There were 1,350 exhibitors present at INTERMAT 2012 in Paris, 67% of which were international players. The show statistics highlighted an increase in participation from previous years; over 200,000 visitors attended with 34% classed as international. As expected, the mood at the show was very cautious but optimistic.
In addition, the CECE's (Commission of European Construction Equipment) latest forecast indicates a slow recovery in European Construction. The industry has still not matched 2007 to 2008 levels, and European construction equipment manufacturers are expecting a modest increase in sales of 6% compared to 2011. Their own members were surveyed and the results provide a mixed view with two-thirds of the participating companies expecting their company sales to grow further in the next six months, whereas only 10% expecting a decrease.
On the bright side, there were many new products launched to meet the new EU Stage IIIB and US Tier 4 Interim (4i) emissions standards. A few highlights follow.
Volvo launched more than 12 new equipment models. The articulated truck A40 FS was the big star of the stand, awarded with the 2012 red dot design award and the INTERMAT Gold Innovation Awards. This articulated full suspension mining truck features the new Volvo On-Board Weighing (OWB). This system allows the operator of the truck to control the weight loaded on the truck and to assure that there is no overloading of equipment. According to Volvo, this system helps prevent damage to the machinery and also optimizes fuel consumption. The A40 FS is equipped with a 6 cylinder electronically controlled, D16H series Volvo diesel engine featuring variable geometry turbo (VGT), an exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) with thermal regeneration. The 350 kW and 2,525 Nm torque are delivered through a Volvo Powertrain planetary full automatic transmission.
Volvo also displayed the new D-Series of crawler and wheeled excavators. The new machines are fitted with the latest Volvo Stage IIIB and Tier 4i diesel engines. Two of the midsize crawler excavators are available only in EU countries: the EC180Dv and the EC235D. Furthermore Volvo showcased two short-swing excavators that will be available for all the countries and four new wheeled excavators. All the units are fitted with the new D4H and D6H Volvo engines series based on Deutz TCD 4.1 and TCD 6.1 diesel engines. In order to meet the latest EU and US emissions standards both the engines are equipped with EGR systems and DPF aftertreatment. All units are turbocharged and electronically controlled.
Other products showcased at the Volvo stand were wheel loaders and skid steer loaders.
As usual the Caterpillar stand was the most crowded throughout the show. The news here was similar to Volvo and related to their new emissions compliant products. New mini hydraulic excavators featuring Cat’s ACERT engines were launched. Improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions are the main characteristic of the Stage IIIB Caterpillar engines. Apart from earthmoving machinery, Cat displayed many upgraded models in their paver, motor graders, soil compactors and asphalt compactors range. All were fitted with the new Stage IIIB/Tier 4i solutions.
Caterpillar also introduced five new K-Series wheel loaders. The 950K and 962K share the new Cat C7.1 ACERT engine. At 1,900 rpm, the engine provides peak net power of 157 kilowatts in the 950K and 165 kilowatt in the 962K. The engine incorporates an upgraded ADEM 4 control module and a new high-pressure common rail fuel system to improve combustion efficiency and reduce emissions. The Cat Clean Emissions Module is mounted on its own platform above the engine and contains a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), Diesel Particulate Filter and Cat Regeneration System.
The 966K XE and the 972K are powered by a Cat C9.3 ACERT Stage IIIB diesel engine, delivering a peak net horsepower rating of 220 kW. The engine can be controlled to operate more efficiently over a wide range of conditions. During deceleration, machine momentum can be recovered as free energy to power implements or the cooling fan, while significantly lowering working engine speeds resulting in reduced soot build-up for longer regeneration intervals and further cutting fuel usage.
Along with the new machines Caterpillar introduced the new Stage IV/Tier 4 Final engines. The new C7.1 ACERT power output spans 116 to 225 kW (156 to 302 hp) and the 225 kW (302 hp) rating is capable of producing peak torque of up to 1280 Nm (944 lb-ft) at 1,400 rpm. The new C13 ACERT is a 6 cylinder, 12.5 liter industrial power unit capable of producing 287 to 388 kW (385 to 520 hp). These engines are planned to be available at the end of 2013 to meet the new emissions standards.
Hidromek from Turkey presented its new range, many of which were awarded with the red dot prize. This includes the new Maestro Series back hoe loaders. These very modern units are offered with a turbocharged 4045HF John Deere Stage IIIB diesel engine. The 4.5L unit outputs 74 kW, is coupled with a ZF 5WG 98 Powershift transmission, the front and rear axles are supplied by ZF. In the front the Maestro units have a steering MS-B 2045 axle, while on the back we find a MT-B 3070 axle. With this new series Hidromek is aiming to expand coverage in Western Europe.
