Volvo Construction Equipment
Volvo CE expands manufacturing facility in Sweden to produce articulated haulers with various types of powertrains

This Week in Power & Motion: Volvo CE Expands Manufacturing Capacity for Electrification

May 31, 2024
Volvo CE has expanded two manufacturing facilities to increase production of electric machines, Danfoss names new leaders for two business divisions, and more industry news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motion systems, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the fluid power and electric motion control sectors as well as the industries they serve.

Registration Open for NFPA Industry & Economic Outlook Conference

The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) has announced registration is now open for its 2024 Industry & Economic Outlook Conference (IEOC). This annual event is a popular one as it offers the latest information on market conditions for the hydraulics and pneumatics industry. 

Speakers include well-respected economists offering a look at how they see the economy fairing currently and the future for both fluid power manufacturers and their customer markets. In addition, there will be speakers discussing market trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) and their potential impacts on hydraulic and pneumatic systems.  

Along with the presentations are several networking opportunities, including the NFPA Foundation Golf Fundraiser on August 12. New for the 2024 event is a Lunch Tabletop Exhibition during which company's in or related to the industry can highlight their products and services as well as network with other attendees. 

The 2024 IEOC is scheduled to take place August 13-14 in Itasca, IL. An early-bird registration price is available until July 9 and a hotel block is available at the Westin Chicago Northwest, the site of the conference, until July 28 or it is full. Further details about the event can be found on NFPA's website, including the full list of presenters. 

READ MORE: 2024 Recession Presents Fluid Power Industry Opportunities for Investment

Atlas Copco Honors Development of Energy-Efficient Air Compressor

Each year, Atlas Copco honors technical developments and innovations within the company. In 2024, it has given its John Munck Award to the developers behind the company's GA VSD, an energy-efficient air compressor. 

The GA VSD is the third-generation of the company's variable speed drive air compressors offering its highest level of efficiency yet — up to 60% energy savings compared to Atlas Copco's fixed-speed compressors. According to the company, advanced software plays a key role in the air compressor's ability to achieve such high efficiency gains. 

Additional features which aid enable the compressor's energy efficiency include a Smart Temperature Control system, Boost Flow Mode as well as connectivity options for improved control and remote monitoring. The compressor also offers a compact and vertical design to easily fit into a range of industrial enviroments where it can help to reduce energy use which is an increasingly important factor for many. 

Danfoss Names New Business Unit Leaders

Danfoss Power Solutions appointed new leaders to two of its divisions. Xianwei (Roy) Chen has been named president of the Editron division and Domenico Traverso president of the Fluid Conveyance division. 

Chen previously served as vice president of the Editron division and will responsible for helping strengthen this business which is focused on electrification solutions for on- and off-highway applications. He will be in charge of the two business units within this division, eMotor & Inverter Solutions and Power Charging Solutions. 

He brings to the role over 15 years of experience in electrification, electronics, automotive, and mobile off-highway applications. Chen holds a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, an International Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical design, manufacturing, and their automation from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.

As president of the Fluid Conveyance division, Traverso will lead its four business units — Rubber Hydraulic Hose and Fittings; Connectors; Fuel, Air Conditioning, Thermoplastic, and Specialty; and Private Label and SEL Hose. He will also continue in his current role as president, Incubation division, and lead the Business Development and Innovation function.

In his new role he intends to optimize the business in the markets it currently serves while aiding growth in emerging sectors as well. Traverso holds certificates in executive management, finance, and business from the London Business School; International Institute for Management Development; University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business; MIT Sloan School of Management; and UCLA Anderson School of Management. 

Both Chen and Traverso will report directly to Eric Alström, president of Danfoss Power Solutions, and play roles on the Power Solutions Leadership Team. 

ABB Automates Warehouse Operation in Italy

To improve the efficiency and logistics at its instrumentation factory in Lake Como, Italy, ABB has implemented a fully automated storage and retrieval system. According to the company, this has led to a 90% improvement in overall logistics efficiency and 30% reduction in final assembly time for packages. 

The company installed two ABB OmniVance FlexBuffer systems connected by a conveyor, each of which is equipped with ABB robots to help create more efficient order handling. FlexBuffer combines temporary storage and sequencing functions to enable transitions between buffering, storing and sequencing tasks. In addition, the same robot gripper can be used with various size boxes to allow for enhanced flexibility in the operation. 

As people working in the facility no longer need to handle heavy boxes, their working conditions are more comfortable. Some were also moved to other areas of the facility where manual labor was required. 

READ MORE: Automation has a Bright Future Ahead of It

New Volvo CE Manufacturing Facilities will Aid Production of Electric Machines

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) recently inaugurated two new manufacturing facilities in South Korea and Sweden to support production of its electric construction equipment. 

The 2,500 sq. m facility in Changwon, South Korea, will aid production of battery packs for the Volvo Group and includes assembly and logistics areas. Battery packs produced at the facility will be used in the company's 23-ton Volvo EC230 Electric excavator which begins mass production in August 2024 at the same site and is Volvo CE's largest excavator manufacturing facility.

By adding battery production to the Changwon plant, Volvo CE expects it to become a core competene center for electric excavators. The facility already produces about 55% of the company's total excavator volume and its proximity to battery technology suppliers will aid continued electrification efforts. 

Meanwhile, Volvo CE has expanded its plant in Braås, Sweden, to aid with production as its articulated haulers shift toward use of electric powertrains. Expansion of the existing facility will make it easier for the company to produce articulated haulers with different types of powertrains, ensuring it meets the varied needs of customers around the world. 

Additional height has been added to the facility to aid production of the company's 60-ton A60H, said to be the largest in the world. 

Both facilities include features, such as solar panels for energy production, to aid Volvo's sustainability initiatives within its own operations as well as its offerings to customers by developing electric-powered machines. 

READ MORE: Volvo Sees Continued Growth Opportunity in Electrification

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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