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New machines boost concrete paving performance and accuracy

First publishedin World Highways
June 2015
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GOMACO Next Generation Commander
GOMACO claims that its Next Generation Commander III paver offers greater versatility and paving

New concrete paving machines offer greater versatility as well as performance – Mike Woof writes

GOMACO said that its Next Generation Commander III paver has been designed to increase safety and all-round visibility, while offering improved performance. This four track paver benefits from the firm’s latest G+ Connect technology as well as 3D guidance options. A key to the improved performance is the G+ control system while the machine also has power from a quiet, low-emission Tier 4 engine. Fuel consumption is lowered further as the machine has load-sensing technology while the optimised cooling system matches the hydraulic cooling fan to the working requirements, helping to lower noise.

Extensive testing has already been carried out in the field to prove the design and this has highlighted the isolated operator platform that reduces vibration. The redesigned platform also has a pivoting control console, which allows the operator better visibility for difficult applications.

The chassis has been redesigned to allow space for the new low-emission diesel and its cooling system and the engine installation also helps improve visibility as well as service access.

Control of each leg is improved due to the fitting of the firm’s GBox technology, which improves steering and grade accuracy through the G+ controls. The GBox has a new location for the slave controller and proportional valves, reduces hose and wiring needs, eases serviceability and troubleshooting and provides easy access with a horizontal swing door at ground level.

The G+ control with G+ Connect can integrate with GOMACO’s accessories, including 3D guidance, the GOMACO Smoothness Indicator (GSI) and an on-board camera for visibility. The GSI uses three different sensors, two sonic and one slope, to read the smoothness data on the surface of the new slab. This data can be used to make on-the-go adjustments, if necessary, to the paver to assure maximum smoothness results.

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The 5700-C from Power Curbers
The 5700-C from Power Curbers can be fitted with a Tier 4 Final compliant diesel if required, one of many options available for the machine

 Other accessories for the Next Generation Commander III include a power transition adjustor (PTA), Auto-Float attachment, centre- and side-mounted bar inserters and 3D and 2D guidance systems. GOMACO’s G+ package can be connected with machine control equipment from Leica Geosystems, Topcon and Trimble. G+ controls will also accommodate telematics for remote engine and machine monitoring.

The demand for machine control technologies is growing strongly in the concrete slipforming market. Stephen Bullock is vice president of sales and marketing at Power Curbers and he explained that there has been a notable change in customer perception of machine control systems. This is of particular note in the US market, although other territories are also seeing growth in demand for stringless systems, such as Europe. He said, “Stringless is really taking off and even in the last six to eight months demand has increased drastically. Half of the 5700-Cs we’re quoting for are for stringless operation.”

But this growing reliance on stringless control systems is no longer restricted to the large contractors carrying out major highway jobs. He explained that the small, specialised firms that carry out a lot of subcontracting work are also opting for this technology. In applications such as a parking lot, for instance, stringless controls are now widely used for paving kerbs as this saves times and money, just as in highway jobs.

When Power Curbers held a demonstration event to highlight the benefits of using stringless systems earlier this year, the attendees included a diverse array of contractors. The attendees ranged from the sort of small specialist firms with a single slipformer and a handful of employees up to bigger contractors with large payrolls and multiple machine fleets. Bullock said that the customer response to the demonstration, held in the open area at the rear of the plant, was very positive and resulted in a number of sales even during the event.

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Wirtgen’s new SP90 series pavers
High performance and versatility are claimed for Wirtgen's new SP90 series pavers

Power Curbers also continues to broaden its array of customer options for its 5700-C machine, with additional functionality and features available. This versatile machine is offered with an enormous array of options, so much so that no two units supplied are alike. In addition, Power Curbers is keen to ensure that its customers have the widest possible array of machine options available. A new generation engine is now being offered for the 5700-C slipformer, aimed at those contractors operating equipment in low-emission zones or those that want to plan ahead for upcoming emissions regulations. The Tier 4 Final-compliant Cummins diesel slots into the existing machine chassis with no necessary modifications.

Wirtgen is replacing its SP80 series pavers and its SP850 model with the improved SP90 series. There are four models in the new range, the SP92, SP92i, SP94 and SP94i, with a wide array of features and attachments offered. The SP90 series units can be used for paving widths from 2 to 9.5m, an increase in widths from the earlier SP80 series.

Tight turning capabilities are claimed due to the firm’s Wi-Steer and Wi-Control systems, which optimise steering accuracy even under load in tight turns. Customers can opt to use different machine control technology along with the SP90 series, run through the 3D control interface while an electronic slope ensures that the paving work is to the required grade. Modular design allows a wide array of paving jobs to be handled, while Wirtgen has also ensured that the SP90 series can slipform both wet and dry mixes.

The SP92 and SP92i both feature twin tracks that are 2.675m long by 350mm wide, with maximum paving depths of 350-450mm and working weights of 30-45tonnes depending on set-up. The latter machine suits operations in North America and Europe where emissions legislation is strict and low sulphur fuels are available.

While increasing performance for the SP90 series Wirtgen has also managed to reduce fuel consumption compared to the SP80 series being replaced. Meeting the Tier 3 standards, the SP92 has a 224kW diesel while the Tier 4 Final SP92i has a 231kW diesel. The same engine types are fitted to the SP94 and SP94i, depending on emissions regulations and these are four track machines with working weights from 30-65tonnes. The firm offers the machines with a choice of tracks, either 1.2m long by 300mm wide or 1.385m long by 350mm wide.

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