Compaction Becoming More Advanced

Modified drums and intelligent compaction are the new value engineered add-ons that promise higher productivity at a lower operating cost. However, the higher initial cost of these machines can be offset by enhanced post-sales support and services by the manufacturers to ensure their higher availability. NBM&CW reports.

Compactors are required to work on different types of terrains and within a very tight time schedule. Hence, the vital features required in compactors are higher levels of productivity with fewer numbers of passes, and right frequency settings. As the market becomes more competitive now, soil and tandem compactor manufacturers are coming up with new solutions like pneumatic tyred rollers and are developing more advanced products that give value for money to the buyers.

Wirtgen India: Integrating Intelligent Systems

Ramesh Palagiri - MD & CEO – Wirtgen India
The WIRTGEN GROUP machines are integrated with intelligent compacting systems to ensure more uniform and consistent compaction with greater material density. Avers Ramesh Palagiri - MD & CEO – Wirtgen India, “To achieve the best compaction, the material temperature and the compaction measurement are most important. HAMM has developed an electronic tool called Hamm Compaction Quality (HCQ). It comprises several HAMM products designed to measure, monitor, document and control compaction and the compaction processes. These include the HAMM Compaction Meter (available for earthworks and asphalt) for determining the stiffness value, and the HAMM Temperature Meter (available for asphalt) for measuring the asphalt temperature. It also includes the HCQ Navigator for measuring the number of passes.”

Palagiri informs that the HAMM compactors offer two amplitudes (high and low) and two frequencies (high and low), which are enough for the best compaction in almost all operating conditions across India. HAMM’s technical advancements in compaction equipment like the HCQ Navigator, HAMMTRONIC, and VO (Vibrations-Oscillation) machines, enable continuous compaction control, energy compensation for machine to work at set parameters, and avoid less or over-compaction. These features help in completing compaction at a faster rate and give high-quality results.

Good maneuverability in HAMM compactors is achieved through the company’s patented 3-point articulation joint. For minimizing passes and adjustment of amplitude and frequency, optimization of all the machine parameters is done through electronic machine management system HAMMTRONIC that monitors and controls the key functions. The opportunities offered by HAMMTRONIC include automatic adjustment of the diesel engine speed to meet the power requirements of the individual drives (driving & vibration). It controls start-up and braking and distributes the drive torque across the drum axle and/or rear wheels in accordance with real-time operating data (such as incline, driving speed & direction). HAMMTRONIC also controls the hydrostatic vibration drive and the various steering programmes (for DV+ series only), guaranteeing even and smooth movement of both the drums.

Wirtgen India has been using digital technology during the current Covid-19 scenario to hold internal and external meetings and for customer training programs. Says Palagiri, “Even during this crisis, we will continue to invest in R&D in order to bring innovations across all our product lines.”

JCB India: Monitoring Performance Closely & Constantly

Deepak Shetty, MD & Deputy CEO, JCB India
“JCB compactors deliver best-in-class compaction performance; in fact, India is the global manufacturing hub for JCB compactors,” says Deepak Shetty, MD & Deputy CEO, JCB India. “For us, productivity is a combination of the product, its design and the reliable product support that follows. JCB has always been committed to ensure that the customers get the best performance and productivity while using JCB machines.”

He informs that the India-built JCB machines fully comply with the latest emissions and operating standards for foreign markets. Currently, JCB manufactures a wide range of compactors. In India, the company is offering three models: the VMT860 which is a Tandem Roller, the VM116, a Soil Compactor, and the VMT330 which is a smaller 3T category Tandem Roller.

JCB compactors produced in the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Pune, are being exported for the past few years. These Made in India machines are not only building infrastructure in India but are equally popular in the South Asia region and in countries such as Singapore and Thailand. JCB has also invested in setting up a Design Centre in India which works on Indian projects as well as for global markets.

JCB Compactor 860

The company has a strong focus on Digitisation and Innovation; JCB machines are enabled with JCB’s advanced Telematics Technology – Livelink, for Next Generation Asset Monitoring and Fleet Management. Says Shetty, “This technology benefits customers in better fleet and fuel management by enabling remote monitoring and management of their machines. JCB LiveLink incorporates GPS, Telecommunications, Machine Electronics and IoT, enabling the equipment to remain in contact with the owner, dealer and JCB at all times.” The ‘Livelink’ technology, which JCB had introduced about five years ago, enables better site management and equipment utilisation, thereby improving the operational efficiency and cost-saving in the operations. Geo-fencing and Time-fencing have further increased the security of JCB machines.

