International Construction's Intermat preview

By Chris Sleight09 February 2012

Held every three years in Paris, France, the Intermat exhibition is a regular and well-established feature of the international construction equipment exhibition calendar. The show has a total gross area of 375000 m2, some 30000 m2 of which is demonstration space, and the 2012 edition is expected to attract 1500 exhibitors.

Intermat was last held in 2009, and it was of course a particularly difficult time in the global equipment sector, with the credit crunch causing a massive slowdown in business. Despite that, the show was attended by 184519 people - a dip from 2006's 200000+, but still a respectable figure. Of these, 62000 came from 162 countries outside France.

The organisers expect this year's event, which will be held from 16 to 21 April, to attract more than 200000 visitors.

The recession in 2009 also prompted seven major manufacturers to pull out of that year's Intermat, but the 2012 show will see Atlas Copco (including Dynapac), JLG, Terex, Sandvik and Wacker Neuson return, although both Manitou and Metso will stay away again this year and Manitowoc has dropped out, having taken space in 2009.

Emissions impact

A key driver for new launches at this year's Intermat will be the introduction of a new step in the European Stage IIIB diesel engine exhaust emissions laws that came into force at the start of the year. The first part of these laws came into force a year ago for 130 kW to 560 kW engines, and the 2012 regulations will see 56 kW to 130 kW engines having to meet the new requirements for lower pollutants.

This is likely to prompt a rush of new equipment launches in the affected power band. This size of engine, for example, is used in excavators from about 8 tonnes to just over 20 tonnes. Other equipment types likely to be affected are wheeled loaders in the 1 m3 to 3 m3 bucket classes, compactors from about 5 tonnes to 16 tonnes, graders up to about 18 tonnes, large site dumpers almost all backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers.

In addition to these, expect companies to unveil more additions to the ranges of heavier equipment that were unveiled at the start of last year, in response to the requirement for low emission engines in the 130 kW to 560 kW power band.

Both the European laws and their US equivalent - Interim Tier 4 - have what are called flexibility provisions in them, which allow both engine makers and equipment manufacturers to market a certain number of 'old stage machines' even after the new emission laws have come into force.

These allowances are designed to help manufacturers adjust to the new emissions requirements over a period of time, rather than having to introduce a massive number of new machines on a given day. Hence there will be numerous new earthmoving machines on display at the show, even though the laws governing their engine emissions have been in force for more than a year.

Indeed, for many manufacturers, Intermat will be the main global launch for their entire Stage IIIB ranges.

Hyundai for example will use the show as the global launch pad for its -9A series of excavators and wheeled loaders. The company says that as well as low emissions, the new machines are more fuel efficient and have seen other refinements in the way they are operated and controlled. The company will also be showing its 20 tonne class hybrid excavator at Intermat as well as an eye-catching new 120 tonne machine, it's first foray into the 100+ tonne excavator segment.

Like Hyundai, Bell will use the show to unveil the first Mark 7 generation of articulated dump trucks (ADTs). The company says the new 40 ton B40D Mark 7 outperforms rival models by as much as +6% in terms of production, while burning -13% less fuel thanks to a more powerful Stage IIIB engine from Mercedes Benz.

Terex will also be taking the wraps off a new truck in the shape of the TA300 Generation 9 ADT, which is part of a new Stage IIIB compliant range spanning 25 to 38 tonnes payload. As well as improved performance from the new engine, the TA300 features independent front suspension which provides a smooth ride at higher speeds.

Volvo, meanwhile, will unveil an on-board weighing system for the Stage IIIB F-series Full Suspension ADTs that were launched last year. Indeed, Volvo was one of the quickest manufacturers in the market to bring out new low emission machines, and this year's Intermat will be more about adding to that range than introducing it to the public for the first time.

