Smart excavators coming to market

New excavators coming to market offer a combination of increased performance and smart technology
Earthmoving & Earth Compaction / March 23, 2021 4 mins Read
Caterpillar’s new short tailswing excavator offers improved performance
Caterpillar’s new short tailswing excavator offers improved performance

Key manufacturers are offering new excavators that benefit from the advanced electronic technologies and sophisticated tools to deliver smart performance. These machines also have new hydraulics and the latest in engine systems, boosting output.

Caterpillar is offering a high-performance excavator in the shape of its sophisticated 335 model. According to the firm, this new design increases fuel efficiency, lowers maintenance costs up to 20% and improves performance up to 45%.

Featuring a compact radius design, the Cat 335 offers a high level of technology as standard for the 35tonne excavator class. The firm says that the 335 delivers the tightest tail swing radius, suiting it to working on tight sites such as road projects with lane closures.

Volvo CE is now offering increased productivity for the 35tonne excavator class
Volvo CE is now offering increased productivity for the 35tonne excavator class

The Cat C7.1 engine delivers 204kW and meets Stage V/Tier 4 Final emissions standards with a no-maintenance aftertreatment system. Three selectable operating modes – Power, Smart and Eco – help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%. The standard engine configuration offers high ambient temperature operating capacity of 52°C, cold start capability of -18°C and 4,600m altitude capability.

The new 335 features increased stick and bucket cylinder sizes to provide 15% greater digging forces in hard ground and asphalt. Hydraulic power is increased by 20% to boost productivity.

Selecting the engine smart mode saves more fuel by automatically matching the engine speed and hydraulic power demand. The use of this mode typically reduces fuel consumption by 10% without affecting productivity.

The 335 features optimised weight and dimensions to meet the most common transportation limits. Auxiliary hydraulic options for a wide range of Cat attachments increase versatility. Material penetration and improved cycle times are achieved through Advansys bucket tips, which are quickly changed without a hammer or special tool to improve safety and uptime.

Integrated Cat technologies on the new excavator are said to assist performance, increasing machine efficiency by up to 45% compared to manual operation. These tools include Cat Payload and Lift Assist systems.

Operators cut and fill to specifications when using the standard Cat Grade with 2D, allowing the machine to reach grade faster. The system stores up to four most used target depth and slope offsets. Automated boom, stick and bucket movements are provided by Cat Grade with Assist effort. Available upgrades to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or Cat Grade with 3D further increase productivity and expand grading capabilities.

Cat Link telematics gathers data generated by the new 335 to assist fleet management. Product Link collects machine operating data, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere through VisionLink. Fleet location, hours, critical maintenance alerts and other machine operating information can also be accessed through the Cat App.

The use of Cat Remote Services allows companies to troubleshoot and update machine software to improve efficiency. Remote Troubleshoot allows Cat dealers to perform diagnostic testing remotely and pinpoint potential issues, while the 335 is working.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Construction Equipment is offering a highly competitive machine to compete in a highly competitive market segment. The new excavator is aimed at the 22tonne class and meets the latest Stage V requirements.

The HX210AL sits alongside its stable mate the HX220AL and both machines have the same power output of 129kW. However, the HX220AL is powered by a Cummins B6.7 Stage V 6-cylinder engine and offers 880Nm torque (+20% torque) and is also EGR-free. Both machines share the same undercarriage.

The Hyundai HX210A features similar specifications to the HX220AL model, but with standard features and pricing designed to appeal to the rental market.

Power comes from a Stage V-compliant B4.5 Cummins diesel, with an innovative integrated exhaust aftertreatment system, that reduces emissions and maintenance requirements. Removing the need for EGR boosts reliability and simplifies maintenance, as well as reducing operating costs.

The HX210AL delivers 780Nm of peak torque, approximately 7% more than its predecessor the R210LC-9A. The new EPFC (Electronic Pump Flow Control) takes the machine to precision control.

High performance is claimed for Hyundai’s latest excavator
High performance is claimed for Hyundai’s latest excavator

The optional Advanced Around View Monitoring system (AAVM) gives the operator a 360° clear overview of the surroundings. It also includes Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD) technology to warns the operator when people or objects come within 5m of the machine.

The HX210AL benefits from improved operator controls which includes optional MG/MC machine guidance/machine control, which indicates the work status and automatically controls the attachment to assist the driver. The MG displays the position of the bucket tip and assists the operator by use of positioning guidance. The MC will automatically take over control of the grading with the bucket tip or face.

The computerised electronic pump flow independent control (EPFIC) system takes individual control of the hydraulic pumps, helping reduce losses in hydraulic flow and maximising production.

Hyundai’s HiMate is a remote management system that gives access, no matter where the location, to vital service and diagnostic information for Hyundai machines.

ECD (Engine Connected Diagnostics) will support the After Sales technicians and dealers with a diagnostics report (via e-mail, mobile, app or HiMate, HCE’s own telematic system) on the engine performance.

The report generated by HiMate allows improved fleet management by sending monthly e-mail reports including a summary of the operation and the fuel consumption analysis.

From Volvo CE comes improved productivity for the 35tonne excavator class with its latest model. The machine is said to feature versatility and efficiency as well as productivity, slotting into the range between the existing EC300E and EC380E excavators. With a height of under 4m when loaded on a trailer, it can be transported without dismantling.

This versatile machine can be adapted to suit a wide range of jobs. Operators can select functions depending on the task. This includes boom/swing and boom/travel priority, enabling one function to take the lead over another. The boom-down speed can be adjusted, giving added control, while a range of attachments is available.  

Boom-and-arm bounce reduction technology reduces machine shocks while the Comfort Drive Control option allows operators to steer the machine using the joystick rollers.

Operators are assisted in their tasks by the optional Dig Assist apps – powered by the Volvo Co-Pilot tablet. These include 2D, In-Field Design, 3D software packages, On-Board Weighing and Volvo Active Control, which automates boom and bucket movements. Using this last tool, operators can also set swing fence, height limit, and depth limit to avoid contact with obstacles.

The Volvo EC350E is said to offer high fuel efficiency due to its ECO mode, selectable work mode and electro-hydraulics. The D8M Volvo engine features a power rating of 220kW, delivering high torque at low rpm and comes fitted with auto-idle and shutdown features to help reduce fuel use.

Auto-regeneration technology means that the machine can continue working while cleaning the diesel particulate filter. Maintenance costs are reduced, due to the engine oil and filter change intervals of 1,000 hours, as well as ground-level access to grouped filters.

The Volvo package of service options include Oil Analysis, Care Inspection, and Undercarriage Inspections. Reports from the CareTrack telematics system help track productivity, fuel efficiency, and machine condition.

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