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July 10, 2015
Successful companies bring innovative products that contribute to the productivity of their customers. Premium products are technologically more advanced. On the other hand a brilliant design that offers simplicity is also innovation.
Customers should be offered a solution with the lowest cost of ownership. To score better than competition, innovation is key. Here, an important aspect is operator comfort and ergonomics. Here there are still very different approaches in the different markets. Sometimes it can even be the operators that select the equipment they want to work with. In this case operator comfort is more important than price as a selection criterion.
A power generator, for instance, is typically operated via a generator controller. A single push on the button automates the startup and stopping procedure. The procedure runs a sequence of checks for safety, pre-heating and cooling, ensuring a longer life time of the unit.
The controller also simplifies a power management system set-up in which different generators communicate. Once connected via one single data cable, the generators are automatically detected and ready to be used in the application.
The Atlas Copco digital generator management launched last year drastically simplifies operation and service via one-touch generator management.
“The Atlas Copco digital generator management solution generates more flexibility and cost-efficiency. It enables us to provide the same capacity with a fleet of smaller, cheaper and lighter machines that offer customers additional benefits, including fuel efficiency and a longer equipment lifetime,” said Julio Tomé, Product Marketing Manager large generators.
With the new generation of Atlas Copco compressor controllers, operating a compressor has never been as easy. The controller is thoroughly tested to ensure reliable control of the unit, from plus 60 down to minus 25 degrees Celsius. Operating the compressor becomes very intuitive. Start and stop is initiated with a single push on the button. And the most important parameters; working pressure, fuel level, working hours and revenues per minute are within reach at eye level. Product Manager Dmitry Karablinov summarized; “This controller is one example of how we ensure our customers’ sustainable productivity.”
“In Road Construction we have of course already experience with active data management systems since continuous compaction control has been a reality since the late seventies on certain markets. But it is only now that we are beginning to see a wider application and a more global demand”, said Ihab Eldessouky, Vice President Marketing Road Construction Equipment Division. Since the addition of Global Navigation Satellite System positioning some ten years ago, the systems gained in accuracy and usability and therefore offer an increased added value to customers.
By combining real-time positioning with measurement and recording of compaction related data it is possible to guide the roller operator in running the machine. It will help contractors to run their equipment most effectively, save fuel as they avoid over compaction, and avoid compaction related penalties.
Today standard cost-effective hardware solutions exist that transfer data to externally managed clouds so that the fleet and the work in process can be followed via a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Working via a cloud managed by a third party will give the customer the security – if she/he wishes – to activate the system herself/himself without the manufacturer being able to monitor his fleet. By end of the year all machines over 10 ton can be optionally equipped with what will be called Track and Trace solutions. Also field kits for older units or competition units will be available, although here only bare essential data will be available for monitoring.
Also on walk-behind compaction products there are solutions available.
The compaction indicator on the LG500 reversible plate for instance, measures the vibration patterns in the plate and shows how well the soil is compacted beneath the surface. It is mounted at the center of the handle and the system communicates via a clear system of indicator lights.
“By combining compaction indicator-technology and operator’s knowledge, the risk of over- or under compacting is much reduced”; said Product Line Manager Pavel Levshin. “The combination will save the operator’s time and increase uptime for the reversible plates. This is thanks to less servicing, due to machine wear.”
“Another example is our LH804 with remote control that keeps the operator away from fumes and vibrations”, he added.
Of course not all customers are prepared to pay in the same way for these ergonomic features. Design must be differentiated for those markets. On top of that, one and the same product can be used in different applications. Then options can be added. Product requirements must be bundled to make logical sense. This can be driven by regulation, by regional taste, or by application.
"The Atlas Copco digital generator management solution generates more flexibility and cost efficiency.” Julio Tomé, Product Marketing Manager large generators
"By combining compaction indicator-technology and operator’s knowledge, the risk of over-or under compacting is much reduced.” Pavel Levshin, Product Line Manager