As befitting the highly specialised nature of the demolition robot sector, there less than a handful of suppliers of machines of this type, and this number recently increased by 25% with the entry of Avant Tecno into the market. Demolition robots work in some of the most arduous environments of all – frequently in areas that men cannot go for health and safety reasons, and hence they are generally designed to be as robust and reliable as possible to ensure maximum uptime.
Indisputably, the Swedish company Brokk is the market leader for robots (and at an anecdotal level, at a recent NFDC meeting, it would appear that UK contractors use that company name as the generic term for all robots, much as JCB is frequently used for backhoe loaders). The company used the recent bauma trade show to launch two new models into its range – the diesel 400D that will replace the 330 model when delivery begins in August and a new 60 model that will start to be delivered in September and replace the Brokk 50.
The 400D has been designed to carry heavier attachments than the outgoing 330, such as the SB 552 breaker and the CC700 crusher, and is intended for applications in the process, tunnelling and mining industries. It has a reach of almost 7 m (23 ft) and is only 100 mm (4 in) wider than its predecessor.
According to the company, it provides faster manoeuvring and positioning for improved productivity, with a track speed up by 60% over the 330 to make it the fastest robot in the range, making it ideal for use in applications where long travel distances are required. A new control system has also been fitted that allows for quick, precise movement for accurate demolition and other intricate tasks.
“The Brokk 400D will enable our clients to perform new jobs that require its improved strength and reach, whether that is in construction, process, tunneling or mining”, said Martin Krupicka, Brokk CEO. “And the improved speed will prove very valuable in applications where the machine is required to move around a lot”.
The new Brokk 60 robot is the smallest in the Brokk range but according to the company has been upgraded with 25% more power, a new control system and an even more robust design than its predecessor. The 60 model is intended for use in the construction sector and other applications where a compact solution is required. The Brokk 60 makes use of the same mounting plate as the 50, allowing it to use the same extensive range of attachments, including breakers, crushers, buckets and grapples, as its predecessor.
The increase in power has been made possible by the use of a new hydraulic system, while a fundamental redesign of the slewing system, machine body and electrical system has resulted, says Brokk, in a powerful next generation model of the smallest robot in the Brokk range.
“The Brokk 60 is a completely upgraded redesign of the popular Brokk 50 model making it a state-of-the-art machine”, said Martin. “We have incorporated several of the new features that were previously only found on the bigger Brokk machines and that have proven to be very valuable for every-day reliable performance and operation.”
And the others
There are other options out there where demolition robots are concerned, of course. German company TopTec offers a four model range of Robots. The two smallest machines, the 18.5 kW1850 E that can carry a maximum tool weight of 300 kg (660 lb) and the 18.5-25 kW 2500 E that can carry tools up to 400 kg (880 lb), are only available electrically powered. The two larger machines, the 70 kW (94 hp) 4500 E/D that can carry tools up to 800 kg (1,760 lb) and the similarly powered 5500 E/D with a maximum tool capacity of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb), are available in both diesel and electric versions.
It was at the end of 2008 that the fourth player in the sector joined the fray when Husqvarna introduced its first product, the 22 kW electrohydraulically driven DXR 310 that weighed in at 1,900 kg (4,180 lb) with a 5.5 m (18 ft) reach carrying a 250 kg (550 lb).
Husqvarna today offers a three model line-up that in addition to the DXR 310, consists of the DXR 250 and DXR 140 robots. The 18.5 kW DXR 250 has a weight of 1,620 kg (3,564 lb) and is, claims Husqvarna, the most powerful machine in its class. The smallest machine in the range, the 15 kW DXR 140, was the last to join the range and weighs in
at just 975 kg (2,145 lb) with a reach of 3.7 m (12.2 ft) carrying a Husqvarna DCR 100 crusher.