If innovation is a barometer to measure a company, Wacker Neuson would always stand at the top. The company has developed world’s first electrically powered rammer, first internal vibrator, first articulated dumper with permanent all-wheel drive and first reversible vibratory plate. The list goes on. In an exclusive email interaction with Dibyendu RoyChowdhury, Senarat Jayasekera, Regional President – South-East Asia and South Asian Regions, Wacker Neuson (Singapore) Pte Ltd, talks about the evolution of Wacker Neuson as well as the growing importance of zero emission machines.
Wacker Neuson’s journey has started in 1848. Since then, how have Wacker Neuson as well as the compact construction equipment market evolved?
We can proudly claim “German engineering since 1848”. The origins of Wacker Neuson lie in the year 1848 when Johann Christian Wacker founded a blacksmith’s shop in Dresden, Germany. In 1930, the company filed the first patent for an electric rammer for soil compaction – the first rammer ever invented. Today, we have over 300 patents and utility models. With the headquarters in Munich, Germany, we are nowadays selling and producing all over the world – always with the German quality and engineering standards in mind.
In these more than 160 years that the company has been in business, our customers’ requirements and needs have constantly evolved – and so have we. Our major goal is to create added value for our customers and to simplify their workflows. Here are some examples for milestone developments:
The world’s first electric rammer: In 1930, this invention by Hermann Wacker was and remains a pioneering development for concrete and soil compaction. An innovation worthy of the name – simplifying process flows, ensuring high quality and accelerating developments. Wacker Neuson recently launched a battery-driven rammer, which is the first of its kind.
The first internal vibrator: Wacker identified professional concrete compaction as a potential strategic business segment as early as the 1930s. High frequency increases compaction performance and thus the quality of the concrete. Today, internal vibrators from Wacker Neuson are the bestsellers worldwide.
The first articulated dumper with permanent all-wheel drive for unbeatable off-road performance was presented in 1972 by Neuson. The versatile and robust all-wheel dumper is the solution of choice if off-road capabilities and stability are a must.
The first reversible vibratory plate (1974): Eccentric weights in the vibratory plate are controlled to continuously steer the speed and direction (forwards/backwards) or to keep it stationary. We have continued to develop our vibratory plates to this day, incorporating lots of new ideas, such as the particularly safe infrared remote-control for three models.
Vertical Digging System (VDS): The intelligent solution for more efficient excavation on uneven surfaces was presented in 1988. The VDS console can be used to tilt the superstructure continuously by up to 15 degrees, allowing operators to compensate for gradients of up to 27 per cent at the touch of a button. The results are productivity and efficiency gains.
The first articulated trench roller (1991): The articulated substructure combined with remote-control technology ensures a particularly high degree of manoeuvrability and exact compaction along borderline areas.
The first mobile excavator to reach speeds of up to 40 km/h was launched in 2007 as the world’s fastest excavator. A firm favourite with municipal bodies and gardening and landscaping companies, it soon established a strong position in the market.
The zero emission series was presented by Wacker Neuson in 2015. The zero emission solutions — including the battery-driven rammers AS30e and AS50e, the electric wheel loader WL20e, the dual power option for excavators and the electric dumper DT10e — stand for full power and emission-free applications and thus protect the users and the environment.
Ten percent of India’s GDP is on construction activities, and India is expected $650 billion investment in urban infrastructure estimated over the next 20 years. Where would you place Wacker Neuson in this growth zone?
India is a land of stark contrasts. Demand for affordable housing is high. Customers are very satisfied with the well-known quality of Wacker Neuson concrete equipment, e.g. the HMS internal vibrators with flexible shafts and electric motors to consolidate concrete. They are very easy to use; all you need is an electric power source. Wacker Neuson has been active in India since 2008. Although the market is still dominated by demand for heavy equipment, interest in our products, which are tailored to infrastructure repair and maintenance work, is growing.
How important it is for Wacker Neuson to participate at EXCON?
Wacker Neuson exhibited at EXCON for the fourth time in 2015. This underlines the importance of the show for our company. EXCON is a great opportunity to create a world of experiences for the visitors with live demonstrations and testing. In addition, the exhibition is an excellent way to present our broad portfolio of products and after-sales service support to both existing and potential customers. Besides, we are able to make new contacts at the trade fair and strengthen existing contacts with both dealers and customers. We strongly believe in face-to-face dialogue and personal contact.
What are the innovative products you have showcased at EXCON 2015?
