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Making Excavators Smarter

Making Excavators Smarter

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Safety, environmental concerns and quality control are significant while designing excavators.

Efficiency and productivity are the mainstay of heavy construction equipment like excavators as they determine the uptime. Smart excavators not only make construction smoother but are also time efficient and fuel efficient.

Aspects while designing excavators

Quality, safety and environmental care
According to Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head, Volvo CE India, “Safety is one of the core values of the Volvo Group and at Volvo CE, we ensure the latest controls are in place to offer better security to site workers.” This includes advanced, highly ergonomic cabs for the operators, which not only increase safety levels on site, but also boost productivity. The company also runs Operator Champion program, which is an ongoing campaign to highlight the importance of operators in the industry and to promote professional development within the sector.

The focus for innovation centres around three guiding principles of the Volvo Group; quality, safety and environmental care. The company is committed to build the highest quality machines, so Volvo CE models use the latest technology to deliver better productivity and longer uptime. Similarly, the company’s attention to greater safety has helped them to create some of the most advanced operator cabs in this, or any, industry. And, being committed to environmental care has led Volvo CE to produce machines that achieve its famous fuel-saving capabilities.

High emphasis is given to safety
Following are some of the safety aspects by Nischal Mehrotra, Director – Sales and Marketing, LiuGong India Pvt Ltd to be considered while designing excavators:

• ROPS or FOPS mobility engineering: This technology reduces the risks of injuries to the operator in case of rollover of the machine or falling of heavy substance on the roof of the machine.
• Cabin Guard: The guard bars the entry of objects inside the machine while working at quarries, mines etc.
• Audio and visual alerts for operator to get notification on any electrical or mechanical fault occurring in the machine while working.
• Longer chassis with wider tracks enhances the strength of the machine to work in rugged conditions. Track guard restricts any foreign object entering tracks thereby preventing track damage.
• Pilot lever lock provides additional safety against unintended machine operation.
• Top covers on engine hood and counterweight are designed to prevent slipping in wet, rainy and muddy condition.

High performance in terms of productivity and reliability
S K Jaruhar, Advisor – Support Services, Kobelco Construction Equipment (India) Pvt Ltd explains safety is of critical importance from several perspectives which include the following features:
Operator safety
The operator’s comfort and safety are a major focus area for Kobelco. The working convenience influences the productivity and economic life of the machine as well as overall safety. A comfortable ergonomic seat, excellent view, highly efficient air-conditioning, a highly pressurised sound-proof cabin are some of the key features.
Machine safety
Machine safety is mainly designed to cover emergency situations like component failure, fire, etc. Besides the usual alerts and alarms, there are in-built features to address such situations. For instance, the machine can be operated even when the electronic system (controller) fails. If the machine has to be moved out from any location in a hurry, it has a fast travel mode which can be used by the operator. Also, there are various types of guards and covers for the vital components located in the lower part of the excavator to prevent damages from boulders and stones. There are provisions for top and front guards for the operator cabin for protection against falling objects.
Site safety
With respect to safety at the worksite, the Kobelco excavator is fitted with necessary alarms (e.g. for swing and travel). Large sized mirrors are provided for excellent side and rear views. The machine has a matching counterweight to ensure machine stability during digging operation.
Environmental concern
Kobelco is one of the leaders in environmental care with the lowest carbon footprint. It has a highly fuel-efficient engine with low sound level conforming to the local emission regulations. It uses high quality lubricants and grease which are environment and user-friendly.

Enhancing uptime and ROI of excavators

CareTrack: time and cost saving
Volvo CE offers CareTrack, a telematics system that gives equipment owners access to a wide range of machine monitoring information that can help save time and money. The system generates a wide range of reports with data on aspects such as fuel consumption, operational hours, geographical location and more. These reports are available via a web portal or can be received via SMS or email alerts. CareTrack can also be used to manage machine servicing and wear parts. This allows fleet managers to reduce fuel costs, optimise machine and operator performance, as well as proactively manage service and maintenance to maximise uptime. CareTrack is offered not as a standard practice but as specialised packages designed to enhance customers’ businesses.

With CareTrack, customers can monitor load efficiency, number of cycles, overload percentages and identify operator training needs. For instance, a customer operating Volvo excavators at the Gondegaon coal mine in India uses CareTrack for tracking performance indicators such as fuel consumption and idle time. Through CareTrack, the company has reduced machine downtime from repairs or breakdowns. Dimitrov from Volvo CE says, “As owners are pushed to deliver more with less, CareTrack is a great way to proactively manage machines and increase uptime by planning service and maintenance requirement in advance, avoiding potential problems.” It’s also possible for Volvo CE dealers to troubleshoot faults remotely—minimising service and downtime.

Ensures timely uptime in remotest location
Mehrotra from LiuGong says, “A centralised customer care number and dedicated network of service engineers placed across the country ensures timely uptime of the machine working in the remotest location.” Furthermore telematics also helps to address the issues remotely.

Finest ROI for users
Kobelco product support is a major focus and all team members are fully aligned to provide prompt support for maximum machine uptime. A strong dealer network with fast access to even remote sites and a highly efficient logistics arrangement for movement of spare parts and components add considerable value. Jaruhar from Kobelco Construction Equipment says,“Kobelco’s latest series – Generation 10, provides maximum fuel savings, higher out and increased durability so that the user can have the best ROI.”

We ensure the latest controls are in place to offer better security to site workers.
Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head, Volvo CE India

A centralised customer care number and dedicated network of service engineers across the country ensures machine uptime in the remotest location.
Nischal Mehrotra, Director – Sales & Marketing, LiuGong India Pvt Ltd

Kobelco generation 10 provides maximum fuel savings, higher out and increased durability so that the user can have the best ROI.
S K Jaruhar, Advisor – Support Services, Kobelco Construction Equipment (India) Pvt Ltd

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