PMV's Top 5 Trends at Bauma
Bauma 2013 at Munich was, as expected, a huge show
Bauma 2013 at Munich was – as expected – a huge show, with a staggering variety of machines and manufacturers on display. PMV Middle East presents five of the key trends evident at this year’s show
New machines for the middle east
Though Bauma is indeed a show aimed primarily at the European markets, there were a number of new machines that should prove exciting for buyers in the GCC.
Not the least of these was the Terex TG180 motor grader, aimed specifically at developing markets in the Middle East, Russia and Africa, and the love-child of a new joint venture between Terex and Russian Machines, RM Terex. The machines are being built in Russia, where RM has an extensive history building machines, including graders.
In the Middle East, the range of graders including the 17.9 tonne TG180 will be sold by the Terex Construction distributors, available later this year. Features include an elegant cabin design, simplified operator controls, and a Deutz engine, with option for a Cummins instead.
And if further proof was needed of the machine’s applicability, Terex took an order at the show for more than 100 units, from a South African buyer.
MAN Truck and Bus launched its new 50 tonne capacity truck at the show, the TGS 50.440 8x4, which it expects to make a big impact in the Middle East, particularly in construction applications, as well as quarries and other industries.
MAN has previously had a 50t GVW truck in its line up which was discontinued, so the relief that MAN is again able to contest this important Middle East segment was palpable among their team.
The body of the truck has been designed to lower its centre of gravity, making the truck safer when travelling with heavy loads, especially if it is overloaded.
It is equipped with a rear tipper body from Meiller, and is powered by a 10.6L Euro IV engine, putting out 324kW (440hp) @ 1900 rpm, with maximum torque of 2100 Nm at 1000 to 1400 rpm. The vehicle shown on the stand will be sent to an open-cast copper mine in Chile.
If there was any doubt about the applicability of Manitowoc’s new 65t Grove RT770E to the Middle East, then that was quickly dispelled by the sight of the crane painted in Johnson Arabia’s livery, with Dubai the crane’s destination post-show.
The RT770E should be a familiar to buyers here since it is in many respects similar to the RT765E-2.
The main improvement is an extended 5-stage boom with 42m reach - ideal for rental companies and contractors since its reach compares with many larger-class cranes, while in the Middle East typical lifts to that height on sites are well within the RT770E’s capabilities.
Also on the mobile crane front, Sennebogen released its new 673R-HD telescoping crawler crane, with a max 70t lift and 51m boom. One advantage of the model is that its tracks can be tucked into the body while being tranported, for a width of only 3m.
And generally, telecoping crawlers are becoming more popular than their lattice boom counterparts, due to their greater versatility on job sites such as bridges.
Industrial users also had a wide range of new products, from companies as diverse as Atlas Copco, Chicago Pneumatic, and Kaesar Kompressoren which launched its new M500-2, set to appeal to leasing and rental companies, and the largest in its Mobilair portable compressor family.
Tech assist is everywhere
There is no doubt that the machinery industry is experiencing a rapid pace of change in the sophistication of control technology, with technological assistence for drivers being offered as an aftermarket option by companies that include Trimble and Topcon. Today, many machines can be bought with an optional chip installed to allow ‘Plug and Play’ installation of sensors and control systems.
SITECH Gulf is the distributor for Trimble and Caterpillar machine control systems in a number of GCC countries.
Speaking at the show, SITECH Gulf sales manager John Taylor says that while operators are impressed by demonstrations, the real proof of the technology’s impact comes from the huge increases in productivity achieved by its users.
From the equipment side, it was Komatsu that made waves by launching two models at the show with factory fitted control systems, the fruition of a long working alliance wtih the Japanese control systems manufacturer Topcon. These are a much further step than standard telematics systems, which typically monitor usage.
Being factory fitted means that the sensors are better protected, and on its D61EXi-23 the GNSS antenna is relocated from the blade to the top of the cab. The sensors are also built into the blade’s hydraulic cylinders, achieving higher accuracy and load detection.
On the dozer the system controls the angle of the blade, able to sense if the the blade overloads, when it would automatically raise it to minimise track slip (which damages the surface) and maintain forward momentum. Progress is also sent to the site office.
A prototype PC210LCi-10 excavator was also shown, with options including selection of a maximum dig depth for sensitive working areas.
Another show launch was SK Solutions’ new Asteroid system, which it is billing as the first site management ERP software. The company is best known for its tower crane anti-clash systems, but with its ERP offering it uses position monitoring sensors and the wireless MESH network to allow construction managers to receive real time data about on-site progress, and completion of scheduled processes and tasks.
Ultimately the company sees the site information merged with BIM programmes, calling the process the convergence between OT (operational technology) and IT.
Bauma ‘13 records highest ever attendance
Bauma recorded its highest ever attendance, with 530,000 visitors attending the seven day exhibition last month.
Klaus Dittrich, chairman & CEO of organiser Messe München, said that the proportion of international visitors to the show was higher than ever.