“Further, JCB’s IntelliCompaction system is an innovation which will disrupt the way compaction is carried out. It measures relative compaction density which is continuously displayed to the operator using a colour LCD screen. This helps the operator to avoid both excessive and lower than required compaction level with predetermined set values as reference. This helps save time and money by avoiding repeated compaction. Increased mechanisation and the need for ongoing quality assurance would be key drivers for the Indian market to adapt to the Next Level GPS positioning enabled real-time compaction density measurement systems,” informs Shetty.

JCB compactors have optimised front and rear weight distribution, amplitude and frequency combinations. A high centrifugal force with a new balanced suspension system ensures the highest energy transfer, be it soil or asphalt application. The design of JCB’s vibratory system with a single-piece eccentric shaft and overturning weights is well proven; it delivers excellent compaction performance for all applications. This also results in improved maneuverability as the vibratory drum remains stable (single jump) on compacted ground during vibration mode on level ground as well as on gradients. Higher energy transfer ensures minimum passes required to achieve the required compaction.

“While this design offers high level of performance, it also keeps it simple to operate through two amplitude settings to select from, based on the application. This vibration system keeps the design architecture simple for long life and ease of service. The focus has been to keep the equipment robust and high on productivity,” adds Shetty.

To ensure convenience in ordering parts, JCB has introduced the Mobile Parts application - a first in the industry. Through this, customers can order parts online. This also helps in monitoring the exact location of the consignment. “All JCB India machines are backed by after-sales service support through 700 outlets and over 60 dealers across India. The outlets are equipped with parts and trained manpower, thus ensuring that our customers are never far from professional product support. We have further developed an internal tool ‘Smart Serve’ which digitally supports service engineers and service jobs to improve machine efficiency and productivity, thereby improving customer profitability,” informs Shetty.

“After the lockdown, the months of April and May saw very little infrastructure development activity. However, we are seeing some green shoots in the months of July, August and September as the Road Building activity is slowly resuming. This is good news for the industry which was grappling with very little equipment utilization for a long time and we hope that the momentum continues.”

“We remain positive and hopeful for the future. As the thrust on infrastructure creation continues to be a priority for the government, we are optimistic of a strong recovery. Rural India, where we have a significant presence, is also set to emerge as the new growth driver for us in the coming days. An embodiment of the ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Aatmanirbhar’ programmes, our machines have been contributing to the building of world-class infrastructure in the country for over 40 years. Our five state-of-the art factories in Delhi-NCR, Pune and Jaipur operate to ‘One Global Quality,” adds Shetty.

CASE India: Enjoying Brand Recall

Sandeep Mathur, India CE Brand Leader, Case India
CASE India offers asphalt and soil compactors for use in various kinds of earth layers. It has recently launched its new CASE 752EX asphalt compactor, which, according to Sandeep Mathur, India CE Brand Leader, Case India, is more compact and features excellent asphalt compaction and better visibility of the sprinklers. Operator comfort has been improved with optional sliding and rotating seats.

"CASE Construction's latest range of soil compactors is also of robust design and equipped with the powerful FPT engine. Since our compactors have high maneuverability with a 15° drum oscillating angle, 37° steering angle, and a short steering radius, they can work at constricted sites with ease as the operator can handle the equipment smoothly and safely at the site. The compactors' low steering effort reduces operator fatigue and matches the frequency and amplitude vibration of the soil for a smooth operation. They are also technically equipped to provide information on amplitude, frequency, and are also easy to transport. CASE 1110EX-D, for instance, has been given an air-conditioned cabin for operator comfort," says Mathur.

CASE Construction's latest range of soil compactors

He informs that Case India’s 1107 EX and 1110 EXPD soil compactors enjoy a strong brand recall. The 1107EX has best-in-class compaction force that ensures fewer passes for compaction, thereby saving the customer’s time and money. The amplitude and frequency settings are of the desired quality. The machine’s hydrostatic variable speed control ensures that it travels at the right speed for every type of soil, resulting in uniform compaction throughout the road stretch. The compactor also comes in the drum drive version for jobs that require compaction of gradients, and a pad foot version, which is recommended for compaction in clay or silt or for garbage compaction. The optional drum drive system features an additional high torque drive motor mounted on the front drum frame, resulting in excellent gradeability (36%) and optimized traction.

