The legacy behind Volvo's performance excellence
With a history that can be traced all the way back to 1832, Volvo CE is one of the true pioneers of the construction equipment industry. Through its introduction of world famous innovations such as wheel loaders and articulated haulers, Volvo CE has revolutionized the construction equipment industry.
The history of Volvo’s excavators is closely linked to that of Swedish company Åkerman Gjuteri och Mekaniska Verkstad, founded in 1890. The company started out manufacturing equipment such as pumps and grinders and later moved into construction equipment. Åkerman's first excavator was built in 1939, the 8 ton Åkerman 300 rope-shovel model became an instant success and marked the start of the company’s international expansion.
Over the following years, the excavator business gradually developed and by 1956, Åkerman was specialized only in this product line. During the 1960s, the company introduced its first hydraulic excavator and these machines helped make Åkerman the most successful engineering company in Sweden during the 1970s. Åkerman gradually expanded its product range and by 1985, more than 10,000 units of hydraulic excavators had been delivered to customers all over the world. In the 1990s the company was brought into the Volvo family. Åkermans’ experienced engineers were now tasked with developing excavators under a new brand, Volvo.
In 1998, Volvo CE expanded its excavator business and established an Asian industrial footprint through the acquisition of Samsung’s Construction Equipment Division in Korea. Following this acquisition, Volvo added more than 180 years of industrial experience and Åkerman's long-running legacy in European excavator design. This was combined with a strong focus on quality, safety and fuel efficiency and so began the development of a new generation of excavators.
Volvo also invested heavily into the Korean manufacturing plant in Changwon, harmonising it with the company’s global standards. The first two Volvo models from the facility, the EC210 and EC240, were launched in 1999 and the Volvo hallmarks of quality, safety, productivity and fuel efficiency were immediately apparent.
Volvo CE also utilized technology and know-how from its other product lines, like wheel loaders and articulated haulers –both world leaders and with state-of-the art product features. Volvo’s unique expertise in these areas contributed to the outstanding fuel efficiency, productivity and cost of operation of the new excavator range. Over the years, Volvo’s excavator range has been continually growing in size to match the growth of its hauler equipment –machines are available from 1.5 to 90 tons. The most recent addition is the 90 ton Volvo EC950E excavator launched in 2016
Volvo is world-renowned for its commitment to safety. Within the context of excavators, that means protecting both operators and those around them. Volvo also works closely with its customers to constantly develop new features to bring down their total cost of ownership. The innovations introduced by Volvo to its excavators include: automatic engine shutdown and auto idle functions for fuel efficiency; load-sensing hydraulics for reduced power consumption; ergonomic and intuitive controls for better operator productivity; and wide-opening hoods for safe and easy access to components during servicing.
With over 180 years of construction and innovation expertise, Volvo CE is at the forefront of technological development. For us, the latest technology is not just nice to have, it’s essential to stay competitive and secure long-term profitable growth. Intense research and development work are carried out at Volvo CE’s R&D centres and manufacturing facilities worldwide. Dedicated work teams use the Volvo Production System, a unique production philosophy that uses highly advanced technologies and techniques to ensure Volvo’s quality standards.