Australia-based company Fastbrick Robotics has developed a giant truck-mounted robot that can construct an entire house in two days. Hadrian X can lay up 1,000 bricks an hour using a 28ft arm. The robot uses 3D scans to work out where to lay down the bricks, which are fed to the machine’s conveyor, then passed along the arm into a laser-guided claw. The claw grabs and lays them down using construction glue instead of cement.The smart machine cuts bricks to size and leaves spaces between them for wiring and plumbing.Fastbrick Robotics’ founder Mark Pivac told Perth Now: "People have been laying bricks for about 6,000 years and ever since the industrial revolution, they have tried to automate the bricklaying process."We're at a technological nexus where a few different technologies have got to the level where it's now possible to do it, and that's what we've done."It is estimated that the robot can build between 100-300 houses a year — without needing tea breaks, holidays or weekends off.Hadrian X took ten years to be developed and $4.5M in research and development. According to Fastbrick Robotics, it will take about a year before the machine will be launched onto the market.
Otis Elevator Company has introduced the new SkyBuild self-climbing construction elevator.According to the company, the SkyBuild elevator — part of the SkyRise family — enables builders to complete high-rise projects faster, while reducing costs. It is designed to be sustainable and to reduce space requirements and energy.Installed at the beginning of a building’s construction, the elevator’s hydraulic piston system enables it to climb a floor at a time as the construction work advances and the building rises, removing the need for a temporary and external lift subject to different weather conditions. This allows movement of crews and tools quickly and safely.Once construction is complete the elevator transitions for immediate service as a SkyRise lift within the building.Bora Gülan, vice president of Global Major Projects and Key Accounts at Otis said: “The Otis SkyRise product family combines a refined passenger experience with state-of-the-art elevator technologies and support our customers can count on. “Our SkyBuild option now offers customers even more value with an elevator system that rises with the building – quickly and easily jumping one floor at a time to meet the requirements and pace of any project.”
Construction experts remain optimistic in the strength of the industry, according to a new report, despite the first quarter of 2016 being marked by a decline in confidence levels.Timetric’s Construction Confidence Report concluded that the industry’s current confidence levels have declined from 61.5 points in Q4 2015 to 61.2 points in Q1 2016, following a downward trend that started in 2014.Even though this is the fifth successive quarter of decline, the score remains above the 50-point mark which indicates a positive outlook regarding growth prospects — and the industry is optimistic regarding growth expectations for the next six months.Danny Richards, leading economist at Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), recognises the positive findings, but states that the decline has had an impact in construction companies. “Although still optimistic over the potential for growth, the decline in the Current Confidence Index suggests that the level of optimism is weakening, and that it is becoming more challenging to win contracts,” he said.<iframe src="https://timetric.com/c/MBEPE5U/chart/" style="width:500px;height:350px;border:0;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
Airport construction projects remain at a high with a total global investment of $638.7bn, according to a new report. The Global Airport Construction Projects report, from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), concludes that even though a financial crisis has been ravaging the global economy since 2008-09, air passenger traffic has been growing at an average pace of 5% annually.Airport construction activity has been growing fast in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions, which have now surpassed other global regions with total planned investment in airport mega-projects of $224.1bn and $172bn respectively.In the Asia-Pacific region, China has been leading the airport construction activity with investment of $47.8bn, followed by Vietnam with projects worth $28.7bn. Due to the increase in flights to China, where Beijing Capital International Airport is the world’s second busiest airport, the $11.3bn Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to be complete in 2025. Conversely, India’s value of airport projects is low when compared with countries in the same region.The demand in Middle East and Africa is high, with Dubai home to the world’s busiest international airport and Saudi Arabia requiring more capacity to cater the millions of visitors each year. Al Maktoum International Airport is a new airport project that will be part of Dubai World Central, providing a planned capacity of 220M passengers to the UAE.The highest-value project is the $36.2bn Istanbul New Airport development in Turkey, and the highest value pipeline project part of the planned $29.1bn Heathrow Expansion belongs to the UK, although the government has not yet given green light to the project, according to projects tracked by the CIC.Neil Martin, manager at Timetric’s CIC, said: “Global airport projects’ activity follows economic growth in the markets of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa. Both regions are registering new projects and the expansion of existing airports to service their growing economies and populations. Similarly, the developed markets of North America and Europe largely show expansion or renovation of existing airports such as London’s Heathrow and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. “Although South and Central America is lagging behind for value of projects, there is huge potential for the upgrade of its airports infrastructure, with the new US$14 billion Mexico City project potentially providing a model for the region.”* The Global Airport Construction Projects report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center provides market analysis, information and insights on over 550 large-scale live airport construction projects globally. In addition, the report also details airport construction investment in each of the five major global regions, as tracked by Timetric’s Construction analyst team. The projects are at various stages of development, from the ones that have been announced to those in execution. Read more on the report here.
