Loading innovation for quarries and surface mines

Innovation is a key feature in the modern global quarry loading machine market.
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / January 16, 2020 5 mins Read
By Mike Woof, Munesu Shoko and Guy Woodford
The WA 475-10 wheeled loader’s innovative K-HMT driveline utilises a combination of both hydrostatic and mechanical drive to deliver power smoothly and effectively

It’s an exciting time when it comes to wheeled loaders and crawler excavators for quarrying customers, with many top global manufacturers having brought or preparing to bring new models onto the market this autumn.

Komatsu is introducing its high-performing WA475-10 wheeled loader, which replaces the previous generation WA475. Power comes from a 219kW diesel engine which meets the stringent Stage V emissions requirements for Europe, as well as the Tier 4 Final legislation.

First seen in prototype form at the bauma exhibition in Munich, Germany, in spring 2019, the machine’s key feature is its innovative, Komatsu-developed driveline. This K-HMT system utilises a combination of both hydrostatic and mechanical drive to deliver power smoothly and effectively. The combined powershift and hydrostatic transmission is integrated electronically with the engine to ensure effective moderation between the parallel drive systems. At low travel speeds the hydrostatic system allows precise control, while at high speeds the mechanical drive provides high torque. The system ensures that the engine runs in its optimum range and product manager Shayan Dadgar said: “We have a variable rate of output. The rpm is lower, but we drive in the efficiency zone.”

He said that because of the efficiency of the integrated mechanical and hydrostatic transmission matched to the engine, fuel savings of up to €32,000 can be achieved over a five year/10,000 working hour operating life (based on average fuel prices across Europe). At low speed the hydrostatic system allows precise movements and Dadgar added: “It’s also much smoother to operate.”

High efficiency is delivered through the power range due to the new transmission and Komatsu claims that the machine offers fuel savings of up to 30% over the outgoing model, predominantly due to its sophisticated driveline. Of note is that Komatsu has the confidence in its sophisticated new technology to offer the WA475-10 with a five-year/10,000-hour warranty covering the driveline.

The engine itself benefits from performance gains in addition to its low emissions, providing a 15% increase in torque at lower rpm. The fuel filter system life is now 1,000 hours compared with 500 hours on the previous model while coolant does not need replacing until 6,000 hours, compared with 5,000 hours for the outgoing version. The diesel particulate filter (DPF) meanwhile achieves 98% passive regeneration and Dadgar claimed, “We have the best aftertreatment system on the market.”

The cab is larger than on previous models giving plenty of space for the operator, while large glass windows give a clear view all round. Dadgar said, “It’s the biggest cab we’ve ever had on a wheeled loader.”

Novel control features include a function that raises the boom quickly without the operator needing to increase engine rpm. Another is the button that allows the operator to shake out any material retained in the bucket. And there is also a fast arm-lower function to return the bucket to carry height. The bucket configuration has been refined to optimise filling when entering the muckpile.

As with other machines in the range, the loader is equipped with Komatsu’s remote monitoring package, KomTrax. This latest version allows more effective remote fleet management, allowing monitoring of operating parameters and providing alerts for service issues. Additionally, the system can track operator performance and highlight issues that may require amendments to working practices or additional training.

Liebherr_R 9150 B_002
The R 9150 B follows the Liebherr design philosophy of maximising a machine’s performance by improving the efficiency of all individual subsystems

Liebherr Africa has launched the new Liebherr R 9150 B excavator with a specific design focus on increased productivity, efficiency and reliability – three key parameters that can provide African quarrying and mining sectors with some insulation against the cold whims of the market.

With an operating weight range of 128-148 tonnes, depending on the type of wear packages and attachment the customer requires, the new Liebherr R9150 B is a perfect loading tool for 50-tonne up to 135-tonne dump trucks.

Abie Kriel, technical manager Mining at Liebherr Africa, says the launch of the new B model is in line with the company’s strategy for the 100-150-tonne class excavators, which has been identified as one of the major growth drivers for Liebherr’s Mining Division. As part of that strategy, Liebherr Africa also introduced the 100-tonne T 236 rigid hauler late last year, which can be perfectly paired with the new R 9150 B.

Tom Munch, director Mining at Liebherr Africa, says the contract mining market is a major driver of the 100-tonne class. “We are working in a contract mining market. If you look at the type of equipment this group of customers requires currently, it’s mainly 100-tonne class excavators and 100-tonne dump trucks. This is due to the mobility they require, given that their contracts are limited to 3-5 years at most,” says Munch.

