Construction

Ten things we learned at Pre-INTERMAT

The Pre-INTERMAT event was a chance for companies to preview new machines and company news ahead of the April 20-25 show in Paris.

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1. Elba integrated into Ammann Middle East

Following on from Ammann’s acquisition of concrete batching plant manufacturer Elba in early 2014, the service offering of Elba in the Middle East is being taken in-house at Ammann Middle East.

Elba, which produces both smaller mobile batching plants and larger static plants, has a longstanding and successful presence in the Middle East, Michael Unger, regional sales director of Europe, Ammann Elba Beton, told CMME. This includes major sales to ready-mix companies across the Gulf, particularly in Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with as many as 100 batching plants in the region. Their batching plants are high quality with higher outputs, with their 120 cubic metres per hour plant the biggest seller.

Following on from the Ammann acquisition, the plan is to bolster the service offering for the Elba plants by using the Ammann service team with their centralised location in Dubai, along with local service support from distributors.

The company also has full-time service staff in Saudi Arabia. Unger says that there is some crossover between the two groups of customers – asphalt and concrete batching plants – including contractors involved in highway construction.

The Elba plants have also begun using the Ammann control system, and there are moves to integrate Ammann components into the Elba plants, making it easier for after-market technicians to service both the asphalt and concrete plants.

At INTERMAT, Ammann will show a new concrete mixing plant, the ECC Elba Concrete Centre. The plant has production output of 105-200m3/h, fitting market requirements in the Middle East. It is designed to be used mainly for pre-cast applications.

With a modular design, there is a high degree of customisation possible, and the plant can be assembled as a stationary or semi-mobile mixing plant. The plant comes semi-galvanised as standard, and there is the option of foundation-free assembly.

2. Topcon shows benefits of aerial surveying

Having an aerial view of a construction site or quarry has obvious utility for any business manager, and following a strategic partnership with MAVinci, Topcon is offering an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) drone that can provide high-quality imaging from the air.

Sirius Pro is designed to deliver orthofotos and three-dimensional elevation models with a high absolute accuracy of 2-5 centimetres without using ground control points.

For construction, the imaging can be used to review progress on a site, allowing managers to decide whether additional resources need to be allocated to speed up one area of the project. The imaging can give information about the volumes of material on-site, including volumes of available backfill or whether aggregates need to be ordered from the supplier. It can also determine whether suppliers are delivering the volume of materials that they are charging for. For quarries, this means users can receive real-time updates on fluctuations of stock pile volumes.

Imaging can also be used to show completion of one area or phase of a project, allowing the contractor to send out the invoice. “The cashflow of the company can even be faster,” says Achiel Sturm, marketing manager at Topcon Europe Positioning.

There are also uses for municipalities, who can provide information on ground conditions when they put a project out to tender. Changes in land conditions can also be mapped, such as the impact of construction development on a waterfront area.

The drone is a fixed-wing UAS, and key advantages include its ability to work in mountain areas, with the flight plan adapting to elevation. It is able to cover areas that require multiple flights; the flight plan automatically splits and rejoins for post-processing. The machine has a simple hand launch, and is able to land automatically.

3. Hamm, Vögele to present new products

Wirtgen Group’s road construction brands have a strong presence in the Middle East, and the INTERMAT show in Paris will present new products, including Hamm rollers and a new Vögele spray paver.

The company will also show the new mobile asphalt mixing tower from Benninghoven. Wirtgen Group acquired a majority stake in Benninghoven, which produces a range of asphalt batching plants, in August 2014. The acquisition closed the circle for Wirtgen Group, allowing it to offer the full range of products related to road construction, from rock processing and asphalt mixing to paving, compaction and rehabilitation of all kinds of roadways.

The Vögele spray paver, the Super 1800-3i, can also be used as a conventional asphalt paver. The paver has a maximum spray width of 6m, while as a conventional paver without spray function it can pave widths of up to 9m. The spray paver will replace the previous generation Super 1800. Advancements include integration of the spray module operation into the ErgoPlus 3 operating system. The insulated emulsion tank positioned on the top of the paver has a capacity of 2,100 litres, and an integrated electric heating system ensures that the emulsion is reliably maintained at the ideal temperature for spraying.

