Komatsu Europe turns 50 with a flurry of innovation

Komatsu turns 50

Komatsu Europe International celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, and it is turning out to be a busy year indeed for the company on the new product development front.

Diggers, dumpers, dozers and demolition machines – Komatsu has brought to market new machines in every segment.

The Japanese company first set up Komatsu Europe International n.v. (KEISA) in Belgium as its European headquarters in 1967. Today Komatsu Europe has factories in Germany, Italy and the UK.

Digging at Komatsu

PC210LCi-11_02

Notable new products in the 50th anniversary year include new generation Dash-11 hydraulic excavators including the giant 70-tonne PC700LC-11 for quarrying markets and the 23-tonne PC210LCi-11 (pictured above) with machine control and Auto Tilt Bucket. “It’s the only hydraulic excavator currently on the market capable of semi-auto operation,” according to Mal McCoy, product manager at Komatsu Europe.

Down the size scale, Komatsu also launched its new Italian-made MR-5 mini excavator series earlier in the year, comprising the PC30MR-5, PC35MR-5, PC45MR-5 and PC55MR-5. All four new machines have an electronically controlled engine that use up to five percent less fuel than their MR-3 predecessors, with no loss of performance or productivity.

Dumping

HD605

 

The Komatsu rigid dump truck series has seen new Dash-8 models to replace the Dash-7 series. The HD465-8 and HD605-8 (55 and 63 tonnes respectively) replace the HD465-7 and HD605-7 models, while the HD325-8 (36.5 tonnes) and HD405-8 (40 tonnes) replace the old HD325-7 and HD405-7. More horsepower, less fuel are the key benefits, coupled with the Komatsu Traction Control System (KTCS).

Dozing

D375A-8

The introduction of the D51EX/PX-24 dozer to the European market in February 2017 completed the range of Komatsu EU Stage IV compliant hydrostatic dozers.

It is also available as the D51EXi/PXi-24, equipped with a full factory- installed 3D GNSS Machine Control system.

With its 14-tonne operating weight and 3.35 m3 blade capacity, this is one of Komatsu’s more modest sized crawler dozers. A fiercer beast is the new 73-tonne D375A-8 crawler dozer (pictured above), with a blade capacity of 22 m3.  This, the latest addition to the Dash-8 dozer family, is second only to the yet-to-be-updated D475A-5 model in the Komatsu range.

The D375A-8 has a new Komatsu SAA6D140E-7 engine, exempt from current EU emission regulations, but EU Stage V ready. It provides 474 kW / 636 HP @ 1.800 rpm in forward gear and 578 kW / 775 HP @ 1.800 rpm in reverse.

Working mode can be set to either Power mode or Economy mode. Combined with the automatic or manual gearshift mode, this allows to select optimal machine operating conditions for the work at hand, Komatsu says.

Demolishing

PC390HRD_11

The latest in Komatsu’s range of heavy duty demolition machines is the new 50-tonne class PC390HRD-11. It can be configured in six different working arrangements, can carry a 2.5-tonne demolition tool up to a height of 26 metres, and can also work with a 4-tonne demolition tool up to 15 metres.  It is manufactured at the Komatsu UK factory near Newcastle, in the northeast of England, where it was designed and developed.

A lot of design effort has gone into making it as easy as possible to transport to site. The standard undercarriage fitted to the new excavator is mechanically adjustable to give it a larger footprint than the previous PC350LC-8 HRD model, for extra stability. The new hydraulic undercarriage option makes it easy and quick to set up, and gets the transport width to less than 3 metres, Komatsu says.

It seems to have already gone down well with the customer base. The UK’s National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) has given it an award for innovation and it was also shortlisted for a similar award in France by the Syndicat National des Entreprises de Démolition (SNED).

Simon Saunders, Komatsu Europe product manager for demolition machines, said: “A lot of hard work went into the PC390HRD-11, and it is great to see it being recognised.”

Design manager Stuart Blackham added: “There is a desire at Komatsu to continually drive forward improvements and innovation, no matter how well our machines already perform. This new high reach machine is an example of how customer feedback, combined with our own invention and innovation, can help create a game-changing machine.”

Steve Rhine

About Steve Rhine

Community Manager at MachineryZone USA - All latest construction news on MachineryZone Mag!