Low emissions, low fuel consumption and energy efficiency: All these qualities are becoming ever more important to the building industry and to manufacturers of construction machinery. So, what progress has been made? What new developments are there, and what can these machines still do? Less or more? Answers to these questions will be given at bauma, the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment, which takes place from April 11 to 17, 2016 at the Messe München exhibition center.
Since the introduction of the Exhaust Emissions Directive in 1999, the construction machinery industry has drastically reduced the emissions from its products. According to the German Engineering Federation, the VDMA, emissions of nitric oxide (NOx) and diesel particulates have been reduced by more than 95%. Joachim Schmid, Managing Director of the VDMA’s Construction Machinery and Building Materials Machinery Association, describes the status quo: “With the aim of optimizing energy efficiency and obtaining the best possible work result, these days construction machines decide for themselves what is most economical in a particular work process: to transfer the power to the wheels mechanically or hydraulically. The drive chain delivers only as much power as is needed, energy is stored and delivered as required. And for years the eco mode has been standard in many types of machinery.”
Despite what has already been achieved, there is still scope for further improvements to transmission systems in construction machinery—especially when manufacturers and suppliers combine their expertise. This was the case in the TEAM project (development of technologies for energy-saving transmission systems in mobile machinery), which culminated in spring this year with the presentation of a “green wheeled loader.” For three years, 18 machinery manufacturers and suppliers—among them Caterpillar, Danfoss, Deutz, Hydac and Rexroth Bosch—five university institutes and the VDMA worked on an innovative operating strategy for linking parts of the drive system.
A demonstration wheeled loader was presented which combines an optimized diesel engine, a powersplit transmission system, displacement-controlled working hydraulics and a hydrostatic hybrid system in a new drive chain. In comparison to a current series machine, this new development is over 10% more fuel-efficient in practical operation. At bauma, further information and details about this development will be presented live in the “Research Initiative” in Hall B0.
Special power-split transmissions are definitely gaining ground in wheeled loaders. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marcus Geimer, Chair in Mobile Machinery at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, comments: “In a wide variety of operations, these transmission systems deliver improved efficiency as compared to hydrostatic transmissions or switchable converter drives.” Geimer reports that corresponding prototypes and designs have already been presented at various specialist conferences. “Now I am keen to see which manufacturers will showcase these components at bauma 2016,” he says.