The government plans to build a mammoth 35,000 km of roads under phase one of the Bharatmala project, besides plans for urban rail and airport expansions. Road construction of such a magnitude, with a target of 30km of construction per day, and incentives clause for contractors for early completion of the project, will require premium machines that work better and faster as there is limited manpower and deadlines are shorter. Besides enhancing productivity, they must keep operational costs to a minimum. In such a scenario, manufacturers of soil and asphalt compactors are technically upgrading their machines and laying greater emphasis on their quality.
The company’s HAMM compactors are equipped with machine controls based on programs and logic for the interlock functions. The more innovatively designed HAMM 311 and HD99 have various parameter displays along with roller graphics. The control functions are positioned ergonomically with the display right in front of the operator. A vibration isolated platform enhances operator comfort and reduces fatigue during long hours of work, resulting in more productivity.
The HAMM 311 (Soil Compactor) & HD 99 (Tandem Roller) are equipped with hydrostatic drive to ensure maximum traction. The patented design of three point articulation joint connects the front and rear ends of the compactor and ensures even weight distribution for optimum traction, shock absorption, directional stability, and better resistance to tipping when turning in rough terrains.
CASE India, a market leader in vibratory compactor segment, has won “Best Compaction company award,” record consecutive 6th time in 2019. The company has full range of Soil and Tandem compactor suitable for Indian application.
CASE India compactors are equipped with hydrostatic drives for better traction. Informs Vidhyarthi, “We are also developing a compaction meter for our soil compactor with features like an onscreen indicator to give alerts in case of over compaction, double jump, and on other sensor-based technologies in the system.”
Adds Vidhyarthi, “CASE India’s product team has worked extensively to design machines that will work efficiently in all kinds of terrains. For the hilly areas we have the Drum-Drive variant which features drums of 32 mm shell thickness and provides excellent durability and productivity. A significant feature in our compactors is the operator seat that can be rotated 90 degrees for excellent all-round visibility. The oscillation angle of 15 degree for soil compactor is sufficient for application in the terrains in India.”
As regards tandem, CASE 752EX is fitted with best in class fuel efficient FPT engine. The major USP of this machine is its compact design which makes it easy for transportation even in small trucks. “As per customer requirement keeping its compact design in mind compare to previous CASE model, we have improved all round visibility (specially visibility of water sprinkler), overall machine design significantly. We also have option of Sliding & Rotating seat, Tiltable steering and dual FNR lever to improve all-round visibility & operator comfort.”
In mini compactor segment, we offer CASE 450DX market leader, with around 2000 units working around India. Compact design, reliable engine, high ground clearance are some of the major USPs of this model.
Escorts’ EC5511 and EC 3212 vibratory soil compactors have been redesigned and come with enhanced safety features, a simple and rugged drum assembly, cartridge type eccentric weights, a separate case housing for oil, and heavy-duty DUCONE metal seal. They deliver high productivity with lower cost of operation. Powered by KOEL water cooled engine, they are the most fuel efficient in their class, and give the highest gradeability and travelling speed. Features include LED work lights for night operations, mobile charging point, water bottle holder, and non-slip tapes for better foot grip. Optional features include an intelligent compaction system (ICS), delay start operations, and cold starting kits for operations in cold climate areas.
JCB India is currently offering three world-class road compaction equipment - the VMT330 (a 3T Mini Tandem Roller), the VMT 860eco (a 9T Tandem Roller) and the latest (Is It latest anymore? Its almost 3 years old now) JCB116 (a 11T Soil Compactor). All the JCB compactors offer lifetime lubricated center joints and grease-free bearings. This saves the costs of lubrication and reduces the possibility of failures due to any negligence in greasing the joints.
The JCB116 Soil Compactor, an established world class machine from JCB India comes with JCB Diesel Max engine, providing significant fuel savings. The state-of-the-art engine delivers a massive 430Nm of torque at low engine speeds for optimum responsiveness. It provides unmatched fuel consumption in its class of machines.
In JCB’s range of world class Compactors, vibrations and heat levels are kept lowest to provide a comfortable work environment. Moreover, operator-friendly and ergonomically located controls help in easy machine operation. JCB offers the best-in-class operator environment with an ergonomically designed steering wheel (& Console). The cab platform is mounted on four viscous mounts to isolate it from any vibrations and to make the operator feel comfortable even during high amplitude passes.
Volvo CE India’s latest DD100B tandem compactor is engineered to deliver high quality and productivity. The upgraded SD110BA single-drum compactor combines powerful performance, quality compaction, and versatility for earthwork. It achieves high quality compaction and a flawless mat finish. Utilizing infinite frequency choices and dual amplitudes, the versatile machine gives operators the flexibility to modify the drum’s dynamic force according to material depth and type. With a flip of a switch, the operator can easily adjust the amplitude from the operator console to adapt to varying layer thickness, ensuring precise compaction. Similarly, the DD90B double drum asphalt compactor can handle varying conditions and widths to offer flexible pavement compaction in a variety of applications, including parking lots and airport runways.”