“Good business has been done here. With over 200,000 visitors from outside Germany, the number of international attendees was higher than ever before. The response this year has simply been outstanding.”
There were over 3,400 exhibitors at the show, which had an outside exhibition area of 390,000m².
The top five exhibitor countries were Germany (1,366 exhibitors), Italy (481 exhibitors), China (323 exhibitors), USA (132 exhibitors), and Turkey (124 exhibitors).
The ‘Top Ten’ countries of origin among the visitors were: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Russian Federation, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden and Poland.
Indonesia, which had been selected as Bauma’s partner country for the year, was represented with a high-ranking political delegation and around 800 visitors.
“This is very good for our industry in these turbulent times and it will certainly give it a boost,” said Johann Sailer, president of the Committee for the European Construction Equipment Industry (CECE).
Bauma is great for sales
While there is a fair amount of uncertainty in the global economy, based on sales at Bauma one might be inclined to believe that the light is visible at the end of the tunnel.
Reports from exhibitors on sales closed at the show were generally positive. The stand for Caterpillar and its German dealer Zeppelin was “almost overrun with visitors from the first day on,” said Michael Heidemann, chairman of Zeppelin Baumaschinen, Caterpillar’s German dealer.
“We have sold more machines at bauma 2013 than ever before and have set a new record.”
Chinese manufacturer XCMG also had an excellent show, said its vice president, Yanmei Zhang.
“XCMG solicited orders with a total value of over 10 million Euros ($13m) for its products which is around 120 units of machines.”
Of course, no doubt a fair number of these sales which were waiting to be finalised, with Bauma providing a convenient place to do so, with so many decision makers at the show able to sit in a room and strike the deal.
And there are other advantages to the show environment. JLG advertised a buy-10-get-one-free deal on its work platforms (only for its German customers), while CIFA offered a free Maserati GT for those who bought its K80H Carbotech truck-mounted concrete pump (but only for the first three buyers, and presumably no bargaining on the final sales price).
Nevertheless, northern Europe (‘good Europe’) continues to buy equipment, and presumably there is a fair amount of kit globally that needs replacing due to deferred purchasing over the past years.
Liebherr sells 150 cranes in first 3 days of show
Liebherr managed to sell around 150 cranes during the first three days of Bauma, comprising approximately 100 tower cranes, and 55 mobile cranes.
The news came as Liebherr reported positive interest and a number of sales across its product areas, including earth moving, concrete and foundation technology equipments.
Popular products included the rotary drilling rig LB 44, with a second and third unit sold to customers in Azerbaijan in addition to an already existing order. Another highlight included the signing of a package deal for four LR 1300 crawler cranes, each capable of lifting 300t at 4.5 m.
“At the Bauma trade fair, we have made a better start in the area of mobile cranes than practically ever before,” said Christoph Kleiner, managing director of Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH.
“By Wednesday, we had already sold 55 cranes. Customers from North America, Great Britain and Russia formed the main body of interest. There was also interest in our new products at the trade fair, such as the new 1,000-tonne crawler crane LR 11000 or the mobile cranes LTM 1300-6.2 and LTM 1060-3.1.”
Likewise, there was strong buyer interest in the tower cranes from buyers in Western Europe, India, South and North America and Australia.
Saudi arabia is on the radar
While many of the construction markets in the Middle East are seeing growth, it is Saudi Arabia that is by far attracting the most attention from manufacturers of construction equipment, due to the overall size of its market. But success in the Kingdom isn’t a case of luck, but rather having the right kit designed for the conditions.
Doosan is doing particularly well in Saudi Arabia, said Jae Jong Jin, marketing director at Doosan Infracore. “We are enjoying our business in Saudi. This last year we have done roughly 1200 excavators and 400 wheel loaders, but have not developed as well in the UAE and other GCC countries.”
The company is currently updating its range of excavators, to take advantage of the improvements in the DX range, previously released in Europe. Doosan is looking to beocome clear market leader in excavators through its value-for-money concept, and to develop its wheel loader product.
Since the launch of new wheel loaders three years ago, Doosan has made significant progress expanding its business in this segement he said.
On the Wolffkran stand, Ousama Fansa, CEO of Roots Group Arabia, said that since taking on the distribution for Wolffkran in Saudi in 2010, the company has ordered more than 160 new cranes, with 130 cranes currently operating on major projects that include the Jeddah Airport project.
Wolffkran’s new release at the show was the 7032 clear line, a flat top crane with a long jib. It is available in two configurations, either with a max lift of 12t in 4-fall operation, or a 8.5t lift as a 2-fall.
With the larger 75kW winch, lifting heights up to 460m and hoisting speeds up to 185m/min are possible in 2-fall operation. The 7032 and smaller 166B hydraulic luffer are expected to be popular in Saudi and in the UAE and Qatar, where Wolffkran Arabia operates.
And certainly one of the most talked about projects in Saudi currently is the Kingdom Tower. After all, building the largest tower in the world gives you certain bragging rights. And with work underway, details of contract wins for equipment suppliers aren’t far off.