A big-screen institution

A major crushing and screening bucket and attachments manufacturer has big plans for future development after more than two decades of market success
October 16, 2023
By Guy Woodford
An MB-S23 screening bucket attached to a Hitachi Zaxis 460 LCH excavator at work in an Italian quarry. Pic: MB Crusher
An MB-S23 screening bucket attached to a Hitachi Zaxis 460 LCH excavator at work in an Italian quarry. Pic: MB Crusher

For more than 20 years, MB Crusher has offered a full line of innovative and patented jaw crusher and screener buckets and accessories for excavators, skid-steer loaders and backhoes of all sizes. A passion for engineering innovation, savvy investment and strong family values have enabled the company to reach internationally recognised excellence.

Founded and still owned by the Azzolin family and headquartered in Fara Vicentino, a town in the Vicenza province of northeast Italy, MB is established globally through its eight subsidiaries, a worldwide network of authorised dealers and service support, and logistic centres on different continents.

Speaking at SaMoTer 2023 in Verona (3-7 May), Alessia Valerio, MB’s communications manager, says at the company’s new 485,000sq ft. HQ, MB manages all phases of its operation, including manufacturing, research and development, and sales. Alessia says a third manufacturing facility at MB's HQ is likely due to strong customer demand. With its complete supply chain control, MB says it can ensure its products are of the highest ‘Made in Italy’ quality.

Since the company's 2001 founding, MB's crusher buckets have spread the idea that the quality processing of inert job site material can create a valuable additional revenue stream.

Using crusher bucket attachments is said by MB to be the easiest solution for many companies now that construction-equipment procurement is becoming more complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Alessia stresses that they also offer a practical solution when construction sites are located where heavy vehicles have difficulty reaching them due to a lack of connecting roads or are in historic areas with traffic restrictions. Crushing material on-site also avoids moving material from job sites to landfills, respects truck-passage limitations imposed by municipalities, and demonstrates care for the environment by not polluting or exploiting its resources.

Depending on the site's requirements, the 12-strong range of 6.5-100-tonne-excavator-compatible MB crusher buckets transforms the stones into different sizes. An iron separator installed on the crusher bucket separates the iron portion. During operation, a nebuliser reduces the dust from the crushing. Due to its innovative design, MB crusher buckets can work without problems in closed environments, such as inside sheds and galleries and in urban and historical centres.

The MB Crusher HQ in Fara Vicentino, Vicenza province. Pic: MB Crusher
The MB Crusher HQ in Fara Vicentino, Vicenza province. Pic: MB Crusher

MB's screening buckets are designed to select natural materials like pebbles, slag heaps, sand and soils in pre- and post-crushing phases, reducing the crushing time by 60%.

MB grapples have a 360° rotation and a tilted coupler for a greater range of movement. The company says that all nine grapple models are so responsive that they enable precise selection; the closing graduation allows the handling of recyclable materials such as wood, and metal, separating portions destined for landfill or even controlled demolitions of masonry and urban-area buildings.

MB says its shaft screeners offer an excellent multi-purpose system that can easily process different kinds of material because you can quickly change the shafts directly on-site. They are extremely easy to use and can be simply maintained on-site. MB notes that its new shaft screener is also equipped with a hydraulic shock absorber to reduce shock when changing the direction of the shafts, so the engine, transmission system, and machinery are not damaged.

MB claims its drum cutters are the only ones globally utilising a direct-drive twin motor. The company's novel patent protects this direct-transmission dual-motor system, allowing for a differentiated force distribution on the two drums. This is said to provide an enormous advantage since the drum cutter manages the power force autonomously according to the toughness and resistance of the material.

During the latest edition of SaMoTer, MB staged the global launch of its new MB-G400 and MB-G500 sorting grapples, and new MB-HDS307, MB-HDS312, and MB-HDS412 padding buckets.

Asked why MB is introducing the new grapples and padding buckets, Alessia says: "It is filling a gap in attachments for medium compact excavators. In Europe, especially, there is big growth in this area. You want to take a medium compact excavator to your work site rather than a large excavator as it is cheaper, and you want attachments that work best with a medium compact machine. With our attachments, you can crush, screen, and recycle on-site – a full materials-processing operation without bringing in trucks to transport material by road for further processing. This is also good for sustainability.

Alessia Valerio, MB Crusher communications manager on the company's outdoor stand and demo area at SaMoTer 2023
Alessia Valerio, MB Crusher communications manager on the company's outdoor stand and demo area at SaMoTer 2023

"You can use one machine and change between our attachments for different jobs and material types while crushing and screening buckets and other attachment maintenance is done on-site. Respecting [client] deadlines is a huge necessity, and we help our customers do that by reducing production downtime. The current shortage of building materials is also increasing demand for attachments that can process materials on-site and meet customer-delivery expectations."

Alessia says that MB's product range appeals to a broad range of construction, quarrying and building materials recycling customers. "You have companies that may, say, specialise in demolition, but on the side, they do some recycling and make aggregate products from that. You may want to separate topsoil from recovered materials; we have attachments that can do that. Our attachments are compatible with any on-site customer carrier."

