Atlas Copco Power Technique’s vision for powering the future of quarrying and other global industries

The leadership team of the Atlas Copco Power Technique business area has presented a strategic vision outlining how mega-trends such as digitalisation and the construction of smart cities will be powered by cleaner and more connected energy source technologies.
Dewatering Pumps / March 29, 2018
Quarry application with PAS.jpg
Atlas Copco demonstrated one of its highly-efficient PAS dewatering pumps, shown here in a quarrying application, during its recent Power Technique business area event in London, England

Under the theme ‘Powering the Future’, Atlas Copco revealed at a recent special event in London, England, how its latest advances in air, power and flow technologies, such as portable compressed air machinery, electrical generators, dewatering pumps and light towers, have been designed to reduce both carbon and noise emissions, providing end users with more efficient operation and lower cost of ownership.

These advances will allow professionals working across multiple industry sectors, from quarrying and above-ground mining, to construction and manufacturing, demolition, equipment rental, utilities, and oil and gas, to make the most of opportunities presented by mega-trends, while overcoming forthcoming legislation such as new emission regulation changes.

Andrew Walker, president of the Atlas Copco Power Technique business area, said at the event: “Our core competency is providing power solutions to thousands of sites all over the world. We are now focused purely on three pillars - air, power and flow, and will continue to accelerate our research and NPD efforts in these areas to pioneer the technology of the future. We are committed to offering our customers and partners premium products that will deliver exceptional value and enhance the productivity of their businesses at the lowest possible total cost of ownership.”

A number of new, and recently introduced, machine, rental and service focused innovations - that are designed to reduce both carbon and noise emissions, and increase energy efficiency - were unveiled at the event in Alexandra Palace, including a product display and strategy overview from the newly formed (1 January 2018) Power and Flow division.

The Power and Flow division revealed how low-load operation problems are now a thing of the past thanks to the introduction of the new QAS 35 VSG Variable Speed Generator, which represents a game changer in terms of operational savings, performance and reliability. The superior low-load performance of the QAS 35 VSG, which features automatic variable speed control from 800 to 2550 rpm and a built-in Power Management System (PMS), enables fuel consumption levels to be reduced by up to 40 per cent against comparable models. At the same time it helps increase reliability in applications with an average load of less than 20 per cent, such as construction projects, outdoor events or telecoms service duties.

Solutions for Modular Power Plant (MPP) applications were presented, including the brand new QAC 1450 TwinPower generator that delivers unrivalled versatility, optimised performance and excellent fuel economy. The QAC 1450 TwinPower is a 20 ft. ISO containerised unit housing two compact 725 kVA generators; powered by V8 Scania engines with double bearing alternators. This configuration, with its fast-paralleling system, allows the two generators to work independently or in parallel with each other.

With noise pollution in public spaces a growing concern, Atlas Copco outlined how its new ultra-quiet, diesel-driven, LED light tower has been specifically designed for use in urban areas. Delivering industry leading operating noise levels as low as 55 dBA, the renewed version of the HiLight B5+ light tower is ideally suited to provide illumination at events, temporary public lighting or enhanced visibility at construction sites located near residential areas. Optimum lighting performance is provided via the light tower’s LED floodlights, which are capable of covering a 5000 sq. m area at an average luminosity of 20 luxes.

New safety and efficiency enhancements for light towers were also introduced. The HiLight B5+, and future light towers Atlas Copco produces, will be able to be equipped with a new innovation for light towers called the SmartMast. The proprietary technology features intelligent in-built sensors that detect adverse environmental conditions, such as high winds, and will automatically lower the vertical mast when safety or stability is compromised. It is also programmed to alert end users to potential obstacles and impacts. Furthermore, it provides stability assistance when installing the light tower; by flagging up irregular surfaces and floors to ensure safe siting.

Dewatering pump technologies were also exhibited, including both electric submersible pumps and diesel-driven centrifugal machines. From the latter category, Atlas Copco demonstrated a highly-efficient PAS pump. The PAS range was recently expanded to include 18 new models and is suitable for multiple applications, from dewatering on construction and mining sites to solids removal, drainage and even emergency situations involving flooding and shipping. The modular design of the PAS range allows many different configurations and comes in 4”, 6”, 8” and 12” models. All pumps in the diesel dewatering range feature a patented hinged door that provides fast access to the impeller and wear plates. This innovation makes issues previously related to on-site service and unclogging a thing of the past.