New additions this year will include the L50G, L70G and L90G wheeled loaders, covering the 120 kW to 129 kW power classes and the ECR145D and ECR235D short radius excavators, weighing in at 14.4 to 16.3 tonnes and 23.8 to 27 tonnes respectively. In the wheeled excavator segment, Volvo will be launching four new models, the EW140D, EW160D, EW180D and EW210D from 14 to 21 tonnes.

Stage IIIB machines on display from Liebherr will include the 30 tonne R 936 crawler excavator and the R 956 SME, which is a 45 tonne class machine configured for 'Super Mass Excavation' (SME). The company's latest wheeled excavator is the Stage IIIB A 916 Litronic, which weighs in from 17 to 18.1 tonnes, depending on its configuration, while in the wheeled loader segment, the 24 tonne L 576 Stage IIIB machine will be on display.

Caterpillar's French dealer, Bergerat Monnoyeur will have some 60 machines on display, about 20 of which will be on show in Europe for the first time. These will include the new Stage IIIB K-series wheeled loaders and E-series excavators, as well as a low emission D6T dozer.

Hitachi will launch its range of Stage IIIB Zaxis-5 medium and large excavators at Intermat, with the ZX250LC-5, ZX290LC-5, ZX350LC-5 and Zx470LCH-5, in the 25, 29, 35 and 47 tonne classes. Also on show in the earthmoving segment will be four medium Zaxis-3 crawler excavators, three Zaxis-3 medium wheeled excavators, a special application machine, and six compact/medium ZW wheel loaders.

A main attraction on Komatsu's 3000 m2 stand will be its HB215LC-1 Hybrid Excavator, said to be the only excavator of its type in full production and currently at work around the world. In addition to this, many of the 26 machines on the company's stand will feature the latest Stage IIIB low emission engines.

Doosan's new earthmoving offering meanwhile will include 30 and 35 tonne class excavators fitted with Stage IIIB engines, along with a new generation of large wheeled loaders, the DL300-3, DL350-3, DL420-3, DL450-3 and DL550-3 with bucket capacities ranging from 3 to 5.5 m3. While the company is using its own engines in the excavators, it has opted for Scania diesels in the wheeled loaders, which Doosan says deliver 'best in class' power and torque.

Liugong, meanwhile, will have a much bigger presence at the show than in 2009, with a 2000 m2 stand. Taking centre stage will be the company's new E series excavators, and among the models on show will be the 22 tonne 922 E III, which features a Stage IIIB engine.

In addition to the new excavator, Liugong will take four wheeled loaders to Intermat with bucket sizes ranging from 1.9 to 4.5m³ and including one European Stage IIIB model, along with four compactors, a grader, two skid steer loaders, three dozers and four industrial forklifts.

Compact machines

Moving down the weight classes from the earthmoving sector, and there will be plenty to see in the utility and compact equipment segments, again, partly as a result of new engine emission laws.

JCB will expand its mini excavator line up at the Intermat show with the introduction of the 2.7 tonne 8026 CTS. Increased efficiency allows the 8026 CTS to use the same engine family as the smaller 8025 ZTS - providing a 14% efficiency gain. JCB will also have a new telescopic handler on show - the high capacity 550-90 Loadall.

Terex's stand will feature the new TC16 Twin Drive mini excavator, which has an electric drive alongside the diesel engine, making it suitable for indoor work and applications in other areas where exhaust fumes would be an issue.

Also new is Terex's first ever micro excavator, the 1 tonne, TC10, which is being manufactured on its behalf by Italian company Sampierana, which also makes machines under the Eurocomach brand. Other models to be supplied under this agreement will include the 1.5 tonne TC15 and 1.9 tonne TC19.

The model on show at Intermat, the TC10 features a 7.6 kW engine and offers a digging depth of 1.62 m.

Wacker Neuson's highlights will include the new Kramer Allrad 550 and 650 compact wheeled loaders as well as five new crawler-mounted dumper models with a load capacity ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 tonnes.

Meanwhile, Mecalac will launch the 10MCR, the latest addition to its range of multifunction excavators. The company's unique boom design means its MCR machines can be used as an excavator, loader or materials handler. This 9 tonne machine adds to the 7 tonne class 8MCR which was launched at the last Intermat, and features the same 10 km/h travel speed.

