Material feeders form a hub in the transfer of material from trucks to pavers, thus guaranteeing a constant and efficient paving process and high paving quality on large job sites. To increase the user-friendly nature and efficiency of the machines, JOSEPH VÖGELE AG has now comprehensively overhauled its former Dash-2 generation: the new MT 3000-3i Standard PowerFeeder and the MT 3000-3i Offset Power-Feeder with pivoting conveyor are now equipped with the efficient and ergonomic Dash-3 machine concept. This includes, among other things, the ErgoPlus 3 intuitive operating concept, AutoSet Plus automatic functions and the PaveDock Assistant truck communication system.
VÖGELE has also optimized the material handling concept: the new design of receiving hopper, the improved conveyor belt control, and the effective belt heating system allow material to be unloaded and conveyed rapidly without loss – whilst simultaneously reducing wear. Maintenance and transport have likewise been simplified: users can now reach setting and cleaning points even more conveniently. The angle of inclination and the receiving hopper have been optimized for transport on a low-loader.
“We have developed the new generation of PowerFeeders in close collaboration with our customers,” says Bastian Fleischer, product manager at JOSEPH VÖGELE AG. “All the functions are aimed at making job site processes even more efficient, economical and convenient – whilst delivering the same high performance.”
Both versions of the material feeder achieve a conveying capacity of up to 1,200 t/h and can accommodate a full truckload of mix within 60 seconds. The MT 3000-3i Offset is also equipped with a conveyor belt which can be pivoted 55°. This provides contractors with a wide variety of potential applications, from parallel feeding two pavers to the so-called InLine Pave method, in which the material feeder, the paver for the binder course, and the paver for the surface course work one after the other.
The latest operating technology plus practical convenience functions
Both the MT 3000-3i Standard and the MT 3000-3i Offset integrate the ErgoPlus 3 operating concept to increase efficiency on the job site. In the process, VÖGELE de-signed the operator’s console specifically to suit the requirements of material feeder operators, making it as intuitive and convenient as possible: all the functions are arranged in logical groups, and clear function and status indicators, a high-contrast display and glare-free backlighting also facilitate operation for users. The pivoting seat console, for example, also facilitates ergonomic working with perfect all-round visibility. The AutoSet Plus and PaveDock Assistant assistance systems are also new; VÖGELE previously offered these only for pavers of the Dash-3 generation. With the AutoSet Plus automatic functions, operators just have to push a button to put the material feeder in the transport, repositioning operating positions - or to save material handling programs - and just as easily call up these settings again whenever they are required. This is especially practical on job sites which require frequent repositioning or have similar paving requirements. The optional PaveDock Assistant communication system facilitates material transfer: the material feeder operator can use two signal lights to show the truck driver clearly whether he is to back up, stop or dump mix. If the InLine Pave method is in use, the signal lights also indicate whether material for the surface course or the binder course is required. This allows reliable, loss-free, and efficient material transfer.
Optimized material handling concept
In continuing to develop this product, VÖGELE paid particular attention to the conveying components: the new design of receiving hopper, for example, guarantees extremely fast material transfer and loss-free conveying. On the one hand, colour-coded markings on the receiving hopper simplify the material transfer process, even in the dark. On the other hand, the offset and the additional seals in the inlet area prevent loss of material and soiling of the conveyor belt. VÖGELE has also improved conveyor belt running even further: a new control system and special centering aids ensure that the conveyor belt always remains centered, even under difficult conditions involving crossfall.
“Another important new feature is the optimized belt heating,” says Fleischer. “The new control system provides optimum temperature management and is even more economical than before.” The system can handle even critical materials, such as low-temperature asphalt, without loss of temperature.
Simple to maintain, simple to transport
The MT 3000-3i Standard and Offset material feeders, weighing some 20 and 24 tons, respectively, are real power packs - yet users can now inspect, maintain, and clean these new machines much more easily: VÖGELE has significantly improved access to the maintenance and setting points, as well as to the cleaning zones. For example, the transfer hopper of the MT 3000-3i Offset is hinged, and its larger step makes it easy to clean. The setting points have also been reduced in number and colour-coded to make them more easily identifiable.
Contractors can also transport the new material feeders comparatively quickly and easily: on the one hand, the large angle of inclination of 15° makes it easier to load feeders onto commercial low-loaders, whilst on the other, the receiving hopper of the new models can be raised 25 cm higher than before. This now allows users to deposit material feeders on the so-called goose neck of the low-loader without any issues, significantly reducing transport length.
“Material feeders are now being used more and more. From a paved asphalt surface area of 6,000 m², they are compulsory in specifications, which was why we gave particularly high priority to rapid readiness for operation and simple handling when developing the new models,” informs Fleischer. “With the new Dash-3 generation, we have once again significantly increased the practicality of the product.”