Bodo baggert digital
Alternative drives, digitalisation, sustainability
– Bauma 2019 ends with record results:
Bild: Kim Morgan-Maier, April 2019 (Sicht auf den Stand der Wacker Neuson Group)
the world leading trade fair for construction, building materials, mining machinery etc., attracted over 620,000 visitors – 40,000 more than the last event in 2016. This should come as no surprise as, considering the recent ban on diesel vehicles in city centres dominating the headlines, the digging and bulldozer industries have to improvise. Zeppelin CAT, manufacturer of heavy construction site equipment, stated, “the demands for cleaner, quieter and more efficient construction machines are increasing.” In response to these demands, the Garching-based company presented electronically driven variants of their compact wheel loaders and handling excavators that still do their job, but without exhaust emissions and with low noise production
The Wacker Neuson Group, a leading manufacturer of construction equipment and compact machines, also reacted to the demands and focussed its trade fair presence primarily on electrical equipment. Their entire 6,000 square meter stall was designed to be an electrifying world of experience, supported by impressive 700 staff members operating at their stand. Martin Lehner, CEO of the Wacker Neuson Group, stated, “through our broad range of electronically driven and emissions-free products as well as our range of digital services, we are one of the forerunners of the future.” With “Zero Emission” products, customers can now already implement the whole process of a classic, inner city construction site for infrastructure maintenance completely emission-free and noise-reduced.” “Zero Emission” is also the motto of the Kramer Group’s brand. In their presentation at bauma, the company displayed virtual augmented reality applications so that customers and interested parties were able to get first impressions of the product developments and see machines designs at a very early stage of development as well as provide valuable feedback, (e.g. on simulating ergonomic conditions).
In the wake of digitalisation, construction sites are developing more and more towards becoming interlinked, logistic ecosystems, in which human and machine exchange information as well as machineries among each other. At the same time, there has been a shift from pure machine operation to communication between the operator and the machine. Driver assistance systems and functionalities from the networked world of construction site 4.0 are also becoming increasingly important. Liebherr regards these factors as the main drivers in the development process of INTUSI and is now entering a new era of machine communication with this operating concept. INTUSI, short for INTuitive USer Interface, is bringing Liebherr’s products to a completely new level as it combines intelligent operating logic with sophisticated machine intelligence. In the not too distant future, this operating concept will be used in all Liebherr earthmoving and material handling machines. Considering the innovative ingenuity of INTUSI, it was almost obligatory that Liebherr won this year’s bauma Innovation Award in the design category.
Ergonomics – another buzzword of the year. The construction industry is already being forced to make its jobs ever more attractive. Nowadays, driver cabins are no longer noisy metal casings. They have transformed into much more modern control centres, stylish cockpits and sophisticated high tech control systems. Once upon a time, the construction industry relied on the physicality of its workers. Bulky levers had to be pulled with pure muscle power, steering wheels had to be turned with physical force; today, you can find the likes of touch pads and multifunction joysticks, which react even to the slightest touch. However, it is well known that you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. The wear and tear on the material is a daily struggle. Caterpillar presented an app at bauma that aims to alleviate this struggle. The app enables users to remotely access operating hours and the location, to receive diagnostic codes and manage maintenance directly from their smartphone without having to switch on their computer. Any machine equipped with this feature can report in real time to the customer’s terminal device in the event of maintenance requirements, malfunctions of unexpected changes of location. The app also provides an overview of operating hours, downtimes and any necessary service intervals.
For those who found the innovations shown on the 614,000 m² of exhibition space not satisfying enough, the Wacker Neuson Group surprised the attendees with a particularly exciting treat: a Ferris wheel that brought all those adventurous enough to a dizzying height of 35 meters and offered a spectacular view of the bauma. The Ferris wheel proved to be a superb crowd-pleaser and was a special personal highlight. After hours of the hustle and bustle, I was glad to rest my feet for a few minutes. Any by the way: the sealed off cabins are a great spot for my customer appointments.
After the material battle is before the material battle. Before talking about the next bauma in Munich in less than three years, the construction machinery industry can look at full order books and continue to compete in the tech race – digitally and fully networked of course!