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Jan De Nul unveils remote controlled hydraulic excavator

Jan De Nul Group in Belgium has unveiled what it claims is "the next step in the development of hydraulic excavators that can be used in shallow to medium-deep coastal waters." Over a period of only four years the technical department ay Jan De Nul has developed a remote controlled underwater excavator starting from a standard type basic excavator.

The development programme has been through a number of iterations and has resulted in a remote controlled excavator capable operating at depths of up to 30m. The basic excavator itself weighs 150 tons. This week the first underwater tests were executed in the Kluizendok.

The development of the remote controlled excavator saw Jan De Nul's survey department and workshp work together on the the sonar system, the integrated GPS and the micro-digger to perform works under water with an accuracy of about 10cm.
The excavator has a 6m3 bucket and maximum digging depth of 10.4m. It has a digging force of 550kN. Additional equipment include a hydraulic hammer and scissor function.

Volvo unveils four new C-Series compact excavators at Bauma

Volvo Construction Equipment will introduce its new, improved and expanded range of compact excavators in the 1.5 to 2 tonne class at Bauma 2010.

Volvo is using the world's largest construction equipment exhibition Bauma to unveil a new generation of compact excavators in the 1.5t to 2t class, setting new standards for quality, technological innovation and value.

Four new machines EC15C, EC17C, EC18C and EC20C will replace the existing EC15B in XR, XT and XTV variants and the EC20B in XT and XTV variants. "These are completely new machines," says Jean Wilfrid Goncalves, Global Product Marketing Specialist for Compact Excavators at Volvo Construction Equipment. "They offer significant improvements in performance, operator control and comfort and ease of maintenance."

Machine performance

The new C-Series compact excavators, which will be rolled out across Volvo's European, North American and International markets from April, are powered by a 12.3 kW (16.8 hp) diesel engine. They include hydraulic hoses routed in the boom as well as rear protection. The entry level excavator in the new range is the EC15C. With a maximum operating weight of 1,540 kg (3,395 lbs), this is a machine that is lightweight and easy to transport, even by a light vehicle. It can access even the smallest job sites, yet has a maximum digging depth of between 2.1-2.3 m and a bucket breakout force of 1,143 daN.

Special features

The machines boast a range of high performance features that offer customers increased operator comfort, safety, productivity and profitability. The machines feature a new hydraulic translation function, which gives the operator the choice of using either hand levers or foot pedals so that his hands can concentrate on the pilot controls.

Another important function is the simultaneous control of slew and offset movements using the electro-proportional roller. This feature is crucial for faster, more precise performance as well as operator comfort, as are the C-Series excavators' new more spacious Volvo Care Cabs and sleek canopies. Routine daily operator maintenance checks are quick and easy with these new machines, as all service points are readily accessible under the engine cover.

Komatsu launches the world's first hybrid excavator

Komatsu Ltd has announced the release of the world's first hybrid (electro-hydraulic) excavator, which went on sale in Japan on June 1, 2008, delivering fuel savings of between 25 and 40 percent.
It will not be offered in markets outside of Japan until after the first quarter of 2009.

The 20 tonne PC200-8 Hybrid is powered by Komatsu's Hybrid System, based around a newly developed electric motor to turn the upper structure, a power-generation motor, a capacitor and a low-speed diesel engine.

In announcing the new excavator concept, Komatsu Ltd President and CEO, Kunio Noji said the company had decided to introduce its first hybrid machine in what is its flagship line its Dash 8 excavator range. "As a leading supplier to the construction equipment manufacturing industry, we are determined to meet the needs of the time by practically proposing innovative equipment designed to reduce environmental impacts, including CO2 reduction," Noji said.
Compared with a standard PC200-8, Komatsu's hybrid excavator typically achieves a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption, but in certain applications where the machine is primarily involved in digging and slewing operations (rather than travelling), fuel reductions of up to 40 percent have been recorded.

Komatsu's proprietary Hybrid System converts energy generated when the upper structure reduces speed while slewing, storing the energy in the capacitor, and then using it to assist the engine via the power-generation motor when the engine accelerates.
All components of the Komatsu Hybrid System, with the exception of the capacitor cells, are designed and manufactured in-house by Komatsu, ensuring high reliability and durability.

The main difference between conventional excavators and Komatsu's new hybrid machine include:

- An electric motor to turn the upper structure rather than a hydraulic motor, which also stores energy generated when the slewing action is braked, with the regenerated energy used to augment engine power allowing the engine to be used at lower speeds with higher-efficiency combustion.
- Capacitors that can instantaneously and efficiently collect, store and discharge electrical power from the regenerated energy, assisting the diesel engine in accommodating an excavator's need for dynamic and frequent bursts of power when carrying out excavation work.

- When the engine is at idle, it is run at "super low" speeds, further contributing to lower fuel consumption.
Between the beginning of June and March 31, 2009, Komatsu expects to sell 30 hybrid excavator units, all in Japan, before offering the concept in international markets. In Japan, the new PC200-8 Hybrid is selling for 27 million yen (around NZ$280,000) about a 20 percent premium when compared with a conventional machine.

Sean Taylor, Komatsu Australia's General Manager, Construction, said that while the new hybrid excavator is not available in Australia or New Zealand just yet, it is an example of the company's technological leadership. "Komatsu has led the industry for many years in the development innovative, fuel-efficient hydraulic systems, engines and electronic control systems," he said.
"Our release of the world's first commercially available hybrid excavator is the latest example of our industry-leading technology and engineering.

"And in the development of this new-concept machine, Komatsu has maintained its philosophy of designing and manufacturing the major components in-house, ensuring full integration of all aspects of the machine, ensuring maximum reliability and performance," said Sean.
"In releasing the world's first hybrid excavator, we are demonstrating our strong commitment reducing customers' machine owning and operating costs and also to making a real difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the longer term," he said.

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