Tag Archives: Excavators

Liebherr launches its R 9600 hydraulic mining excavator, part of a new generation

After years of development, the Mining Division of the Liebherr Group has launched today the new R 9600 hydraulic excavator. This 600 t excavator, it says, sets new standards in the open-pit mining market. The successor of the popular Liebherr R 996B has entered the market after gaining a year of field experience in Australia, the largest market for 600 t class excavators. This new development builds on years of customer-centric research and is based upon the successful R 9800 800 t excavator. A total of eight units will be operating in Australia by the end if 2021. The R 9600 will enter serial production at the end of this year.

Customer input has played an important and pivotal role in the development of this new machine. Engineering, sales and marketing teams have collected feedback and insights from mine site equipment operators, maintenance personnel and procurement groups as well as executive management to have a clear understanding of the challenges they meet every day.

The new R 9600 aims to reach the highest standard in terms of safety, sustainability, performance, lifetime, total cost of ownership (TCO), ease of maintenance and more. After testing the first prototypes at the factory proving grounds in Colmar, France, in early 2020, the first R 9600 pre-series excavators started operating in iron ore and coal applications in Australia. Liebherr, together with its two very important customers, BHP and Thiess, started the partnered validation of the first two units in the field. Backed by this succesful validation phase, the R 9600 is ready to enter the global market.

Diverse offering of powertrains including electric drive

The R 9600 is equipped with two QSK50 Cummins engines with advanced combustion technologies. Understanding that fuel costs form the major portion of the TCO for mining machines, Liebherr has developed and implemented LPE  (Liebherr Power Efficiency) solutions. These proprietary management systems for the engine and hydraulic system controls substantially reduce fuel consumption without compromising the overall productivity of the machine. These new features grant also an additional step toward the Liebherr emission reduction solutions. For emission-regulated regions, a US EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V compliant version is available with the latest SCR after-treatment technology. Complying with stringent emission regulations, the SCR system reduces nitrogen oxides by injecting a liquid reductant into the exhaust stream. An electric drive version will be available soon, a productive choice for mine sites having the required electrical infrastructure.

Weight-optimised attachment

The R 9600 attachment makes use of smart component design such as the patented “EVO” backhoe bucket, hydraulic cylinders, shift levers, bucket links and attachment pins. The result is an increased overall production rate without compromising component lifetime. In standard backhoe configuration with a Heavy Duty wear package, the R 9600 comes with a 37.5 m³/49.1 yd³ bucket to deliver an ideal truck/shovel match with Liebherr mining trucks. It loads 190 t trucks in three passes, T 264 240 t trucks in four passes, T 274 300 t trucks in five passes and T 284 375 t trucks in six passes. The excavator is also available in face shovel configuration equipped with a 37 m³/48.4 yd³ shovel, as standard with a Heavy Duty wear package.

Long-lasting performance

Designed to be used in all applications globally, the R 9600 is built to last over 80,000 machine operational hours. Further improving machine reliability, the uppercarriage structure is a completely new development. The robust undercarriage, with a fatigue resistant steel structure, is enhanced with a new hydraulic track tensioning system. The standard sealed for life heavy-duty carrier and track rollers incorporate the patented roller path design and registered track pad design. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Liebherr has built a solid reputation in the development and production of high quality components for mining applications. The R 9600 benefits from this reputation through reliable components that are developed and manufactured by Liebherr. The R 9600 utilises the latest quality control systems to ensure the best reliability and highest performance.

The latest cabin generation

The R 9600 has a brand-new cabin designed by operators for operators – it is a first-class, state of the art 14 m³/150 ft³ working space. The cab design reduces vibrations and limits noise to 69 dB, providing a comfortable working environment for the operator. To allow for the best possible working conditions, Liebherr engineers have placed the cab of the R 996 successor back on the left side, standardising with other excavators in the range. The operator’s seat has been positioned as far left as possible in order to provide the best operator visibility of the attachment and working area. Ambient and low-level LED lights make working at night easier and safer. The operator station is user-friendly and equipped with modern touch screen displays. The air conditioning system for the cabin is a modular design concept which is easily exchanged as a rotable component, as single or dual air conditioning systems are available. To further enhance the operator comfort, vacuum cleaner, premium cooled seats, HEPA filtration system and many more features are available. The R 9600 offers a superior machine perimeter visibility system comprising of four cameras at strategic locations on the rotating uppercarriage. The dedicated monitor inside the cabin provides continuous 270° vision around the machine.