The 1110 EX-D has a closed HVAC cabin, a robust design, and an FPT engine of 110 hp. This compactor is suitable for heavier applications and good control results in good compaction of the sub-grade as well. Superior compaction is enabled through the thickest drums while the rotating operator seat and tilt-able steering give excellent front and rear drum/nozzle visibility, making the drive and compaction process easier, safer, and more efficient.

Dynapac: Improving Machine Performance

Abhijit Som, MD, Dynapac Road Construction Equipment (member Fayat Road Equipment Division)
Abhijit Som, MD, Dynapac Road Construction Equipment (member Fayat Road Equipment Division) informs that the company added 13-ton Soil Compactors during 2019. “The 13-ton soil compactor model CA385D features higher Static linear load 39 kg/cm & Centrifugal force of 300KN that offers greater depth of compaction. When compared with the 11-ton soil roller, it offers 35-40% more compaction performance. The machine had very encouraging acceptance in the Bharatmala project,” he says.

Abhijit informs that Dynapac India has incorporated a brand-new compaction control system on its soil rollers to measure the compaction degree and it can accurately show compaction at various grades. The company has also introduced a new Eccentric system that requires less starting torque, thereby reducing the machine load and improving fuel economy. This was implemented in all Dynapac rollers worldwide and was launched in India in 2019. “Our new Rhinos series of Soil Rollers have the Eccentric vibration system which is a patented technology. It will ensure lower maintenance cost of rollers and reduce the overall cost of operation for the end-users.”

Dynapac Road Construction Equipment

The company’s Competence Center at Karlskrona in Sweden has also introduced a brand new SEISMIC roller concept that optimizes the roller vibration frequency based on the soil condition, to achieve faster and better compaction. “This was the result of many years of study by our Swedish design team and was achieved through a control system implemented on the Soil Rollers with an on-board CANBUS system built in Sweden,” informs Abhijit.

Dynapac’s DYNALINK - a machine uptime tool - helps run periodic maintenance as well as delivers information on the machine’s utilization to the owner and operator. “We are implementing a number of maintenance contracts while optimizing machine performance with onsite support,” says Abhijit.

LiuGong India: Focusing on Localization

A Krishnakumar, President, LiuGong India
LiuGong India, that offers 11 ton soil compactors, is making the products more cost competitive by bringing complete localization in their manufacturing. The machine is fitted with engines from Kirloskar, hydraulics from Bosch Rexroth, and their hydrostatic transmission makes them extremely reliable in their performance. Avers A Krishnakumar, President, LiuGong India. “The right level of amplitude and vibration combined with the right axle loads, helps our compactors deliver better compaction. In fact, due to their superior performance, we have made significant inroads in the compactor market, and are already enjoying a strong brand recall. Our marketing strategy is to promote our compactors as a packaged product, backed by their timely maintenance and parts support.”

LiuGong India 11 ton soil compactors,

LiuGong offers complete solutions for road construction and compactor is part of their range.

Ammann India: Showcasing Design Competence

Girish Dixit, General Manager R&D Division, Ammann India
Ammann India is continuing to position its ARS 121, 11-ton soil compactors and its ARX 91, 9-ton asphalt compactors based on their ‘all-inclusive design competence’. Says Girish Dixit, General Manager R&D Division, Ammann India, “This encompasses competitive features for superior performance, lower cost of operation, easy access for maintenance, reliability, and safety in operation when working on hilly terrains and gradients. Our soil compactors have a robust four-bearing drum design that gives a uniform compaction force to achieve desired compaction, while other manufacturers are offering compactors with two-bearing drum design.”

He informs that uniform compaction results in a lesser number of passes which subsequently reduces the operating cost with lesser fuel consumption. The compactors are of compact design, with articulated maneuverability that requires lesser turning radius; better visibility for the operator makes the job safer; and ease of maintenance is enabled by higher drain out and replacement intervals of the drum oil, engine oil and filters. Both the asphalt and soil compactors are powered by Cummins and Ashok Leyland engines, respectively.

Ammann India soil compactors and asphalt compactors

Ammann India is also promoting its 24-ton pneumatic tire rollers (PTRs) and Light compaction products which are imported from its plants in Czech Republic and Germany. Says Dixit, “The Pneumatic Tyre Roller is World´s famous multiple wheel compactor. Based on proven design, brings the highest value for the customers. Proven hydrodynamic propulsion systems, together with a simple and reliable Cummins electronic engine ensures high productivity and reliability. Easy machine control provides great comfort of operation.”