Hitachi displayed three new excavators and a wheel loader at Bauma in April. The new ZX19-5 mini excavator, to be used on construction projects, is designed to be user-friendly. According to the manufacturer, the Zaxis-5 model offers high levels of performance, stability and easy maintenance. The boom cylinder, in the new excavator, has been moved on top of the boom to protect from potential damage, making it more efficient when working on narrow spaces, as its front minimum turning radius is smaller. A new folding travel pedal can now be used instead of the hand lever, improving the operation speed. Other improvements include the placing of the hydraulic hose inside the boom and the addition of a new blade, capable of making digging more precisely.There is also more space between the operator and the front window and more legroom in the cab. The cab has a new design that features a large LCD monitor located on the right-hand side, displaying the vital technical data, including the machine’s status and settings and a drinks holder for easy access to refreshments. Security has been improved, with an optional theft deterrent system that requires a four-digit number to unlock before the engine can be switched on.Hitachi also showcased the ZX300LCN-6 super long front medium excavator. The excavator has a six-cylinder 186kw stage IV-compliant engine, with the highest output in its class, and offers 14% higher productivity in PWR mode. Delivering lower fuel costs, the machine was specially designed for earthmoving on dredging, bank maintenance and slope finishing projects. The excavator also features a reconfigured lower roller that ensures mud falls out easily, an expansion tank that cools the engine parts, and enlarged track guards.The tilting rotator and tilting bucket modes are also included within its attachment support system.The new ZX490LCH-6 large excavator was designed to meet the demands of large-scale construction projects, set to offer a high level of durability without compromising efficiency. It features a boom reinforced with thicker plates and an undercarriage consisting of robust components such as track link, master pin, idler pedestal and bracket and upper roller bracket. The large excavator also incorporates an in-cab console, made of weather-resistant AES-grade resin that prevents UV rays damage, and sealant to eliminate any heat deterioration. These ensure the machine’s long-term cooling and low-noise performance.This excavator is able to save up to 5% fuel in eco mode with the same productivity as previous models, due to the use of HIOS IIIB technology. The after-treatment device helps the machine produce fewer emissions and to have a quiet performance. Furthermore, attachments to carry on different tasks can be easily fitted to the versatile machine that uses the attachment replacement support system.Also launched in Munich was the ZW370-6 wheel loader. With enhanced performance and low fuel consumption, the machine employs a new EU Stage IV-compliant engine that does not require a diesel particulate filter, which reduces maintenance costs.The wheel-loader has a 360° panoramic view from the spacious cab and a rear-view camera, visible on the multifunctional LCD monitor. Less noise can be heard within the cab thanks to an improved sound isolation. A smooth operation is ensured by the optional Joystick Steering System, which enables operators to reach high levels of productivity with effortless steering, it is said.There are also two types of lift arm available that customers can choose, depending on the required application.
Man showcased the D38 engine in the TGX series and the new light hypoid tandem axle at Bauma.The combination of the D38 engine with the TGX series is used for heavy-duty traction operation and for the transportation of heavy loads while going at high speeds, with engine power over 500HP.In a construction site, for example, a low loader trailer with heavy construction machines that need to be pulled can be moved up to a gross train weight (GTW) of 120t easily by the TCX D38. The two-stage turbochargers make the six-cylinder in-line engine with 15,256ccm displacement reach a nominal torque of 2700Nm at 930rpm.Also launched in Munich, the new light hypoid tandem axle for payload-sensitive transport tasks has a weight advantage of 180kg, according to the company, when compared with the hypoid axles currently used, meaning that it is possible to transport 180kg more concrete or water. It has a gross combination weight of 60t.With the tandem axle, the fuel used is slightly lower, offering additional ground clearance of about four centimeters, achieving the N3G approval.In addition, the Germany-based mechanical engineering company announced at the trade show an extension to its range of drive configuration in the TGS and TGX series, with the D20 and D26 engines and presented the updates made to its entire TGS and TGX series engine portfolio for IAA 2014.
