A range of new asphalt paver models are coming to market, with some having been developed specifically for certain markets. China’s demand for construction equipment has resulted in numerous firms developing machines just for this market for example.
Customers in China have long favoured the European-style machines, featuring tamper bar screeds, over the machines with vibrating type screeds used in North America. This is a point worth noting as while China has been keen to expand its road and highway network quickly, contractors have still favoured tamper bar type machines, despite the lower paving speeds these offer in comparison with the machines equipped with vibration type screeds. However, Chinese customers do have certain needs for pavers that vary from European contractors, typically favouring larger hoppers to better match Chinese trucks and, for highway paving use, fixed screeds. Machine control systems are now being used by many contractors also for larger highway projects or for runway paving. And Chinese contractors handling larger projects are also increasingly keen to opt for paving equipment equipped with up-to-date telematics systems.
The SD2550CS model is a highway class paver capable of a throughput of up to 1,100tonnes/hour. But for the Chinese market, Dynapac says it fits the machine with fixed screeds as standard as these are preferred for highway working due to the finish quality they offer. Both the electric and LPG heated variants of the basic screed are offered, although Dynapac says that the former outsells the latter by around 2:1. Hydraulic extension systems offering up to 1m extra on each side are also often fitted to the machines for China, as these provide a measure of versatility. Dynapac also fits the SD2550CS with a slightly larger hopper, offering a 17tonne capacity, to meet the needs of the Chinese market.
Created only for China is Dynapac’s SD2530CS paver, which combines features from the firm’s SD2500 and SD2550CS models. This is designed for urban paving operations with a maximum throughput of 800tonnes/hour and has a screed offering widths from 2.55-10m.
Both machines are offered with the firm’s Dyn@Link fleet monitoring package, which was introduced to China last year and is said to be attracting strong interest in the market. The machines are also offered with the Truck Assist package, which helps with loading. Lights mounted on the paver tell the truck driver whether the hopper is fully loaded.
In a similar vein, Volvo CE’s P7820DL ABG paver was developed for the Chinese market and features the firm's latest Electronic Paver Management system – EPM 3. This package is said to optimise the paver for specific applications. The system consolidates the control buttons and functions can be quickly selected and adjusted using the ergonomically-positioned control dial.
From the platform, operators are said to have good visibility all around the paver, hopper, auger channel and screed. A glazed area on both sides of the platform further boosts visibility, while LED work lights and balloon light options allow efficient working even in low-light conditions.
Meanwhile the paver design has its hopper specifically extended by 300mm for the Chinese market. This longer hopper gives extra-large trucks with bigger overhangs enough space to feed the paver.
The screeds fitted to the Volvo P7820DL ABG allow paving widths of up to 11m and can handle a wide range of materials. The firm says its tamper bars achieve material target density over the entire working width and are hardened for lasting durability. Depending on application and condition, Volvo customers can choose from its range of single or double tamper screeds. The Volvo ABG double tamper technology offers a high degree of pre-compaction behind the screed, essential when paving thick asphalt and cement-treated base (CTB) material. A paving crew can also add or remove screed extensions quickly, with no special tools required.
The machine has a maximum claimed throughput of 900tonnes/hour. Weighing in at 22.5tonnes in standard configuration, the machine has a 15.5tonne capacity hopper.
And paver specialist Vögele is also changing its paver range, with high technology models and machines with more basic controls. The company is widening its product range of pavers for the Chinese market and is now offering the Super 1600L and Super 1600-3L variants in China, in addition to models such as the existing Super 1880L. As with the Super 1880L, the two new models feature larger hoppers (denoted by the L suffix) than standard pavers for Europe and other markets. This 15tonne hopper capacity allows the pavers to match the bigger asphalt delivery trucks used by Chinese contractors.
The Super 1600L forms part of the firm’s newly established Classic Line, while the Super 1600-3L is in the Premium range. For the moment these machines are being built in the firm’s German factory but will be manufactured at the company's Chinese facility in Langfang in the future, alongside the Super 1880L. The Classic models feature the same components and build quality but do not have the more sophisticated sensors and controls fitted to the Premium line. Björn Westphal from the firm said, “We reduce the options on the Classic Line and offer the full range on the Premium Line.”
This differentiator means that the Classic units can be used for normal urban paving jobs. Meanwhile, the Premium models are aimed at use in applications where site data will be recovered and requiring the use of machine control technology such as in highway paving or airport runway construction.
The key component variation between the two pavers is that Super 1600-3L is being equipped with the AB500 screed while the Super 1600L is fitted with the AB480 screed. At full hydraulic extension the AB500 can allow a paving width of up to 5m, while the AB480 reaches 4.8m. Both screeds can be fitted with 1.5m bolt-on extensions at either side allowing maximum paving widths of 8m for the AB500 and 7.8m for the AB480.