Digging up new ideas
By Mike Hayes06 July 2016
The excavators sector is as fierce as ever, with manufacturers looking to make improvements to the performance, fuel-efficiency and operating comfort of both their new and existing machines.
As expected, there have been new launches across the board by companies this year, many of them generated by April’s Bauma show in Munich.
Caterpillar, for example, launched its new 330D2 L hydraulic excavator, with a maximum operating weight of 30,305 kg.
It features a fuel-efficient, 157 kW Cat C7.1 Acert engine that meets US EPA Tier 2/EU Stage II-equivalent emission standards which, according to the company, uses three-stage fuel-filtration for optimum protection of fuel-delivery components in areas with lesser fuel quality. The new machine, said Cat, is designed for high productivity, versatility, low operating costs, exceptional reliability and long-term durability, with heavy-duty main structures throughout.
New features include a powerful hydraulic system with available auxiliary circuits, quiet, comfortable cab that promotes optimum operator productivity, and easy routine maintenance for reduced owning and operating costs.
An automatic engine-speed-control system reduces engine speed during no-load/light-load conditions for added fuel savings, and the speed of the variable fan automatically adjusts to the exact cooling needs of the machine for reduced sound levels and fuel economy. The radial-seal air filter also features a double-layer filter core for maximum filtration capability, and a restriction indicator displays service requirements.
The 330D2 L boasts a long undercarriage with 3,990 mm of track-on-ground, proving a large platform for optimum performance in heavy digging and lifting operations. A 5.35 tonne counterweight enhances heavy-lifting performance, said Cat, while counterweights are bolted directly to the mainframe for added rigidity.
The company has made no secret of its desire to enhance its technology to new levels, and the 330D2 L can incorporate Cat Connect technologies, including Product Link, which provides essential machine-operation information through the VisionLink user interface. The information includes machine location, operating hours, fuel usage, idle time and event codes. The company also noted that for added job-site safety, Cat Detect technologies combine technologies that increase the operator’s awareness of the machine’s surroundings.
Volvo Construction Equipment (CE), meanwhile, said its new EC750E is a 75-tonne class crawler excavator that offers the perfect combination of power and stability to handle a higher capacity in any application, along with its EC950E. Powered by Volvo’s Tier 4 Final/Stage IV-compliant D16 engine, the heavy-duty excavator delivers increased power of 374 kW, which the company said uses advanced fuel efficiency technology, ensuring a responsive operation for maximum productivity and profitability.
The EC750E also offers innovative electro-hydraulic technology, which Volvo CE said operates in harmony with the robust engine, delivering greater operator control and productivity. The hydraulic system, in combination with Volvo’s advanced ECO mode, works in unison to reduce internal losses in the hydraulic circuit, which results in improved fuel efficiency without any loss of performance in most operating conditions.
Volvo says the EC750E has been built with the operator in mind, and the Volvo cab certainly delivers an improved operator experience with a low-noise environment for optimum productivity. The interfaces are positioned to optimise comfort and all-round visibility.
The cab also features extra storage and leg room, 12 air-conditioner vents and an adjustable seat, which Volvo CE says helps keep the operator fresh, alert and focused.
An integrated work mode system has also been designed in the EC750E to enhance fuel efficiency and machine performance, while the machine is also equipped with high-system pressure and durable tracks.
Kobelco previewed its new SK210LC Generation 10 Hybrid excavator this year, ahead of its European launch in 2017.
The machine exhibited by Kobelco Construction Machinery Europe (KCME) will be a Japanese version, but gave visitors to the show in Munich an idea of what they can come to expect from the company’s latest addition to the product range, said Kobelco.
The company said the focus on unmatched fuel economy was as strong now as it was when the Japanese machine was first launched. KCME said it was targeting “outstanding fuel consumption with the Generation 10 base model, with savings of 15% compared with a conventional energy-efficient Generation 10 model”.
Another key feature of the Generation 10 is the incorporation of battery power.
The battery can retain a greater volume of energy for longer periods, which Kobelco said supports higher engine output and improved fuel consumption, without compromising on the machines digging performance capabilities.