In addition, two new excavators were also unveiled: the HMK220LC and the HMK300LC LR. Both the models featured Isuzu engines. The first one is fitted with an Isuzu 4HK1X 4 cylinder diesel engine, this unit has a displacement of 5.19 liters and a maximum output of 120.7 kW at 2,000 rpm. The 30 ton HMK300 has a more powerful 6 cylinder Isuzu 6HK1X diesel engine, this 7.79 liter engine is capable of 151 kW at only 1,800 rpm. One important feature of these new machines is the updated control panel using the Opera interface. According to Hidromek, this tool provides better comfort and improves operator efficiency. Hidromek is the leader in the Turkish construction equipment market. They have four plants in Turkey, two of which focus on equipment production.
Çukurova, the other significant Turkish OEM presented its full range of backhoe loaders. The 888 is the top of its backhoe loaders range and is fitted with a turbocharged 4045HF John Deere Stage IIIA/Tier 3 diesel engine.
Also featured at the show was the only excavator produced by the company, the CMi 723. This 23 ton unit is available with two power units. The Tier 2 engine comes as standard while the Tier 3 is optional. Çukurova produced around 100 units of the CMi 723 in 2011. The company has also started production of a new medium size wheel loader, the 980, which is only available with the John Deere 6068HF Tier 3 engine. The machine's power is rated at 168 kW at 2,200 rpm delivered by a ZF Powershift transmission. Çukurova is part of one of the largest Turkish industry groups with 152 companies. All the machines are manufactured at its plant near Tarsus, Turkey.
Hitachi had an impressive stand displaying its new Z-series excavators. The Japanese OEM launched six new equipment models plus one new wheel loader. The new ZX 5 Series features Isuzu Stage IIIB/Tier 4i diesel engines. In order to meet the stringent emissions regulations Isuzu used a combined solution of EGR with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and DPF aftertreatment systems.
Along with the traditional products Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV (HCME) introduced the ZH200, a Hybrid Crawler Excavator. This machine is equipped with a high-performance TRIAS HX system – a combination of a hybrid system with the energy-efficient TRIAS hydraulic system – which reduces fuel consumption and CO2 by 20% (fuel consumption is compared with the ZX210-3 in P-mode). The hybrid system incorporates a swing motor that converts energy generated during swing braking into electrical energy. This energy is transferred via a Power Control Unit and stored in a capacitor unit. The stored energy is used to help the engine accelerate and move the upper structure. This swing momentum used to regenerate energy results in reduced fuel consumption.
Hitachi was not the only manufacturer to display hybrid technology. Hyundai also showed a prototype of the new R220 Hybrid crawled excavator. This unit combines a diesel engine of 100 kW with on-board generated electric power, including the stored, regenerated power from the independent swing braking system, thus allowing for a 25% reduction in fuel consumption. This machine will be in serial production within two years.
Hyundai also unveiled its brand new 120 tons R1200-9 excavator. This heavy-duty product is equipped with a 23 liter, 6 cylinder Cummins QSK23-C rated at 760 hp (567 kW) with three selectable power models (Power, Speed and Economy).
Hyundai have also updated its previous range with the new 9A series. The major differences are related to the introduction of Stage IIIB engines with EGR and DPF aftertreatment.
JCB also displayed a number of new equipment models at the INTERMAT. Amongst these was the new 457 wheel loader which is the largest in the JCB range. It is fitted with the largest engine ever used by JCB, a Stage IIIB/Tier 4i 8.9L Cummins engine. With 186 kW power and 1,085 Nm torque, it has a ZF system. JCB claims a fuel saving of up to 6% and an increase in the tipping load of 3.3% versus its predecessor the JCB 456 wheel loader.
As well as the 457, JCB also unveiled the smaller 427 and 437 wheel loaders. Both these models are fitted with a Cummins 6.7L engine, Stage IIIB/Tier 4i compliant without DPF or SCR. This is possible using a high pressure common rail system with a VGT turbo, an EGR cooler and a DOC aftertreatment. The smaller of the new wheel loader outputs 118 kW while the 437 reaches 129 kW. All are fitted with ZF Powershift transmissions and ZF axles.
Other products displayed by JCB included telescopic handlers and the Loadall range. The 540-200 Loadall has a capacity of 4 tonnes and is fitted with a five stage boom design. This machine is powered by a JCB ECOmax engine with an output of 75 kW.
The UK based manufacturer also introduced five new skid steers thus completing the range; these new models all share the same JCB ECOmax engines with a rated output of 59.9 kW. The new and smallest amongst the range 1CX Backhoe loader was also introduced in Paris.
Moving on to the material handling outdoor area, the Haulotte HT23RTJ Prototype was proudly displayed. This new Telescopic Boom Lift will be available in October 2012. Capable of reaching an altitude of 22.6 meters and a loading capacity up to 450 kg, it will use a Kubota engine and Sauer-Danfoss, Bosch and Hydraforce hydraulic components.
Haulotte Group is upgrading its rough-terrain scissor lift “Compact range,” the C10DX and C12DX. The C10DX and C12DX are now fitted with a new Kubota Tier IV engine. The new engine gives a significant reduction in noise and also reduces fuel consumption (-5% compared to the current engine) and emissions. The new models will be available in June 2012.