Time to dig in

CMME crawls its way around the excavator market to see how the slack in Chinese demand is benefiting the Middle East buyers of excavators James Bond uses one, so excavators must be pretty cool, right? Well actually they are. Although, like Bond there may have been changes over the years but their character has remained […]

JCB is offering Tier 2 versions of its JS range

JCB is offering Tier 2 versions of its JS range

CMME crawls its way around the excavator market to see how the slack in Chinese demand is benefiting the Middle East buyers of excavators

James Bond uses one, so excavators must be pretty cool, right? Well actually they are. Although, like Bond there may have been changes over the years but their character has remained quintessentially the same.

Staying with iconic British brands, JCB (was it approached to do Skyfall?) has announced a series of major changes to its 23-strong range of tracked and wheeled excavators with the unveiling of a line-up promising to be more “stylish, productive and more efficient machines”.

In, what it is calling a ground-breaking move, some of JCB’s excavators are being powered by JCB Dieselmax engines for the first time ever – and in some cases deliver a staggering 24% improvement in fuel efficiency.
In addition all 19 tracked and four wheeled models from 11 to 46 tonnes get a brand new cab and also take on a new look, a restyle which gives the JS range a stronger more rugged appearance.

Typically the emerging markets tend to get left behind when new engine tech comes out of the OEM workshops, but JCB, which has a strong presence in China, India and several other developing markets, is fitting a Tier 2 variant into its 20-24 tonne ranges.

JCB has been adding a 4.8 litre Stage 2/Tier 2 Dieselmax engine to 20 to 24 tonne excavators for markets such as the Middle East.

JCB says its engine has improved fuel efficiency by a massive 24%. It says that for a Chinese customer working a JS200 for 3500 hours per year, for example, this translates to an annual fuel saving of UK£ 10000 (US$ 15650).

The largest market segment for excavators is in the 20-24 tonne weight range, accounting for just over one-third of all machines sold. A total of 80% of these are used in the developing economies, which are not subject to the more stringent US or European engine emissions legislation. JCB has also announced that the 4.8 litre Stage 2/Tier 2 JCB Dieselmax engine will power all 20–22 tonnes JS excavators destined for these markets. The model numbers are: the 20 tonne JS200 the 21 tonne JS210 the 22 tonne JS220.
While engine power rating remains at 128Kw or 172hp, JCB has made a number of key changes, in particular incorporating new advanced hydraulic technology, with optimised pump settings and revised spool configuration. JCB has also modified the Advanced Management System to ensure that the excavator defaults to Economy mode on start-up.

Bond may not have been in JCB but he certainly was in a Cat 320D in Skyfall. Caterpillar announced this month that it is to officially launch its first hybrid excavator at next year’s Bauma. The Cat 336E H is the company’s first machine to use a novel hydraulic hybrid technology developed internally by Caterpillar. Field tests have demonstrated this machine will significantly lower customers’ owning and operating costs.

Caterpillar defines a hybrid machine as one that is equipped with a device to collect, store and release energy during machine operation.

The 336E H captures energy when the machine slows down or stops, and then releases it as the machine accelerates. On a typical job site, an excavator may repeat the same cycle every several seconds, which represents a significant energy savings opportunity.

“The 336 excavator – a recognised industry-leading workhorse in our product line – made the most sense as our first choice for applying the unique hybrid technology,” said Gary Stampanato, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Excavation Division.

“The new 336E H hybrid uses as much as 25 percent less fuel than the standard 336E, without sacrificing performance. No other hybrid machine in its class in the market can achieve these dramatic savings. Since fuel is one of the largest operating costs for our customers in general, quarry and heavy construction applications, this is a technology that directly improves their bottom lines.”

In his latest adventure, Bond spends a fair chunk of his time in China. The country may be suffering from too many machines in the market, but it is still making steady progress on the global market.

LiuGong launched its new range of D Series excavators into the Middle East and North Africa region via its Dubai subsidiary LiuGong Machinery (Middle East) last year.

The D Series stretches across the 15 to 36 ton range and comes fitted with the company’s new generation of intelligent crawler excavators featuring computer-aided systems including its push-button computer aided power control system (CAPC).
When it was released LiuGong described the machine as an interim model and earlier this announced its next machine the E-series.

“The E-series was designed and delivered in two phases – we rolled a portion of the machines’ improvements out two years ago at Bauma with an interim D-series, and have finished all the design improvements with this model,” said David Beatenbough, Vice President of Research & Development for LiuGong at its launch.

Beatenbough, who has directed LiuGong’s machine design for six years, said this machine is the culmination of a production process that has been retooled to begin with the needs of western customers in mind. It’s one of the biggest product development projects LiuGong has ever undertaken.

“We took our design and production process and turned it inside out. We always considered the customer in the past, but prior to becoming a global company, our customer was Chinese, we’ve known that market for 50 years,” said Beatenbough.

“In this machine, we put aside what we thought we knew and got solid product market research to inform us what western customers really want and need.”

Fellow Chinese manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry said last month that it hopes its $60 million Pune plant can help it become the number one excavator supplier in India. The factory could also serve near markets such as the Middle East.
In an interview with the local media, Richard Deng, managing director of Sany India, said that the company earned $5.5 millon revenues in India last year.

“We see the demand for construction equipment going up significantly over the next few years as the Indian Government seeks to support infrastructure growth. During XII Plan, infrastructure is likely to see investment of $1 trillion. In an equipment market which is likely to grow to about $560 million by 2016-17, we are targeting sales of $75 million,’’ he said.

Bond may not have been there since Die Another Day, but South Korea’s Doosan is proving that it is on a mission of its own to launch its new range of crawler excavators in the Middle East and African markets.

The new range comprises the DX225LCA, DX300LCA and DX340LCA models, which replace the previous SOLAR range, offering a new design and features particularly suited to the specific needs of the Middle East and African markets.

The new excavators combine high robustness for increased reliability and lower running costs with several important new functionalities and technical improvements, including: a powerful Doosan Tier 2 compliant engine ideal for use in the Middle East and Africa and offering significant fuel savings (up to 15% depending on the working mode and the nature of the work site.

Selected via a new LCD colour display panel in the cab, three operating modes for all the new excavators – Power, Standard and the Economy mode – allow a significant reduction in fuel consumption. In combination with these operating modes, the new EPOS controller ensures a perfect interface and adjustment between the engine and hydraulic output that optimises productivity and reduces fuel consumption by 5 to 15%, depending upon the mode selected.

New generation components and an optimal separation of the hydraulic flow output needed for travel and the front workgroup enable a significant acceleration of movements with better smoothness and proportional flow.

The operating weight of the DX340LCA excavator varies from 34.4 to 34.9 tonne, depending on the configuration, with the maximum bucket capacity ranging from 1.49 to 2.35 m3, ideal for projects involving mass excavation work. Equipped with the standard boom and arm, the digging depth is 7533 mm, the reach is 11168 mm and the digging height is 10345 mm.

The DX340LCA is equipped with an air-to-air intercooler 6-cylinder Doosan DE12TIS Tier 2 compliant engine with a displacement of 11 litres, developing 185 kW (247 hp) of power at 1800 rpm (SAE J1349) using a mechanical injection system. The mechanical injection system ensures the engine delivers maximum power and torque, whilst at the same time reducing emissions. The machine is also equipped with an air-to-air intercooler 6-cylinder Tier 2 compliant engine.


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