Technical advancements in Volvo CE compactors include provisions for amplitude settings for driving the right compaction force, eliminating drum bouncing back, and curtailing risk of over compaction. The advanced drum control system allows the operator – via an easy-to-use console – to adjust the frequency and amplitude, compensating for changing soil types and conditions. Two frequency settings come as standard but five can be included as an option. High or low amplitude can be selected to adjust the drum’s dynamic force based on the job and material depth. Meanwhile, the optimized centrifugal force and auto-vibration feature improve performance, ease of operation and productivity. Adds Dimitrov, “The traction system provides excellent climbing and traction in steep inclines and slippery surfaces, preventing wheel or drum spin.”
The compactors come with hydrostatic and infinitely variable drive fitted with a heavy-duty rear axle. The axle has a limited slip differential for smooth and quiet torque transfer, suitable for tough working conditions. This composition offers maximum traction and ensures the highest grade-ability. “The overall climbing ability of our standard version compactors is approx. 24 degrees or 45%, which is highest in the industry,” avers Gautam.
The company offers two variants of drum of 25 mm and 32 mm thickness which are made of high strength steel for durability. The overall drum diameter provides lowest rolling resistance, thus helping in smooth and faster rolling. The control panel is user-friendly and provides visibility to the operator in both the front and rear directions, and protection against dust and moisture. The articulation joint of the compactors is based on four joints with a self-levelling center pivot assembly. The oscillation angle of 10 degrees helps the drum stay in contact with the surface all the time and in undulated terrains.
The Rhino comes with better ergonomics and operator comfort like a FNR handle that reduces steering effort by 35 percent. .A spacious platform with new stylish and sleek hood design gives rear visibility within 1m x1m. The platform is mounted on a shock mount system – an innovative arrangement that reduces jerks. The machine also features a foldable canopy for ease of transportation. A larger hood angle of 65 degrees allows better access to maintenance points for easy trouble shooting and diagnosis.
The Dynapac Bouncing Control enables higher productivity and better surface quality with lower operating and owing costs. “This is integrated with the compaction meter. It warns the operator when the machine does double-jump (bouncing) and ensures better surface finish. The advanced hydraulic components fitted in the machines and tyres give better traction to the machines when working at higher gradients,” adds Rai.
The ‘Compaction Assist System’ is a new intelligent solution to optimize performance by measuring and evaluating material stiffness and enabling fewer passes to achieve the targeted material density. Explains Ramesh Palagiri at Wirtgen India, “Given the huge quantity of soil work in the projects, there is a need for continuous monitoring of compaction during operation for which the testing team is required to carry out compaction and density tests. HAMM offers various innovative systems like HCM (Hamm Intelligent Compaction Meter and Analyzer), HCQ (Continuous Compaction Control) and HAMMTRONIC. This ensures the required compaction and prevents over compaction. These technologies are in use globally and are finding acceptance in India as well. Monitoring helps in optimizing operating costs and saving compaction time. HAMM’s oscillation technology is also of vital importance; it is available in our asphalt compactors in combination with vibration in the front drum and oscillation in the rear drum.”
Elaborating on the Compaction Assist System, Vidhyarthi at Case India says, “The compaction assist system, or the compaction meter, gives an estimate of the desired compaction, depending upon the type of soil. Our R&D team is in the process of engineering such a machine which will provide information on amplitude, frequency and ICV (intelligence compaction value) – related to the density of the soil compacted. This in-built compaction meter will help optimize the number of passes, prevent over compaction, and prevent jump operation. The compaction meter will also save fuel and time and prevent surface damage.
“On screen compaction limit indication, alert indication, adoption of AI and other pre-sensored technologies and accelerator sensors to measure the reaction from the ground and provide feedback, can be some added advancements in the system,” he adds
JCB was the first in the industry in India to provide in-built Compaction Management System in its compactors. The IntelliCompaction identifies the hard and soft spots, assisting in uniform compaction and alerts the operator at the time of over-compaction. With a real-time on-board display, the operator can easily access the live data of the condition of the surface and identify the exact number of passes for the correct density. This not only leads to uniform compaction density, but also saves fuel and time.”
Says Jasmeet Singh, “Earlier, compaction was analyzed separately, however, with our new IntelliCompaction - a unique interactive digital platform, the productivity of the compactors can be closely measured. Based on the analytical data gathered, the number of passes can be rationalized accordingly, and the machine’s usage optimized.”
