GOS Tool & Engineering Services has just bought its 100th Doosan excavator for adapting to road/rail working.
Based at Blaenavon in South Wales, GOS specialises in converting OEM machinery for railtrack working to meet Network Rail, London Underground, Irish Rail and other worldwide engineering specifications, standards and approvals.
The arrival of a new 17-tonne Doosan DX170W-5 wheeled excavator (pictured above) coincides with the company’s 50th anniversary. Adapting this 100th Doosan machine is the latest development in a relationship between GOS and Doosan that stretches back to the days of the Daewoo range, which was the forerunner to the current Doosan excavator range. As well as the DX170W-5, GOS also makes products based on the Doosan DX140LCR-5 15 tonne crawler excavator.
It’s all about self-driving vehicles these days, it seems. Hard on the heels of new from Volvo (see previous posts, below) comes news of Komatsu’s Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle.
This machine was unveiled at the Minexpo trade show in Las Vegas, 26th-28 September 2016.
Unlike the 930E and 830E autonomous models, this newly developed vehicle has no operator’s cab – there is no option but to ditch the operator. Komatsu says it is ‘designed to maximize the advantages of unmanned operation’.
Good news for plant operators: Volvo’s best efforts to date show that a driverless wheeled loader is still only 70% as efficient as one with a skilled operator behind the controls.
Volvo Construction Equipment has been working on automated construction machinery and recently gave a public demonstration in Sweden of a prototype wheeled loader filling a prototype articulated hauler – before dumping its load and repeating the cycle. In a one-hour comparison it was found that the autonomous wheel loader could reach the equivalent of 70% of that of a skilled operator’s productivity levels when loading and unloading, Volvo says.
Earlier this year Volvo Group began tests and demonstrations of its autonomous self-driving trucks for mining applications. Now here’s the footage.
Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is the first in the world to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine. The self-driving truck is part of a development project aimed at improving the transport flow and safety in the mine. The truck will cover a distance of 7km, reaching 1,320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.
The research project is a cooperative venture with Saab’s technology consulting subsidiary Combitech.
There's a big new digger ripping up the Yorkshire Dales...
Tarmac’s Swinden quarry is just off the road between Skipton and Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Until the turn of the century it was operated by Tilcon and caused a right old mess, chucking limestone dust around the place. There has always been lots of quarrying in these parts, as evidenced by all those dry stone walls. In recent years, Taramc has invested millions in improving the quarry, drastically reducing its impact, and this securing permission from the National Parks authority to expand operations.
The most recent investment is an ultra-large Hitachi EX1900-6 excavator as the site’s new primary mover, to reduce operational hours at the site by increasing productivity and efficiency.