Advanced concrete slipforming technology coming to market
First publishedin World Highways
New concrete slipforming technology is said to offer increased performance over earlier generation equipment - Mike Woof writes
Manufacturers in the US and Europe are now offering new concrete slipforming machines with improved performance and capabilities. These utilise the latest machine control systems to offer high-quality, high-accuracy concrete paving performance. But while a number of concrete slipforming units have been made by Chinese suppliers, they have yet to be seen on projects outside of the country.
GOMACO continues to develop its product range, with its latest model being the GP4. This is designed for paving widths up to 12.2m, made feasible by its dual-telescoping roller frame. The machine benefits from GOMACO’s smart cylinders and smart telescoping technology, which are said to allow accurate frame widening and automatic width reference, as well as accurate steering setup. The modular roller frame telescopes up to 2.1m on each side, allowing a total of 4.3m of telescoping capability. The machine is equipped with Smart Pivot Arms for leg positioning, as well as smart track steering technology. The firm says that the machine has sharp turning capabilities, allowing it to pave tight radii. According to GOMACO, these features work together with the G+ control system, which identifies track location and position.
The steering system also makes the GP4 easier to move from site to site, as the machine has a special transport mode. The operator moves the legs around to the transport position with the GP4’s full-steer tracks and slew drives on the pivot arms.
In addition, the firm has other developments for the range and now offers the Xtreme three-track Commander IIIx, which benefits from the latest version of the GOMACO G+ control system. The IIIx is powered by a Tier 4 Final compliant diesel that offers lower fuel consumption and also features a new cooling system, with a hydraulic fan controlled by the G+ package.
A new control system with remote capabilities is offered by Miller Formless for its M 1000 slipformer
The 3300 also features a Tier 4 Final compliant engine and the firm says that this model was designed for European-style paving with its right-side and left-side pour capabilities. The machine is equipped with rotary-sensored slew drives on the tracks, sensored leg positioning, and independent travel circuits to each track to allow tight radius slipforming. Smart hydraulic cylinders on the three legs allow G+ to know the position of the tracks. The 3300 has a symmetrical design, a U-shaped operator’s platform and the control console easily slides from side-to-side to accommodate the direction of the pour.
GOMACO is offering a compact slipformer in the shape of the Curb Cadet, which is said to be highly mobile. The unit can be used to slipform concrete kerb or extrude asphalt kerb from either side. Self-propelled, the machine is manually steered and is offered as standard in two track format, although a three track variant is also available.
Guntert and Zimmerman has made some important changes to a number of models in the range, making these machines emissions compliant for developed markets. The S600 paver has been reconfigured so that it is now powered by a Tier 4 Final compliant diesel. The model had to have a new wiring harness and relocated hydraulics to allow the engine upgrade. The machine is able to pave widths from 2.5m up to 9.5m.
Important updates are being made to the S850, which will be ready for the market in due course. This offers paving widths from 3.66m up to 13m.
The S850SL variant benefits from features of the S600, such as the patented AccuSteer, with its Slew Drive Track Control System as well as the SmartLeg, with its Swing Leg System. The firm says that when the machine is equipped with special narrow grouser pads, it can work next to a temporary barrier wall on a companion lane trackline just 300mm wide, with and without a dowel bar inserter (DBI).
Meanwhile, the firm’s MP550 placer has also been repowered with the installation of a Tier 4 Final compliant diesel from Caterpillar. This has replaced the unit from FPT Industrial used in previous models.
Power Curbers now offers a versatile four track paver with its SF-2404
Miller Formless is now offering its M1000 slipformer with a new control system that helps boost performance and makes the machine easier to operate. The control package allows remote use, so that the operator can move around the machine while it is in use and have a better view of the working area. This is said to allow more accurate working in sites that are compact, as well as boosting safety.
The slipformer is also able to work with the latest machine control packages, allowing users to use stringless techniques and optimise paving quality. Miller Formless has also made sure that its customers also have a choice of machine control packages from the three main suppliers; Leica Geosystems, Topcon Positioning or Trimble. The machine also benefits from a new John Deere diesel that meets the latest Stage V/Tier 4 Final emissions requirements.
Power Curbers says that customer demand for its larger four-track paving unit, the
SF-2404 paver from Power Pavers, is healthy. The machine is designed to handle paving widths from 2-7.5m and features a novel telescoping frame configuration. According to the firm, this design allows simple width adjustment without having to add rigid frame extensions. The machine is versatile as a result and can be used for applications from conventional paving to offset and custom applications. The SF-2404 comes stringless-ready from the factory and is validated for use with 3D systems from Leica Geosystems, Topcon and Trimble.
The novel Simple Steer track positioning system and rotary knob for controlling steering are said to ensure that the machine is easy to manoeuvre compared to other units in its class, according to the company.
The four track design is said to make it easier to prepare the machine for transport, as it can be loaded without having to take off any of the tracks. The operator can prepare the machine without leaving the controls. When loaded, the dimensions are 3.2m high, 3.6m wide with paving kit (or 3m without paving kit) and just over 9m long.
Wirtgen has added to its range, with the addition of the SP 124i/SP 124 and SP 124 Li/SP 124 L models
Power comes from a Cummins QSB6.7 diesel that is Tier 4 Final compliant, although a Tier 3 variant is available for developing markets where low sulphur fuel is not available.
Terex Bid-Well is now offering a remote control system for its pavers. The 3600RC and 4800RC machines are equipped with the firm’s new remote control system, which allows the operator to run the machine from a safe location. The firm says that this offers increased safety, as well as the ability to communicate with other team members and more importantly with the concrete placer. The 3600RC and 4800RC are designed for paving bridge decks, flatwork and roads with minimal set-up time and increased flexibility.
“While paving, it is common for the operator to make minor adjustments to machine settings,” said Dean Johnson, service manager for Terex Bid-Well. “Without our remote operation, he/she will either need to call down to a labourer on the ground to make the adjustment or will have to stop the paver and paving operation to make the change. Our remote control units give the operator the flexibility to move away from the platform and have greater control over machine settings.”
Wirtgen claims increased versatility for its new SP 124 and SP 124i, highway class concrete paver models. The two variants of this machine run on four tracks, allowing them to manoeuvre in tighter spaces and offer better versatility than the earlier SP 120 with its two tracks. The machine can move to one side and then turn on its own axis, allowing it to pave alongside a previously paved stretch. For transport, the legs can be swung inwards to minimise overall width. According to Wirtgen, the machine
offers a compact transport size for its paving width. Typical applications include highway or airport runway paving operations and the machines can be customised. The concrete pavers are offered with a wide range of
options including a self-loading dowel bar inserter (DBI) with fully automated dowel magazine, tie-bar and side tie-bar inserter, or trough systems.
Paving widths vary from 4.5-12m, while maximum paving widths of 450mm can be achieved. Power comes from a Cummins diesel rated at 321kW in the Stage V/Tier 4 Final version to suit European and US market requirements or a 272kW Tier 3 variant for lower regulated markets. The SP 124Li and SP 124L models continue to offer two track options for customers not needing the extra manoeuvrability.
Some proven features have been retained from the smaller SP 60 and SP 90 pavers including the Eco Mode engine management system, which helps lower fuel consumption and noise emissions. They also include a 3D interface for compatibility with various 3D control systems from leading suppliers, as well as Wirtgen’s own WITOS FleetView telematics system for fleet management, position and condition monitoring.