Fully automatic demolition

Published 9/3, 2021 at 12:15

Here are the latest updates in terms of fully automatic hydraulic quick coupler systems for the demolition and recycling industries.

In terms of easy exchange of hydraulic demolition, sorting and recycling tools fully automatic hydraulic quick couplers are really on top of the agenda. When this new system was launched by OilQuick several years ago, where the machine operator not even need to leave the machine cabin, a lot has happened. New systems and new manufacturers have been added constantly. Maybe in the future we are facing a fully automatic demolition process safely monitored by humans.


Increasing number of suppliers

It is important to clarify that this annual feature in PDi Magazine covers mainly fully automatic hydraulic quick couplers and not so much quick coupler in general. Mechanical quick couplers in general has been around for decades and has simplified the tool exchange for contractors as lot. But the real big changes came with the automatic hydraulic quick couplers that brought many additional benefits to demolition, recycling, handling and sorting applications. First of all, the tool can be changed in almost seconds compared to sometimes hours when the operators had to jump out of the machines and struggle to manually replace the attachment. The result was also often a lot of oil leakage and also safety risks. Today with the tool exchange made in seconds the contractors become so much more efficient and so much more work is done on the worksite. Another extremely good thing is that the right tool is used for the job.

Before when the exchange had to be made manually the operator often ignored to switch to the more proper tool due to that the exchange was too time consuming. The result became a less efficient work and unnecessary damage on the tool.

With the fully automatic quick coupler systems from OilQuick, Steelwrist, Rototilt, Lehnhoff, Cat Work Tools, Riedelberger, Wimmer, VTN, Arden to name a few the operators work get so much easier.


But what is new this year?

The market has today a number of mature systems that has worked very well for some years, so updates are not released every year. But almost every year a few new players are joining.

But first a few words about something that we wrote about during 2020. The Open-S Alliance was launched during 2020 initiated by the two Swedish manufacturers Steelwrist and Rototilt. Open-S is a joint initiative and is based on the established, symmetrical quick coupler standard for excavators (the S Standard) developed by the Swedish trade association for suppliers of mobile machines. The whole idea with Open-S and its initiators is to have an open standard for quick coupler instead of locking customers into a closed interface. Open-S believes that interchangeability is the point and welcomes all manufacturers that believe in a common standard.

OilQuick on the other side who were first with inventing a fully automatic hydraulic quick coupler system, and patented its system, does not agree to this. In an open letter to the machinery contracting market, OilQuick founder and chairman Åke Sonerud shared his opinion about an open standard for quick couplers. Sonerud sees difficulties in creating an open common standard with so many different suppliers of couplers and attachments. He sees also many obstacles concerning a wide variety of electrical and oil connections as well as big safety risks with mixed systems, to mention a few of Soneruds’s comments. Both the presentation of the new open standard Open-S and OilQuick’s open letter can be read in PDi issue 5-2020.

Talking about OilQuick, the company announced in December last year that they are launching a new logotype for the company and implementing a new graphic profile. PDi already published the news in PDi 6-2020 but it is worth repeating. The change was first launched on the German market during the autumn of 2020 but since December the change is released on all markets worldwide. OilQuick is also changing their website during the first quarter of 2021.



The HCS couplers from Cat Work Tools

In January 2021 Cat Work Tools introduced the new Cat Hydraulic Connecting S Type (HCS) couplers. According to Cat themselves the features of the new couplers are changing the landscape for couplers, with the ability to switch between hydromechanical attachments and be fully operational in a matter of seconds, all while the operator is safe in the cab.

Excavators of similar sizes can share attachments, with HCS couplers covering a wide range of machines from 311-340 tracked and M314-M322 wheeled excavators.

HCS couplers average 37 percent better flow capability when compared to leading competitors. They are designed for high-flow performance suited to hydromechanical tools in demolition and in city earthmoving applications. The lower hydraulic restriction results in better machine fuel efficiency. With the minimal amount of time to transition between attachments, operators will be more inclined to switch attachments when needed and use more task-appropriate attachments when needed.

Further, according to Caterpillar, the internal quick disconnects average ten times better life when compared to leading competitors. The quick disconnect design prevents contamination of the hydraulic system, while the coupler design protects important hoses and components from damage inside the coupler.

HCS couplers feature industry-leading sensor technology and multiple measures to keep attachments connected in the event of a hydraulic pressure loss. The coupler also gives visual and audible cues, as well as confirmation on the machine’s in-cab screen of a successful connection to the attachment.

Currently in range there are five different Cat quick couplers, HCS60, HCS65, HCS70, HCS70/55 and HCS80 working for 19t to 40t excavators.



Kinshofer’s SmartFlow

Kinshofer has manufactured quick couplers since far back and has a wide assortment. But now the manufacturer also is launching their fully hydraulic system Smartflow. The SmartFlow System was designed to create a fully hydraulic version of the D-Lock & X-Lock quick coupler.

