Volvo CE Xploration Forum unveils futuristic quarry and construction machine innovations
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
Martin Weissburg, member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and president of Volvo Construction Equipment
Volvo Construction Equipment is among those leading the R&D of machines for the quarry and construction sites of the future, with a recent showpiece event at the company’s Swedish HQ emphasising its eye-catching work.
A range of futuristic concepts and innovations from electromobility to intelligent machines and total site solutions were on show at Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) Xploration Forum in Eskilstuna, Sweden.
Hundreds of the company’s customers, members of the international press, government representatives and academics were given an exclusive look at a host of ground-breaking technology that has the potential to transform the quarrying and construction industries.
Highlights of the Xploration Forum, which was held 9-14 September, included the unveiling of the LX1 prototype hybrid wheeled loader – a machine the company claims has the potential to improve fuel efficiency by up to 50%; demonstrations of a prototype autonomous wheeled loader and articulated hauler working together; and an electric site solution that showcased the new concept HX1 autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier.
The electric site project aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry by reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to 25%. All of the innovations shown at the Xploration Forum are ongoing research projects that aren’t commercially available at this stage.
Innovating for a sustainable future “In line with the Volvo Group’s vision to be the most sought-after and successful transport solution provider in the world, Volvo CE is committed to contributing to sustainable development,” said Martin Weissburg, member of the Volvo Group Executive Board and president of Volvo CE, at the international press conference held during the Xploration Forum. “At Volvo CE we are developing technologies connected to electromobility, intelligent machines and total site solutions that will benefit our customers and the environment by contributing to increased machine performance, productivity, efficiency, safety and sustainability. Our future products and services will play an important part in building a sustainable society.
Volvo Construction Equipment's concept HX1 autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier and the LX1 prototype electric hybrid wheel loader
“Volvo CE is at the forefront of technological development,” he continued. “Each year, the Volvo Group invests billions of Swedish Kronor in research and development to drive the evolution of new innovations. We organise events such as the Xploration Forum because we want to share our exciting projects and concepts with the world. Although this technology may be years away from – or may never enter – production, it will undoubtedly influence our future offering and has the potential to transform the construction industry as we know it. The progress our engineers are making is exciting.”
Technology challenge: Triple Zero, 10x The Xploration Forum, which builds on the Innovation Forum Volvo CE held in 2013, was designed to underscore the company’s position as the innovation pioneer of the construction equipment industry. “We’ve set ourselves four key technology challenges that we call Triple Zero and 10x: zero emissions, zero accidents, zero unplanned stops and 10x higher efficiency,” explained Weissburg. “We believe that our clear focus on electromobility, intelligent machines and total site solutions will help us achieve these ambitious goals and pave the way for a sustainable construction industry.”
• Zero emissions: Zero emission machines will help make customers’ businesses more environmentally sustainable.
• Zero accidents: With pioneering safety innovations, machines could instinctively avoid accidents – generating a completely safe working environment.
• Zero unplanned stops: A world without machine breakdowns, where machines predict and plan their own maintenance – making unplanned stops a thing of the past.
• 10x higher efficiency: The electrification of construction equipment and site optimisation will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Volvo ConceptThe innovations shown at the Xploration Forum were presented under the umbrella of ‘Volvo Concept Lab’ – a new Volvo Group initiative.