+ (86) 13657190447
+ (86) 13657190447
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday to Saturday

Tag: Volvo

Volvo and Colas safety collaboration bearing fruit

Volvo Construction Equipment is working on a research project to improve site safety in collaboration with its customer Colas.

Volvo Construction Equipment is working on a research project to improve site safety in collaboration with its customer Colas.

The two companies are together developing and testing various concepts and prototypes in the ‘Safer@Work’ research project. For example, they recently tested a people detection system at two Colas sites in Switzerland: an asphalt plant and a quarry. The system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to alert the operator when a person is detected in the vicinity of the machine. It incorporates different warning systems, both for the operator and for people in the area surrounding the machine.

Volvo engineers were already developing the integrated AI algorithm and it was further improved during the ‘Safer@Work’ project. The prototype is one of three operator assist concepts that Volvo CE has been collaborating on with Colas since 2016. They are now at the stage of assessing viability for the industry. Plans to industrialise it under investigation.

“Safety is one of Volvo CE’s core values and we are actively working to create even safer work sites for employees, customers and anyone in the vicinity of our machines,” says Volvo chief project manager Veit Kleeberg. “When Colas approached us to partner on this research project we were keen to get involved. We used the ‘design yhinking’ methodology – which involves putting the user first and finding out their needs before generating ideas – and came up with 27 concepts that could contribute to reducing the number of accidents involving employees and members of the public on construction sites. Together with Colas, we picked the three preferred concepts and we started to design and test them.”

Volvo has now carried out tests on excavators, wheeled loaders and articulated haulers at Colas job sites. The people detection concept was tested on a EW160E excavator and a L220H wheel loader.

“The testing was a great success and the operator feedback was very encouraging,” says Veit Kleeberg. “This time we were focusing on the accuracy of the concept, after we’d made some improvements following tests with Colas in January. Being able to test the technology in a real-world environment and getting instant customer feedback is invaluable. This partnership has enabled us to investigate new technologies and explore concepts that add value for our customers and address our ambitions such as zero accidents.”

Colas safety director Philippe Simarik says: “We wanted to partner with a construction equipment manufacturer and create an innovative safety system that would reduce the number of accidents involving people on construction sites.

“Given that we share core values, especially safety, Volvo CE was the ideal choice. We are working together to develop and test various new ideas. The most mature of those ideas is the people detection concept, and we hope to equip our machines with this system in the future. Our collaboration with Volvo CE has been extremely positive. Together we have come up with a solution that will improve work site safety.”

Volvo’s electric loader meets test drivers’ approval

The first L25 Electric compact wheeled loader from Volvo Construction Equipment has got the thumbs up from a German customer that has been testing it.

Leick Baumschulen is based just 30 minutes from the Volvo CE factory in Konz, Germany, where the L25 Electric will be produced from mid-2020.

The tree farm, nursery and landscaping company has been a Volvo customer for 34 years and with its focus on the natural world and openness to new technologies was an obvious choice to trial the new green machine.

The Volvo L25 Electric compact wheeled loader is expected to be available for general sale from mid-2020 when Volvo CE will stop the development of new diesel engine-based L20 to L28 compact wheeled loader models.

The operators at Leick Baumschulen use compact wheeled loaders every day for a wide range of jobs – from pallet handling and loading material to grading and sweeping.

“This variety of tasks makes it the perfect real-world scenario for us to test our new electric compact wheel loader together with our customer,” says Paolo Mannesi, global compact wheel loader product manager for Volvo CE.

The owners of the company, Christoph and Michael Leick, strongly believe in electrification. They already use electric golf carts to show customers around their large yard and display area and are keen to explore the potential of electrification for their fleet of construction equipment too.

The Volvo L25 Electric is powered by lithium-ion batteries that offer an eight-hour regular shift with a single charge. The L25 has two separate electric motors – one for the drivetrain and one for the hydraulics.

First impressions are that the machine functions much like a conventional diesel-powered loader, only smoother and quieter.

“It is a product with the right performance and great design,” says Christoph Leick. “The machine operates like a conventional wheel loader, but with improved comfort for the driver and surroundings – it feels similar when it comes to power but is quieter has less vibration, less maintenance and is emission-free locally.”

The lack of noise is a particular plus in this landscape. “We also operate the machine to transport plants in our show area where customers are coming in and out. With this machine, it is more comfortable for our customers and our employees as the noise level is much lower. This means we can keep our conversation and discussions going with our customers when the machine is operating nearby,” he says.

He sees maintenance benefits too. “The machine requires less maintenance as it has no engine – we don’t need to check the engine oil and coolant every day or refill fuel. We simply charge it overnight, which is very easy. You just need to plug one end of the charger into the machine as well as the other into a normal household socket. That’s it. There’s actually nothing you can do wrong – it is easy and safe,” he says.