Powering the future

Published 17/4 at 14:52

Atlas Copco’s Power Technique business area held a press event at London’s Alexandra Palace on the 12th March. The purpose of the event was to explain recent changes in the company’s organisation as well as introducing some of its latest developments. Many of the new products shown will be of interest to demolition companies, as they possess features designed for more efficient operations, with lower emissions.

Under the theme of ‘Powering the Future’, Atlas Copco revealed the new Atlas Copco organisation for servicing the air, power and flow requirements of its customers. “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,” said Andrew Walker, president of the Atlas Copco Power Technique business area.

Power Technique was launched as a separate business area within the Atlas Copco Group in June 2017, with the name being chosen to better reflect current and future focus in the air, power and flow segments, with ‘power’ being the key attribute of these products.  Andrew Walker’s also outlined that the construction industry (including the demolition industry) is still the core business for Power Technique, but its establishment as a separate entity will enable it to concentrate on other areas as well.  

As well as outlining its strategy for Power Technique, Atlas Copco also provided a ‘sneak preview’ of some of its latest developments, some of which have not been released to the market. These new products comprised portable compressed air machinery, electrical generators, dewatering pumps and light towers. These advances are directly of interest to demolition industry professionals as all have been designed to reduce both carbon and noise emissions, providing end users with more efficient operation and lower cost of ownership.  

 

More power, lower emissions

The Power and Flow division, revealed how low load operation problems are now a thing of the past with the introduction of the new QAS 35 VSG variable speed generator. Superior low load performance is achieved through automatic variable speed control from 800 to 2550 rpm and a built in power management system. Noise pollution on demolition jobs is often a major concern for contractors, hence the development of new ultra-quiet, diesel driven, LED light tower that has been specifically designed for use in urban areas is of particular interest. Delivering industry leading operating noise levels as low as 55dBA, the latest version of the HiLight B5+ light tower is ideally suited to provide illumination on job sites near residential areas. 

On site dewatering pump technologies were shown, including both electric submersible pumps and diesel driven centrifugal machines. From the latter category a highly efficient PAS pump was demonstrated from the recently expanded range. Suitable for multiple applications, from dewatering on demolition and construction sites to solids removal, drainage and even emergency situations, the modular design of the PAS range allows many different configurations and comes in 100mm, 150mm, 200mm and 300mm (4”, 6”, 8” and 12”) models. 

Recent additions to the Atlas Copco family of submersible dewatering pumps were also shown. In particular, the WEDA+ range which has recently undergone a major overhaul. This has resulted in several innovative new pumps being developed that offer up to 20% overall reduction in power consumption when compared to previous models. These submersible pumps are designed to meet the demanding requirement of raising water from great depths or lowering water tables in challenging environments. 

 

Electric technology

The Portable Air division reaffirmed the importance of its demolition industry customers, showing some new products that are ideally suited to inner city working. One such product given a ‘sneak preview’ is the forthcoming E-Air 250 ‘plug-and-play’ portable, electric powered compressor with variable speed (VSD) Drive. The new electric technology used on the E-Air compressor provides up to 40% greater flow for the same power consumption when compared to conventional portable compressors. 

The XATS 138 model was also on display; this provides a combination of efficiency and flexibility through its intuitive PACE (Pressure Adjusted through Cognitive Electronics) pressure adjustment system. This enables end users to precisely match air flow, and pressure, to their specific application needs. With the PACE system, operating flow and pressure may 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 ideal for the demolition industry include 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 9kVA 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. When used with a breaker for example, it was explained that the only noise heard would be the breaking of material.

As many demolition companies hire equipment on a job-by-job basis, the news that Atlas Copco’s Speciality Rental division is focused now on delivering packaged solutions will be of great interest.  Amongst its offering was the show cased PTS 800 which is part of the 100% guaranteed oil free compressor range. This provides an optimised and reliable source of reliable compressed air for a wide variety of rental applications. 

 

Purpose built for demolition

The 8-series portable compressor range, which includes both electric and diesel driven machines, and RTEX pneumatic breaker, were highlighted as Atlas Copco’s primary solutions for demolition and inner city construction operations. All models in the 8-series portable compressor range weigh less than 750kg, and therefore require no special driving license to tow, with the compressors coming equipped as standard with the latest variant of the HardHat® canopy to ensure they are tough enough for the harshest conditions.

Another new innovation to be introduced soon is the RTEX which offers the breaking capacity of a 30+ kg breaker, but uses only half as much compressed air, and is 25% lighter. Measured according to EN ISO 28927-10, RTEX provides hand and arm vibration levels below 5m2, and under these conditions an operator can work up to eight times longer than with conventional breakers, according to the safety guidelines.  This is achieved due to the constant pressure chamber on the top of the breaker, which serves as an advanced pneumatic suspension. The tool is more compact than a traditional breaker, which makes it easier to work with in constrained areas and gives a more ergonomic working position. Stiff handles and the Sofstart™ function make it very easy for operators to control the power of the RTEX.

 

Maximising equipment operation

Two interesting developments which received a great deal of attention at the event were Atlas Copco’s FleetLink and Power Connect systems. These have been developed to allow customers and fleet managers to adapt and manage site operations, no matter the size of the machine fleet being used. The two smart connectivity solutions - FleetLink and Power Connect - provide customers with 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 manage their equipment, whether big or small, anytime and anywhere, with the latest fleet information being at hand. FleetLink provides an effective way for its users to remotely communicate with their machinery, 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 around the clock.

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. Here it is a simple process to quickly access an array of different information on the piece of equipment, including instruction focussed videos, interactive manuals, and details about how and where to buy spare parts. This information may be shared with colleagues or customers via an easy share button.

 

Demolition still to the fore

The Power Technique business aims to focus on the needs of its customers, providing economical and environmentally focused products they really need. As the products covered shows, the requirements of demolition businesses have not been forgotten, with the newly introduced products being ideal for their requirements.

 

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