The R 9150 B’s productivity hinges on the machine’s fast cycle times, precise machine motions, high digging forces, power-oriented energy management and an exclusive EVO bucket solution.

With fast cycle times in mind, like all other Liebherr mining excavators, the R 9150 B uses a closed-loop swing circuit. The main hydraulic circuit comprises a combination of three main valves fed by three working pumps, providing flexibility of attachment control and force distribution, while allowing full oil flow integration for fast movement and fast cycle times.

“All Liebherr Mining excavators are equipped with a closed-loop swing circuit. Kinematic energy is recovered when the swing motion is used during deceleration, to drive the main and auxiliary pumps, reducing fuel consumption and allowing faster boom lift motion,” explains Kriel.

The R 9150 B integrates the Litronic Plus electronic control system, allowing for easy control even when simultaneous movements are required. The patented Liebherr electronic bucket cylinder damping system provides controlled end-cushioning for smooth attachment motions, thus increasing machine productivity. The integration of the electronic control system also enables maximum machine versatility and the use of various long-reach attachments and specific tools.

“The R 9150 B’s attachment is equipped with pressure-less, boom-down function to enable fast cylinder retraction without the need for pump energy. Intelligent energy management diverts the pump flow during boom lowering, allowing other cylinder motions to operate unimpeded,” explains Kriel.

Furthermore, the new R 9150 B comes with the exclusive EVO Bucket Solution with patented Liebherr design to maximise the loading capacity and ensure optimal penetration efficiency. Thanks to the contoured sidewalls and the augmented depth, the EVO Bucket backhoe bucket has a capacity of 8,8-9,6m³ for the R 9150 B. The bucket takes about four passes to load a 50-tonne off-highway truck.

Hyundai Construction Equipment Europe (HCEE) is launching its new HL900 A-series model range with three Stage V compliant wheeled loaders: the HL940A, HL955A and the HL960A.

All new series machines are fitted with new Cummins B6.7 engines with an all-in-one exhaust after-treatment system. The engine is said to be easy to maintain, thanks to its connected diagnostics to Hi-Mate, the long service intervals and the DPF soot reset function for cleaning. As the exhaust after treatment system does not need a manual DPF regeneration and is exhaust gas recirculation (EGR)-free, the platform is said to offer increased engine reliability.

HL900 A-series wheeled loaders’ IWM (Intelligent Work Mode) menu allows for three engine operation modes: Power, Power Smart and Economy, offering full engine power or reduced fuel consumption depending on the application. The Power Smart Mode is said to result in reduced energy losses and average 3% - 5% fuel savings. In addition, the engine performance is optimised to deliver higher torque at lower rpm. This provides another means for improved fuel efficiency, while optimising engine power and improving engine response time.

Hyundai_HL960 vs HL960A
Hyundai’s HL960A wheeled loader - one of a trio of new HL900 A-series loaders – has a new colour combination (right)

Hyundai HL900 A-series wheeled loaders are equipped as standard with a rear-view camera developed in-house. Hyundai also offers an optional reverse-drive radar system, like a car’s, allowing the operator to quickly and reliably detect obstacles within 10 metres during day or night.

For increased safety on the job site, Hyundai’s AAVM (advanced around view monitoring) four-camera system is available as an option. The system informs you when people or dangerous objects are detected, giving the operator high-precision control over the machine and the surroundings. The camera system comprises two major features: AVM (around view monitoring) and IMOD (intelligent moving object detection). Four cameras film at each side of the machine which means the AAVM system offers a 360° overview of the machines’ surroundings. The IMOD indicates all movements around the machine. Movement is shown on the monitor by putting a rectangle around the moving object or by indicating the side at which there is movement by arrows.

The HL955A and HL960A come with an increased rear-axle capacity for better durability. Both machines can be ordered with an optional heavy-duty front axle for waste handler and specific industrial fields. The all-in-one main control valve – a combination of the ride control valve and the electronic proportional pressure reducing (EPPR) valve – leads to improved uptime as there are less hydraulic hoses – and subsequently a smaller risk of damage by leaks.

At Hyundai’s annual Construction Equipment dealer conference staged at the company’s European headquarters in Tessenderlo, Belgium, on 14 November, a brand-new look for A-series machines was revealed by the HCEE management team.

The new A-Series models, which include excavators as well as wheeled loaders, will now adopt a ‘fresh’ new colour combination - and the traditional yellow arm and boom, will be replaced by a modern grey-green tone, which is identical to the current colour of the undercarriage.