While Live Link used to deliver broader operating parameters of the machines, like fuel consumption, idling of the machines, (The fuel consumption not available on JCB116) etc, IntelliCompaction goes beyond that by measuring critical aspects like operating cycles. The data can be gathered while logging into an app of the equipment owners and operators and indicated in a graph.”
JCB compactors are equipped with proven German Vibration Technology and designed to give more compaction per litre. It also guarantees the desired compaction density in a minimum number of passes.
At Escorts, Intelligent Compaction solutions are driven through an Intelligent Compaction Analyzer, which is a Roller Mounted Device that continuously senses the amplitude and frequency of vibrations of the compactor. It gives estimates in real-time of the quality of the compacted density and stiffness during construction of a pavement. Key features are the real-time monitoring of the compaction progress over the entire pavement.
Says Ajay Mandhr, “The advantages of Intelligent Compaction over conventional practices include instantaneous and complete evaluation of the pavement being compacted; higher efficiency and increased productivity; reduction in labor and fuel costs; reduction in the number of conventional spot tests; and better quality resulting from uniform and optimum compaction. For preventive maintenance, we have introduced a Customer Mobile App which gives access to customers 24x7 to book calls for servicing and spare parts.”
Volvo CE’s recent addition - the Volvo Intelligent Compaction (IC) - for select Volvo asphalt compactors, is available in two packages — Volvo IC and Volvo IC with Density Direct. In addition to offering pass mapping, temperature mapping, and data storage, Volvo IC with Density Direct also has the industry’s first real-time density mapping technology. “For years, contractors have relied on IC systems with stiffness calculations instead of density, which is not the true metric by which contractors are evaluated and paid. With Density Direct, operators have real-time access to the metrics that ultimately determines the success of their work, that is, the density,” says Dimitrov.
Within the Density Direct system is a calibration screen where the user sets the target density for the project. Once fully calibrated with data specific to the application, the Volvo Intelligent Compaction with Density Direct system produces a density calculation that is accurate within 1.5 percent of core sampling, providing a real-time reading of density values over 100 percent of the mat. With this real-time data, the operator is given the chance to make any necessary adjustments while the asphalt is being paved. This not only reduces the occurrence of inadequate densities that drive up project costs, but reduces time spent taking core samples, improves quality, and leads to greater uniformity than nuclear gauge testing. Calibrations are also ‘saved’ by the compactor, so operators can assign calibrations to certain elements of a job, and quickly switch back and forth between calibrations to meet the demands of specific job elements.
The user interface of Volvo IC with Density Direct depicts a density map, showing each square foot of rolled asphalt in a color representing density, and provides a real-time numerical density reading displayed in the corner of the screen. Both Volvo IC and Volvo IC with Density Direct offer real-time temperature and pass mapping data. Using the 8”x10” color monitor of the Volvo IC system, the pass mapping function captures each compactor pass and drum overlap with an individual color, so that the operator can easily see gaps and work to maintain uniform coverage. Temperature mapping shows the path of the compactor overlaid with the last recorded surface temperature.
Dynapac has added a compaction meter to ensure the compaction result for optimal material processing. A separate view in the machine display indicates the stiffness of the surface as CMV (compaction meter value). The compaction meter measures the dynamic stiffness of the ground. The CMV is influenced by the rolling speed, rolling direction (forward or reverse), amplitude setting and vibration frequency.
Increasing Machine Uptime
Technical support for optimum machine performance and availability is being supplemented with intelligent solutions for preventive maintenance and enhance customers’ businesses. CASE India soil compactors have a single piece engine hood where all parts are easily accessible from the ground level. The company’s R&D team is consistently working on integrated IT solutions for trouble shooting. Case currently has an active fleet of 13000 compactors working at various road construction projects in India.
Volvo CE’s CareTrack telematics system is not offered as a standard solution, but as a specialized package. The system generates reports on fuel consumption, operational hours, geographical location, etc, via a web portal, SMS or email. CareTrack can also be used to manage servicing and wear parts to help fleet managers reduce fuel costs, optimize machine and operator performance, and manage service and maintenance to maximize uptime.
In ACE compactors, the fluid levels can be checked from the ground level. The engine bonnet lifts easily for daily maintenance checks on battery, fuel, air filters, oil level dipstick, cooling, etc. Indicators in the air filter and hydraulic lines help operators know about any clogging in the circuit.
Automation, no doubt, increases the machine’s cost, and the reason why OEMs are offering the Compaction Assist System as an option. Though introduced in India a long time back, it has got a lukewarm response due to its high cost, and also because the conventional method of measuring density through lab tests remains the preferred way. But one cannot ignore the benefits of automation, so OEMs must play their part in disseminating information on the new technologies and solutions for the improved performance of the compaction industry.