Brokk has been the world’s leading manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines and attachments for 45 years. Through continuous innovation in engineering and design, Brokk is able to offer unique solutions to multiple industries worldwide, including construction, demolition, mining and tunneling, cement and metal processing, nuclear and other specialty applications. The following are three new innovations introduced earlier this year.
Brokk offers the Brokk 300, which features Brokk’s innovative SmartConcept technology for improved power management, reliability, maintainability and ergonomics. With the hitting power of a machine three times its size and heavy-duty construction, the Brokk 300 opens up opportunities for contractors in challenging industries such as top-down and interior demolition, tunneling and underground construction, processing and more.
“The Brokk 300 features a truly impressive power-to-weight ratio and industry-leading smart technology,” said Martin Krupicka, Brokk Group CEO. “The design shows our engineers’ responsiveness to operators’ ever-increasing demands for using bigger, more powerful breakers without sacrificing safety or maneuverability or taking up more space on the jobsite.”
The mid-sized Brokk 300 is just 47.2 inches wide but can handle larger attachments weighing as much as 1,102 pounds.
With Brokk’s SmartConcept system, operators also experience improved performance and uptime. SmartConcept consists of three features: SmartPower, SmartDesign and SmartRemote. The intelligent electrical system, SmartPower, protects the machine from the damage that can be caused by poor power supplies while optimizing power and hydraulic performance in extreme temperatures. SmartDesign extends machine life and provides unprecedented ease of maintenance due to 70 percent fewer cables as well as hardened components, LED headlights and easily accessible grease points and hydraulic hoses. An ergonomic remote-control box, the SmartRemote, incorporates adjustable straps, intuitive controls and professional-grade radio technology with a 984-foot working range.
As with all Brokk machines, the Brokk 300 offers exceptional reach and movement. The three-part arm extends to 21 feet vertically and 20 feet (horizontally. The arm also rotates 360 degrees for optimal flexibility.
Brokk outfits each Brokk 300 with a BHB 455 hydraulic breaker with 855 joules of hitting power. The machine also pairs seamlessly with grapples, concrete crushers, buckets, drills, drum cutters, shears, planers and more.
Brokk Connect 2.0
Brokk Connect 2.0 is the newest version of Brokk’s online platform for connected Brokk robots. This updated version includes several new features, such as a sophisticated geofencing function, user customization of the platform and a weekly status report that helps Brokk owners to stay up to date on their fleet’s status.
Announced in February 2021, Brokk Connect was originally available in three pilot markets. With the release of Brokk Connect 2.0, it is now available to Brokk customers throughout Europe and North America. Brokk’s solution includes both hardware and software that are unique to meet the specific requirements of the operation and management of demolition robots. To provide the best coverage and always-on operation, the robots are connected over the mobile network.
Brokk Connect 2.0 delivers several new features. These include a sophisticated always-on geofencing functionality that helps Brokk owners keep control of their fleet of machines and assists the owner in case of theft or unauthorized use. It is now also possible to customize the online platform based on personal preference and receive weekly status reports on Brokk robots to make sure everything is up to date.
“As we said when we announced Brokk Connect, it is a solution that we will continue to develop and expand,” said Krupicka. “Brokk Connect 2.0 is now the next step, but it is definitely not the last. Connected machines and all their benefits are here to stay.”
One of the key benefits of Brokk Connect is providing access to real-time information about the location of the robot, the status, operational data, and any need for attention. Brokk Connect also lets owners leverage the data to managefleet utilization and optimize project planning. Finally, combined with a Brokk Uptime service contract, Brokk will monitor the machines’ status, as well as troubleshot any issues remotely and proactively. Machine uptime is maximized, and the robot is always ready for the next job.
“The feedback from our customers who have tried Brokk Connect and signed up for a Brokk Uptime service contract during the pilot period, is that they could not imagine going back to machines without the system,” Krupicka said. “Brokk Connect is available on all new Brokk robots but can also be retrofitted on older models. This way Brokk customers can get their entire Brokk fleet connected.”
In 2022, Brokk Connect 2.0 will be made available worldwide.
Atomized Water Mist Dust Suppression System
To combat harmful silica dust and other airborne particles created by the demolition process, Brokk’s Atomized Water Mist System – a dust suppression system – produces atomized fog that effectively binds dust particles in the air while also providing ground-level dust suppression. Additionally, the mist dissipates, rather than forming puddles, for a safer, cleaner jobsite. Available for Brokk models 170, 200, 300, 500, 520D and 900, the Atomized Water Mist System offers an ideal solution to mitigate hazardous dust in demolition applications such as concrete cutting.
“Safety has always been paramount for Brokk, which is why, for 45 years, our engineers have constantly produced machines, attachments and technologies that allow operators to step away from the most dangerous and backbreaking operations,” said Krupicka. “However, silica dust remained a concern because it is difficult to contain. Previous dust suppression methods helped, but we wanted to find a more efficient solution that optimized safety without the mess.”
Health and safety organizations have identified silica dust as a significant hazard and have enacted regulations that limit the permissible exposure for workers in the construction and demolition industry. Meeting these regulations has taken several forms on the jobsite. Some contractors choose to use spray systems, hoses, sprinklers, and water trucks to combat silica dust.
However, these interventions are often inefficient and, in some cases, ineffective against crystalized silica dust. The problem stems from the size of the water droplets, which are much larger than the silica dust they are meant to trap. Silica particles range from 0.1 to 1,000 microns while traditional methods produce water droplets that are 200 to 1,000 microns in size. The size and velocity of these larger droplets cause air and silica particles to flow around them in a phenomenon known as the “slipstream effect.” Hose and water truck spray methods are the most inefficient since they produce the largest droplets, but even smaller onboard systems produce large droplets that can deflect silica particles, which can then be breathed in.
Since silica particles are more likely to bond with water droplets of similar size, Brokk engineered the dust suppression system to produce 10-micron mist droplets. This creates a fog of atomized water that captures dust particles in the air and spreads along the ground for optimal dust suppression. The system is incorporated into the tool mounting instead of the tool itself like previous systems, allowing operators to provide silica dust protection with any Brokk attachment – including breakers, concrete crushers and drum cutters. A hydraulic water pump is attached to the machine and can be fed with a freshwater hose or water tank.
In addition to providing superior dust suppression, the Atomized Water Mist System requires less water than other methods – just 6.76 ounces per minute – making it significantly more economical and environmentally friendly than most other spray methods. This conservative use of water also eliminates the puddles and slurry left behind by alternative methods, reducing the need for cleaning at the end of the day and reducing slips and falls, ultimately resulting in a safer, more efficient jobsite.
For more information on the rest of the company’s innovative lineup, visit brokk.com.
This material appears in the May 2022 issues of the ACP Magazines:
California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder