Euro Implementos heats up competition in demolition robotsPublished 27/12, 2018 at 09:53
The robotic demolition market is, for the want of a better word, a tightknit one. Once dominated by Brokk which pioneered the technology, today it is seeing the rise of more and more new players. Following in the footsteps of Husqvarna, Toptec and Avant Tecno, a new wave of manufacturers is joining Brokk’s competition. Among these is Catalonia based Euro Implementos, which may be considered challenger ‘numero uno’. Andrei Bushmarin reports on his visit to the Spanish manufacturer.
Catalonia is an El Dorado of a land that has it all; drop dead gorgeous mountain landscapes, the glittering Mediterranean Sea, a treasure trove of history and culture and rich culinary traditions. If these were not enough, the area comes underpinned by a well-developed industrial sector represented by such innovative companies as Euro Implementos.
Ramón I and Ramón II
A family owned enterprise, Euro Implementos was founded by Ramón García Baztán in 1993. Ramón cut his teeth in the heavy machinery industry while working as an area sales manager for Caterpillar Spain back in 1980s. However, as a man with an entrepreneurial spirit, Ramón wanted to try his hand at running his own business, so he ventured out, and started importing skid steer loaders and attachments produced by a now defunct German company. Before long, Ramón realised that the attachments lacked in quality, having been manufactured to less strict agricultural standards. The result led to Euro Implementos – a local supplier of high quality work tools - being born. A range of attachments and implements produced by the fledgling manufacturer was extensive, ranging from broom buckets to dozer blades to graders. The idea proved successful, and the Spanish company began to grow. The growth accelerated further when a few years later Ramón Garcia’s son, Ramón García Jr., joined the company on a permanent basis. An alumnus of UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) with a degree in economics and business management, he had been involved in the company’s operations since the age of 14. When his father retired in 2003, Ramón García Jr. picked up the baton as Euro Implementos’s managing director.
Here comes the robot
In 2013, Euro Implementos broke new ground when it decided to take a leap of faith and diversify into the robotic demolition business. Confident of its manufacturing prowess, the Euro Implementos’s team, led by electric engineer Josep Crespo, set about developing the very first robot. Having developed and produced thousands of skid steer backhoe attachments, they had little trouble with designing the robot’s arm. Remote control and hydraulic drive units also came naturally due to the fact that for years remotely controlled pedestrian and static booms have been one of the company’s core specialities. Nevertheless, it took the team 18 months to fine tune the machine, but, as luck would have it, their first attempt was far from a flop. Weighing in at 2t, the RDC 2220 boasted modular construction, powerful hydraulics, customised controls and a high performance cooling system. Buoyed by the market’s enthusiastic response to the machine, Euro Implementos went on to build another six models in the 2t weight class. In 2017 its RDC 22M-D model, which is said to be the world’s biggest diesel powered compact demolition robot, was recognised with a golden award at Smopyc international exhibition in the ‘New Machinery’ category.
25 year international track record
A quarter of a century on, Euro Implementos remains a family owned company, with a staff of 20 loyal employees. All products are manufactured at its 12,000m2 facility in Súria, near Barcelona. The core customers are OEMs, machinery dealers and big rental companies based in over 30 countries across the globe. Strategically, the company focuses on the international market, with domestic customers accounting for only 30% of sales. For its demolition robots, Euro Implementos has built a worldwide network of importers that reaches every continent. The machines have already been showcased to international audiences at the bauma, Conexpo, Smopyc and Conexpo Latin America trade shows. The robot range will soon be complemented with the addition of a new demolition specific product, but no further details are yet available at this stage.
The UK angle
Great Britain is in many senses a very particular country, and so is the UK market. In order to successfully operate there, a supplier must be aware of the local contractors’ specific wants and needs. Based in Farnborough, some 40km from London, Diamond Hire & Sales has an extensive background in robotic demolition, having been providing specialist contractors with concrete cutting, demolition and surface preparation solutions all over the UK for over 20 years.
Having met Ramón García through his American distributor US Alpine two years ago, DHS management decided to explore the possibilities of offering the Euro Implementos robots to British contractors. Since that time the Spanish manufacturer has developed the RDC 1510, a 1t demolition robot, which is better suited to the UK market’s requirements than 2t machines. DHS’s general manager Richard Fielding is confident that this model, which his company is trialling now in house, will prove very popular with UK users thanks to such unique features as the full time dual controls. Unlike the split functionality of the existing robot brands, where it is only possible to use either the turret or the legs and tracks at a time, the Euro Implementos machines allow all functions to be engaged simultaneously.