The SmartFlow valve block at the coupler is equipped with oil flow optimized hydraulic valves and a special locking system that absorbs the resulting expansion forces between the valves without transferring them to the D-Lock or X-Lock quick coupler system. There are three types. Size S (150 l/min) for carriers between 6-13t, Size M (250 l/m) and for carriers between 14-23t and Size L (420 l/min) for carriers between 24-40t. SmartFlow has a multifunctional coupling system. The hydraulic valve bank can easily be fitted to every Kinshofer quick coupler and ensures a safe an efficient connection between the hydraulic circuits without manual assistance. The excavator turns in to a multifunctional tool carrier and can easily switch between buckets, breakers, compactors, demolitions attachments, sorting and handling equipment and drum cutters.

SmarFlow has also a safe locking mechanism. The valve locks at the quick coupler and the attachment are securely locked by a separate function. Therefore, the blocks can be mounted in a flexible way. The robust guiding blocks make and arched coupling possible, even at the smallest radiuses.

SmartFlow has a flexible bearing structure. All parts are unified to guarantee a simple service. Up to five oil flow optimized hydraulic valves are screwed into the valve block, but still movable because of a social guiding system.

As a safety SmartFlow has a dirt protection attachment inside. The hydraulic valves and the valve block at the attachment side are protected from dirt and damage by a cover plate. The solid hydraulic valves can be coupled under pressure without the need for depressurization.

For machine contractors working with demolition, recycling, sorting or handling tasks need to switch hydraulic attachments often. Best suitable among Kinshofer’s couplers are multi-functional couplers D-Lock System, X-Lock System or D-Lock and X-Lock SmartFlow systems.


VTN’s LinkoMatic gain ground

The Italian attachment manufacturer VTN Europe launched their fully automatic hydraulic quick coupler system, VTN LinkoMatic, at Bauma in 2019. Since then it has been thoroughly tested and used and works fine and simplifies the contractors work.

VTN LinkoMatic changes every type of attachment, either with or without hydraulic connections, safely from the cab, easy, safe and fast. The machine operator can comfortably change all tools, either with or without the need for hydraulic connections, simply with the commands present in the cabin, without having to leave his seat and without the need of other personnel outside.

Some features and benefits with VTN LinkoMatic are that it is compliant with EN 474-1 and ISO 13031 norms. It has an integrated hydraulic hook-up and hydraulic connection protection. Further no sensor technology is required, and the system offers an easy, quick, comfortable and safe performance. A special prevention for hose damage is saving costs and the design that eliminates oil leakage offers a special environmentally friendly feature.


Rotar release fully integrated hydraulic quick-coupler adapter

Dutch manufacturer Rotar International, well-known for their premium hydraulic attachments for the demolition-, recycling- and scrap metal industries, introduces their latest innovation, the RSQ-full hydraulic quick-coupler adapters.   

Rotar offers serial ex-factory their latest innovation of RSQ- full integrated adapters, based on the new S – standard quick-coupler, on their full range of hydraulic attachments (suitable to Oilquick, Steelwrist, Rototilt).

The engineers of Rotar have succeeded to integrate the new RSQ-adapters completely in the construction of the attachment itself. The hydraulic hoses and connection stay all inside the construction. The rotator-heads of the attachments are completely re-designed for the implementation of the new RSQ-adapters. The installation will be executed at the factory. Once it reaches to the client, no additional installation is required anymore. The new RSQ-adapters are built direct to the slewing-ring. The bolted hammer top-plate disappears complete. 

This ultra-compact combination of the attachment and the new RSQ-adapter offers great advantages for the operator. Depending on the size of the attachment, the combination can be built up to 200 mm shorter and up to 200 kg lighter in comparison to the traditional hammer top-plates. The operator will experience a significant improvement on the stability of his carrier, due to the favourable point of gravity. This improvement makes even a bigger impression on high-reach excavators.  

The Rotar distributors or end-user can order their attachment with full integrated RSQ- adapter straight from the factory, which are ready for plug and play.  The usual installation of the hammer top-plate and hydraulic hoses/fittings expires. This safe’s time and additional costs.

Due to the integrated installation of all hoses, damage hoses on heavy demolition jobsites belong to the past. This increase operational safety and reduce operational costs. It also influences positively the environmental impact and gives the operator a better view.  

With the design of the new RSQ-Adapter, a service inspection cover has been implemented. This result in easy access to all components in the upper section of the attachment for any service or repair. Time consumable dismantling of a hammer top-plate for service inspection or repair is history. 

Additionally, all components, fittings and hoses needed for the installation are standardised, documented and listed in the part-manuals by Rotar. This makes rapid repair more easily, as all requested parts are documented. All those measures will reduce down time as well service- and operational costs. 

The Rotar RSQ- full integrated hydraulic adapters are currently available for RSQ-60 up to RSQ 90 for the attachment series; RCC Concrete Cutter, RDC Combi Shear, RDP Rotating Pulveriser, RG Demolition and Sorting Grapple and the RSS Mobile Scrap Shear. Additional sizes and combinations on request.  


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