Assistance Systems and on-board controls

Setting new standards in the mining industry, the R 9600 is equipped with the Liebherr Assistance Systems. These advanced on-board applications are designed to support the operators in becoming more efficient through analytics and actionable insights from live data. The Truck Loading Assistant helps the operator attain optimal productivity and efficiency. With 99% measurement accuracy, the system measures the instantaneous bucket payload and provides real-time information to the operator. The Truck Loading Assistant strategises the number of passes required to achieve the target payload of the truck, and also provides a progressive update in achieving the strategy.

In addition, to provide operators and customers with productivity KPIs of the machine performance, the severity of the application and the operational conformance of the machine is realised in real-time on the machine. The first Liebherr hydraulic excavator (HEX) Automation Product introduced to the mining industry is the Bucket Filling Assistant, an adaptive or semi-autonomous digging product available as an option for the backhoe version of machines. It allows for easier and faster bucket filling with a consistent bucket fill factor, load after load, even in the toughest digging conditions. As a result, the overall productivity improves while the operator’s fatigue level is reduced.

Designed for safe 24/7 operation and maintenance

Liebherr product development is centred around protecting the customer’s most important assets. The R 9600 was designed with respect to global safety standards for operators and maintenance personnel, ensuring that safety remains a top priority at all times. The upper carriage of the R 9600 has been designed to allow for quick and easy maintenance activities, and is accessible via a hydraulically controlled ergonomic 45° stairway. Enlarged walkways with handrails and non-slip perforated steps allow for safe and convenient inspections and maintenance at all levels of the machine, including engine and powertrain components. All major parts have been designed and positioned to allow easy access and quicker maintenance. The central service flap provides fluid and lubricant access to all components and systems, which reduces potential downtimes. Component and system refill and drain points of the R 9600 are accessible from ground level with quick couplings and depressurising valves.

R 9600 continues to write the success story

The R 9600 builds on two strong models of the Liebherr mining excavator portfolio: the R 996B and the R 9800. The first R 996 was introduced in 1995, followed by the R 996B in 2000.

“This very popular machine has been the benchmark in the mining market for the past 25 years, especially in Australia, where over 70% of these excavators have or are operating today accumulating 5.5 million machine hours,” the company said. “The R 9600 is not only further building on the success of its predecessor but is also inspired by its big brother, the popular 800 t R 9800, sharing a long list of components that have been proven on the R 9800 over the past 10 years. As with all Liebherr mining equipment, the predecessor models R 996 and R 996B will continue to be supported with remanufacturing, repair and customer support services for the duration of the machine’s lifetime.”

Capital builds up mining fleet for Sukari gold mine work

Capital is well on the way to securing a suitable fleet to carry out the open-pit waste mining contract at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine, with additional trucks recently arriving in Egypt and payments “significantly progressed” for all major long lead equipment required to service the operation.

Equity proceeds from the recent $40 million share placing were received in late December 2020, facilitating these further payments, according to Capital.

The 120 Mt open-pit waste mining contract at Sukari will see Capital provide load and haul and ancillary services over a period of four years. At the same time, the existing drilling contract at Sukari has been extended to December 31, 2024, (from September 30, 2023) and expanded by nine additional blasthole rigs, bringing the rigs operating at Sukari to 24 in total.

Included in the long lead items are 17 Cat 785 dump trucks, seven blasthole drill rigs, three excavators, and all major ancillary support equipment including dozers, graders and water trucks. Capital said additional trucks had recently arrived in Egypt, supplementing the initial truck fleet that arrived during the December quarter of 2020.

