Asphalt ambitions

June 8, 2015

Industries:
Construction
Topics:
Service
Geography:
Europe

Atlas Copco has launched its Asphalt Care Team service to help customers make the most of their construction equipment. The service brings together application support, technical expertise, customer training and rapid parts-ordering system. The Asphalt Masters, a global team of specialists, support customers with all aspects of the asphalt process.

Paver

Increasingly, contractors have to meet stringent deadlines and defined quality parameters. “There are high demands on our paver and planer products,” says Johan Thörnqvist, Asphalt Care Team Manager. “Machines need to be up and running and lay a perfect result. This team was created to better and faster support these demands.”

The Asphalt Care Team mainly provides support in the field, Thörnqvist says, with each Asphalt Master acting as a single point of contact for the customer. The work ranges from commissioning new equipment to delivering application support when customers have paving issues and organizing relevant training. The team can also arrange the delivery of urgent parts when needed through a hotline. “We have a dedicated asphalt team locally and globally that can step in fast, whether there is an issue related to parts or a technical or application issue,” he says.

The Asphalt Care team works closely with local country teams and other divisions within Atlas Copco.“Asphalt is a complex product and differs from country to country, based on the types of stones that are available, climate and the type of bitumen,” Thörnqvist says. “There are also varying equipment requirements such as tracked and wheeled pavers, or different types of paving widths. Some countries have a tradition of paving in large widths, making it important to extend the paver screed and auger correctly.”

All links in the quality chain are important. “It’s not enough being able to troubleshoot and repair machine-related issues,” he says. “More often quality issues in the paved surface are due to a problem with the material, its transportation, machine settings or operator issues.” Asphalt Masters, with their global perspective and local connections, can provide relevant practical application and technical support.

Training is an important part of the Asphalt Care Team’s work. “In some markets we work with dealers, but in others we operate directly through an Atlas Copco customer center,” Thörnqvist says. “Dealer training is very important, and dealers will identify and solve most issues locally, but when needed they will escalate to the regional Atlas Copco support team.

We have added additional operator training and combined technical and application training.”

The ambition is to extend the Asphalt Care team to have an Asphalt Master in all regions. Next on the list are India and Eastern Europe South, covering 14 countries.

“Asphalt is a team effort, as there are many factors that can affect the final result. Reaction time and the availability of service are very important for us.”

Skanska Poland’s Mariusz Gielniewski.

Training for success

Skanska Poland has been an Atlas Copco customer since the early 2000s and has a fleet of 70 pavers and rollers. Mariusz Gielniewski, Technical Branch Director, Civil East, Skanska Poland, says, “What is important is a platform of local cooperation with Atlas Copco staff working where we have our machines. Reaction time and the availability of service are very important for us.”

Mirosław Maciążka, Sales and Technical Sup-port Manager at Atlas Copco, says, “Paving is a sensitive job. The paver is the most important ma-chine, so possible breakdown, bad performance or incorrect operation could result in a big cost for a customer.” As an Asphalt Master he leads a team that provides technical and logistical support and training for both the customer and his own service team.

Each year Atlas Copco trains some 70 Skanska Poland staff members. “We offer training before delivery of machines,” Maciążka says. “This is usually a two-to-three-day course covering theory and practice.” Additional one-day refresher courses are offered. Maciążka says it is important to involve as many people in the asphalt process as possible – operators, technicians, site and plant managers – because it is a team effort and many factors can influence the final result.

Paving Poland

Poland has a great need for asphalt expertise. Its road infrastructure is being upgraded to carry increasing numbers of vehicles, especially trucks, through the country, which serves as a major route between Western and Eastern Europe. Tomasz Przeradzki, General Manager for Construction Technique East European Region North covering Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine, says, ”EU funds are driving the development, with Poland benefiting from a 24-billion-euro investment in its infrastructure, including 12 billion euros exclusively for road infrastructure for the years 2014 to 2020.”

Przeradzki says Poland’s ambitions are an opportunity for Atlas Copco to demonstrate its unique technology and after-market services. “We are prepared to act quickly to solve problems,” he says.

The projects across Poland are many. Multi-lane highways and rail projects will connect Germany and Belarus. In southern Poland, a highway will link the western border with Germany to the eastern border with Ukraine. In a north-south link between Gdansk and the southern border crossings into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, some sections of motorway are still incomplete. By September 2014, a total of 1 399 kilometers of motorways were in use. For the Union of European Football Associations European Championship, some 550 kilometers of highways and 570 kilometers of expressways were completed, but this represents a small amount of the road and rail infra-structure that is planned for Poland and its neighbours.

Written by Elaine Mcclarence

Mariusz Gileniewski

Miroslav Maciążka

Asphalt works

Pavers Poland Europe Rollers Service Construction