A clever idea for Volvo F-Series articulated haulers – onboard weighing – yields a prestigious award at the Intermat 2012 Innovation Awards.
The members of the Intermat 2012 Innovation Awards jury know a bright idea when they see one. That is why, from a crowded pool of more than 80 entries, they chose the new Volvo on-board weighing (OBW) system for F-Series full-suspension articulated haulers as a top innovation in the industry last month.
The Intermat Innovation Awards honor the most innovative equipment and techniques in the industry. Winners are chosen by a jury that, under the chairmanship of the president of the French National Federation of Public Works, declared Volvo the winner to an audience of international journalists gathered for Pre-Intermat held in Paris in January.
The OBW system provides operators with unprecedented insight into machine productivity. Using pressure sensors, the system monitors statistics like load weight and tons-transported-per-liter of fuel, and relays this information to software integrated into the machine’s electronics. From there, it shows up in the operator’s display and can be accessed via the Internet, thanks to CareTrack. With this information at their fingertips, operators and fleet managers are better able to manage productivity and prevent overloading, which, in turn, will limit machine wear, tyre damage and excess fuel consumption.
But the process of turning a bright idea into an award-winning Volvo F-series articulated hauler feature was a long and complex one, as chief project manager Jennie Carlsson and technical product manager Mikael Petersson will attest.
To the drawing board!
The idea of having a built-in OBW on articulated haulers has been around for a while and is one of the features that are most demanded by customers, Mikael says, though solutions haven’t always been easy to come by.
One early but ultimately rejected option was installing OBW systems made by an outside manufacturer.
“Some suppliers make OBW systems for haulers, but we weren’t able to find any that were very good or very accurate,”
Fitting OBW to a standard machine was another matter.
“It’s difficult to find a good position or source for the weight input on standard articulated haulers,” Jennie says. “They’re very dynamic machines, and they endure a lot of wear during use.”
But with the launch of Volvo full-suspension articulated haulers in 2008, the idea of OBW became much more realistic, as the system would be able to utilize pressure sensors from the hydraulic suspension.
The advent of the full-suspension hauler allowed Volvo to begin creating its own complementary onboard weighing system, which will become available on F-Series full suspension haulers later this year.
It takes a team
Many people have helped out on this project, with half of the OBW team based in Eskilstuna, and the other half in Braås. Jennie and Mikael are quick to point out that the system – and its success at Intermat – is purely the product of teamwork.
“We have had a team of dedicated and skilled people who knew their responsibilities,” Jennie says. “I felt really honored that we won the prize, but we only succeeded because of our team.”
Volvo Construction Equipment will collect the innovation award at a ceremony held at Intermat 2012 on Monday 16th April at 11.30am in the Salon d’honneur (located on 1st floor of Hall 6).