Recent additions to the Atlas Copco family of submersible dewatering pumps were also shown. In particular, the company highlighted its WEDA+ range that recently underwent a top-to-toe design overhaul, resulting in several innovative new pumps that offer up to 20 per cent overall reduction in power consumption compared to previous models; combined with greater efficiency, simplified maintenance and increased capacity.

Providing hours, and even days, of unattended dewatering operation, WEDA+ submersible pumps are designed to meet the demanding requirement of raising water from great depths or lowering water tables in challenging environments. Submersible pumps are capable of running for thousands of hours without attendance. As they are sub-surface units they can continue working under ice in freezing conditions; as long as the pump is completely submerged. Where appropriate to the task, electric pumps also offer environmental compatibility. For instance, quiet running is an essential feature of their performance when they are sited in populated areas or employed in night-time operations.

Atlas Copco's E-Air 250 and XAS 88G compressors.jpg
Atlas Copco’s new E-Air 250 (left) plug-and-play portable air compressor and the new XAS 88G compressor

The Portable Air division announced the forthcoming introduction of its revolutionary E-Air 250 plug-and-play portable, electric-powered compressor with Variable Speed (VSD) drive. Focussed on efficiency, the electric technology of the E-Air compressor offers up to 40 per cent greater flow for the same power consumption compared to conventional portable compressors. This is the latest addition to the Atlas Copco E-Air range, but the first to appear under the 8 Series banner.

The XATS 138 model was also on display. The XATS 138 provides a combination of efficiency and flexibility through its intuitive PACE pressure adjustment system that enables end users to precisely match air flow and pressure to their specific application needs. With the PACE (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics) system, operating flow and pressure can be adjusted, in a matter of seconds, by increments of 0.1 bar via an intuitive XC2003 controller. The fully integrated, ergonomically positioned controller facilitates diagnostics, tracks the compressor’s utilisation and indicates planned service interventions

Other new innovations within compressors to be unveiled encompassed the latest additions to the rugged and lightweight 8-series compressor range. This included the XAS 88G, which combines a reliable source of compressed air with a 9 kVA built-in generator. The pioneering concept of the latest model, and all machines in the 8-series compressor/generator combination range, is designed to optimise fuel consumption in-line with load demand.

The Atlas Copco Speciality Rental division focusses on delivering packaged-solutions to a cross-section of industries. At the event they showcased the PTS 800 - part of their 100 per cent guaranteed oil-free compressor range - that provides an optimised and reliable source of reliable compressed air for a wide variety of rental applications. The diesel-driven PTS 800 delivers reliable air quality and flows of up to 800 cfm at 10 bar. It includes a fuel-efficient engine that conforms to the latest standards and offers emission levels close to zero. This guarantees optimal efficiency and provides customers with the peace of mind they are fully compliant with the latest regulations.

In the last few years, manufacturers in the construction, mining and rental segments have experienced growing demand from end users for intelligent digital solutions capable of providing accurate and timely information. Being able to adapt and manage challenges on site is key, no matter how big or small a machine fleet is, and Atlas Copco recognises customers want to be closer to their jobsite, machines and teams.  As a result, they have developed two smart connectivity solutions, FleetLink and Power Connect that give customers the information they need, in the palm of their hands, to increase productivity and make it easier to do business.

FleetLink is an intelligent telematics system designed to optimise fleet usage, reduce maintenance costs and ultimately save time and money. It enables customers to remotely manag¬e their machines, whether big or small, anytime and anywhere; with the latest fleet information always at hand. FleetLink offers an effective way for users to remotely communicate with their machines, with state-of-the-art digital monitoring tools, such as geo-fencing, remote function lock out and automatic reporting, keeping them connected to their job-site, equipment and team members 24/7.

Power Connect is an online portal that enables customers to find specific information about Atlas Copco machinery. In February this year, the Power Connect App was introduced to make it even easier to access and share information. By scanning the QR code on an Atlas Copco machine, the app takes prospective buyers and customers directly to the relevant section on the Power Connect portal. While there, visitors can quickly access an array of different information on the piece of equipment they’re interested in, including instruction-focussed videos, interactive manuals, and details about how and where to buy spare parts. Visitors can also share the information they find with colleagues or customers via an easy share button.

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