Building on success
Bobcat says it has built on the success of the company’s previous E55W model with its new E57W Stage IIIB-compliant wheeled excavator.
The new E57W is equipped with the Bobcat D24 diesel engine which promises to deliver a 4% increase in power to 42.5 kW, along with 7% fuel savings.
The Bobcat engine offers a distinctive solution to Stage IIIB compliance without the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF). As well as reducing fuel consumption, Bobcat said that this ‘non-DPF’ solution simplifies the operation and service of the machine, since there is no need for DPF regeneration.
The E57W has an operating weight of 5,920 kg and incorporates an updated hydraulic system delivering enhanced hydraulic performance and a 10% improvement in lift capacity. A long-arm option increases the machine’s digging depth to 3,795 mm and the dump height to 4,510 mm. Peripheral equipment can be attached via 1st, 2nd or an optional 3rd auxiliary circuit and is operated with proportional controls.
A newly designed cab and operator area features a 7-inch display which provides fingertip operation of all of the machine functions, said Bobcat. The company added that the cab also has a heated seat, ergonomically placed controls and simple, efficient operating procedures that reduce driver fatigue. In addition, the ROPS certified cab offers good visibility, making the worksite a safer place for everyone.
In Bobcat’s description of its new E57W wheeled excavator it says it was “designed to offer high productivity, excellent fuel economy, enhanced ergonomics, improved reliability and reduced maintenance”.
Bobcat’s sister company Doosan, meanwhile, has launched the DX140LCR-5 crawler excavator.
The DX140LCR-5 is powered by the Perkins 1204F engine, which Doosan says combines reduced fuel consumption with the power and torque of larger engines with a smaller displacement. The new Perkins 1204F engine provides a 6% increase in power with an output of 85.9 kW at 2000 rpm, and a 3% increase
in torque. Swing torque has also been boosted
by 28%. The company claims trouble-free operation is guaranteed by meeting Stage IV emission regulations without the need for a DPF, through the use of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) after-treatment technologies.
Fuel consumption has also been lowered by up to 10% compared to the previous generation machine. As well as the Stage IV engine, new systems and functions have been incorporated to achieve this result.
One of the new systems adopted to the DX140LCR-5 is that the current fuel consumption can be read directly on the LCD panel and the engine can be shut off automatically after a pre-set time when the machine is not being operated. In addition, to save fuel, Doosan has developed a new system called Smart Power Control (SPC) to optimise the balance between the pumps’ output and the diesel engine
Hyundai has introduced a new Stage IV–compliant hydraulic excavator – the HX140 L.
The machine promises up to 10% better fuel economy and a 5% increase on productivity against its previous models.
The HX140 L excavator weighs in at 12.7 tonnes and is powered by a Perkins 1204F Stage IV engine, with an output of 87 kW. Hyundai said it achieves a maximum dig depth of 6,050 mm and maximum digging reach of 8,790 mm.
The new excavator includes an 8-inch interactive, adjustable, touchscreen cluster-monitor in the cab. The monitor in the HX140 L includes haptic remote control, which the company says provides easier operator accessibility and better ergonomics.
The monitor also features Hyundai’s All-Around View Monitoring (AAVM), which provides a 360 degree operating view. Included in AAVM is the IMOD (Intelligent Moving Object Detection) system that senses and warns the operator when objects come within 5 m of the machine. Hyundai said the AAVM system helps make the Hyundai HX series among the safest excavators to operate on any jobsite.
The evolution of the John Deere G-Series excavator line up continues with the introduction of the Tier 4 Final 130G, 160G LC and 180G LC excavators. The updated construction-class models from Deere are equipped with a Tier 4 Final-emission certified engine and offer the reach, digging depth, lift capacity and arm and bucket dig force required for a variety of industries.
“With powerful digging force, swing torque, and lift capacities that make the most of every gallon of fuel, the 130G, 160G LC and 180G LC are an exceptional addition to any fleet,” said Mark Wall, excavator product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “In addition to the emissions update, we used this as an opportunity to add a few customer inspired features like a programmable thumb attachment, rear view camera and light packages.”
