Large loading gains

A large crawler excavator from a major global manufacturer is making a big impact in one southern European nation’s quarrying sector, while new zero-emission excavators and wheeled loaders are also making headlines
July 16, 2021
By Guy Woodford
The September 2020-launched ZX490LCH-7 crawler excavator
The September 2020-launched ZX490LCH-7 crawler excavator has already been supplied to four quarries by Hitachi’s authorised local dealer in Portugal, Moviter

Hitachi’s new ZX490LCH-7 large crawler excavator is proving popular among Portuguese quarrying companies, demonstrating a positive impact on productivity and a claimed new comfort level for operators.

The new model – launched in September 2020 as part of Hitachi’s range of Zaxis-7 large excavators – has already been supplied to four quarries by Hitachi’s authorised local dealer in Portugal, Moviter.

Owned by the IGE Group, Windpark purchased a new ZX490LCH-7 to work at its quarry in the Penela region. Its decision to invest was based on its relationship with Moviter and the reputation of the Hitachi brand. “We recognise the high quality of Hitachi products,” says Nelson Simões, CEO of the IGE Group.

“We considered the total cost of ownership, compared to other machines, and the Hitachi excavator got the best numbers. That fact, together with the relationship we have with Moviter, and the quality of the after-sales service, made it an easy decision. The operators also love the machine, and that is important for us.”

Another ZX490LCH-7 is working at a quarry owned by Agrepor in Canas de Senhorim as part of a contract won by Socitop. The excavator is at the forefront of the operations, loading the dump trucks with raw material. It is also being used to load a crusher and trucks with product at the end of the process.

“We wanted an excavator to work long hours without stopping,” explains Abel Torres, Socitop’s CEO. “We needed a reliable machine with a high level of versatility because we will use it on different job sites and applications, such as earthmoving after this contract. The ZX490LCH-7 represents Hitachi quality and excellent value.”

In Porto de Mós, Leiria, family-run business Garcogel has four quarries and specialises in the extraction of marble and limestone blocks. It is led by founder and CEO Garcia Anastácio and his sons, Paulo and Emanuel, and has recently added a ZX490LCH-7 to its fleet.

“In our region, there are several Hitachi ZX490 excavators,” says Garcia. “Our friends said it is a good machine, mentioning the excellent fuel consumption and overall productivity. It is also fast, extremely precise and easy to work with, and we have found that the hydraulics are spectacular.”

Adelino Ferreira, CEO of Brivel, believes the new ZX490LCH-7 is an important asset to his company, which specialises in the production of aggregates and ready-mixed concrete. “Our operators are delighted – the visibility, controls and feeling inside the cab are excellent. The power and speed also live up to the Hitachi name.

“In addition, I am also optimistic about the new digital solutions [provided by Hitachi]. The information can be useful for increasing productivity and reducing downtime and costs. Getting the most out of new technologies will also improve the performance of our overall operation. We can plan the daily work and production cycles of the site, in short and medium terms, to increase profits.

“All things considered, the ZX490LCH-7 is a very important asset to our company. Together, with the support of Moviter, we believe we chose the best solution in the market.”

“At Moviter, we’re extremely proud to have supplied the latest Hitachi Zaxis-7 large excavators to four companies operating in the quarrying sector, just within the first month of this year,” says Rui Faustino, Moviter’s commercial manager. “Hitachi has continuously improved on previous generation machines to enhance the operator’s experience in the cab, meet the needs of owners, and provide support over the entire life cycle. By working in partnership with our valued customers, we can help them to create their vision.”

A new Liebherr R 976-E electric crawler excavator loading material into an articulated hauler
A new Liebherr R 976-E electric crawler excavator loading material into an articulated hauler

German off-highway equipment giant Liebherr has introduced a pair of new local zero-emission excavators for quarrying and mining extraction customers.

The R 976-E electric crawler excavator and the R 980 SME-E replace the ER 974 B machine. The latest electric excavators to be developed and produced by Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar are not just converted diesel machines; the models and their electric power system were designed and produced entirely by Liebherr.

Robustly designed and capable of withstanding extreme conditions, the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E weigh 90 and 100 tonnes, respectively, and are available in backhoe and shovel versions. They are said to stand out for their low noise level, optimum versatility and zero CO2/greenhouse gas emissions during operation.

In recent decades, Liebherr has demonstrated the quality and reliability of its electric technology with the success of its dedicated product ranges for mining, dredging and materials handling applications.

The electric system in the new Liebherr R 976-E 400kW crawler excavator is supplied with 6000V power via a cable connection, with the cable inlet in the centre of the undercarriage or on the sides if requested. A motor cable drum is also available as an option—a high-voltage 6000V current collector powers the machine. A switch cabinet transformer (high voltage/low voltage) and a low-voltage cabinet for power distribution and control of 690V, 230V and 24V networks are located on the upper carriage.

The technology used in the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E is said to offer a host of advantages. Thanks to its constant speed, an excavator with an electric engine has a longer service life, whatever the load. Also, the high availability of transient power for complex machine movements enables very high productivity. The R 976-E’s low-voltage electric squirrel-cage engine drives the hydraulic system. The engine features heat shielding on bearings and motor windings. Integrated into a frame with a reinforced flange, it enables safe, soft starting.

Reduced maintenance and lower operating costs make an electric excavator more cost-effective than a diesel-engine machine, says Liebherr. For greater comfort, the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E are extremely quiet. The robustness, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E units make them products of choice for environmentally friendly extraction applications.

