Komatsu Europe president Mas Morishita
is seeing more and more potential for its highly sophisticated intelligent machines, as well as its hybrid drive technology. Komatsu is now well established in Europe, having celebrated 50 years in the European market last year.
The firm started development work on hybrid excavators back in 1999, launching its first production model in 2008. And the latest HB215-3 variant, now being launched, is the third generation of this 20tonne class machine, using a further refinement of its well-proven electric slewing and capacitor storage technology.
Komatsu has perhaps more experience with hybrid construction machines than any other manufacturer, with more than 4,000 units in the field. According to Komatsu Europe president Mas Morishita: “We’ve logged about 10 million hours with them in all.”
He said that the hybrid excavator’s lower running costs offer a key benefit over conventional machines: “It’ll have a 20% fuel saving compared with a conventional excavator.”
Customers also stand to benefit from using the firm’s intelligent excavator and dozer models, with a number of customers in Europe now using these units.
Morashita believes that the market for these advanced machines will continue to grow as more companies begin to appreciate the time and cost savings equipment like this can deliver.
In all, Komatsu has supplied 4,150 of these units, which have clocked around 6.8 million operating hours in the five years since they were introduced. The majority of these working in Japan, where the firm initially placed several units with its rental operation so as to raise the profile of the units.
Sales are now strong in Japan and, Morashita added: “In France alone we have 100 intelligent machines delivered. Customers are realising what these machines can bring.”