CONEXPO-CON/AGG, co-located with the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE), provides an opportunity to see the latest construction equipment designs. For the 2023 show, several OEMs have announced a wide array of machines they plan to bring to the construction market.
This segment is an important one for the fluid power industry, where hydraulics in particular play a large part in the capabilities and functions of these machines. Pneumatics, electromechanical devices and other motion control related components have an important role as well.
CONEXPO provides an opportunity to see recent construction equipment launches and concepts which could make their way to the market in the near future. Like IFPE, electrification will be a key theme throughout CONEXPO with many OEMs planning to launch electric-powered machines alongside those offering improved efficiency and advanced technologies to enable automation, connectivity and more.
Visit our IFPE channel for more news, interviews and content related to the year's largest event for the fluid power and construction equipment industries.
Honda Reveals Latest Generation Autonomous Work Vehicle
Honda has revealed the next iteration of its Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). The all-electric Honda AWV utilizes advanced autonomous technology which enables operation in rugged off-road applications.
The vehicle can operate autonomously or be remotely controlled, offering flexibility for construction fleets. Honda says it is exploring development of attachments and tolls which can enable the AWV's use in a range of construction or other heavy-duty applications.
Features of the third-generation vehicle include:
- Improved navigation in locations where GNSS (global navigation satellite system) service is weak or unavailable through the use of LiDAR sensors
- Simplified tablet-based programming interface and cloud connectivity
- Higher speed in autonomous mode – up to 10 miles per hour (mph)
- Increased battery size and longer operating time of up to 10 hours
Technologies utilized to enable autonomous operations include an array of sensors, such as radar and lidar for obstacle detection, GPS and cameras for remote monitoring.
The AWV continues to undergo testing with construction customers in a variety of use cases.
Komatsu Exhibits Electrification Solutions
At its West Hall booth, Komatsu is showing its machines and technology designed to help customers reduce their environmental footprint. Among these solutions will be several electrification related products, such as the 20-ton PC210LCE electric excavator which was introduced at bauma 2022 and is set to enter the North American market.
The excavator is equipped with Proterra’s lithium-ion battery technology and features 451 kWh of battery capacity for up to 8 hours of operating time, depending on work conditions. Komatsu is also showing its PC30E electric mini excavator equipped with a 35 kWh battery and a 17.4 kW electric motor as well as the PC01E electric micro excavator powered by portable and swappable mobile batteries and developed jointly with Honda.
Also on display is the electric wheel loader concept developed in partnership with Moog Inc. The wheel loader includes Moog's intelligent electrification system featuring an electric traction motor, lift, tilt and steering cylinders, power electronics, system control computer, battery and battery management system.
Komatsu is also developing charging solutions to aid its customers with their electrification efforts. One of the products on display is the Proterra portable charging concept, designed in partnership with Proterra, for use in “off grid” locations.
PALFINGER Expanding in U.S.
Crane and lifting solutions developer PALFINGER is showing its range of equipment which will aid with its growth efforts in North America. Among its products on display are the latest generation of truck-mounted forklifts, bucket trucks as well as digital solutions to aid productivity.
The company plans to open a new regional headquarters in the U.S. in early 2023 to help it better serve the market which it sees as a growth opportunity due to the amount of infrastructure projects taking place. PALFINGER's new regional headquarters will be located in Schaumburg, IL.
PALFINGER says a highlight of its CONEXPO exhibit is the new FHS series of truck-mounted forklifts offering a new range of features to help construction customers remain productive. Also on display is the company's bucket truck models with eDrive solution to enable energy-efficient and emissions-free operation.
John Deere Equipment Focuses on Productivity Improvements
At CONEXPO, John Deere is showcasing its latest technologies aimed at helping the construction industry remain productive. These include advanced vision and object detection solutions, EZ Grade on its P-Tier small dozers and more.
The vision technology on display not only aids productivity but safety on job sites as well. John Deere's object detection technology is paired with a high-resolution camera and dedicated display to improve spatial awareness for operators. It includes vehicle trajectory logic technology as well which overlays the projected path of the machine when in reverse to illustrate where the machine will move.
Also on display is the company's Auto level technology which is new to its P-Tier and X-Tier wheel loaders. With this technology, bucket and fork adjustments are more precise to prevent operators from tipping their material load too far forward or backwards when raising and lowering the boom, helping to improve productivity.
John Deere is also showing machines with alternative powertrains. These include battery-electric and electric-hybrid options. The company is showing these options on a range of machine models to demonstrate the options and applications available.
Among these will be the 310 X-Tier E-Power backhoe model, first introduced in 2021, which is set to undergo more testing and development. The company is also showing its 145 X-Tier E-Power excavator concept, unveiled earlier in 2023 at CES. John Deere is also debuting the battery electric 244 X-Tier compact wheel loader which can benefit customers in material handling applications.
CNH Industrial and its Brands Showcase New Equipment
Construction and agricultural technology company CNH Industrial, and its brands New Holland and CASE Construction Equipment are showing a range of new construction machines. CNH recently signed an industrial cooperation agreement with Tobroco-Giant, a Netherlands-based construction equipment manufacturer specializing in compact construction equipment.
As part of the agreement, Tobroco-Giant’s compact and sub-compact wheel loaders will be distributed under the CASE Construction Equipment and New Holland Construction brands in North America with new models being introduced at CONEXPO. Among these are CNH’s first electric sub-compact wheel loader.
CASE Construction Equipment is planning to expand its presence in the backhoe market, introducing 5 new models that will help to meet a wide array of construction applications. The company is also showing a newly enhanced version of its 320F wheel loader which features electrohydraulic controls. Use of electrohydraulic controls allows adoption of return to dig functions, eco mode and other performance enhancing features.
New Holland Construction, who is exhibiting at CONEXPO for the first time in several years, is introducing several new pieces of equipment as well. Among these is the company's first mini track loader to accommodate landscape and general contractors in North America. New Holland says the new machine is a lightweight stand on mini track loader that’s built to maneuver on a variety of jobsites and handle a wide range of tasks, from loading to dumping to drilling.
The company is also adding the C330 vertical lift compact track loader to its portfolio, a medium frame, powerful machine with the ability to maneuver in tight spaces. New Holland is entering the electrification market as well with the launch of its first commercially available EV machine, the E15X electric power mini excavator powered by a battery-electric powertrain.