At the show, we introduced the Wacker Neuson excavators and dumpers to the South Asian market. The machines have been time-tested and proven for many years in Europe and the North America. With a great deal of power, maximum mobility and extremely user-friendly operation features, the excavators fit well for the Indian market and the needs of the customers. The excavator range of Wacker Neuson covers machines from 0.8 to 15 tonnes. With their innovative compact design, the models can especially function well in a narrow construction site.
Similarly, for the wheel dumpers: These machines are not only durable, sturdy and extremely reliable but can also be used universally due to the versatile configuration options. With the various types of skips and options, customers can choose their preferred configuration to cater to their needs and requirements. The product portfolio of wheel dumpers covers a payload from 1 to 9 tonnes. All dumpers have an articulated pendulum joint, which provides high off-road capability and excellent traction on any surface.
Wacker Neuson also presented a selection of the extensive portfolio in the areas of concrete and worksite technology as well as soil compaction. Among the equipment on display were the IREN and IRFU high-frequency internal vibrators, with the latter possessing an integrated frequency inverter. Visitors were also able to see the new modular HMS internal vibrators at the trade show, which can be individually configured with various flexible shafts, vibrator heads and motors to suit any application. Also exhibited at EXCON was a range of trash pumps. These pumps from the PT series can be used in various applications, e.g. to dewater construction sites within a short time or after floods. These trash water pumps can handle the removal of water containing solids up to 25 mm. The LTN6L light tower allows users to work safely on job sites when illumination is required. The light tower can illuminate an area of 30,400 sqm with its four metal vapour lamps. Wacker Neuson also exhibited demolition technology from the range of gasoline and electric breakers, floor saws and gasoline cut-off saws.
Products for soil compaction were represented by, among others, the proven BS60-2i two-cycle rammer, which comes with separate oil lubrication: two separate tanks are filled with fuel and two-cycle oil. No pre-mixing is necessary since the oil mixing system automatically prepares the ideal mixture. Also from the field of compaction, both the DPU3070 vibratory plate with a centrifugal force of 30 kN and the improved RD7 walk-behind roller were presented. They can be used for a broad spectrum of work in soil compaction.
Wacker Neuson is the first one to develop the electrically powered rammer. What are the next innovations we can expect from Wacker Neuson?
Besides the battery-powered rammers AS50e and AS30e, which protect both the environment and the operator during compaction work, Wacker Neuson recently launched further machines for emission-free applications in Europe. The WL20e is the first fully electrically driven wheel loader model in the Wacker Neuson product range. Like all our other wheel loaders, the WL20e convinces with its excellent performance. Two electric motors provide operating performance attributes that are comparable to conventional machines. The WL20e operates completely emission-free and with significantly lower noise emissions. This means greater flexibility for the operator, environmental protection and significant savings in operating costs.
Wacker Neuson dual power is the innovative solution for an emission-free auxiliary drive. In addition to the integrated diesel engine, the electro-hydraulic unit HPU8 can be connected to the 803 compact excavator for example if the machine is needed for internal demolition work. In this way, the excavator can be operated electrically and emission free. The handling is easy: the generator is connected to the undercarriage via plug and play.
Whether in urban areas or indoors, with the purely electrically powered track dumper DT10e, contractors can work entirely free of emissions. In addition, the machine impresses with its compactness, thanks to which it fits through any standard door. The performance of the electric dumper is similar to the conventional model of the same class.
There is a growing market for zero emission machines, which is why our R&D teams are working on further expanding the range. In addition, Wacker Neuson wants to strengthen its premium segment position and develop the mid-market segment for light equipment (M series).
In 2011, the urban population was 377 million, or 31 per cent of the total population. By 2025, 42.5 per cent of the population is estimated to be living in cities. How is it alternating the dynamics of compact construction equipment industry?
Greater demands for residential development, partly driven by rising urbanization but also the expansion and modernization of road and rail networks (infrastructural needs) are opportunities to drive product sales and that is shown in the sales figures for compact construction equipment in India. The trend clearly develops towards multifunctional compact equipment. These trends present huge opportunities for Wacker Neuson to build on its cross-industry, leading expertise and expand its business in India and South-East Asia.
PM Modi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative has turned one year this September. How successfully has this initiative been helping India become a global manufacturing hub?
Market players are responding to intensified competition with consolidations, mergers and alliances in the country. Asian suppliers are pressing forward with global expansion. Many manufactures have decided to establish production capacities in India to cater to special requirement needed by Indian customers and to avoid import duties.