Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has used its international press conference at the bauma 2013 exhibition in Munich to unveil the low-emissions technology used in the company’s forthcoming Stage IV/Tier 4 Final-compliant machines. The engine system, a result of thousands of hours of both bench and multi-application field testing – as well as already installed in over one million Volvo Trucks – is set for launch when the new legislation comes into force in January 2014.
President Pat Olney (pictured) also took the opportunity to update the audience on the progress of investments in Europe and other international markets and announced the extensive development pipeline that will see a radically updated product range launched over the next two years.
SCR and increased passive regeneration
Mr. Olney began the press conference by announcing that Volvo CE will use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) in addition to a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in order to meet the requirements of the forthcoming Stage IV/Tier 4 Final emissions legislation, in most instances. The system will feature an updated DPF that generally will not require active regeneration. Particulate matter oxidization will now occur at low exhaust temperatures during normal machine operation.
“Thanks to being part of the Volvo Group our ‘new’ SCR technology has in fact already been comprehensively tested in over one million SCR-equipped trucks produced by Volvo Trucks since the system was introduced in 2005,” Mr. Olney said. “This is in addition to the tens of thousands of hours of testing Volvo CE has conducted in our articulated haulers, wheel loaders and excavators, as well as engine test benches. This real world experience and research makes it clear that not only will our Tier 4 Final-compliant products be environmentally cleaner, they will also use less fuel in most applications.
“We are in the final stages of developing what constitutes a radical overhaul of our product range, one that will see a large number of new machines launched over the next 12 to 24 months,” Mr. Olney continued. “Not only will they offer more customer and environmental benefits, these fuel efficient products will also further Volvo CE’s progress towards achieving its WWF Climate Savers commitment of reducing CO2 emissions from its machines sold between 2009 and 2014 by 15 million tonnes.”
Market matters and investments
Mr. Olney continued his presentation by discussing market conditions and business outlook. He highlighted that in 2012 Volvo Construction Equipment reported broadly flat sales, despite a sharp downturn in market conditions in the second half of the year. The company also reinforced its position as market leader in the all-important Chinese wheel loader and excavator segment, extending its share in 2012 to an unprecedented 15%. The company also produced its second best ever annual output, selling 78,491 machines during the year.
He then moved on to highlight the company’s participation at bauma. This includes the introductions of the ECR25D, ECR58D and ECR88D short radius compact excavators, the P6870C asphalt paver, EC480D high-reach demolition excavator, a new range of excavator and loader attachments – and a range of comprehensive support packages.
Mr. Olney also took the opportunity to give an update on Volvo CE’s investment program. March saw the culmination of a $100 million initiative when the first wheel loaders rolled off a new production line at the company’s Shippensburg facility in the US. Excavator production, meanwhile, is set to begin in May at a new factory in Kaluga, Russia. Mr. Olney also gave an update on the progress at other on-going investments in India, Brazil and China, where capacity and product expansion programs are strengthening Volvo’s ability to serve its growing customer base.
Well placed for recovery
“Even though we expect 2013 to be a year of sluggish growth overall, Volvo CE continues to invest in innovative products that meet the needs of customers globally,” Mr. Olney concluded. “This, coupled with investments in our industrial footprint, means that we are increasingly able to serve the specific needs of customers locally, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”
Mr. Olney was then joined on stage by Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta. Mr. Ingemanson highlighted that Penta is the Volvo Group’s sales channel to the external engine market, and that it was exhibiting at bauma a complete Stage IV/Tier 4 Final compliant engine range for off-road industrial equipment, based on SCR technology.
“Thanks to our engines’ fuel efficiency and superior cost of ownership, the Volvo Penta product range has been well received, and we are experiencing strong growth within the off-highway segment,” Mr. Ingemanson commented.