New-generation material feeders from Vögele
Company introduces new Dash-3 MT 3000-3i PowerFeeder machines in Standard and Offset variations
MATERIAL feeders play a key role in the smooth transfer of material from trucks to pavers, ensuring a constant and efficient paving process and high paving quality on large job sites.
To increase the user-friendly nature and efficiency of such machines still further, Vögele AG have comprehensively overhauled their former Dash-2 generation to introduce the new MT 3000-3i Standard PowerFeeder and the MT 3000-3i Offset PowerFeeder, which integrate the latest Dash-3 machine concept and an optimized material-handling and maintenance system.
The efficient and ergonomic Dash-3 machine concept includes, among other things, the ErgoPlus 3 intuitive operating concept, AutoSet Plus automatic functions and the PaveDock Assistant truck communication system.
Vögele have also optimized the material-handling concept: the new design of receiving hopper, the improved conveyor belt control and the effective belt heating system allow material to be unloaded and conveyed rapidly without loss – whilst simultaneously reducing wear.
Maintenance and transport have, likewise, been simplified: users can now reach setting and cleaning points even more conveniently. The angle of inclination and the receiving hopper have also been optimized for transport on a low-loader.
‘We have developed the new generation of PowerFeeders in close collaboration with our customers,’ said Bastian Fleischer, product manager at Vögele. ‘All the functions are aimed at making job site processes even more efficient, economical and convenient – whilst delivering the same high performance.’
Both versions of the material feeder achieve a conveying capacity of up to 1,200 tonnes/h and can accommodate a full truckload of mix within 60 seconds. The MT 3000-3i Offset is also equipped with a conveyor belt which can be pivoted 55°, providing contractors with a wide variety of potential applications, from the parallel feeding two pavers to the InLine Pave method whereby the material feeder, the paver for the binder course and the paver for the surface course work one after the other.
Both the MT 3000-3i Standard and the MT 3000-3i Offset integrate the ErgoPlus 3 operating concept to increase efficiency on the job site. Vögele have designed the operator’s console to make it as intuitive and convenient as possible: all the functions are arranged in logical groups, whilst clear function and status indicators, a high-contrast display and glare-free backlighting also facilitate operation for users.
The pivoting-seat console also facilitates particularly ergonomic working with all-round visibility. The AutoSet Plus and PaveDock Assistant assistance systems are also new; Vögele previously offered these only for pavers of the Dash-3 generation.
With the AutoSet Plus automatic functions, operators simply have to push a button to put the material feeder in the transport, repositioning or operating positions – or to save material-handling programs and just as easily call up these settings again whenever they are required. This is especially practical on job sites which require frequent repositioning or have similar paving requirements.
The optional PaveDock Assistant communication system facilitates material transfer: the material feeder operator can use two signal lights to show the truck driver clearly whether he is to back up, stop or dump the mix. If the InLine Pave method is in use, the signal lights also indicate whether material for the surface course or the binder course is required, thereby allowing reliable, loss-free and efficient material transfer.
In continuing to develop this product, Vögele paid particular attention to the conveying components: the new design of receiving hopper, for example, ensures extremely fast material transfer and loss-free conveying. Colour-coded markings on the receiving hopper simplify the material transfer process, even in the dark, whilst the offset and additional seals in the inlet area prevent loss of material and soiling of the conveyor belt.
Vögele have also improved conveyor belt running even further: a new control system and special aids ensure that the belt always remains centred, even under difficult conditions involving crossfall. ‘Another important new feature is the optimized belt heating,’ said Mr Fleischer. ‘The new control system provides optimum temperature management and is even more economical than before.’ The system can handle even critical materials, such as low-temperature asphalt, without loss of temperature.
Despite weighing around 20 and 24 tonnes, respectively, users can now inspect, maintain and clean the MT 3000-3i Standard and Offset material feeders much more easily, as Vögele have significantly improved access to the maintenance and setting points, as well as to the cleaning zones. For example, the transfer hopper on the MT 3000-3i Offset is hinged, and its larger step makes it easy to clean. The setting points have also been reduced in number and colour-coded to make them more easily identifiable.
Contractors can also transport the new material feeders comparatively quickly and easily, as the 15° angle of inclination of makes it easier to load feeders on to commercial low-loaders, whilst the receiving hopper on the new models can be raised 25cm higher than before. This allows users to place material feeders on the goose neck of the low-loader without any issues, significantly reducing transport length.
‘Material feeders are now being used more and more, which was why we gave particularly high priority to rapid readiness for operation and simple handling when developing the new models,’ said Mr Fleischer. ‘With the new Dash-3 generation, we have once again significantly increased the practicality of the product.’