A business model from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) designed to allow third party manufacturers to utilize the company’s state-of-the-art technology wowed judges at the Swedish Institute for Quality (SIQ) with its specialist approach. After impressing the jury, Volvo CE was presented with the Quality Innovation of the Year Award last night (November 8th) at a ceremony in Finland. The awards aim to recognize the most innovative organizations for their high quality work.
Through its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) business model, Volvo CE offers tailored solutions to customers wanting partial machines for integration into their product development and launch processes. “Volvo offers a wide range of high quality elements that can be built upon and customized to meet the specific needs of third party manufacturers,” explains Arne Johansson, manager of the OEM business at Volvo CE. “This approach allows us to provide OEM businesses with the specific parts they need in order to create innovative solutions rather than relying on conventional technology.”
Energy efficient snow clearing
Volvo CE has supplied around 50 articulated hauler front tractor units for integration into snow sweepers via its award-winning business model. A snow sweeper clears the snow in three stages. First the plough shovels the snow off to the side, then the rotary brush sweeps the remaining snow away and finally the blower generates an intensive air flow over the entire swept area.
One of the success stories from the OEM business model approach is a biogas powered airport snow sweeper, delivered by AEBI Schmidt to Swedavia – a state-owned group that owns, operates and develops 11 airports across Sweden. The snow sweeper combines a Volvo A25 articulated hauler tractor unit and snow-plough with a brush and blower fitted to a rear machine driven by a Volvo Penta D13 engine. Both the front and rear engines have been modified for methane diesel combustion. “During this project we capitalized on the knowledge of our colleagues in Volvo Trucks who, together with Volvo Public Affairs, helped us transfer methane diesel technology to Volvo CE and Volvo Penta,” explains Jörgen Ahlberg, a Volvo CE engineer in the hauler product improvement team. “The technology combines the high energy efficiency of a regular diesel engine and the use of renewable biogas as the primary fuel. There is around a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to a spark-ignited biogas engine and the machine has a substantially lower CO2 footprint than a conventional unit. This is the first snow sweeper that uses biogas as the primary fuel source in an energy efficient way.”
“We are extremely proud to win this award,” concludes Anders P. Larsson, executive vice president of Volvo CE’s Technology function. “This business model has allowed us to improve the operational performance of a wider customer base and access applications we couldn’t previously. The Volvo Group is at the forefront of technological development and we are fortunate to have the strength of the Group behind us and all the benefits of shared technology. This means that our customers can benefit from innovative, industry-leading solutions at a higher quality and lower cost.”
Picture 1: The biogas powered airport snow sweeper, delivered by AEBI Schmidt to Swedavia, is just one of the success stories to come out of Volvo CE’s OEM business model approach.
Picture 2: From left: Rolf Willkrans, director of environmental affairs at Volvo Public Affairs, Jörgen Ahlberg, Volvo CE engineer in the hauler product improvement team, and Arne Johansson, manager of the OEM business at Volvo CE.