Komatsu focusing on smart hydraulic control
At this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE shows in Las Vegas, Komatsu unveiled a suite of new products, under the theme of “creating connections.” Many of the company’s new products boasted more intelligent hydraulic systems and advanced hydraulic control. So, I asked Rich Smith, VP of Products and Services for Komatsu North America about how the company looks at hydraulic technology moving forward over the coming years.
“When we look at hydraulic technology, you still have gear pumps, swash plates, and things like that, but it really comes into the controlling of those systems. Komatsu’s been innovative throughout our history in hydraulic controls. There’s a lot of things that you can do that move towards fuel savings. Something as simple as — when you are raising a dump body on a bed, there’s an optimum speed that you should have the engine at, and anything over that you’re just wasting fuel. When you’re digging with an excavator and if you get to a point where you’re just over relief, why would you continue over relief?” he said.
“It’s looking at those types of situations to optimize the load factor on the machine with what the hydraulic system is putting out,” Smith explained. “And if you look at the WA475 [the company’s new wheel loader] with the hydro-mechanical transmission, I think you’ll see where our technology is utilizing hydraulic in conjunction with more typical transmission technologies to give us significant improvements in productivity and fuel efficiency.”
“I think the last aspect there is looking at doing something that we do with our HB365 hybrid, which hybrid technology and excavators used to be just to take the swing. You capture in an ultra-capacitor, then you would use that in the swing. We’re now taking some of that and moving that into the hydraulic system to also improve lift and dump speed. So, you can combine these technologies together to get the best effect for the customer,” he said.
Some of Komatsu’s new equipment includes: The WA475-10 wheel-loader is newly designed with next-generation technology, developed from extensive customer feedback. Its engine has 22-hp more than the WA470-8 model, but with the Komatsu Hydraulic Mechanical Transmission, it achieves up to a 30% increase in fuel efficiency. KHMT dynamic braking also reduces brake wear.
This PC130-11 conventional tail swing excavator on preview is built to be easily transported from job to job, so is a great choice for uti lity work or small construction jobs. Equipped with the Komatsu closed-center hydraulic system, the 28,660 lb (13,000 kg) PC130-11 has fast loading cycles and high productivity.
The D71PXi-24 is the industry’s newest and largest intelligent hydrostatic transmission dozer with advanced intelligent machine control. Its proactive dozing control can operate automatically 100% of the ti me, and its lift layer control automatically spreads fill from the existing terrain with the press of one butt on.
The D155CX-8 pipelayer provides an alternative, stable pipelayer. Designed in conjunction with pipeline companies, the D155CX-8 received high marks from pipeline contractors during field evaluations. Easy to transport, the Tier 4 pipelayer has a 170,000-pound rated lift capacity and an oval track undercarriage that was designed for stability. Its front/rear and left /right weight distribution and long 12 ft 10 in. (3925 mm) track on ground, improve stability for pipeline work, especially when working on adverse grades.
The WA800-8 wheel-loader has completely redesigned front and rear frame and loader linkages, with the most durable chassis in model history. Designed to load 60-100 ton haul trucks in quarry, aggregate, and mining applications, the WA800-8’s automatic dig, semi-automatic approach, and semi-automatic dump systems can be used together or separately to automate the work phases when v-cycle loading haul trucks.
Paul J. Heney
VP, Editorial Director
On Twitt er @wtwh_paulheney