Capital also said it has made substantial progress on several of the debt facilities contemplated in the capital raising prospectus related to the Sukari contract including:

  • Executing the $2.6 million vendor finance agreement with Epiroc with full draw down against the purchase of three new blasthole rigs;
  • Fully drawing down on the remaining tranches of the $10 million Macquarie facility following finalisation of the Sukari contracts and security registration in Egypt; and
  • The committed and available vendor finance facility with Sandvik for $8.5 million is expected to be used over the course of the March quarter against the purchase of four new blasthole rigs.

Jamie Boyton, Capital Executive Chairman, said it was pleasing to note that site activity was progressing well with the continued expansion of its extensive on-site facilities, “further asset arrivals and the recruitment of key personnel to prepare for the commencement of preliminary mining activity in late Q1 (March quarter) as planned”.

MACA increases open-pit scale by acquiring Downer EDI’s Mining West business

MACA has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West business in a deal that could involve a consideration of A$175 million ($132 million).

Just last week, MACA said it was considering the potential purchase of Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West division as part of a stated plan to explore and pursue growth opportunities that will deliver “value to shareholders on an ongoing basis”.

The Mining West business currently comprises four large contracts at the long-life assets of Karara (Ansteel), Eliwana (Fortescue Metals Group), Cape Preston (CITIC Pacific) and Gruyere (Gold Fields, Gold Road Resources).

MACA’s CEO and Managing Director, Mike Sutton, said the acquisition provided MACA with a very meaningful addition of a large-scale mining fleet currently engaged across these projects. This comprises 14 excavators and shovels, 65 dump trucks, 11 surface drills and 36 other ancillary machines.

The fleet being acquired is currently fully utilised, or in the process of being deployed to projects, with the equipment having mixed life (with machines being on average mid-life). MACA says its due diligence has confirmed the machines are in good working order, having been well maintained by Mining West’s internal plant department.

With the inclusion of Mining West, MACA now has total contracted work in hand of over A$3.4 billion, which provides a robust revenue base well past its 2025 financial year, Sutton added.

Macmahon banks coal mining work with Foxleigh joint venture

Macmahon Holdings confirms it has been selected as the preferred tenderer to provide equipment hire and maintenance services at the Foxleigh joint venture operation in Queensland, Australia, from March 1, 2021.

The Foxleigh mine is an open pit, truck and excavator operation in the Bowen Basin, which produces low volatile PCI coal for Asia steel mill customers.

The proposed scope of work for Macmahon involves the hire and maintenance of 21 large capacity dump trucks and other ancillary equipment over a five-year term, together with the maintenance of client-owned equipment.

Macmahon estimates this work will generate around A$250 million ($177 million) in revenue and require capital expenditure of circa-A$50 million. Most of this capital expenditure will be to acquire 220 t dump trucks, which are expected to have a useful life of 10 years, Macmahon says.

Michael Finnegan, CEO and Managing Director of Macmahon, said: “We are very pleased to be selected as the preferred equipment and maintenance provider for the Foxleigh project, and we are looking forward to delivering for a new client in Queensland. This selection highlights our expertise in sourcing and maintaining large scale mining equipment and our ability to offer a range of service models to our clients.”

Foxleigh is jointly owned by QMetco, POSCO Australia and Nippon Steel Australia.

MineWare takes Argus to new heights at Chile copper mine

MineWare says it has recently completed its first high-altitude installation of its Argus monitoring system at one of Chile’s largest copper mines.

While technology continues to digitise and automate many mining processes – with the company recently helping a major copper mine in Chile set up its Argus and Pegasys monitoring systems on five of its electric rope shovels without stepping foot on site – there are still some tasks that need to be managed on the ground, it says.

Reflecting on a recent installation of MineWare’s Argus monitoring system on a P&H 4100XPC shovel at this large copper mine in Chile, MineWare’s Vice President for South America, Ramiro Mesina, said his team specialise in adapting and responding to clients’ environmental conditions.

“We pride ourselves on understanding the unique challenges and opportunities at each of our clients’ sites,” he said. “Our technology has been developed to support this and our team are well-versed in solving complex problems.

“Our recent work in Chile saw our team manage an installation of our Argus monitoring system at an altitude of 4,800 m above sea level in -10°C temperatures with occasional earthquakes: definitely not your every-day situation.

