Moog Construction and Komatsu announced their intention to display their most recent loader design in an recent announcement . In addition to being battery-powered, it is also entirely electric (as opposed to hydraulic), and it features intelligent controls that will enable manufacturers to make much more construction equipment in the future.
At bauma 2022, which runs from October 24 to 30, Komatsu and the other firms will display a machine that is battery-powered, zero-emission, and ready for automation. However, it appears rather obvious that they are attempting to pique interest, so let’s have a look at what they plan to present and demonstrate!
The Moog intelligent machine electrification system includes a traction motor, lift, tilt, and steering electric cylinders, power electronics, system control computer, battery, and battery management system. While the integrated software acts as the system’s brain to connect and intelligently coordinate movements across the machine, the all-electric actuators and motors supply the machine’s muscle. The system’s integration allows for industry-leading system controllability and efficiency.
The vehicle’s design and construction were overseen by Komatsu, who also monitored the use of Moog’s intelligent machine electrical engineering in some structural arrangements.
Seiichi Fuchita, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and President of Development Division Komatsu, stated, “To achieve our CO2 emission reduction targets from products in use 50% by 2030 from 2010 levels, to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of 2050, we are looking for promising technologies from suppliers to accelerate our electric machine development.” The device, created in collaboration with Moog, combines the advantages of both businesses and was completed quickly. We anticipate that the joint testing will highlight the benefits of a totally electric machine and demonstrate how beneficial it is for both parties to work together.
The Moog system reduces development costs and the time it takes to bring products to market by seamlessly integrating multiple subsystems like power management, motion control, connectivity, and automation. Customers can create their own distinctive solutions and realize their vision for next-generation machines with the help of the Moog system.
To validate the viability of the idea, Moog and Komatsu will test their all-electric loader after bauma 2022. They are confident that both this new level of loader efficiency and a novel level of operator comfort will be attained. In order to provide a comfortable and fatigue-proof environment for controlling not only the machines but also their daily tasks, the companies will demonstrate an extended machine running cycle in their joint test.
In fields including aerospace, defense, and industrial machinery, Moog has a long history of switching hydraulic systems to electric for usage like air, sea, and land vehicle simulators. When contrasted to diesel alternatives, the Komatsu intelligent machine electrification system will help Komatsu manage the motion of the loader as well as its energy usage.
According to Joe Alfieri, vice president and general manager of Moog’s construction business unit, “our goal is driving electrification, automation, and connection by allowing the world’s safest, most environmentally friendly, and most productive machines.” We are excited to work with Komatsu to support their journey with our production-ready electric, connected, and automated systems because our partnership with Komatsu demonstrates that industry leaders in the construction sector are ready for zero-emission machines.
The electric power system for intelligent machines developed by Moog is designed to be automated, scalable, and networked. The system has the sensing and control capabilities required for automation, and the integrated software architecture has tools built in for precisely controlling torque, speed, position, and force across a wide range of motion axes. Customers of Moog will be able to develop and implement useful automation capabilities through over-the-air (OTA) feature updates thanks to this and the system’s connectivity.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT A piece of construction equipment can be easily converted to run on electricity, much like a car. Electric motors are capable of producing rotating force, much like a combustion engine does. So you swap out everything that requires burning dinosaurs to spin for something that spins with the help of a battery. Of course, you should repair the primary engine, but you should also replace compressors, hydraulic pumps, and other items.
However, this only makes the machinery electric and does not actually provide all of the advantages of contemporary technology. Electric systems are more efficient and easier to develop and maintain than hydraulic systems, and having a computer directly manage those systems allows a lot more flexibility in design and operation.
In 2019, Tesla upgraded its third brake lights, which is a terrific way to show how crucial this is. The majority of automobiles would need to have their hardware upgraded in order to support flashing under certain circumstances. However, Tesla automobiles had the software flexibility to implement such adjustments. This meant that they released an over-the-air upgrade that altered the behavior of the car rather than adding hardware.
When Moog electrifies construction equipment, they aren’t simply changing the source of the energy; they are also giving computers control over a lot more of the machinery. As a result, certain new capability for construction equipment in the future may be added through software updates rather than pricy hardware upgrades. Additionally, it means that the toolkit can be applied to new equipment designs without requiring the modification of a significant portion of the machine’s hardware.
This will increase overall efficiency and help the sector operate more quickly and effectively for customers.
Another crucial aspect of this strategy is how much more remote control of equipment it will enable. It can occasionally be challenging for a machine operator to notice the small details on the ground and to see around big pieces of equipment. Things will go much more smoothly if you can get off and spot the loader while making minor adjustments and movements.
The fact that future autonomy is possible at this degree of control is more significant. One might be able to coordinate the coordinated operations of numerous machines on a jobsite instead of having one person handle one equipment, telling them generally what to do as opposed to needing to micromanage every tiny thing like an operator does currently.
To put it another way, it’s much simpler to tell someone to “go level that area” than it is to operate the controls and go do it by hand. The cost savings of software-defined construction equipment will increase thanks to automation.
All pictures are from Moog.
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