German-based Wirtgen Group unveiled a great number of brand-new machines at Bauma in April.Wirtgen Group is comprised of Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann and Benninghoven, five traditional brands operating in the construction machinery sector.Wirtgen exhibited two new machines for road rehabilitation, a mobile rear loader on wheels, the W120 Ri, and a front loader, the most powerful model in the new compact class, the W150 CFi. The SP 64i and the TCM 180i, used for concrete paving, were also world firsts at the show. Innovations by Vögele included two new models from its Super series, the tracked paver Super 1600-3i and the wheeled paver super 1603-3i; the Super 1800-3i with SprayJet module—the ErgoPlus operating concept for the paving of thin courses— and the new InLine Pave train with innovative “Dash 3” features for the construction of compact asphalt pavements in the special class. The 10ft pavers for the American market were also a first at Bauma.Hamm, specialized in road roller, has presented its new pivot-steered DV+ series of tandem rollers, featuring the Easy Drive operating concept that permits a simple and intuitive operation, along with the new rubber-wheeled roller GRW 180i.As a newly member of Wirtgen Group, Benninghoven, has showcased its new MBA 2000 mobile asphalt mixing plant with five-fold screening as a standard in the trade show. Another of the company’s premiere included the GKL Silent with new technology that allows work to continue at night or beyond regular working hours without generating unwanted noise.
The Bauma trade show in Munich was the chosen venue for the European debut of Iveco’s Eurocargo 4x4. Having won the title of ‘International Truck of the Year 2016’, the 4x4 truck was designed for demanding off-road conditions, set to be a good acquisition on a construction site. The truck’s weight can vary from 11.5 to 15t, with different HP variants. As the only Euro VI medium range vehicle, says Iveco, it meets the emissions standards with a single anti-emission system — the hi-SCR system with passive diesel particulate filter.The Eurocargo is protected for off-road driving, as it features steel bumpers, retractable access step, specific radiator guard and a front towing jaw. For easy gear it has six-speed manual gearboxes featuring a servoshift system. A day or sleeper cab with standard roof is also available.The New Daily 4x4 was also launched in Munich. The vehicle can be used for off-road works, for all tracks and all conditions. One of its key strengths, according to Iveco, is the C-section ladder frame chassis, enabling an easy body customization and guaranteeing robust performance in every work.It runs a four-cylinder, three-litre F1C Euro VI heavy-duty common rail engine that develops a maximum power of 170HP (125 kW) with a maximum torque of 400Nm. The New Daily is available in two versions, a single cab with two wheelbases and a crew cab with a 3,400 mm wheelbase, which can transport a crew of seven people.
Deutz presented a new three-cylinder diesel engine and two gas engines at Bauma.The manufacturer is expanding its portfolio in the lower power output range with a new three-cylinder variant of the TCD 2.9 four-cylinder engine. Named TCD 2.2, the new engine is set to generate 22-56KW and constitutes a further option for low-load applications in the material handling and compact construction equipment field.Additionally, Deutz showcased at the trade show two liquefied petroleum gas versions of the newly-presented TCD 2.2 and the TCD 2.9 engines. The G 2.2 and G 2.9 are particularly suitable for the forklift trucks used inside buildings, as they produce fewer emissions. The gas variants generate 26-54KW and meet EU Stage V.A new water-cooled five-litre cubic capacity four-cylinder in-line engine project, the TCD 5.0 was also on show. This compact diesel engine includes a turbocharger and charge air cooling. It generates 100-150KW and produces more power from a smaller cubic capacity, running more efficiently and with less fuel consumption.Deutz also highlighted its “Stage V ready” product range — the four-cylinder TCD 2.9, 3.6, the 4.1 engines and the six-cylinder TCD 6.1 and 7.8.
Chinese construction equipment company Sany exhibited its full range of excavators for the first time last month at Bauma.Sany’s excavators have been specifically designed for the European market, with the initial introduction in Munich. The company’s main attractions included the SY16, SY35 and SY50 mini excavators with zero tail swing, the new-wheeled excavator SY155W, the wheel loader SW405 and the small and medium hydraulic excavators.All products are equipped with multifunctional auxiliary hydraulics to support shear, hammer, thumb and other attachments. Engines are Tier 4 compliant, and EGR and DOC exhaust aftertreatment equipped to reduce exhaust emissions.In addition, the DOMCS intelligent control system adjusts the main hydraulic pump output so it uses all the available engine power, thereby reducing fuel consumption.The SRC 550 rough terrain crane and a different range of road construction machinery were also showcased at the show.
Tatra’s new Phoenix Euro 6 truck had its world premiere at the recent Bauma trade show.The brand-new vehicle features a 10x10 all-wheel-drive and rear steering axle. It combines the PACCAR MX-13 Euro 6 engine with an output of 510 horsepower, 7-speed automatic Allison transmission, all-wheel-drive air-suspended Tatra chassis with hub reduction gears and an optional central tyre inflation system, which provides the vehicle with enhanced traction for operation on the most difficult terrain.Tatra’s other attractions at the show included a mobile Phoenix Euro 6 concrete mixer with an all-wheel drive and the Liebherr HTM 604 superstructure that can cope with traffic on local roads and endure the challenging conditions of construction sites. Everyone at the trade show also had the opportunity to test not only the construction vehicles, but also the Dakar racing special, Tatra 815.
