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Electric innovations on show at Bauma 2019

The trade fair, from 8 to 14 April, attracted more than 620,000 visitors from 200 countries, with about 3700 exhibitors from 63 countries.

According to the show organisers, there was a significant rise in overseas visitors, particularly from China, Japan and Australia. More than 5500 visitors came from China alone.

The exhibition filled 614,000m² of the Munich fairgrounds, making it the largest Bauma ever in terms of floorspace.

There were a significant number of innovations and new products launched at the trade fair. Caterpillar, for instance, unveiled more than 20 new products, including a number of electrified products, eg:

  • The D6 XE dozer, the world's first with high drive electric drive, which improves fuel efficiency up to 35 per cent.
  • The 988K XE wheel loader, which features a high-efficiency electric drive system with switched reluctance technology.
  • The 300.9D VPS mini-excavator, which produces zero emissions when connected to a remote power unit.
  • The 906 compact wheel loader, a concept vehicle with a fully electric drivetrain powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Alternative drive systems

One of the key trends at Bauma 2019 was an increased interest in alternative power and drive systems, particularly electromobility and driverless vehicles.

Some of the main drivers towards electrification include: legislative pressures for zero-emission vehicles in city centres; their suitability for indoor demolition and basement projects; and the preference for low noise machines required for night-time work and in quiet zones.

"We have identified that electromobility and driverless vehicles are two areas that are increasingly gaining traction with manufacturers and service providers in the construction machinery industry,” Bauma 2019 project director Mareile Kästner said.

“As such, we intend to provide these hot topics with a platform at Bauma 2019. The important thing to note is that we won't only be showcasing the diverse range of possible applications of leading exhibitors' products but will also be providing a platform for discussing the aims, potential and sustainability of new technology."

Future of quarrying

The trend towards electrification was strongest in machines best suited to civil construction applications; these often operate in cities where there are emission and noise restrictions.

“There are a lot of machines, excavators, even construction vehicles that operate purely electrically, or as hybrids. This is especially important for inner-city construction sites,” Klaus Dittrich, CEO and chairman of Messe München said. “But also in mining, it is important to test such equipment, and tremendous progress has been made in the last three years.”

This trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles is also taking place in quarrying, albeit less rapidly.

Volvo Construction Equipment recently recorded encouraging results from a joint research project at the ‘emission-free’ Vikan Kross Quarry, near Gothenburg in Sweden. It has subsequently announced that all of its compact earthmoving machines produced from 2020 will feature electric engines.

Solutions to enable driverless construction machinery already exist in certain areas of the mining industry and other related areas. They are particularly suitable for use in quarries as the same routes are always followed from the actual quarrying site to the processing area.

There are also future plans for excavators, which, for example, will be able to dig excavation pits autonomously. Although a lot of preparatory work has already been done, driverless machines are not yet something that can be fully accomplished or implemented due to the safety aspects involved at complex construction sites.

Other noteworthy products

In addition to the electric innovations on show, a number of suppliers to the quarrying industry also launched or showcased numerous crushing, screening, washing and mobile products, eg:

The next Bauma will be held from 4 to 10 April, 2022, at the Messe München Exhibition Centre, in Munich, Germany.


More reading:
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