Tag Archive for 'Volvo'

Volvo Construction Equipment: EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL FOR 5G IN CONSTRUCTION

In a global first, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is among a small number of pioneering companies trialing 5G mobile connectivity. With the program set to make a big impact on construction innovation, we find out more from 5G expert Calle Skillsäter, Volvo CE’s Technical Specialist for Connected Machines.

Volvo CE is currently testing the potential for 5G in powering a remote-controlled wheel loader.

The 5G partner program by Telia and Ericsson is the first industrial application of 5G, with only a small number of companies across the Nordic countries taking part. For Volvo, it means testing the development of remote-controlled machines and finding out the real-world potential for autonomous solutions.

CALLE, WHAT DOES THIS TRIAL MEAN FOR VOLVO CE?

5G allows us to transport data in ways that we could only ever dream about. A faster, more reliable mobile network will mean we’re at the forefront of driving a much faster market implementation of technologies like automation. Something that had seemed impossible a few years ago is now a very real opportunity today.

SO, WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU TESTING? AND HOW IS THE TEST SITE LAID OUT?

We have a 25 hectare test site where the remote-controlled wheel loader, the L180H, is located – and a simulator inside a tent about 100m away behind a concrete wall. The test track itself has a number of physical barriers, uphill and downhill tracks and rough terrain – all designed to mimic the real conditions of a construction site. At the moment, the simulator is actually quite close to the machine, but this is only so that we can be near the track to adjust the conditions. There really is no reason that the machine couldn’t be located much further afield.

HOW FAR?

In 2017, we successfully placed a machine 400m below ground and controlled it from the surface. And when we first tested the technology back in 2015, we had an excavator placed in Eskilstuna and operated from Barcelona. So that tells you the potential for remote operation. And now with the increased latency that 5G provides, it really does mean you can achieve remote operation from extremely far away. But at a certain distance the latency in the network will be significant anyhow.How long will the trial go on for and what do you hope to achieve?

HOW FAR?

In 2017, we successfully placed a machine 400m below ground and controlled it from the surface. And when we first tested the technology back in 2015, we had an excavator placed in Eskilstuna and operated from Barcelona. So that tells you the potential for remote operation. And now with the increased latency that 5G provides, it really does mean you can achieve remote operation from extremely far away. But at a certain distance the latency in the network will be significant anyhow.How long will the trial go on for and what do you hope to achieve?

HOW LONG WILL THE TRIAL GO ON FOR AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE?

We will be testing this technology for two years. Over this time, we will see the performance of the network evolve and get better. What is really exciting is that at this very early stage, we are in a unique position to iron out any problems and play a key role in actually influencing how 5G will work for industrial purposes when it is rolled out more widely.

Of course, the goal for us here at Volvo CE, is that we want to make this system so mature and so successful that we can test it with our customers. To see how this technology can function on a real construction site. Hopefully that will be something we can achieve by the end of the trial.

WILL YOU BE TESTING TECHNOLOGY OUT WITH OTHER VOLVO MACHINES?

Absolutely. The aim is that after the initial testing phase with the wheel loader, we will then be able to test it with the HX2 hauler concept machine to see whether it is possible to have a work cycle operated entirely using 5G. In principle, we can then test 5G with six to eight autonomous haulers transporting gravel across the site.

IT SEEMS THAT MINING OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST POTENTIAL FOR EXPLORING THIS TECHNOLOGY. WHY IS THAT?

Mining can be dangerous – either for people operating the machines in remote locations or because of the fumes that are released after blasting rock. But if we can remove people from the site, then we are reducing the risk of accidents entirely. You’ll also have the capability to operate several operations and sites from one central location – increasing productivity.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER SECTORS THAT COULD BENEFIT FROM 5G AUTOMATION?

Absolutely, it’s not just mining. The forestry industry could certainly benefit, as an industry where you have lots of incoming trucks loading and unloading on to trains, often at night. Clearly working at night offers some dangers for visibility so removing operators makes the operation more safe. And again, for really dangerous jobs in the steel industry or the energy sector, where physically moving material can risk explosion or toxic gas emissions, then removing people is clearly a good solution.

BUT FOR CONSTRUCTION IT’S REALLY ABOUT BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY?

Safety is obviously a big factor, but clearly 5G will have a direct positive impact on productivity. Today’s remote control technology provides a delay which makes it very difficult to control a machine with any speed or precision, but 5G will be as good as real time. In addition, the picture quality is much better, video footage is in a better resolution and 5G provides a more reliable connection – all of which makes it easier for the operator in the simulator.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SO FAR?

We did find it hard to initially get the hardware. We are so early in the trial that we have trouble finding modems to communicate with the antenna. Telia has been useful in providing the right equipment for us to use. We are so early in trialing this technology that this obviously has its advantages and disadvantages.

AND WHEN THESE ISSUES ARE RESOLVED, WHEN CAN WE SEE 5G ROLLED OUT TO THE WIDER INDUSTRY?

It depends on different use cases in construction – how do they work, do they meet the demands of the industry, is it feasible for customers? 5G will come first to those that benefit the most, but it will take time to build the network and required infrastructure. For us here in the construction industry, and for static operations like a quarry or mine it really can come quite fast. The timing is good – our customers need connectivity and they want more data. And we’re the ones providing the research to see just how possible it is.

 

 

 

 

 

Volvo: Building Tomorrow

Hollywood Action Hero Dolph Lundgren Gives Volvo Excavators The Boot Camp Treatment

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has teamed up with Swedish star Dolph Lundgren to showcase the ultimate in excavator endurance in stunt-filled mini-movie Pump It Up.