Volvo has internationally launched a new co-pilot onboard services display at Bauma 2016.The Volvo co-pilot is designed to be used on machines as varied as excavators and pavers. It features a tablet computer that delivers intelligent machine services — the Load Assist, Dig Assist, Compact Assist and the soon-to-be-launched Pave Assist. Especially built for the construction environment, the display produces higher quality outcomes in less time and with less effort.Besides the tablet computer display, other products launched in Munich include the Proactive Monitoring system, which utilises innovative technology that enables Volvo dealers to remotely monitor alarms and fault codes on customers’ machines.These products are part of the new approach developed by Volvo on how to offer services and solutions to customers.
A new truck-mounted concrete pump was presented by Putzmeister at Bauma, which took place in Munich in April.Named BSF 47-5, the new truck features a five-arm placing boom mounted on a four-axle chassis and weighs less than 32t, including the reserves for payload, water, fuel and other functional fluids. It is one of the most lightweight machines in its class, says Putzmeister.The flexible five-arm boom with the roll-Z fold system has excellent slip characteristics; it can be deployed quickly and makes optimal use of the available space, thanks to its new flexible support, a base structure that follows the new I-frame concept. An 800l water tank can be easily attached to it. Vibrations in the boom remain at a low level, achieved through an intelligent laying of the delivery line and a balanced progression of stiffness in the steel structure. The concrete distribution is then safer and more efficient. In addition, the machine operator is provided with an image of the working area live on display of the remote control. The improved S transfer tube bearing, the heart of the machine, has a delivery rate of up to 160m³/h.The Ergonic 2.0 control system, an upgraded version of the Ergonic Boom Control system (EBC) used to control the placing boom, was also presented to the public in the trade show. The truck’s operation costs have been reduced, as its components are highly resistant with some being maintenance-free.
ThyssenKrupp launched its biggest gyratory crusher, which the company says is the world’s largest, at Bauma in April. The German-based engineering, construction and service provider welcomed visitors to the 220sq m booth with numerous 3D models and a virtual stimulation of the brand-new gyratory crusher.The crusher’s throughput can go up to 14,000t/h, 30% higher than the previous version, and has a driving rate of 1,500kw. It is also much lighter than its predecessor, despite being 130 inches in diameter. These changes are expected to increase its performance at a lower weight.Other products shown by ThyssenKrupp at the trade show included the modernized and standardised cone crushers, RollSizers, and the Barracuda and Mine Shark compact bucket wheel excavators.
Caterpillar’s CEO Doug Oberhelman introduced “The age of smart iron” at Bauma last month.“The age of smart iron” describes Caterpillar’s strategy to be the industry leader in digital solutions designed to improve productivity, efficiency, safety and profitability.The company’s main attractions at the trade show were the Cat Connect technology, hardware and software for Cat or competitive equipment to help optimise operations; the Cat 360° Advantage, which delivers a full complement of expertise, technology-enabled equipment and support services; and Leverage Every Litre, an educational initiative that helps improve the fuel efficiency of their products.Caterpillar’s Group President Rob Charter said: “While we always love to showcase our machines and engines, we’re equally excited about what’s at the center of our exhibit: Caterpillar technology.“This is not technology for technology’s sake. It is technology that’s focused on solving, and even anticipating, customer problems. “We’re taking the machines, locomotives, engines and parts we’re so well known for and making them smarter, while also equipping the people who operate them with data that makes them more productive, enhances safety and improves sustainability.”Caterpillar also showcased more than 60 products, a large selection of work tools and support services in the 12,000sq m exhibit space shared with Zeppelin Cat.
Bosch’s futuristic driver’s cab has won the Bauma innovation award at the Bauma 2016 trade show, in Germany.
A new report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center has identified four national markets as key growth regions for the construction industry to 2020.
Global construction output will reach US$10 trillion by 2020, driven by Asia-Pacific and emerging markets, according to a new report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center.The Global Construction Outlook 2020 report forecasts that expansion will increase by an annual average of 3.4% from 2015 to 2020, leading to the overall market value growing from $8.5tr to $10tr. In the previous five years annual average growth was 2.4%, with output increasing from the 2010 total of $7.5tr.Emerging markets will account for more than half of the global construction output in 2020, rising to 51.9% from its 43.9% share in 2010, despite the annual average rate of growth slowing to 4.2%, from 5.2% in 2011-2015.Growth in the Asia-Pacific region is set to slow, due in part to the slowdown in China’s construction sector, exacerbated by a glut of new residential property being completed. However, the region will still account for the largest share of the global construction industry, with South-East Asia investing heavily in new infrastructure projects funded by private investment.Western European markets will continue to recover, the report states, although investor confidence is fragile due to ongoing troubles in the Eurozone, and the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine. The German construction industry will remain slow, due partly to the government’s focus on austerity.