Hamm will present two new compact rollers, the H5i and the H7i. The H7i is an 8 tonne machine, and with a length of 4.40m is the shortest machine in this weight class in the world. One new feature is the traction drive, with wheels no longer driven via a rear axle, but through wheel motors. This gives the compactors good climbing capacity and much greater ground clearance than the older machines. The larger H11iX roller, a popular model in the Middle East, will also be on show.

4. Terex Trucks To make first international appearance

Terex Trucks will have its first stand-alone international exhibit in Paris, its first major trade show under new parent company Volvo CE.

Representing the Terex Trucks line-up at the trade show will be the TA300 and TA400 articulated dump trucks and the TR60 rigid dump truck, representing the company’s wider range, which goes from the 25t payload TA250 to the 38t payload TA400, and the off-highway rigid dump trucks, which range from the 41t payload TR45 to the 91t payload TR100.

“As a stand-alone company but with the resources and expertise of a global leader in the construction equipment industry, Terex Trucks is stronger together as part of Volvo construction equipment,” comments Paul Douglas, managing director of Terex Trucks.

“With a global dealer network and a long, distinguished reputation for producing high-quality, reliable products, Terex Trucks is in better shape than ever before. INTERMAT 2015 gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this new confidence and showcase our commitment to products, customers and the dealers.”

Terex Trucks recently signed up a new dealer in Qatar, Rumaillah Motors; the appointment process, including training of dealer staff, had been ongoing for several years. The company has several major customers in the Middle East, including Stevin Rock in the UAE and COMEDAT, Jordan’s largest phosphate mining contractor.

5. LiuGong To introduce new H-series loaders

LiuGong has revealed its new 17.8t wheel loader with a 5t payload, the 856H. The wheel loader is the first in a new generation of H-series wheel loaders, and in the Middle East will replace the current 856G. The machine makes extensive use of technology from LiuGong’s two major joint ventures in China, with engine producer Cummins and axle- and gearbox-producer ZF.

LiuGong will begin shipping the machine to the Middle East around the time of the INTERMAT show in Paris in late April, says David Beatenbough, vice president of LiuGong, who is in charge of LiuGong’s research and development. The 5t payload machine will eventually be followed by a 9t payload class loader, and machines with 7-8t, 3t and 4t payloads will all be introduced to the market over the next 18 months, says Beatenbough.

The Middle East version will use a GCIC engine, produced out of the LiuGong-Cummins joint venture, with a power curve specifically developed for wheel loaders. In the Middle East, most machines will likely be sold with axles and transmissions from the ZF-LiuGong JV. The project to design the H-series began in 2010, says Beatenbough.

“This is the first time that we’ve done a true integrated design from the ground up for a wheel loader,” says Beatenbough. “In the past it was more bolting components together, and there was very little looking to see how systems work when they’re coupled with other systems. This changes all of that.”

The machines have been designed by the LiuGong team with all the component systems integrated, including the software controller. “We built our own controller, writing the software and optimising the machine for the needed applications.”

Common features across the range will be improved fuel efficiency, a new and wider cabin and improved rear visibility. The machines have been developed by LiuGong’s internal industrial design team, the first project they have worked on.

The development process also included extensive reliability testing, with around 50,000 hours of testing, says Beatenbough. “This gives us a lot of confidence in the component reliability and the whole machine reliability.”

The majority of the testing took place in China, since temperature extremes and a full range of operating conditions can be found across the huge country. But H-series loaders were tested globally, and a number of 856H units were tested in the Middle East.

Existing LiuGong customers will notice improved efficiency, coming from the tuned engine curve and the integration with the controller, says Beatenbough. “In terms of owning and operating costs, they’re going to see a difference. You’ll see the same machine response for less fuel-burn.”

The machine will be backed by LiuGong’s extensive service and dealer network in the Middle East.

6. Bell Equipment appoints United Motors as UAE dealer

Articulated dump truck specialist Bell Equipment has appointed United Motors & Heavy Equipment, part of the Darwish bin Ahmed Group of Companies, as its exclusive UAE dealer.

The company has previously secured major sales in the Middle East, including a fleet of 50 trucks working with a road construction company in Kuwait. The company produces a range of ADTs from its manufacturing base in South Africa, with a second factory in germany.

Marc Schûrmann, managing director of Bell Equipment Europe, says that Bell is a specialised manufacturer of ADTs. “We don’t have front-end loaders, we don’t have any other high-volume product that drives [purchasing of] subcomponents. We have the flexibility and the freedom to go out to the open market and choose the best components. Being able to do that, we don’t sacrifice anything in our design,” he explains.