“While this was our first high-altitude installation, the process and care our team puts into planning this type of operation is tried and tested. Efficient project management and coordination, led by our Regional Operations Manager, Hector Mendoza, was key to ensuring a successful installation as well as the safety of all involved.”

In addition to the location of the mining site, the MineWare team also needed to manage this process during a global pandemic. Mining sites in South America have continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 situation, however for many this has been at a reduced level or with a skeleton staff.

Mesina said the strict COVID-19 regulations put in place to protect worker’s health and safety meant there was also minimal on-site assistance to support MineWare’s installation process.

“This was another factor we needed to address in our planning,” he said. “We knew we needed to reconsider logistics as there would be challenges with making resources and vehicles available.

The Argus E in-cab operator display

“We determined that the most efficient process would be to add additional time to our preparation on-site and run the installation over four night shifts. This allowed our team to identify any other issues prior to the installation while taking into consideration the potential impact of the altitude on our team.”

Mesina said the team successfully completed the installation on schedule, with only a couple of small earthquakes halting the progress on-site.

Argus is an advanced monitoring system for electric shovels, hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders.

The interoperable solution captures and shares valuable operating data to on site and remote mining personnel in real time to optimise payload performance, mine compliance and machine health, according to the company.

SANY delivers first rigid mining truck to Indonesia coal sector

Five SANY excavators, including two SY750Hs, two SY500Hs, one SY215C, and one SRT95C rigid-body mining truck, have recently been delivered to two large coal mines in Indonesia, the China-based equipment manufacturer reports.

The latest delivery, the SY750H, the largest-tonnage SANY excavator in Indonesia at 76 t, added to the SY500Hs and SY215Cs already on site. The SY750H is equipped with a 5.4 cu.m bucket to achieve higher ripping in difficult ground conditions, SANY says. It comes with a fuel-efficient ISUZU engine.

“The SY750H crawler excavators are used specifically for overburden, as well as for loading dumper trucks in the mine,” SANY said. “They have proved their efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability in operation.”

The delivery of the SRT95C, meanwhile, represented the first rigid truck to head to a coal mining job site in Indonesia. It came equipped with a Cummins QST high-power engine with electronic fuel injection control and Allison transmission. “This means enhanced acceleration performance and reduced fuel consumption and emissions,” SANY said.

The truck’s frame is made of alloyed structural steel, which features resistance to low temperature, bending, twisting and impact. In addition, McPherson front strut suspension adopted on the front axle and steering mechanism smooth the ride, according to SANY.

“SANY’s equipment has a strong presence in Indonesia as clients across the islands have purchased a range of products, including excavators, cranes and mining trucks, since years ago,” it said. “These machines have proven their outstanding off-road properties as well as a good quality in service.”

The client from one of the coal mines said: “With large grab capacity, high fuel efficiency and rapid working cycles, SANY excavators fully meet our requirements. Also, the productivity and stability in operation and good aftersales service, especially the spare part support, make SANY rigid mining trucks impressive.”

The delivery of these excavators and trucks followed another order from a mining customer in Africa last month.

On July 23, Eritrea’s Bisha Mining Share Company, owned by Zijin Mining, took delivery of nine SRT95C dump trucks it ordered earlier this year from SANY. These trucks will help the copper-zinc mine increase ore production.

Hitachi to trial autonomous tech on ultra-large hydraulic excavators in Australia

Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) is looking at trialling autonomous ultra-large hydraulic excavators at an Australia mine site as part of a series of verification tests.

The tests, set to begin from the start of the 2021 financial year (from April 1, 2021), are geared towards improving future mining site safety and productivity, HCM said.

“The remote controlled ultra-large hydraulic excavator will be developed in order to improve the working environment and ensure the safety of operators,” the company stated. “This excavator will be equipped with operator support systems, such as a collision avoidance system with other mining equipment, to ensure the same level of operability as with the operator on board the machinery.”

Following the initial development, some part of the excavation and loading operation will be automated to allow a single remote operator to operate multiple ultra-large hydraulic excavators, the company said.

