Tech and innovation front and centre at CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE
April 20, 2017 by Corinne Lynds
A forward-looking vision for construction and infrastructure took centre stage at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017, from the unveiling of the world’s first 3D-printed excavator and the new Tech Experience to the largest show floor in history and a stellar education lineup featuring leading innovators.
The exhibitions held March 7 to 11, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center highlighted the newest product innovations and best practices for the construction and construction materials and fluid power/power transmission/motion control industries.
“Our shows are renowned as an industry showcase of ‘what’s next,’ and this year’s show did not disappoint. From the new Tech Experience, which highlighted the vital connection between technology and construction to the culmination of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, this year’s show demonstrated the rapid innovation in our industry,” said Rich Goldsbury, 2017 CONEXPO-CON/AGG chair and president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat North America & Oceania.
The technological changes revolutionizing construction and manufacturing were a central feature throughout the show. The first-ever Tech Experience pavilion attracted solid traffic throughout the week, as attendees flocked to see the world’s first-ever 3D-printed excavator, hear from industry innovators during a collection of “Tech Talks,” and engage with the conclusion of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge Finale, which awarded $100,000 in prize money to winners over a crowd-sourced competition to develop forward-looking infrastructure solutions.
“Keeping pace with technology is critical for our industries’ success and the 3D printed excavator featuring fluid power innovations, is a perfect example of the shows’ future-forward commitment to explore innovations that are happening now and the exciting possibilities ahead,” said Robert Mortensen, IFPE 2017 chair and president of HUSCO International.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017 spanned a record 2.8 million-plus net square feet of exhibits with a record 2,800-plus exhibitors from leading global manufacturers, from multinational giants to small firms with specialized products.
Sneak peek at the future: New Tech Experience & Tech Talks Forum
The new Tech Experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017 amplified the technology throughout the show floor, with an emphasis on emerging construction innovations that are driving change and process improvements across the industry.
Three interactive zones gave attendees a first-hand glimpse at the technologies shaping the jobsites of tomorrow, infrastructure development and workforce development.
The world’s first fully functional 3D printed excavator anchored the Tech Experience, with 3D Printworks further exploring additive manufacturing’s possibilities for construction applications.
The “Tech Talks” forum at the Tech Experience gave attendees a chance to hear from global innovators and technology leaders to discuss what lies ahead. The forum’s content-rich presentations aimed to inspire and inform attendees, with an emphasis on applied and blue-sky innovation to benefit infrastructure projects and construction jobsites.
Transportation reimagined: Infrastructure vision 2050
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) helped to convene a high-level conversation on the future of transportation infrastructure as five finalists squared off in the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge Finale event. The top winner: a proposal from a pair of University of California-Berkeley students to leverage autonomous vehicle technology to develop a surge-priced “Hyperlane” to ease congestion and improve mobility.
AEM launched the incentivized competition to generate crowd-sourced solutions to address the future of infrastructure throughout the world. The campaign’s three phases – Complain, Dream, and Build – drew hundreds of ideas from around the world about how to revolutionize infrastructure.
Education and exhibits: Industry best practices & product innovations
Comprehensive education programs at CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2017 helped attendees sharpen professional skills and improve their businesses’ efficiency and productivity.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 offered a record 143 education sessions, grouped into 10 tracks, including a new Technology track. IFPE 2017 hosted the industry-wide Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference in addition to hands-on “college courses” on effective use of hydraulics in mobile equipment.
Construction climate challenge: Reducing carbon in infrastructure construction
The CONEXPO-CON/AGG exhibition in Las Vegas was the venue for the latest gathering of the Construction Climate Challenge. Tackling issues such as calculating the whole life impact of building materials, the potential for cutting emissions in construction equipment and the environmental opportunities of delivering California’s high speed rail system, industry speakers discussed the climate challenges of reducing carbon in infrastructure construction from their own diverse perspectives.
The Construction Climate Challenge is an initiative hosted by Volvo CE, whose aim is to promote environmental awareness, enhance collaboration and share best practices throughout the construction industry value chain. The Las Vegas seminar was moderated by Bryan Staley, president and CEO of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. Staley was joined on stage by Margaret Cederoth, sustainability manager at the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and Dave Ross, vice-president of advanced engineering at Volvo CE.