Selection of components on the open market allows them to select the best possible truck components for the ADT application with a high power to performance ratio, says Schûrmann. This includes the lightest engines per kilowatt and pumps with high throughput per litre. “Our trucks in general are about 20% lighter than our competitors’.”

This leads to lower fuel use, since although its primary use is hauling, the truck is empty 50% of the time on the return. Schûrmann says that many of their competitors use larger engines designed originally for other applications such as wheel loaders, which are heavier and require many of the components in the trucks to be upsized to cope with the extra weight, leading to extra costs for buyers.

Bell’s ADTs sold in the Middle East are equipped with tier-2 Mercedes Benz engines. For the Gulf, extra cooling capacity can be added.

The trucks feature a number of design enhancements to improve productivity and reduce the impact of driver error. This includes a level sensor that prevents the tipper being used to the full extent if the truck is not on flat ground. A new feature at INTERMAT is active suspension, which counteracts the characteristic side-dip of an ADT cab that occurs as a truck corners. The suspension system keeps the cabin level, which improves driver confidence.

Schûrmann says that drivers typically slow down when they experience this side-dip, so the suspension system is designed for drivers to keep the truck moving at optimum speed even while cornering. “The tonnage moved in a shift will be higher, and there will be less strain and fatigue for operators.”

At INTERMAT, Bell Equipment is showing a prototype of their B50E ADT, the second phase in their new E range of ADTs. The B50E will in time succeed the world’s first production 50-tonner, the Bell B50D.

“Our smaller 20- to 30-tonne e-series ADTs formed the first phase of development,” says product marketing manager Tristan du Pisanie. “They have been well accepted by the market, so there has been no need for a change of approach with our larger trucks and we are excited to showcase our B50E prototype. Importantly, this family of trucks shares a platform that is conceptually the same and is an evolution of our D-series trucks, which have proven themselves as class leaders during their 12 years of operation all over the world.”

The E-series is built with Allison transmissions, but in a change from the D series, the transmission retarder has been removed to make space for the inline 6 engine, and the B50E has received a seven-speed transmission. automatic retardation will be maintained through an automatic retardation function in the cooled wet brakes.

7. SDMO sees demand for rental compacts

French generator manufacturer SDMO believes that demand for mobile generators in the rental sector is growing in the Middle East. Gregoire Girard, responsible for SDMO marketing for generators under 700kVA, says that currently in the Middle East, stationary generators are being used for rentals and construction.

Demand is now moving to buying rental-dedicated generators which are designed to be mobile. The advantages for users are better mobility and improved performance, which must be balanced against a higher cost, says Girard.

SDMO has a range of 20 different compact rental generators, covering 15-550kVA output. The range is available with engines for international markets, including the Middle East. The gensets have been designed specifically for rental applications, and the machines are designed to be stronger, and better in terms of performance and the cooling system. Safety for users is enhanced by the machine sockets and control panel.

“We are trying to move the market from stationary for mobile use, to the real rental use. Today in the Middle East the business is coming back, and we are convinced that customers will move on this product,” says Girard.

Last year, the ERA (European Rental Association) presented SDMO with an award for the range. The decision was based on the shock resistance qualities of the rental compact generator sets, recommended for construction sites in extremely difficult conditions due to their high safety levels and a design allowing easy maintenance and cleaning.

8. Geith looks to expand in GCC

Hydraulic attachment producer Geith is looking to appoint dealers in the GCC, viewing the region as a potential growth market. The firm produces a range of attachments for hydraulic excavators, including hydraulic and mechanical quick couplers and heavy-duty excavator buckets.

At the Pre-INTERMAT event, Geith launched new products including compact tilt buckets and its own tilting coupler.

The company’s range, including heavy-duty excavator buckets, rock buckets and extreme-duty buckets, is appropriate to ground conditions in the Middle East, says Jürgen Gremez, global sales and marketing manager at Geith. The company’s attachments can be used on any brand of excavator.

“The Middle East is on our radar, it’s a market where we want to further expand,” says Gremez. Nevertheless, with attachment use less pronounced in the Middle East than in markets in Europe, there is a need to educate the market. “We need to sell the concept, the gains in time and efficiency and productivity thanks to the quick hitch.”