The new Cat 992 wheeled loader is said to set a new standard by offering up to 32% greater productivity than its predecessor, the 992K
The new Cat 992 wheeled loader is said to set a new standard by offering up to 32% greater productivity than its predecessor, the 992K

The new Cat 992 wheeled loader for mining and quarrying customers is said to set a new standard by offering up to 32% greater productivity than its predecessor. This new large loader reduces maintenance costs by as much as 10% and offers up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency than the earlier model, the 992K.

Powered by the new Cat C32B engine with U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V- and Tier 2-equivalent emission engine options, the new 992 meets the global industry’s demand for high-production equipment with greater payloads. Powertrain design enhancements to the transmission, axles and final drive, along with the new engine, deliver a 20% longer interval for planned component replacement.

Offering both standard- and high-lift configurations, the 992 delivers the lowest cost-per-ton when paired with fleets of Cat 775, 777 and 785 trucks. Standard-lift payload capacities reach 23.1 tonnes for quarry face applications and 27.2 tonnes for loose material handling, while high-lift capacities reach 20.4 tonnes and 24.5 tonnes in respective applications.

A new Z-bar linkage optimised for performance, and improvements to rimpull and breakout force, deliver greater machine capacity and efficiency. The new 992 has demonstrated in field testing up to 48% greater payload-per-fuel efficiency in applications where a four-pass match to 90.7 tonne trucks was achieved, versus five passes with the 992K. The powerful and efficient 992 provides up to 9.5% more rimpull during digging and up to 20% more breakout force, increasing productivity.

The new Cat 992 wheeled loader features an on-demand throttle mode to optimise payload-per-fuel efficiency without slowing production. New standard automatic retarding controls disable the impeller clutch, enable the lockup clutch, and use the implement and fan pumps retarding to slow the machine on grade. The available advanced automatic retarding controls with engine brake feature offer full control of the loader’s speed on grade to maintain a desired hold speed.

Automating critical digging cycle elements, optional New Autodig Components further improve productivity and efficiency while reducing tyre wear. To stop slippage before it happens, a tyre slip prevention feature reduces rimpull before the tyres are set and increases rimpull when downward force is applied to the tyre. The tyre  set function detects pile contact and automatically lifts against the pile to set the tyres and increase available traction. The lift stall prevention feature automatically manages rimpull in-dig to prevent hydraulic stall while lifting through the face, so the 992 spends less time in the pile.

Optional new Payload Overload Prevention allows for productivity and efficiency improvements by providing a large enough bucket to be used to achieve target pass-match across a range of material densities without the risk of overload. With the overload value fully adjustable based on the target payload, this feature can be configured to automatically stop or slow the lift function when the overload value is exceeded.

Improvements to the setback and strike plane angles, a longer bucket floor, and a stronger and larger bottom section increase the bucket fill factor by 10%. The taller side plate with level top surface helps to improve visibility beyond the bucket edge to the material pile.

Available Operator Coaching empowers operators to exceed productivity targets by measuring and providing feedback to teach proper operating techniques. Among other operating techniques, this feature shows how to properly shorten travel, avoid unracking in-dig, enter the pile with a level bucket, reduce the dump height, and use the kickout.

CASE’s new G-Series Evolution wheeled loader range includes the 1021G
CASE’s new G-Series Evolution wheeled loader range includes the 1021G

CASE Construction Equipment has staged the European launch of its new G-Series Evolution wheeled loader range. Complete with comprehensive enhancements across its entire line, the new G-Series Evolution wheeled loaders, upgrading the 2017-launched G-Series models, are said to improve performance and productivity by increasing uptime. They also empower operators with greater control and understanding of the machine and its capabilities, resulting in increased profitably.

Designed to be reliable and save time, the G-Series’ all-new payload system is integrated directly into the wheeled loader’s primary display. It provides bucket-weight, pass counts, accumulated/running weight, job-tracking data and more, for high-volume loading and production environments.

CASE SiteConnect and SiteWatch also come as standard for three years on each CASE G-Series Evolution Wheeled Loader. CASE SiteWatch telematics is a solution designed to gather critical information about the machine’s performance and location and make that data quickly available. Featuring a new dashboard, SiteWatch is designed for intuitive navigation that identifies issues without requiring operators and fleet managers to be physically present.

This new European product features an all-new touchscreen display that provides tablet-like performance for accessing all critical machine settings and operational data, allowing operators to anticipate and react more quickly to real-time changes in conditions.

CASE has simplified the previous engine power management operating mode offering with two new ones: Smart and Max. Max mode is ideal when the operator wants to work with maximum engine performance in tough conditions. In contrast, the new Smart Mode delivers high performance and an enhanced operating experience through improved communication between the engine and transmission on less challenging job sites.

Operators can take advantage of the new parallel lift functionality across all boom configurations that assists in material retention and smooth loading by automatically maintaining the angle and position of the bucket or forks.

Thanks to extended service intervals from 500 to 1000+ hours, the total cost of CASE G-Series Evolution Wheeled Loader maintenance has been reduced by up to 20% when compared to the current range.

In addition, CASE has developed CASE Care, a standard, planned maintenance programme with genuine parts and lubricants available in Germany and the UK, with Europe-wide availability planned. The programme is underpinned by the support, logistics and technical expertise of the wide-reaching CASE dealer network.

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