The world’s largest construction equipment show is back next month, with organisers promising 570,000m2 of exhibition space and 3,300 exhibitors.
Bauma 2013 is expected to attract 450,000 toMunich, and will feature all the biggest names in construction equipment and machinery, including Liebherr, Caterpillar, Volvo, Case, JCB, New Holland, Komatsu, Hyundai, Hitachi, Doosan, Bomag, Herrenknecht and JCB, as well as formwork and access specialists like Peri, Alimak and Doka.
Over the last few years the big machinery firms have focused on developing solutions to make sure their kit meets the latest emissions standards (Stage IIIB in Europe and Tier 4 Interim in the US), and they have already unveiled legislation-compliant models of their most popular ranges. The show will see even more machines with the cleaner engines that meet these standards - although some manufacturers are now holding off on major launches until 2014 or 2015, when the final stage of the emissions legislation come into force.
There will be a few firms at the event that have already achieved final stage compliance on one or two machines - like New Holland, which will be showing an excavator and a mini crawler excavator that both meet the tight Tier 4 Final standards.
Following a recent trend for the big manufacturers to develop machines for very specific markets and activities, there are signs that customers now want multi-purpose equipment
However, while emissions legislation has dominated recent shows like last year’s Intermat and 2011’s ConExpo, there are other themes coming through at Bauma this year, including energy saving hybrid excavators that recover and re-use stored energy - like the Kers systems in Formula 1 cars. At the last Bauma, three years ago, Komatsu’s hybrid crawled excavator was pretty much the only one on display, but this year most of the major manufacturers are likely to be showing at least one machine that reuses stored energy.
JCB is using Bauma to show off the range of machines powered by its in-house Ecomax engine, which the company spent £80M developing.
The company is the only leading equipment manufacturer in the world to have chosen to meet the Stage IIIB/Tier 4 interim emissions legislation without using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) or aftertreatment. Instead, the Ecomax uses in-cylinder technologies that give in a cleaner, more efficient combustion process, so there is no need for any external exhaust after-treatment.
JCB has been extending the Ecomax engine range, both up and down in terms of power output, and at Bauma visitors will be able to see it fitted into machines spanning the 74hp to 173hp range, including backhoe loaders, telescopic handlers, wheeled loading shovels, telescopic boom wheeled loaders, excavators, rough terrain forklifts and skid steer loaders.
Among them will be German equipment giant Liebherr, which is launching its first ever hybrid crane. The heavy duty 300t capacity crawler crane adapts existing technology from maritime cranes, with the hybrid drive improving efficiency by between 20% and 30%. The firm has plans to extend the same technology into other cranes in the fleet.
Komatsu, which started the hybrid race three years ago, will be showing the latest evolution of its 21t excavator, while Caterpillar has stolen a march on competitors by launching a hybrid in the larger 30t capacity range, which will be on display at the show.
Another theme coming through this year is versatility. Following a recent trend for the big manufacturers to develop machines for very specific markets and activities, there are signs that customers now want multi-purpose equipment, and the manufacturers are responding accordingly. Again, Liebherr is one of the firms leading this trend, with a 72t crawler excavator aimed at the demolition market that can be converted from digging to demolition mode very easily.
“Once it’s technically feasible, it makes sense to combine the features,” explains Liebherr corporate communications manager Gerold Dobler.
Volvo is another major firm targeting the demolition sector with a range of high-reach excavators that can be fitted with both high-reach equipment and a standard boom and arm configuration, so contractors can easily switch from one type of boom-arm configuration to another depending on the height of the structure. And, like the Liebherr, Volvo has made it simple to change from a demolition attachment to a standard attachment, using a hydraulic modular joint.
German tunnel boring machine (TBM) giant Herrenknecht has announced an exciting new development that will be on show at Bauma - a semi-trenchless method for installing pipes.
It requires a far narrower footprint than traditional open cut pipe laying, which makes it quicker and cheaper for contractors and utility companies. The Pipe Express system is based around a small diameter TBM. As the TBM cuts through the ground, the spoil is conveyed above ground using a milling unit, and the pipe is laid immediately behind. It can be used for pipes between 800mm and 1.5m in diameter, to depths of up to 2.5m.
Evidence that versatility is key to sales success is also evident from the huge range of attachments being promised at the show, and the proliferation of quick coupling devices to connect them to standard machines.
Also in evidence is a trend for the big names to be getting into small and compact equipment - all with new emissions-compliant engines.
Hyundai is one such firm, launching a 2.6t machine to plug a gap in its mini crawler excavator range. At the other end of the spectrum, the Korean manufacturer will also be showing one of the largest machines on display this year, a 120t crawler excavator.
Although not yet available in Europe, the machine is already selling well in Russia and South Africa, and UK customers who can’t make it to Bauma will get their first chance to see the massive machine at Plantworx in May.
In addition to classic site equipment, like excavators, cranes and dozers, Bauma will also feature the latest innovations in temporary works and access equipment. Alimak, for example, is using the event to launch a lightweight range of transport platforms and materials hoists, while Doka has a new formwork system specifically for tunnels.
US equipment giant Caterpillar will exhibit more than 70 machines in over 12,000m2 of indoor and outdoor space at Bauma, with a focus on productivity, fuel economy and sustainability.
New launches from the manufacturer include the new hybrid excavator, as well as an emissions legislation-compliant wheel loader that is up to 20% more fuel efficient than the previous model.
The firm is also showing four new mini excavators and - at the other end of the scale - a 91t capacity off-highway truck and a 220t hydraulic mining shovel.
Peri will be showcasing products that it has been developing on major international projects, like the Panama Canal and the London Olympics Aquatics Centre.