Advanced excavator range

Turkish firm Hidromek is serious about its plans for the future and is gearing up production of its excavator range. High performance is claimed by the firm for its machines, which feature sophisticated electronics and hydraulics as well as the latest low emission engines.
Earthmoving & Earth Compaction / February 9, 2012
Turkish firm 230 Hidromek is serious about its plans for the future and is gearing up production of its excavator range. High performance is claimed by the firm for its machines, which feature sophisticated electronics and hydraulics as well as the latest low emission engines. The company started by building backhoe loaders and followed this by entering the crawler excavator market, broadening its range over the years with successive introduction of new models.

In the range at present are the 22, 30 and 37tonne class machines, the HMK220LC, HMK300LC and HMK370LC respectively. However the firm is actively developing new models and is introducing a new line-up including the special HMK300LC long reach excavator. These latest generation machines come with a cab design that offers a major improvement in visibility and has better ergonomics than before and is anticipating winning design awards for this layout. The excavators are built to a design entirely developed by Hidromek and although at present the company's excavators weigh up to 37tonnes, larger-size 45tonne to 50tonne models will be offered in the future. The company is also offering its machines with an array of attachments for various special applications. The firm uses high quality components from high profile Japanese suppliers such as Isuzu for the engines as well as 901 Toshiba and Mitsubishi for hydraulic and electronic parts and has won a string of design and export awards in Turkey.

The range will grow with the new large machines at some point in the future, although the next addition will be of a more compact model. The company's PR manager Kübra Koç said, "Right now we are in the prototype stage with our 14tonne crawler excavator." The new 14tonne crawler excavator will be similar to the existing 14tonne class wheeled machine and will share some of the features of the upperstructure, although the undercarriage will be entirely new and specified for this model only.

Hidromek has two manufacturing facilities in the town of Sincan, which is close to Turkey's capital Ankara, as well as another plant at Izmir that assembles the firm's backhoe loaders. One of the factories in Sincan is dedicated to making fabrications for both the backhoe loaders and excavators while the other is alongside the head office and assembles the excavators. It is worth noting that both of these facilities are new and meet all EU manufacturing standards, as well as featuring the latest generation of machine tools. The factories near Sincan are run on a just in time basis with the fabrication plant featuring some 24 robots, extensive overhead craneage and the latest friction welding equipment for the excavator rams.

Major markets for Hidromek's excavators in recent years have included North Africa, Spain, Portugal, the Middle East, Russia, Australia and Colombia. Koç said, "In 2008 we exported 67% of our production." The fall in the Spanish market in particular has seen the firm supply fewer machines to this country for example but Hidromek has benefited from its good share in the growing North African market and this has offset the drop in European sales. The firm has the manufacturing capacity to build around 3,000 excavators/year although it is building around 2,000/year at present but expects to increase output as the construction industry continues to recover. The Turkish market also has strong potential and Koç said, "There will be a lot of road infrastructure investment for the next few years, particularly in the east of the country." Because it builds machines for sale in Europe as well as other markets where emission regulations are not as strict, Hidromek's excavators are built with both Tier 3 and Tier 2 compliant engines. The Tier 3/Stage IIIA machines are supplied to Europe, while the Tier 2/Stage II compliant machines are for markets in developing nations. The company takes care to ensure that only the necessary compliant machines are made available where required and the firm is also working on its Tier 4/Stage IIIB generation machines at present, which will be available in Europe next year.
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