Revealing the toughness, versatility and intelligent engineering behind Volvo CE’s full range of excavators, the film tests the limits of heavy equipment during an exhilarating and entertaining army boot camp, led by drill instructor Dolph Lundgren. The 80s powerhouse behind films including Rocky IV, Universal Soldier, and The Expendables drives the action in a cinematic display of man against machine.

Click here to watch the film.

In the film – a comic nod to the action movies that Dolph Lundgren is renowned for – a line-up of Volvo excavators weighing between 1.5 to 95 tons are put through their paces in an exhausting assault course.

During a series of extraordinary stunts, the machines are seen pulling Dolph Lundgren atop a huge concrete block across an unknown desert location, flipping gigantic tires across a muddy track and taking part in what is thought to be the world’s first ever excavator pull-up – fulfilling the film’s final message that they really are ‘excavators for any challenge’. All of this is set to the iconic beat of the 1989 hit song ‘Pump up the Jam’ by Belgian music group Technotronic.

Bill Law, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Volvo CE, said: “This is a good demonstration of the flexibility and strength of our excavators, from the small to the mighty. The result is a feel-good mini-movie with Hollywood impact. Some of these stunts are a little out of the ordinary, but we wanted to be daring and set ourselves a challenge to push them further. Our excavators work hard every day at construction sites all over the world, something that requires precisely that power and stamina, together with skilled operators behind the wheel.”

Volvo Excavators for Any Challenge - Pump It Up mini-movie

Dolph Lundgren has starred in major Hollywood productions for more than 30 years and is currently enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to leading roles in new Hollywood blockbusters Creed II and Aquaman, both out later this year. With a background in engineering and a scholarship to the renowned US university MIT, he is well matched against the brains and brawn of Volvo’s excavator range.

He said: “This job was probably the most unusual role I’ve ever taken on. It was fascinating to see Volvo’s excavators and its skilled operators performing all the various physical exercises – with absolutely no movie stunts involved. Honestly, I didn’t think it was even possible. Being born in Sweden, I have a long relationship with this classic Swedish brand. As a young boy, I rode in the back of my dad’s Volvo. To me, Volvo represents some great Scandinavian values, like clean design, excellent quality and a true care for the environment. I’m really pleased to get this opportunity for us to work together.”

Few machines are as versatile as the excavator. This campaign highlights the ability of Volvo excavators to deliver optimum power and performance for almost any task. While pull-ups and tire flips are not everyday activities, these stunts are entirely authentic and were carried out by professionals in a safe, and closed environment. In the real world Volvo’s range of machines can be relied on for everything from site preparation, trenching and excavation to demolition, truck loading, and pipe laying.

Click here to watch a mini-documentary on the film.

For further information, please visit volvopumpitup.com.

Volvo Mid-Size Loader Updates Deliver up to 25% Greater Fuel Efficiency

The L60H, L70H, and L90H 2.0 wheel loaders offer improved fuel efficiency, higher tipping loads and maintenance-friendly features.

“With the L60H and L70H joining the previously announced L90H 2.0, we have completed the H-Series 2.0 update for our mid-size wheel loaders,” said Chris Connolly, product manager, wheel loaders, Volvo Construction Equipment. “Now, operators can enjoy the latest innovations on all three machines, helping them to work more efficiently and productively.”

Greater fuel efficiency
The L60H, L70H, and L90H 2.0 wheel loaders boast up to 25 percent greater fuel efficiency than their predecessor models. Among the fuel-saving features are:

  • Lock-up torque converter (L70H-L90H option): Lowers rpm and increases speed, resulting in faster cycles times and up to 25% improved fuel efficiency.
  • Smart Control function: Ensures the correct torque in all situations, improving engine and hydraulic harmony, and helping to shorten cycle times and conserve fuel.
  • Smooth Control function: Helps operators maintain a steady throttle position on uneven ground, resulting in a more even engine speed and smoother ride while saving fuel.
  • Rim Pull Control function: Reduces wheel spin and slippage, thereby saving fuel, reducing tire wear and improving productivity while lowering total cost of ownership.

Key features
Other features on the H-Series 2.0 wheel loaders include:

  • Tipping load: Increased by 1.7% for the L60H, 1.6% for the L70H and 3.4% for the L90H
  • New loader arm design: Optimized design resulting in increased payload
  • Slide-able cooler: Provides easier access to remove dirt and debris
  • Larger hydraulic oil cooler: 50% larger cooling area improves the cooling capacity and lowers the hydraulic oil temperature
  • Dump height: 3 inches higher for the L90H
  • Electro-servo hydraulic controls: Features adjustable sensitivity and allows operators to shift quickly between linear and single-lever controls (available on L70H and L90H)
  • Improved serviceability: Redesigned engine and transmission oil fill points for cleaner, faster adding of fluids
  • External axle cooler option available starting December 2018 (L70H, L90H): Minimizes the risk of overheating and prolongs axle oil change interval
  • Delayed engine shutdown option: Reduces engine wear by avoiding hot turbo shutdownsWatch a video on the L60H, L70H and L90H 2.0 wheel loaders.

See What’s New – Chris Connolly, Volvo product manager for wheel loaders, points out the big changes with the L90H 2.0.

Watch a video on the L60H, L70H  and L90H 2.0 wheel loaders.

Volvo support
The H-Series 2.0 wheel loaders are backed by the Volvo Lifetime Frame and Structure Warranty, which covers the frame, articulation joint and loader arm for the life of the machine under the initial owner.

They also support ActiveCare Direct™, the Volvo telematics service that provides 24/7/365 machine monitoring and fleet utilization reporting directly from Volvo.

Be Safe. Three Big Excavator No-no’s from Volvo

A quick refresher on getting more out of your excavators, safely, from Volvo Construction Equipment