Intermat roundup: news, product intros from the show

Despite a transportation strike in France, the Intermat equipment tradeshow, held in Paris, attracted 183,800 visitors and 1,500 exhibitors. The event takes place every three years.

Visitors from 120 countries attended the show, with the percentage of international visitors remaining steady at about 45 percent.

Here is a roundup of events and product introductions that took place at Intermat.

Wirtgen recycler given Intermat commendation
The trade press organization behind Intermat presented the Wirtgen WR 2500 S recycler with a commendation during its Innovation Awards held the first day of the show.

The machine, an upgrade from Wirtgen’s former WR 2500 recycler, is equipped with a 680-horsepower engine that offers 10 percent more horsepower than its precursor. The model’s steering system now includes an additional indicator for the lock angle of the wheels.

A cleaning mechanism for the spraying bar prevents contamination. A more powerful generator allows the foamed bitumen system to be heated faster. The driver’s seat can be swiveled 90 degrees.

Intermat sees world introductions of Komatsu products
Komatsu took the opportunity of Intermat to introduce two new wheel loaders and a compact excavator. The WA250-5 and the WA250PT-5 wheel loaders offer a hydrostatic transmission and infinitely variable speed regulation as standard equipment, which in turn increases their fuel economy by 10 percent.

Power losses are minimized through the use of variable-displacement pumps that let the loaders work at their optimum efficiency. The units’ SpaceCab is 10 percent larger and has a 71-decibel noise level.

The PC75R-2 HD is the heavy-duty version of Komatsu’s smallest compact excavator. The unit has a wider, sturdier and heavier undercarriage than the standard version, making it applicable to rocky ground situations, tunnel construction and mountain areas. The machine’s lateral stability is 28 percent higher and its lengthwise stability is 10 percent higher than the standard unit.

Volvo debuts 12 new models at Intermat
At Intermat, Tony Helsham, president and chief executive of Volvo Construction Equipment, outlined both the company’s new products and its continuing strategy in the world market.

Volvo continued its aggressive new model introduction at the show, showing for the first time four models of E-series medium-range wheel loaders, two wheeled excavators, three crawler excavators, the A25D articulated dump truck and two compact excavators.

Helsham stayed bullish on the company’s prospects for its new plant in China, where the first 20-ton excavator rolled off the production line this March. “It’s a mirror of our plant in Changwon, Korea,” said Helsham, “and we’ve appointed 13 Chinese dealers to date.”

Company-wide, excavators have proven to be a growth area for Volvo, particularly with the acquisition of Korea’s Samsung excavator line. “Five years ago,” said Helsham, “excavators were between 1 to 2 percent of our product line. Now they represent 26 percent of our products.”

JCB launches 14 new products, discusses strategy
JCB debuted 14 new products, most of which will see their North American debut either later this year or early next year.

JCB head Sir Anthony Bamford told the trade press that JCB — one of the few profitable companies in the construction equipment market — will remain focused on its present markets and continue to pursue its long-term strategy of innovation and customer support.

“We invested 4 percent of our sales in new product development last year,” said Bamford, “and we have the largest range of compact equipment in the industry.”

Regarding rental, Bamford continued to reiterate: “We are not and will not become directly involved with rental. Instead, we are confident in our investment program, product development and in the professionalism of our dealer network.”

Terex announces backhoe manufacturing relocation to Coventry
Terex Compact Equipment has added backhoe manufacturing to its new plant in Coventry, England, a move that is expected to be complete by the end of June. The new facility also houses the company’s dumper, roller and agricultural handler manufacturing. According to the company, the plant gives Terex the ability to add new lines and increase volume without major reinvestment.

Caterpillar examines European presence, looks at ACERT impact
Ed Rapp, vice president of Caterpillar’s EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East) marketing division, told the press the EAME region is now responsible for one-fourth of Caterpillar’s sales, one-third of its total workforce, more than 40,000 employees in 31 major facilities and 70 dealers.

In other comments, Rapp said Caterpillar’s new ACERT engine system would “eventually impact every machine we make and also offers us a long-term solution for off-road markets. We are well positioned to benefit from the expansion ahead.”

Caterpillar used Intermat as the initial display of its C18 ACERT engine.

ZF shows off dump truck driveline system
With its dump truck driveline system, ZF is promoting “a coordinated drive train where the driver is relieved of thinking about how to drive,” said Jochen Weidemann, marketing and public relations director. The system offers traction balance between all involved drive wheels, high levels of traction on difficult terrain, optimum shift procedures through the use of zero impact shifting and an efficient cooling system for the drive components.