The three-track Commander III Xtreme is unlike any other Commander built by GOMACO, and now has the ability to slipform a 24-in. (610 mm) radius. The Extreme Package for multi-application pavers includes rotary-sensored slew drives for steering, sensored leg positioning, independent travel circuits to each track, radius software, three-sensor radius system, and repeatable mold offset.
The Commander IIIx features extreme turning capabilities with rotary-sensored slew drives on each of the three tracks.
Doosan Portable Power unveiled three newly designed models to its mobile generator lineup — G25, G50 and G70. The Tier 4 Final–compliant generators offer improved fuel efficiency, extended runtimes and the industry’s lowest sound levels. These updated models are the first mobile generators equipped with Doosan-built engines — the D18, D24 and D34 respectively. The high-performance engines deliver increased fuel economy, unrivaled motor starting capability and reliable operation in extreme conditions.
The Metso MX crusher is based on patented Multi-Action crushing technology, which combines the piston and rotating bowl into a single crusher. The new machine provides a giant leap in profitability by cutting operational costs by 10 per cent and enabling 10 per cent higher uptime compared to traditional cone crushers. It also provides a very high reduction ratio with a premium end-product shape and consistency critical in aggregate applications.
CASE Construction Equipment introduced the DL450 compact dozer loader – AKA “Project Minotaur” – a fully integrated design that matches the best operating characteristics of a compact track loader (CTL) with a crawler dozer. A launch/production date for the machine has not been confirmed, but CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 represents a new and advanced phase in product development with extensive voice of customer work being conducted at the show and with top contractors.
Doosan Construction Equipment is building on the success of its current wheel loader lineup with the new DL420-5 CVT (continuously variable transmission) wheel loader. It is the first Doosan wheel loader that combines the benefits of a traditional automatic transmission and a hydrostatic transmission in one machine. Doosan currently offers eight conventional automatic transmission wheel loaders and two hydrostatic models — the DL200-5 and DL200TC-5 (tool carrier). The new machine was debuted at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and is scheduled to be available for purchase later this year in North America.
The all-new flagship of the Volvo wheel loader range features a 10 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and a striking new design. The largest in the Volvo CE wheel loader range comes with new powertrain, new hydraulics, and new operator environment. Engineered for efficiency, the L350H is fitted with next-generation hydraulics and powered by a Tier 4 Final D16J engine, for high torque at low rpm. The ideal partner for quarry production, the L350H now comes with a higher capacity 7.3 cubic metres (9.5 cubic yards) rock bucket, for maximum performance.
ASV LLC, a manufacturer of all-purpose and all-season compact track loaders and skid steers, exhibited the Posi-Track RT-30. It is a compact track loader that offers a heavy-duty commercial machine in a small package. The radial lift loader is the industry’s smallest sit-on model, yet features the same productivity-enhancing qualities as larger ASV machines. This includes highly efficient hydraulics and cooling systems as well as best-in-class low ground pressure. In addition, the RT-30 provides a safer, more productive alternative to walk-behind and sit-on mini skid steer loaders.
50 years of motor grader innovation
To commemorate 50 years of the articulated motor grader, John Deere displayed a restored JD570 model that was reconditioned by two retired John Deere Dubuque Works employees, Don Bagby and Jerry Bode. Introduced in 1967, the JD570 pioneered many of the innovations and developments seen on motor graders today, including articulated frame steering, hydraulically controlled machine functions and the rollover protective structure.
Wacker Neuson’s newest all-wheel steer loader is the 8115L, offering the power and capacity for larger jobs, but has a compact design to access hard to reach areas. The AWS wheel loader includes a rigid one-piece chassis that prevents shifts in the centre of gravity, even at full turn. This ensures unparalleled stability, even when working on uneven ground and maintains a constant payload. The AWS has a 40-degree steering angle on each axle that allows a high degree of maneuverability, which helps to reduce transit and cycle times.
Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas announced enhancements and an addition to its compaction-roller product line. A new tandem-drum model, the HR26T-9, joins two previously available models, and Hyundai’s four single-drum rollers – the HR70C, HR110C, HR120C and HR140C – now feature Tier 4 Final-compliant engines. Hyundai’s compact, tandem-drum roller models are designed for asphalt paving and maintenance, while the single-drum roller models are well suited for soil and aggregate compaction. All Hyundai compaction roller models offer excellent 360-degree visibility for the operator.