“Today [in the Middle East], the excavator is a single-task machine, so the versatility of the machine is still not fully explored. Pallet fork is one example – on every job-site you need to move pallets, and not everyone has a forklift or a telescopic handler always available. The excavator can do the trick, and a quick hitch allows you to snap on and off any attachment, including pallet forms.”

Selling attachments involves a consultative process with customers, including visiting their job-site to see how they are using their excavators and look for opportunities to improve processes.

“The attachment is really what gets the dirty job done. the machine can be powerful, blue, yellow or pink, but the teeth, the cutting edge, and bucket size and shape are critical.”

For quarry and aggregate applications, geith has heavy- and extreme-duty rock buckets, and Gremez says that its strength can be further bolstered with a “muscle pack” or wear pack, which uses additional anti-wear plates to make it more robust, useful when the rock is particularly abrasive or when heavy rocks are hitting the sides of the bucket. The buckets use high grade steel of 450 Brinell and above which is hard-wearing.

Tilting attachments include a tilting bucket which allows 45 degrees of tilt, typically used for landscaping, backfilling and trench work. The next level is to use a tilting quick coupler, allowing users to swing any attachment 90 degrees left or right. This means the excavator does not have to be repositioned as frequently, saving time as well as fuel.

9. Wacker Neuson rollers to launch in ME

Buyers in the Middle East will see the benefits of Wacker Meuson’s long-term strategic alliance with Wirtgen Group to manufacture soil and asphalt compaction rollers, to be sold under the Wacker Neuson brand.

While initially the machines will be distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the machines will then be sold in global markets including the Middle East, a representative of Wacker Neuson told CMME, though the company was unable to confirm a timeline for their introduction in the Gulf.

In line with Wacker Neuson’s existing product portfolio of light and compact tools and construction equipment, the rollers will be at the smaller end of the range, with tandem rollers weighing 1.8-4.5t in the soil and asphalt compaction segment, and compactors weighing up to seven tonnes.

Announcing the deal, Cem Peksaglam, CEO of Wacker Neuson SE, said: “This long-term collaboration brings together two strong players in the compaction sector that complement each other perfectly. The alliance with Hamm will enable us to close gaps in the Wacker Neuson product portfolio.”

The rollers will be manufactured in Wirtgen Group’s factory in Tirschenreuth, where it produces its Hamm rollers. The machines will be produced according to the technical and design specifications of Wacker Neuson.

“The collaboration with Wacker Neuson will enable us to increase production output and leverage economies of scale,” says Jürgen Wirtgen, manager of Wirtgen Group. “This is a very attractive partnership for several reasons. In terms of sales structures, Wacker Neuson’s dense sales network with its own sales and service stations is a particular plus. In addition, the move will extend our joint customer reach.”

“Strategic alliances and collaborations like the one we are entering into with the Wirtgen Group are becoming increasingly important in an increasingly global and competitive market. they make both parties more competitive,” said Peksaglam, Wacker Neuson’s CEO.

10. For INTERMAT, the Middle East remains in focus

Held in Paris in April, INTERMAT will have a special focus on the Middle East, with two days of events focused on the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Maryvonne Lanoe, exhibition director of INTERMAT, says that since INTERMAT Middle East was launched in 2011, the Paris show has devoted two days to the Middle East. The days are designed to cater to dealers of the brands present and visitors (dealer customers), as well as institutional partners from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with whom INTERMAT has built close personal ties and a healthy working relationship.

“The aim of these days is to draw attention to the INTERMAT Middle East brand during our world flagship event in Paris,” says Lanoe. “But it is also, and more chiefly, the chance to provide responses to the equipment and machinery needs of construction companies from a region with so many projects in the pipeline, and put them in contact with equipment suppliers looking for new business opportunities. This makes INTERMAT Paris a true global crossroads for business.”

Lanoe says that they are expecting delegations from the DMA (department of municipal affairs), the DED (Department of Economic Development), the MoPW (Minister of Public Works), the 2020 Dubai Commission, the French Ambassador to Abu Dhabi and the next ambassador of the UAE in Paris.

There will also be presentations on the contract landscapes in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In addition, contractors and equipment buyers will benefit from matchmaking meetings between manufacturers and contractors for each country. The Middle East days will be held on Wednesday 22 April for the UAE, and Thursday 23 April for Saudi Arabia.

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