“The incremental development will eventually realise the ultra-large hydraulic excavators with autonomous operation features,” HCM said.

The remote control, driving support system for manned excavators and autonomous operation features are all retrofittable onto the EX-7 series of ultra-large hydraulic excavators to enable mining site customers to use the equipment they currently operate, while supporting autonomous operation at mining sites in the future, HCM said.

The company explains: “Mining resources including iron ore and copper sustain the activities of global industries, and the sites which mine these resources are required to operate in a stable manner 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“In contrast, the operators of ultra-large hydraulic excavators are required to repeatedly perform complex operations for a long period of time while paying attention to avoid collision with surrounding equipment and the stability of the vehicle, in order to excavate and load mining resources in an efficient manner.”

Because the safety and productivity of ultra-large hydraulic excavator operation largely depends on the operator’s skill and experience, building a production system that does not depend on these skills and reduces the operator’s workload are important issues at mining sites, it said.

Such developments have been coming from the group considering the company entered the mining machinery business in the late 1970s, and has made leaps in tele-remote operations of excavators within other sectors.

For example, the company used a remote-controlled unmanned excavator to advance the development of technologies in the reconstruction work at Mount Unzen Fugen-dake volcanic eruption in 1992. In 2013, it also led the industry by advancing the development of technologies for long-distance remote control by remotely operating a hydraulic excavator located in the Urahoro test site, Hokkaido, over an internet connection from approximately 800 km away in Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

“Now, we have decided to begin verification tests at an actual mining site to advance the development of autonomous driving for ultra-large hydraulic excavators, reflecting the needs of customers,” it said.

The autonomous operation for ultra-large hydraulic excavators can be deployed as a standalone system, or as a part of fleet management system (FMS), such as the Fleet Control from Wenco International Mining Systems, a HCM subsidiary with a solid implementation track record at large-scale mines.

“Our goal is to balance a high degree of safety and productivity by having autonomous operation through sharing the information among the autonomous ultra-large hydraulic excavators, dump trucks and other equipment,” the company said.

Operation support system

Because it is difficult to assess the conditions around the vehicle and the inclination of the vehicle during remote control compared with a manned operation, the actual machinery will be equipped with a collision avoidance system and a vehicle stability monitoring system to reduce the burden on the operator performing the remote control during the verification tests, HCM said.

In addition, Wenco has been advancing the development of an excavator payload monitoring system, which measures the weight of the material inside the bucket, and plans to test this feature at the same time.

Reflecting the needs of actual customers through verification testing will further improve remote control and driving support technologies in ultra-large hydraulic excavators, HCM said.

“These operator support systems can be retrofitted onto the EX-7 series of ultra-large hydraulic excavators and are scheduled to be ready for the market during the 2022 financial year (April 1, 2022 onwards) as systems installed on actual machinery to increase operation safety,” the company said.

Integration with the autonomous haulage system (AHS)

HCM began researching AHS in 2009, with six EH5000 rigid dump trucks now starting 24-hour autonomous haulage at Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Because a diverse and large quantity of manned and unmanned machineries mix together in a large-scale mining operation, the radio communication needed for the operating control must be managed in a stable manner, HCM explained.

“The AHS from Hitachi Construction Machinery runs on the Wenco FMS and utilises various technologies from the Hitachi Group to realise a significant advantage by extending its range of control up to a maximum of 100 vehicles,” the company said.

The goal of autonomous ultra-large hydraulic excavators is to balance a high level of safety and productivity, even in the autonomous mining sites of the future, by sharing information with dump trucks and other machinery.

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has thus far been engaged in realising “reliable solutions” to solve social issues as a close and reliable partner for our customers, it said.

“Going forward, we will continue to promote the development of long-distance remote control and autonomous driving, ultra-large hydraulic excavators using ICT and IoT for mining industry customers around the world to help provide the higher level of safety and mine management productivity improvements that our customers require,” the company concluded.

Weir ESCO expands Nemisys tooth system offering for hydraulic excavators

Weir’s ESCO division says it has extended its Nemisys mining tooth system to a new range of excavators.

