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Plantworx 2017 Preview

First published in the May 2017 issue of Quarry Management

Next month the third Plantworx construction machinery show takes place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, in Leicestershire. QM takes a look at some of the new plant, systems and services to be showcased at the event  

Taking place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, in Leicestershire, from 6-8 June, Plantworx 2017 is one of the UK’s largest construction equipment shows. Spanning more than 100,000m2 of showground space, the biennial exhibition – organized by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) – will give visitors the chance to see some of the latest plant and machinery operating in ‘live working’ construction site conditions, alongside compact/mid-range equipment, tools and services. 

Over 360 exhibitors are expected to take part in the showcase event. Here, we provide a glimpse of some of the new products, systems and services either on display or demonstration at the show. 

Atlas Copco Construction & Mining will be exhibiting a selection of their innovative products, including rig-mounted hydraulic attachments, pumps, compressors (eg Series 8 model), generators and Dynapac road construction equipment. Visitors to the stand will also be able to see the company’s award-winning portable HiLight LED light towers designed to provide a wide range of flexible and dynamic light options while addressing all aspects of efficiency and safety. Another groundbreaking product on show will be the RTEX handheld pneumatic breakers.

Avant Tecno will be showing and demonstrating a number of products from their extensive range of compact tool carriers, including the revised 700 and 500 Series models. The company will also be exhibiting its new Leguan 135 access platform, which has been designed to help make operation easier, safer and more efficient. Powered by a 13hp Honda petrol engine or electric motor, the 135 unit provides automatic levelling up to 13.2m vertical reach and 6.8m horizontal reach, with a safe 140kg working load in any position.

Brigade Electronics will be using Plantworx to launch their next-generation integrated radar to further reduce blind spots on large plant and construction machinery. The company’s new Backsense Networked Radar allows operators to connect and link up to eight radars to provide extra coverage around the machine, enhancing driver manoeuvrability and reducing the risk of collision. 

The continuous wave radar emitted is said to be faster than competitor pulsed radar products. The sensor system controls the radar beam pattern, so the spread of the beam can be restricted to the width of the plant for the length of the detection area, minimizing false alerts on a busy site. 

Also on display will be a range of Nordic heavy-duty lights, for which Brigade are the main warehouse distributor in the UK aftermarket. Nordic Lights’ LED units have proven to be brighter and stronger than halogen products and can handle vibration better, making them suitable for heavy-duty applications. And energy savings of up to 85% can be achieved when using LED products.

Taking centre stage on the Centa Transmissions stand will be a new range of flexible couplings for diesel hydraulic pump drives. Among them is the CENTAX-K torsionally soft coupling, which features a rubber element that has been vulcanized to a steel adapter plate with several steel and reinforced plastic options on the output side. It is available in three sizes and covers torques ranging between 400-800Nm. 

Another new coupling is the single-piece, torsionally stiff CENTAFLEX-KF specifically designed for use in construction plant and crushers. The unit offers increased levels of radial compliance and short-term resilience to high temperatures (up to 120°C), thanks to the use of advanced rubber blending compounds. Other key exhibits include Centa’s belt box and two-piece pump mounting plate. 

At Plantworx 2017 Doosan Bobcat EMEA will be showcasing a wide range of machines, including: the new Stage IV-compliant DX225LC-5 crawler excavator; 16.5-tonne DX165W-5 short-tail-wheeled excavator; and Bobcat E17Z zero-tail-swing canopy excavator. The company will also be exhibiting the Bobcat T40.180SLP and T36.120SL rigid-frame telehandler models, alongside a selection of portable generators and compressors, including the first showing of the new 7/41TTG compressor-generator equipped with the latest on-board 8.5kVA generator.

Garic, specialists in storage and mobile welfare solutions, will be using Plantworx as a UK launch pad to unveil the ‘world’s first self-sufficient solar-powered drying room’. Design-patented, the 10ft x 8ft drying unit, which features two changing benches and a coat rail, follows successful on-site trials by a client who wanted to find an alternative to existing costly-to-run mobile drying room facilities. 

The welfare room has a thermostatically controlled solar-powered, blown-air heating system supported by an oil burner for quicker and quieter drying. Utilizing solar energy for its electrical functions, the drying facility negates the need for traditional diesel-powered generators or input from mains electricity. Huge savings, therefore, can be gained, as well as environmental benefits. 

Taking their mobile welfare development a step further, Garic have developed a combined toilet and drying unit – the Eco 2+1+Dryer – that provides a 5ft x 7.8ft solar-powered drying room with separate male/female toilets. The company will also be showing accommodation units, environmental/dust pollution control products, storage facilities and lighting systems. 

Machine attachment specialists Geith will be presenting their new heavy-duty crusher  specially designed for use on 23-52 tonne excavators. The crusher attachment, which can be used with a coupler or directly mounted, is fitted with pin-on replaceable shear blades, making it suitable for recycling and demolition applications. For compact excavators, the company will be showing a new hydraulic coupler that is said to raise the bar in safety, productivity and reliability.  

Hill Engineering will be exhibiting the award-winning TEFRA quick coupler and a selection of their Titan buckets. The standout exhibit on the company’s stand will be the new TEFRA Tilt coupler which incorporates all the advantages of the TEFRA quick coupler and provides end-users with the added benefits of increased productivity and versatility in multiple applications. The TEFRA Tilt hitch is available for machine sizes ranging from 3 to 20 tonnes. 

