind. The 30 m working height machine features steel body parts rather than fibre glass, which are not so easily damaged in the working environment. Similarly, the hydraulic lines have been relocated inside the machine to protect them from damage.
Its other models at the show will me more mainstream construction products. The GTZZ14E for example is a traditional electric scissor lift, offering a working height of 16 m.
BICES will be the first outing for the new Sinomach brand, a new marque in the construction equipment sector formed from the merger of three state-owned companies.
Tiangong is best known for its graders, although it also produces pavers, compactors and specialist wheeled loaders. Similarly, Changlin has branched out from its roots as a wheeled loader manufacturer and now has a range that includes road building equipment. Yitou meanwhile has come from the agricultural segment as a tractor manufacturer, but also makes loaders and rollers.
The official name of the company is China Heavy machinery Corp ltd (CHMCL), but the brand will be Sinomach. The company is expected to maintain its three main factory sites, although it will eliminate the overlap that exists in its wheeled loader, roller and grader ranges.
This is just a handful of the new machines that will be launched at the show. As ever, the best way to get all the news first-hand is to visit the exhibition yourself.