With the global construction and industrial equipment markets as competitive as ever, innovation and inventive concepts are essential. Manufacturers trending toward the cusp of innovation will realistically maintain market leadership in upcoming years, so special attention to research and development is paramount. As strategic innovation increasingly becomes a necessity, Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) continually assesses the latest trends in marrying technological advancements with industry needs. As such, two developments in the industry are spotlighted below: Volvo Construction Equipment’s new compact electric excavator and Hitachi’s advanced oil-monitoring sensors.
Volvo Compact Electric Excavator
Volvo Construction Equipment unveiled their new compact electric excavator. Billed as the “compact excavator of the future,” the Gaiax compact excavator features innovative technology targeted to make excavation quicker, safer and more eco-friendly.
The Gaiax compact excavator boasts zero emission technology, is fitted with rechargeable batteries and can also be used while plugged into an electrical power source, according to the Volvo Equipment Company website. The electric excavator was designed with user-safety as a priority and works in harmony with nature, featuring a minimally-invasive environmental impact.
Other special characteristics of the Gaiax compact excavator include innovative safety features like an integrated first aid kit, a pedestrian warning alert system and attention-catching orange guards rails.
Remote operation through an augmented reality tablet allows the operator to use the machine at a safe distance while keeping an eye on surroundings. The main benefit of this device is that only one person is required to use the machine, the operator can dig and survey the site at the same time. Remote operation also allows the machine to be used in potentially dangerous situations while the operator maintains a safe distance, according to the Volvo Equipment Company website.
The iPad-like remote operation system is also encrypted with data regarding a city’s mapped utility networks, such as water pipes and electrical lines. This ground scanner technology allows the operator to visualize a worksite before breaking ground, and increases the efficiency at which work can be performed.
Electrically powered equipment is a fairly new concept within the industry and Volvo continues to introduce innovative concepts relating to articulated trucks, wheel loaders, excavators and more.
Hitachi Oil-Monitoring Sensors
Hitachi has released an innovative new technology as part of their remote fleet-monitoring system, according to AggNet. The article notes that the recently-released innovation recurrently extracts data from advanced sensors which monitor the quality of machine’s engine and hydraulic oil and is the first of its kind in the construction equipment sector.
The monitoring feature increases a machine’s availability and decreases maintenance requirements, which results in saved time and expenses, according to the article. The sensors transmit data to the remote fleeting-monitoring system which informs fleet managers, via text/email, when oil quality has deteriorated or has become contaminated. It enables fleet managers to promptly take necessary action to keep equipment running, optimally.
The sensors more accurately determine when new oil is necessary, as opposed to the typical scheduled maintenance system. This helps prevent downtime and ensures engines are running at their maximum capacity.
This new technology is similar to other innovative trends in the industry, like the use of telematics for equipment monitoring. Telematic technology can be used to track operator training schedules and safety goals, monitor equipment and export data for retention and metric tracing.
Hugg & Hall is dedicated to keeping customers informed and is vitalized by the continual progress and innovation represented in the industry.