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Product news round-up

JCB hits million-machine milestone

JCB marked the production of its millionth machine in style: the entire glass frontage of its headquarters at Rocester, Staffordshire, was encased in a graphic wrap.

The picture covered an area of more than 900sq m, and a total of 207 windows were individually covered with a section of the print - a feat that took five people more than 50 hours to piece together.

JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: “It has taken JCB more than 67 years to produce its millionth machine. Incredibly, one-third of those machines has been produced in the past six years.

“Reaching the million milestone is the result of a huge effort by the JCB team, past and present, and it is an achievement everyone can be justifiably proud of. Given the company’s continuing growth, JCB’s two millionth machine will be produced in considerably less time.”

The millionth machine in question was a 22-tonne JS220 tracked excavator, made in shimmering silver.

During the next five weeks, more than 2,500 JCB dealers and customers will be joining in the celebrations. The manufacturer will be embarking on the next phase of its growth programme by staging its biggest ever product conference, where it will showcase all the latest machines.

Hybrid trucks help to cut fuel consumption

Volvo reports that since the launch of its FE Hybrid truck in 2011, around 25 have been delivered to customers across Europe for refuse duties. It has delivered around 50 Hybrid trucks in total, with the other half used by customers in distribution operations.

According to Volvo, it is in these two areas that the technology offers the greatest fuel savings - of 15-20%, depending on chassis and driving cycles. Some refuse truck operators with vehicles featuring a rechargeable electrified waste compactor have been able to cut their fuel consumption by 30%.

Dutch recycling company Roteb, based in Rotterdam, purchased two FE Hybrids in order to meet environmental policies.

Sales director Rene Herlaar says: “Volvo’s hybrid trucks function exactly like our diesel-powered refuse trucks, but consume about 30% less fuel and are far quieter than diesels. We would definitely consider buying additional hybrids if the price and the political decisions make it possible.”

Roteb’s drivers are also positive about the Hybrids. Refuse truck driver Ton van der Horst says: “They are reliable, offer really good visibility and great driveability. And they are very quiet.”

Hybrid technology is a long-term investment by Volvo. The challenge is to lower costs and increase sales volumes so that production can expand and become more cost-effective.

Doosan DX140W-3

Elevating excavator cab boosts operator visibility

East Dunbartonshire Council in Scotland has purchased a special elevating cab version of the new Doosan DX140W-3 wheeled excavator - the first in the UK. The excavator is working at the council’s recycling centre and transfer station at Mavis Valley in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow.  

Council fleet manager for development and regeneration Paul Curran says: “The DX140W-3 excavator meets the required specification for applications at the waste and recycling centre and replaces a fixed elevated cab machine.

“In use constantly, the excavator offers the durability and reliability required for work at the facility, which is open 361 days a year.

“Our purchase decision was also influenced by good references we received and checked out for Doosan machines working at Inverclyde Council and in privately owned businesses in the area.”    

Replacing the Stage IIIA machine introduced in 2006-07, Doosan says that its Stage IIIB-compliant DX140W-3 wheeled excavator goes beyond meeting the new emissions requirements by offering several new features and product improvements. These include a greater workload, more cab space for the operator, better visibility, reduced noise and improved controls.

It is designed to cut costs through better controllability and productivity while optimising fuel efficiency.

Curran adds: “The improved controls provide advantages for use of the grab attachment on the excavator, for sorting and compacting materials for recycling. And the elevating cab option provided by Scotia Plant provides our operators with excellent visibility.”

Sugar-based packaging is now fully recyclable

Packaging supplier Polythene UK has unveiled a 100% recyclable material called Polyair. The bio-based material is made from sugar cane in the process of photosynthesis, when it takes in CO2 from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, making it carbon-positive.

The company initially launched the product in 2009 as an oxy-degradable polythene when it believed that was the way forward. But it then questioned the benefits of a material that completely degraded within two to three years.

Managing director James Woollard said: “Two years ago, we decided that, until we had satisfactorily answered this question, we would suspend sales of Polyair.

“After consultation and research, we are now relaunching Polyair to the UK market - this bio-based product will have a huge environmental impact.”

Customers will be able to use Polyair across the company’s product range of bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps and stretch film.

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