This year’s Plantworx will mark the UK launch of two brand new machines from JCB – the 540-180 HiViz Loadall and the company’s Teleskid, which is said to be the world’s first skid-steer with a telescopic boom. According to JCB, the Teleskid can reach 60% further forward than any other skid-steer on the market and, in an industry first, it is the only machine of its kind that can dig below its chassis to an unparalleled depth of 1m. 

The JCB 540-180 HiViz Loadall expands what is already believed to be the world’s biggest range of telescopic handlers. The 18m machine offers a 5% improvement in lift height, 10% increased forward reach, 20% faster cycle times and 50% service cost savings (over 1,000h). 

Also on show will be the JCB Hydradig 110W, which has been a huge success since its launch. The Rocester-based firm says the machine offers ‘unparalleled visibility, stability, manoeuvrability, mobility and serviceability’ to plant operators. Among the other JCB machines either on display or demonstration will be compact excavators, wheeled loading shovels, tracked excavators and generators.  

Compact construction equipment specialists Kubota will be unveiling one of their most eco-friendly mini-excavators – the new 4-tonne KX042-4. Making its UK debut at this year’s Plantworx, the machine features: an AUX oil flow with proportional flow control; auto idling; a diesel particulate filter; and a common-rail system that electronically controls the fuel-injection timing and amount (in stages) rather than all at once, for optimal combustion, resulting in better fuel economy and reduced engine noise. 

Also on display will be the recently launched KX027-4 and KX080-4a, which is an enhanced version of the popular KX080-4 mini-excavator utilizing the latest technological advancements and featuring an optional two-piece boom to offer an expanded working range.

Adrian Mann, product manager (construction) for Kubota UK, commented: ‘We take pride in our innovation, leading the way in the industry and the KX042-4 is further proof of this. The new excavators being introduced to the UK market this year have huge potential and the KX machines show how Kubota is able to launch enhanced versions of already popular machines, offering great value to building contractors, plant hire firms and owner operators alike.’

Kubota will also be exhibiting their R Series wheel loader range, with all machines boasting a full-suspension seat, multi-function operating lever and tilt steering, to provide the user with greater ease of operation and high levels of comfort. Other products on show will include new engines such as Kubota’s V3800 BG diesel engine, D1803 CRT unit and WG2503 duel-fuel engine.  

Manitou will be showcasing a selection of machines from their comprehensive range of materials-handling equipment, including one of the company’s most compact telehandlers to date – the buggy MT420 – dedicated to customers looking for an ultra-compact telescopic handler. The company will also be showing the MRT2550 – a materials-handling machine, lifting platform and crane rolled into one unit designed to provide a high lift, versatile solution to numerous applications.  

Among the wide range of Morris Site Machinery power generation solutions on show at Plantworx will be the company’s latest lighting tower – the TL90 Ultimate. The tower light offers more than 20 variants on specification, allowing customers to bespoke build and customize their lighting towers according to site needs and budget – which is said to be a first in the UK market 

The TL90 Ultimate is fitted with either a Perkins or Kubota engine, providing a 50% increase in fuel capacity and running time. The lighting tower features a Deep Sea control panel with telemetry options available to give operators advanced monitoring, more traceability and security across their fleets. 

The TL90 Ultimate comprises four 300W LED lights that provide fuel-efficient and crisp, clear instant light with up to 50,000h use. Also on show will be the SMC open set petrol generators (available from 2.5kW) and SMC Weldpac range (up to 200amp welders). 

Richard Denholm, sales director for Morris Site Machinery, said: ‘Plantworx is a great opportunity for us to engage with customers and showcase our innovative and efficient products to help them grow their business. We are seeing more contractors demanding bespoke and tailored plant solutions and products to help them build their fleets in the most economical and efficient way.’ 

RDS Technology will be showing a range of on-board weighing systems designed for optimum productivity data management. Products on display will include: the Loadex 100; Loadmaster α100 and α50; and Weighlog α10. 

The Loadex 100 is a retrofit scale designed for use on tracked/wheeled excavators, utilizing pressure and inclinometer sensors to calculate the weight of the material in the bucket, grab or clamshell. 

The Loadmaster α100 is a CAN-based on-board weighing system specially designed for wheel loaders. Combining advanced sensor technology and signal-processing techniques, the unit provides precise and consistent bucket weight information to help reduce machine cycle times and deliver optimum tonnes-per-hour performance.

The Loadmaster α50, an enhanced colour touchscreen replacement for the Loadmaster 8kiX, is an on-board weighing system for larger loaders designed to help increase loading efficiency and ensure vehicles are correctly loaded first time. For smaller loaders and skid-steers, RDS offer the Weighlog α10, which also benefits from a colour touchscreen display. The instrument is designed to be a user-friendly on-board weighing system, providing accurate and consistent bucket and total load results, and ensuring stock management and check-weighing operations can be controlled more effectively. 

The company will also be promoting its iSOSYNC PC software, which provides two-way connectivity for job data transfer between computer and loader/excavator via radio modem, GPRS or WiFi.  

Visitors to the Spillard Safety Systems stand will be able to see the Optronics 360 CCTV system which gives plant operators a complete 360°, real-time bird’s-eye view of their entire vehicle and its surroundings. The safety equipment is effective at eliminating the blind spots and poor visibility that can cause serious accidents in off-road environments involving on-site workers, machines and vehicles. The company will also be launching the VCAS2 industrial ultrasonic vehicle collision-avoidance system, which contains more features than the acclaimed predecessor model.

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