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March 13, 2017   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

The Big Machines Come Out to Play

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is all about diesel doing what it does best—work.


More than 140,000 people came out to get a glimpse of some of the most innovative products on display in Las Vegas. No, it wasn’t the Consumer Electronic Show, it was the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show displaying the latest advanced technologies found on a wide variety of construction and other equipment responsible for building America. Advanced robotics, drone and autonomous technologies were all on display powered by the latest clean diesel technologies. Out in the field, these technologies help big equipment get the job done safely, on time and on budget while saving fuel for contractors and supporting clean air and energy security for us all.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG is big—2.8 million square feet big. More than 140,000 attendees and 2,500 exhibitors from around the world gathered in Las Vegas in March for the first time in three years. They were greeted by a transformed diesel industry ready to deal with increased demand for their skills and their new technology.

Make no mistake—the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show is all about diesel doing what it does best—work. Attendees and exhibitors from the construction industries, including contractors, materials producers and government and institutional sector officials, mingled among machines ranging from the small to the humongous.

At the last show three years ago much of the talk was about the then upcoming Tier 4 final emissions and the challenges presented for the variety of machines to reach that level. In 2017, with the emissions issues behind them, the diesel industry has returned to a focus on the customer, offering more efficiency and productivity in these diverse types of equipment. Delivering on those promises are new technologies such as hybridization, connectivity and autonomous operation that are either present in current vehicles or are expected to arrive soon.

A glimpse of the new came together as CONEXPO-CON/AGG opened with a special exhibit that debuted at this show—Tech Experience. The Tech Experience was a showcase of what’s new along with a vision of what’s coming next in the construction arena. It was a 75,000-square-foot space that included the first-ever 3D printed excavator, drones, robotics and advances in connected intelligence developed to make the most of clean diesel powered equipment.

The show stopped was Project AME (for Additive Manufactured Excavator) where exhibitors could watch a 3D-printed excavator being manufactured. Combined with a clean diesel engine donated by Case New Holland, the end result was a functional machine that could do real work!

Also on display were autonomous vehicle and systems demonstrations, enhancements in equipment intelligence that offer gains in safety, maintenance, performance and productivity. In the spotlight at this special presentation were DTF members Caterpillar, John Deere and Volvo.

Tech Talk Sessions augmented the Tech Experience and touched on key issues for infrastructure and workforce that will be needed to support the new generation of equipment.

Innovation was not limited to the Tech Experience pavilion, though, as new products were introduced during the show from DTF members Case, Caterpillar, Cummins, FPT, Freightliner, John Deere, Mack Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta.

Case featured its Project Minotaur, a dozer-loader the company projects will create a new category of vehicles. Caterpillar introduced its Cat Connect technology designed to increase uptime and safety, reduce operating costs, increase productivity while also enhancing sustainability. Cummins showcased a variety of its technology and solutions, including its “near zero” emissions Stage V engines that will be coming in 2019, components like turbocharging, filtration, fuel systems and exhaust systems, power generation solutions and its Cummins Connected Solutions.

FPT unveiled its new top-of-range 20-liter engine, rounding out its range of power offerings. Freightliner, one of America’s largest truck producers, introduced its new Class 6/7Detroit Diesel engines and Severe Duty series truck. John Deere showed 38 machines and 11 simulators, highlighting innovations like its hybrid wheel loader and SmartGrade system that automates many job functions to increase productivity.

Mack Trucks showcased its new powertrain incorporated GreenhouseGas17 improves that promise more horsepower, torque and fuel economy delivered by clean diesel technolgy. Volvo Construction Equipment introduced the world’s largest articulated hauler that has a 60-ton capacity as well as a new wheel loader. The company also previewed upcoming Stage V emissions solutions for its Volvo Penta engines.

In addition to all of the hardware on display, several manufacturers offered simulators and augmented reality equipment to allow prospective buyers a more immersive experience with the technology. That chance to view the future is a good metaphor for this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

Getting the job done intelligently. That was the theme for this impressive show. Whether it’s big data behind the wheel or a drone-enabled technology, more work can be done with the latest and greatest technology on display. For many of us, this means more infrastructure delivered in less time delivered by the latest clean diesel technology to save fuel and reduce emissions.

 


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Key Contact

Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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