The focus of this year’s Road Technology Days held by the WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM brands was on synergies, 3D applications and networked job site processes. The climax of the event was the live machine demonstrations.
When no less than three global market leaders present their latest technology, it’s bound to draw the crowds: some 4,000 customers and road construction experts from more than 80 countries flocked to the Road Technology Days held by WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM on 19 and 20 April. On the 370,000 sq.m. site of JOSEPH VÖGELE AG in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, the three companies of the WIRTGEN Group’s road technologies business sectors provided practical insights into the latest developments in the fields of cold milling, cold recycling, soil stabilisation, paving and compaction. In addition to specialist talks by selected experts and technology exhibitions, visitors were also able to enjoy live demonstrations, factory tours and a machinery exhibition featuring around 70 exhibits. The high point of the event was a gala evening in the newly constructed 22,200 sq.m. dispatch hall at the VÖGELE brand headquarters. “A personal and professional exchange with our international customers is very important to us,” says Domenic G. Ruccolo, CEO of the WIRTGEN GROUP. “That’s the only way we can develop tailored country- and customer-specific solutions in an industry with such diverse and highly differentiated requirements. This makes the Road Technology Days an ideal platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences.” Since 2005, the event has been held alternately at the brand headquarters of cold milling specialist WIRTGEN, road paver manufacturer VÖGELE and roller manufacturer HAMM.
The best of three worlds
At this year’s Road Technology Days, the focus was very much on the interplay between milling, paving and compaction technologies and the corresponding synergy effects for road construction contractors. Inspired by the slogan “Synergies powered by WIRTGEN Group”, WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM showcased coordinated machine and application technologies in operation: a total of 25 machines milled, fed material, placed asphalt and compacted on an area of around 3,000sq.m. in two live demonstrations. “In the live demonstrations, we’re not just presenting state-of-the-art technology and solutions for road construction: our customers also see for themselves how the machines of the WIRTGEN Group work together in practice and the synergies this creates for the entire road construction process. That’s why the live demonstrations have always been a key feature of our Technology Days and why they’re unique in our industry in terms of both their form and their scale,” says Roland Schug, Head of Marketing at JOSEPH VÖGELE AG, who has overall responsibility for this year’s Road Technology Days.
Digital measurement and control
Modern road construction demands high precision, perfect quality and efficient processes – which is why the Road Technology Days also offered insights into digital measuring and control systems. WIRTGEN, VÖGELE and HAMM demonstrated the latest 3D solutions in two technology presentations. The SP 15 slipform paver from WIRTGEN, for instance, can pave even the smallest of radii entirely automatically thanks to the GPS-based Autopilot. The 3D Navitronic Plus solution from VÖGELE, meanwhile, allows the layer thickness, the screed’s position and the paver’s direction of motion to be controlled automatically. And the HCQ system from HAMM measures the most important compaction parameters and shows the roller operator directly on the display where more compaction is required. Such applications save a lot of time and money – while also enabling precise implementation and high quality.
Intelligent solutions for road construction
Specialist talks by selected experts and technology exhibitions also gave visitors an overview of current and future developments in road construction. WIRTGEN presented precise levelling, cost-effective cutting and advanced recycling technologies, while VÖGELE presented the software-based process management system, WITOS Paving. The telematics solution networks road pavers, mixing plants and lorries, among others, supporting a perfectly coordinated supply of mix. All the players involved have real-time access to all data such as machine operating data and lorry loading and unloading times, allowing them to coordinate all processes precisely. HAMM demonstrated intelligent solutions for compaction, including the intuitive Easy Drive operating concept and the principle of oscillation, where tangential rather than vertical shearing forces are directed into the material to be compacted. The drum maintains constant ground contact for particularly speedy compaction.
Quality creates quality
Apart from presenting cutting-edge technologies, machinery and a sector outlook, the Road Technology Days also offered a glimpse behind the scenes at VÖGELE – the most modern road paver factory in the world. Visitors were able to explore the production facility, built in 2010 and currently being expanded with a dispatch hall and additional production facilities, on a tour covering a total of 18 stations. An interactive special exhibition entitled “Quality Management” also used display panels, videos and exhibits to demonstrate what requirements the components have to meet and what controls they have to pass through on the way to final assembly and delivery to the customer. “Quality in road construction begins with us,” says Bernhard Düser, member of the Board of Directors of JOSEPH VÖGELE AG. “Only with perfect and technically sophisticated products can our customers build high-quality roads.”