MB has developed a crusher and screener bucket performance-monitoring telematics solution currently only available to Italian customers. "Once perfectly tailored to the Italian market, we will introduce it more widely. A lot of Italian companies are using Industry 4.0. It is a big benefit to various industrial customers," explains Alessia.

A 250-plus employee company, MB has, says Alessia, worked hard over many years to build its global distribution setup, which is coordinated out of ten regional branch offices.

Turning her attention to the evolution of MB's manufacturing processes, she continues: "We opened our second manufacturing facility next to our existing HQ manufacturing site just before COVID [2019]. Our laser and welding robot machines were another key investment. A third manufacturing site will surely be needed in the future.

"We are always employing people. It is a good growth indicator. We are also always looking for ways to respond to market demands. MB never stops!"

Finding an effective way to separate and screen materials directly on-site is vital for cost and time-saving-conscious construction and earthmoving fleet operators.

Available in six models for excavators from 1.2 to 45 tonnes, Simex VSE screening buckets are specifically designed for separating different-sized materials directly on-site. The VSE product range features the rapid adjustment of output size via an instant control in the cabin. This exclusive patent allows the shafts to be instantly distanced and closed, with a maximum travel of 40mm.

Simex’s FIT screening tool technology, another standout feature of VSE screening buckets, remains popular with customers two years after its introduction. The low-maintenance system allows for the easy interchange of every single disc or blade without unstrapping shafts. The Italian company says this means 75% less maintenance costs than the previous system. Multiple configurations are possible, depending on the materials to be screened. Simex offers users four different set-ups, but many others are possible thanks to the 100% interchangeable screening elements.

Recently in the Yorkshire Dales in northern England, Simex dealer Mouse Valley Equipment used a VSE 10 screening bucket coupled to a CAT 307D crawler excavator. The attachment worked with different materials, including soil and demolition waste. Reclaiming soil directly on-site results in net savings, avoiding the huge costs of purchasing and transporting new raw materials and significantly lowering disposal costs. The screening operation using a VSE bucket supplies the dual advantage of saving in disposal – delivering only a minimum of the total material – and supplying new soil for refurbishing green areas. The land reclaimed and cleaned from debris is immediately usable, aerated and of a size suitable for subsequent planting.

Given the uncompromising weather and material conditions, the chosen ‘aggressive configuration’ comprised only blade-equipped tools. Simex says this configuration was created to handle more compact materials where, in addition to separation, it is necessary to shake off soil adhering to stones, roots, gravel and demolition waste.

Despite the high soil humidity caused by the heavy rains in the hours before the application, production was still efficient. The instant variation of output size, through a control in the cabin, has also accelerated the processing time necessary for material separation. With Simex screening buckets, the company says there’s no need for long and complicated technical operations to change the output size, adapt to different materials by distancing the shafts, or change the screening tools.

Simex VSE screening buckets aim to sustainably recover and reclaim soil and aggregates resulting from demolition, helping deliver a circular economy.

The new VD Drum from Finnish manufacturer Allu enables you to replace fixed TS blades quickly, and there is no need to open the chain box when blades are replaced. Enabling a variable drum setup means an individual drum or blade can be changed quickly, saving time and money.

In the Yorkshire Dales, England, Simex dealer Mouse Valley Equipment used a VSE 10 screening bucket coupled to a CAT 307D crawler excavator to process soil and demolition waste. Pic: Simex
In the Yorkshire Dales, England, Simex dealer Mouse Valley Equipment used a VSE 10 screening bucket coupled to a CAT 307D crawler excavator to process soil and demolition waste. Pic: Simex

Allu’s patented TS (top screen) construction and screening blades make it possible to screen materials even when wet or moist without fear of the structure getting clogged. With the TS structure, getting three different fragment sizes from the same Allu unit is possible by rearranging the screening combs with no additional costs.

Allu Transformer D-series attachments are said by the manufacturer to be versatile and reliable tools for industries, including quarrying, enabling efficient screening and crushing of materials.

The D-series screener buckets are designed for larger processing jobs. Everything from aerating compost to primary on-site screening and processing construction material. This bucket screens, crushes, pulverises, aerates, blends, mixes, separates, feeds and loads materials. And best of all, it transforms the materials you work with. It’s more productive and more profitable.

Allu says it has been consistently one step ahead, leading the industry for over 35 years, with truly mobile, compact screening buckets, which are the perfect attachment for compact base machines to screen and transform your materials.
engcon, a major global manufacturer of tiltrotators, quick hitches and accessories for excavators, is launching a new, improved S60 machine hitch for 12–19-tonne excavators.

In addition to strengthening the machine hitch, retrofitting with EC-Oil blocks will be easier as the new machine hitch contains almost no hoses and minimises the risk of leaks. The end customer will also notice that the new bolt-on EC-Oil block has an increased hydraulic flow.

“Thanks to our innovation-driven work focusing on the end customer, our customers can rely on engcon to always deliver state-of-the-art technology. Our package should be the complete solution and the premium product that our customers want, now and in the future,” says Martin Engström, engcon’s product manager.

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