The expanded Nemisys offering serves as a direct upgrade and replacement for the SV2® system and competitor weld-on systems for plate lip hydraulic excavators, it said.

Earlier this year, the company introduced the Nemisys N70 Lip System for hydraulic excavators as it looks to expand the tooth system’s reach beyond the large mining shovels, large excavators and wheel loaders it was initially developed for.

This latest addition will see the mining tooth system support 160 ton (145 t), 200 ton (181 t) and 250 ton (227 t) excavators.

“Operating on over 700 machines worldwide, the Nemisys system has demonstrated market leadership in reliability, site safety and enhancing machine performance,” the company said.

ESCO says the Nemisys system features hammerless locking mechanisms for greater safety and easy replacement, while the slim contoured profile improves bucket loading and reduces fill energy.

“The system is also known for reducing or eliminating unplanned downtime, providing major improvement in cost reduction and balancing machine maintenance cycles,” it said.

Austin Engineering receives steel award plaudits for two-piece excavator bucket

Austin Engineering has placed second overall at the 2019 Swedish Steel Awards, at the same time as its two-piece excavator bucket was awarded the Peoples’ Choice Award at the event.

First awarded in 1999, the Swedish Steel Prize is an international award for companies, institutions and individuals in the steel industry. The prize, owned by SSAB, has for 20 years been recognising and rewarding those that have developed a method or product that fully utilises the potential of high-strength, wear resistant and other premium steels.

An independent professional jury assesses the entries by considering their applicability, profitability, environmental benefits, performance, innovation and creativity.

The jury said: “Austin Engineering has taken a significant leap in innovation for the design and maintenance of excavator buckets. With a modular approach, they have developed an innovative concept that combines low weight with optimal use of the complete product before scrapping. The solution utilises the characteristics of high strength and wear resistant steel and has extremely low barriers for implementation.”

Designed and manufactured in Australia by Austin Engineering, the two-piece bucket features a reusable upper section and a consumable lower segment designed for quick and safe bucket change-outs during scheduled maintenance intervals.

The reusable upper section has been designed to maintain overall structural integrity of the assembly for a predetermined service life through multiple change-outs of the lower, consumable, section.

According to the company, typical baseline service life for the upper section service will be in the vicinity of 30,000 hours; around four to five years based on industry expectations of conventional one-piece buckets of similar size and capacities.

Along with Austin Engineering, the finalists in this year’s award included Kampang from Brazil for its feeder modules for axial grain harvesters used in soybean farming, Roofit Solar from Estonia for its metal solar roofs that produce electricity and the US-based Shape Corp (overall winner) for its robust manufacturing process for 3D shaped tubes.

Steel award entries must be a method or product that fully uses the characteristics of premium steel within SSAB’s product range, but does not necessarily need to be steel produced by SSAB, according to the organisers.

LiuGong highlights battery-electric vehicles and 5G connected tech at BICES 2019

LiuGong has used the backdrop of the 15th Beijing International Construction Machinery Exhibition & Seminar (BICES 2019) in China to launch a new range of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) as well as remote controlled ‘intelligent’ wheel loaders based on 5G technology.

At BICES 2019, LiuGong is showing three BEVs, including two excavators – the 906E-EV and 922F-EV – and the company’s star wheel loader, the 856H-EV (pictured).

While not all these machines will be big enough to have mining applications, LiuGong explained that the units were very much the start of a platform that could see bigger machines manufactured.

Edward Wagner, Executive Director of LiuGong New Technology, said the total operating cost of a battery powered earthmover is, or soon will be, “depending on the exact vehicle design and customer application, lower than that of a diesel-powered machine”.

LiuGong’s new BEVs are designed for the new electric economy, it said, with a state-of- art, but well proven, lithium-ion battery system for energy storage.

“That power is directed into super high efficiency permanent magnet electric motors to create the motion necessary to drive the machines,” it said. “The machine’s mechanical and hydraulic systems have been optimised for high efficiency: a typical BEV will have peak power output that is two times a conventional diesel power machine. This enables the battery electric earthmovers to accelerate faster and perform more coordinated movements.”