Liebherr says it has further improved its range of hydraulic excavators as part of the machine changeover to the exhaust emissions standards Stage IV/Tier 4 Final.
All Liebherr machines from the 14 tonnes category have reduced their N0x output and particulate emissions values in comparison to the company’s previous machines. The hydraulic excavators also offer lower fuel consumption and extended maintenance intervals, according to the company. With the redesign of the cab, Liebherr said the comfort was also enhanced and the driver’s safety improved.
The new Liebherr SCR technology is used in its new generation engine, which it says consists of a SCR catalyst system and other components such as an injector and AdBlue solution. A DPF is not required, but can also be installed for special construction site requirements.
The new Liebherr crawler excavators are equipped with the integrated, performance-enhancing excavator system technology, which is based on the Positive Control hydraulic system. This system, said Liebherr, works with sensors attached at strategic points on the excavator.
The company has also launched four new wheeled excavators. Two of these – the A 918 and A 918 Compact – boast improved engine power, reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. Some of the exhibits include the two models A 918 and A 918 Compact, which have already been retrofitted to comply with the new exhaust emissions standard IV. These machines have higher engine power with reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.
Finally, JCB has launched its brand new JS131 crawler excavator for rental customers, which it says offers fantastic cost of ownership benefits. The 13 tonne machine – which JCB said loses none of the flexibility and performance of the proven JS130 – is equipped with a fuel-efficient JCB Ecomax engine that meets Tier 4 Final emission standards without the need for a diesel particulate filter, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or any form of exhaust treatment fluid.
The key features of the JS131 are its 55 kW JCB EcoMax engine, a 10% fuel improvement, a reduction of 99 dB external noise levels and a 10% reduction in operating costs with no AdBlue.
The Ecomax engine runs at just 1,800 rpm, rather than the higher 2,050 rpm of the more powerful 81 kW engine in the JS130, said JCB. It said that this results in incredibly low noise levels of just 99 dB, a small yet significant reduction on the 101 dB of the higher performance model. JCB said this makes the JS131 particularly suitable for inner city construction projects, where the necessity of keeping site noise to a minimum can be a major concern for the contractor.
New venture for Cat
Caterpillar has announced it is entering the railway-construction/maintenance industry through the development of a Railroad Wheeled Excavator.
As the design process for the Cat M323F railroad excavator progresses, Caterpillar said it will continue to solicit the guidance of experts in the railway construction/maintenance industry, which it describes as “those who use these machines on a day-to-day basis and know first-hand what characteristics are necessary for optimum performance, efficiency, safety and reliability in this highly specialised sector”. Cat said the M323F will comply with the strict EN15746 European railway standard and add further customer value with exceptional on-track stability, low operating costs, simplicity of operation, ease of maintenance and a comfortable, secure operator’s station.
Case wins bronze level award
Case Construction Equipment received a Bronze Level World Class Manufacturing (WCM) certificate for its European Excavator Hub in San Mauro, Italy, following an independent audit. The company said that the achievement came on the back of the brand’s investment in transforming the facility into a flagship production site for excavators in the EMEA region.
WCM is one of the global manufacturing industry’s highest standards for the integrated management of manufacturing plants and processes. It is a pillar-structured system based on continuous improvement, designed to eliminate waste and loss from the production process by identifying objectives such as zero injuries, zero defects, zero breakdowns and zero waste.
Case said the plant achieved its bronze level certification for its successful implementation of the focus improvement pillar, which drives the other pillars in managing projects to reduce and eliminate losses at the site in terms of productivity and material. Case added that the plant further demonstrated strengths in a number of Managerial Pillars within the WCM program, including clarity of objective and the allocation of highly qualified people.
Giacomo Stella, San Mauro plant manager, said, “The world-class manufacturing approach has meant a smooth introduction of new products and practices at the plant.
“Every member of the production team is involved in the process, takes responsibility for every step and for identifying possible improvements. For several months everyone at the plant has pulled together and, with great teamwork, driven our progress towards this excellent result.”