Kubota, known worldwide for its compact diesel engines, unveiled a groundbreaking product. For the first time in its history, the company is expanding its lineup to include engines up to the 200hp class. The first model in its new 09 Series was on display at CONEXPO. Kubota has spent years proactively developing engine solutions to meet the latest emissions regulations in the U.S., Europe and Japan. With looming Stage V requirements set to hit Europe beginning in 2019 or 2020, Kubota is excited to be one of the leading manufacturers to announce Stage V ready diesel engines. Mass production of the V5009 will not begin until 2020.
JCB introduces telescopic boom
The JCB Teleskid can reach 60 per cent further forward than any other skid steer on the market, and is the only skid steer in the world that can dig below its chassis to an unparalleled depth of around one metre. In addition, the new machine can reach 8 per cent higher than any other skid steer. The Teleskid features JCB’s myCHOICE software, allowing control responsiveness and joystick sensitivity to be tailored to suit operator preferences.
BASF’s smartphone app, Concrete Now! is available in the U.S. and Canada, and allows for instant access to information on concrete properties. Intended for contractors, engineers, architects and producers, the free Concrete Now! app serves as a channel to basic knowledge on the fundamentals of concrete use. The app includes items such as concepts and design factors, and interactive tools that provide answers related to concrete slump, air, finishability and set time.
Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, introduced the construction-grade SK1050 mini skid steer, ideally suited for a variety of demanding landscape, hardscape and irrigation jobs. The unit improves versatility and productivity by directing more hydraulic power to the attachment. Equipped with a 37hp Tier 4 Yanmar diesel engine, the SK1050 directs 30hp to the attachment, giving operators the power to tackle an assortment of challenging tasks with more efficient and productive use of hydraulic attachments, including trenchers and augers.
Takeuchi-U.S. released the first hybrid dual-powered excavator in its lineup with the TB216H compact excavator. It features both an electric motor and diesel engine with its own pump group to power the machine’s hydraulics. The dual-power feature enables the operator to work indoors or outdoors, greatly increasing versatility. Machine performance is consistent regardless of the power source the operator chooses. In diesel mode the machine is powered by a Yanmar Tier 4 Final engine, that offers an output of 14.9hp. For emissions free environments, the machine can be powered by the 14.2 hp electric motor.
The Cat 986K wheel loader features a completely redesigned state-of-the-art cab equipped with STIC steer and Cat Production Measurement, which brings payload weighing to the cab so operators work more productively and deliver accurate loads with confidence. Combining reliable, efficient loading with multiple lives, the 986K loader helps to improve the company’s bottom line. Weighing less, and shorter than the Cat 988K loader, the new 986K serves as a true replacement to the legacy 988F model, offering a low-cost-per-ton option that meets production needs.
Next generation concrete paving system
Topcon Positioning Group announced the next generation of automated concrete paving — the ZPS system — with the new Z-Robot and Z-Stack sensor. Using enhanced Topcon Millimeter GPS technology, the ZPS system is designed to bring unmatched accuracy to concrete paving with a fraction of the hardware required for traditional LPS (local positioning system). The Z-Robot is an advanced robotic total station with integrated Z-beam laser technology. It is designed to provide a hybrid function of high precision, optically based vertical accuracy control and the convenience of Z-beam laser positioning to maintain that accuracy across the paver. On-board the paver, the ZPS system uses the Topcon Z-Stack modular-designed system that seamlessly integrates GPS, optical targeting, and Z-beam reception into one unit by interlocking the required sensing technologies in one rugged “stack.”
The Earthmax SR35 BKT OTR is the first tire to be produced in the 65 series. It will be of special interest to the construction industry. There are several size expansions in the works. The SR35 is a low-profile, all steel radial E3/L3 tire that is specifically designed for articulated dump trucks and loaders that operate in softer under-foot environments, which require more traction capability.
KOBELCO’s SK45SRX mini excavator packs full-size performance into a portable package. With an operational weight of 10,300 lbs., this machine offers a minimal rear swing radius with zero tail overhang, and allows for excellent handling in confined spaces. Convenient access panels allow for easy routine maintenance, filter changes or refueling without long work delays.