These movements will also be more precise given the full electronic vehicle control, according to LiuGong. “More powerful, quicker and more precise all add up to more productivity, which is raised more than 10% compared to that of a diesel machine,” the company said.

These lithium-ion batteries are designed to last the full life of the machine and eliminate the daily maintenance and regular service routine that comes with diesel engines.

The first generation of LiuGong’s BEVs batteries are equipped with fast charging technology and innovative energy-saving technologies, according to the company. This sees them need only one hour to charge the battery to 80% capacity.

Zeng Guang’an, Chairman of LiuGong Group, at the launch ceremony for LiuGong’s BEVs, said: “We are committed to creating more value for our customers. And that is why LiuGong will never stop independent innovation.”

The LiuGong’s 906E-EV excavator is an example of how quickly and easily a diesel machine can be converted to battery electric, the company said. This machine uses most of the diesel excavator’s hydraulic system allowing for a very rapid conversion time. It is equipped with a battery large enough for a full working day, according to the company.

The new 922F-EV excavator is driven purely by electric power, with the battery pack located centrally in the rear for optimum mass balance. The electric motor and hydraulic system have been optimally packaged to maximise operator visibility, LiuGong says. “The result is industry leading operator visibility which will further enhance performance and efficiency.”

A feature of the new 856H-EV wheel loader is a pure electric driveline with regeneration. This improves operating performance and reduces the energy consumption.

LiuGong explained: “The hydraulic system is electrically driven while using proven off the shelf components. Performance is incredible given the 300-plus-kW peak power capability.”

All three machines are designed using a new platform strategy, which means a very high degree of commonality of parts and systems across all LiuGong’s new energy machines. “This simplification of parts will further lower the total cost of ownership,” it said.

LiuGong introduced the company’s first intelligent shovel remote control wheel loader at its 60th anniversary celebration last year and, at BICES, it has presented its new 5G-based remote-control intelligent wheel loader, co-developed and supported by China Telecom and Huawei technology.

According to Cai Dengsheng, Deputy Chief Engineer of LiuGong’s Intelligent Technology Institution, the model can be remotely controlled from over 2,000 km away, compared with 2 km as of last year, realising real-time response and accurate control through the 5G network.

This 5G network is the most advanced network communication technology in the world with only 30 millisecond data transition from Beijing to Liuzhou, according to LiuGong. “Meanwhile, the transmission quality or stability are not influenced by either a complex environment or long transition time,” the company said. “It is the best technical solution for timely, efficient and high-quality transmissions of large amounts of data.”

The company added: “It provides a high-quality network environment and network technology support for LiuGong’s remote control driving research and provides strong support for the combination of edge calculation and cloud computing in intelligent control under remote control conditions.

“As one of the few Chinese construction machinery companies that has mastered the 5G technology, LiuGong is expected to realise remote-control driving from even longer distances under this platform.”

In addition, LiuGong’s intelligent shovelling wheel loader can sense material penetration; has one bottom loading and dumping function, along with auto levelling and controllable placement of the bucket. It also features an intelligent throttle control system, the company said.

Under remote-control driving mode, all operations can be observed from the videos that are sent back by the machines’ cameras. It also applies the intelligent protection technology to realise automatic identification and auto emergency stop.

As a result, the machine can not only be used in its normal applications, but also can be applied in dangerous and unsafe environments such as rescue and disaster relief.

F-Series excavators

In addition to the BEV and 5G releases, LiuGong used the event to launch four new excavators in its F-Series range that have mining applications.

The 922F is a new-generation 22-ton hydraulic excavator. It and the other F-Series vehicles come with a fully electronically controlled hydraulic system and intelligent heat dissipation technology, with the excavator boasting high operating efficiency, low oil consumption and low noise.

It has “unique engine matching technology and new P/S/E mode ensure higher efficiency and low oil consumption”, the company said.

The company also launched the 926F 25-ton hydraulic excavator, the 936F 36-ton excavator with 1.7 cu.m bucket and the 92-ton 990F excavator which comes with a heavy-duty structure and optimised crushing design.