The pneumatic tyre roller AP 240 is the static roller that uses the deadweight and kneading effect of tyres to achieve the desired compaction results. AP 240 offers a wide ballasting range from 9.5 to 24 tons. Easy ballasting and un-ballasting provide flexibility to set up an exact wheel load as per the jobsite conditions.

Larsen & Toubro: Make in India Initiative

Jaikumar Kamath, Head, Road Machinery Business, Larsen & Toubro
According to Jaikumar Kamath, Head, Road Machinery Business, Larsen & Toubro, despite the market for compactors remaining contracted during 2019-20, L&T gained market share for its Compactors. The market size for Compactors in 2019-20 was 4500 machines and L&T garnered sizeable business, “We owe our improved sales to a strong brand recall and repeat orders from our customers who include rental companies, main and sub-contractors, and have remained loyal buyers even during these challenging times. We owe this to our well-crafted strategy of giving strong pre- and post-sales support so that our customers get the total lifecycle cost for their machines. This is an achievement considering that we entered the compactor market only five years ago.”

L&T manufactures 3-Ton and 10-Ton Tandem Compactors and 11-Ton soil compactors, besides the 24-ton Pneumatic Tyred Roller. Says Kamath, “The pneumatic tyred roller is a niche application product in road construction. Demand for this product, PTR, is still at a nascent stage in India, but we plan to popularize it, given its features and applicability.”

L&T 3-Ton and 10-Ton Tandem Compactors

He informs that L&T compactors have been indigenously designed and have higher uptime at jobsites. The compactors have a lower fuel consumption of about 5-10% as compared to competing brands.For superior performance, the engine power and the hydraulic system have been perfectly calibrated so that fuel consumption is optimized. The hydraulic system of the L&T compactors has also been validated to perform at high ambient temperatures, which are prevalent in many parts of India during the summer months. A feature of the machine is the longer hydraulic oil change intervals, and the higher capacity hydraulic oil coolers which are fitted in the L&T Compactors. The superior productivity of the L&T soil compactor L&T 1190 is due to 32 mm thickness of the drum shell which increases the drum weight. A heavier Drum vibrating improves compaction. The components on the L&T Compactors are all sourced from vendors of global repute. All these attributes provide a much lower total lifecycle costs of the compactors. This is the reason why in a short span of 4 years since the launch of L&T compactor, numbers have crossed 2000+. Many customers have a large fleet of L&T compactors. These machines are manufactured by L&T Construction Machinery Limited (LTCML - 100% fully owned subsidiary of L&T) at its state-of-the-art manufacturing set-up at Bengaluru.

L&T has 30 dealers spread nationwide and has over 100 dealer outlets that render timely service and support to the machines. Says Kamath, “To make maintenance and operation more affordable for our customers, we provide them customized service kits that include all the parts needed for a particular service to be carried out.”

Action Construction Equipments: Engaging with Customers

Adarsh Gautam, Head Sales & Product Support-Road Construction Equipments Division, ACE
ACE Tandem and Asphalt Compactors come in a 9-ton operating range and are powered by the fuel efficient KOEL 76 hp engine. The tandem roller has a unique amplitude setting which makes it a high performing product not only for asphalt application but also for soil compaction. Avers Adarsh Gautam, Head Sales & Product Support-Road Construction Equipments Division, ACE, “Our tandem rollers are the only rollers that provide adequate compaction in both asphalt and soil applications. Their frequency ranges from 30 Hz to 50 Hz, making them suitable for a wider range of applications. We are in the process of redesigning the tandem rollers with some new features which will bring more benefits to our customers. Currently, our ADD95 is giving complete solutions for all kinds of asphalt compaction. It has a rotating and sliding seat that helps the operator to easily view side and corner compaction work. In our Vibratory Roller range, we have an Intelligent Compaction system as an optional feature, along with adequate drum width for maximum surface coverage.”

ACE Tandem and Asphalt Compactors

The ACE team is engaging proactively with its customers and is providing them complete support and services. Gautam informs that the company has extended the warranty period of all their machines by three months due to their non-utilization during the lockdown period. ACE has also been educating its customers on safety and better upkeep of the machines, and conducting online service, safety, and maintenance training programs for its customers’ site staff. “Around 2500 people were trained on various aspects of our machines such as their operation, safety, maintenance, engine, hydraulics, transmission, tyres etc. We have provided this free of cost facility to our top clients like L&T, Tata Projects, GR Infra Projects, Shapoorji & Pallonji, Kalpataru, Monte Carlo, Ashoka Buildcon, and BG Shirke, among others.”
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