Also new is the AS 900 Tele, a new telescopic wheeled loader with a swinging boom. The machine will appear under the Mecalac brand for the first time, as opposed to the previous Ahlmann brand, as part of a changeover to a single identity for the company.

Road building

The highlight on Wirtgen's stand will be the new WR 240i, a large soil stabiliser and milling machine. As with other models in the Wirtgen range and those of its sister companies, Hamm and Vögele, the 'i' of the product designation indicates a Stage IIIB-compliant engine. Other Improvements to the WR 240i include an ergonomic, fully glazed cab, which offers a direct view to the milling edge.

Centre of attention for Vögele will be the new Super 2300-3i. It is the most powerful model in the new paver range, and innovations include a switchable transfer gearbox, which allows certain hydraulic pumps to be bypassed when not in use - saving fuel. Other savings are generated by, for example, the variable speed fan, which runs at a speed matched to the required cooling effort at any one time. Also new from Vögele is the MT 3000-2i offset feeder unit.

Hamm machines on show will include the 20 tonne H 20i soil compactor, which also features an increased compaction force compared to its predecessor. The company's tandem rollers, the HD+ series will also be on show, and these now have the unique ability that the two drums can be used at different frequencies.

New additions to Volvo's compaction equipment line will include the 2.5 tonne DD25 and DD25W variant tandem rollers. In the paving segment, Volvo has two new highway class machines in the shape of the 13 m maximum width P8820C ABG and 11 m P7820C ABG tracked machines. Fitted with Stage IIIB engines, the pavers offer increased fuel power over the models they replace, while cutting both noise and fuel consumption. Indeed, Volvo says the addition of a smart power mode means fuel savings can be as much as 30%.

New pavers from Caterpillar at Intermat will include the smallest model in its range, the AP255E as well as the largest machine, the AP1055E. The company will also use the show to display new models from its B series vibratory soil compactor range, alongside the CW34 pneumatic tyred roller, which features a new power train, operator controls and a modular ballast system.

The focus of Fayat's new roadbuilding machines - marketed under the Bomag brand - will be the new possibilities for communication using the company's BCM system. This is useful in situations where several compactors are operating at once on a project. The system can collate all the compaction information and produce a complete picture of the project - highlighting areas where work is needed, or where it has been completed.

The company's road maintenance machines meanwhile are sold under the Breining and Secmair brands, and the latest machine is the Swift from Secmair, which has won one of Intermat's innovation prizes. The Swift is an all-in-one machine for pothole repair, which has all the tools and equipment on baord to remove damaged asphalt, clean the hole, prime it with emulsion, fill it wih asphalt, compact it, seal and topcoat it, and then give it a final roll.

Gomaco's stand will feature the company's new 4400 barrier machine. The unit was built with international markets in mind, with the ability to pour either on the right or left side, along with Gomaco's proprietary G+ operating system, which works in numerous languages.

Meanwhile Atlas Copco's road building subsidiary, Dynapac will be showing the latest additions to its soil compactor range. On display will be the CA5000, CA6000 and CA6500, which feature cross-mounted engines that can run on biodiesel as well as traditional fuel.

Also on show will be a concept CC900E small tandem roller, which is battery powered. Dynapac says this is the first machine of its kind in the world and describes it as, "A glimpse of the future."

New from Controls is the 30 kN capacity Dynpave 78-B7030, servo-pneumatic dynamic testing system, to perform indirect tensile stiffness, creep, fatigue and tri-axial tests on asphalt samples.

This system performs load or displacement controlled test with programmable wave shape over frequencies up to 70 Hz, simulating the traffic effect, and the user-friendly interface allows the operator to monitor the test performance and evaluate results.

Coming next month

The March issue of iC will feature an in-depth show guide to Intermat, with more information on the hundreds of new products being launched at the show.

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