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Enter the dragon: Changsha International Construction Equipment Exhibition

First publishedin World Highways
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Key industry figures and analysts attended the exhibition
Changsha - one of China’s megacities - welcomed the global construction fraternity to the recent and first Changsha International Construction Equipment Exhibition

Frequent heavy rain failed to dampen the spirits of visitors and exhibitors at the first Changsha International Construction Equipment Exhibition, a four-day event in mid-May. The venue in the south-eastern Chinese city underwent extensive renovation and expansion earlier this year to give it a world-class layout.

The exhibition area covered 213,000m² and allowed for around 6,000 international standard exhibitor booths – 1,150 exhibitors, of which nearly a quarter were from abroad. The more than 10,000 exhibits included Zoomlion’s impressively high ZCC9800W 800tonne crawler crane reaching up 178m.

More than 30 events were held during the event,  including the Global High-End Manufacturing Summit, The Belt and Road Infrastructure and Construction Equipment Summit and the Construction Machinery Industrial Chain Conference. More than 100 chief executives of international companies, over 20 academicians and many industry analysts visited the exhibition.

With close to eight million people, Changsha has all the cultural advantages of other Chinese cities which are better known to foreigners. Within China, the city is, however, well-known, especially for its greenery, parks, spicy cuisine and as one of the nation’s safest large conurbations. Also, Mao Zedong, leader of the Chinese revolution in the 1940s, studied and lived here before joining the Chinese Communist Party in the 1920s.

The upscaled Changsha International Exhibition Centre is helping to put the city on the map for foreigners, especially for the international construction sector, said Zhou Xianbiao, vice secretary of the China Construction Machinery Society which organised the event. Xianbiao is also editor of China’s respected Construction Machinery Technology Management magazine.

Previously the event had focussed on second and third tier component and supplementary suppliers to original equipment manufacturers, be they Chinese or foreign. The theme of the 2019 CICEE was The New Generation of Intelligent Construction Equipment. Many companies, such as China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation (CRCHI), used Changsha as a platform for introducing totally new equipment.

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An international exhibition for an increasingly international city

CRCHI: jumbo unveiled

CRCHI unveiled a boring-cleaving jumbo specifically for tunnel construction. It has two smart and powerful long booms to complete tunnel cleaving in one cycle within 51 seconds, according to the company. The maximum 100m wireless remote control enables cleaving to be done from the cab after drilling is completed.

“This boring-cleaving jumbo is tailor-made for tunnels with unstable rock formations and without the conditions for blasting excavation,” explained Liu Jinshu, deputy director of CRCHI’s Tunnelling Equipment Research and Design Institute. “It combines drilling operations of a rock drill rig and cleaving operations of a splitter in one machine. This integrates drilling, cleaving, bolting and other functions in an efficient way. It is the first boring-cleaving tunnelling equipment in China to attain high-efficiency, safety and continuous excavation,” he said.

A notable feature all CRCHI’s products on display, including the Changsha company’s latest tunnel boring machines, is their incorporation of intelligent control, Liu Feixiang, chairman of CRCHI said during the unveiling of the jumbo.

“The machines are both customised, environmentally friendly and locally made,” he said. “Our super-underground engineering equipment [TBMs] are developed for super-projects like the Sichuan-Tibet Railway. They can adapt to the harsh natural environment, cope with high-risk geological conditions and achieve long tunnel construction.”

Zoomlion: smart factory

It took 38 flatbed trucks to bring Zoomlion’s majestic ZCC9800W Super Large Crawler Crane to the exhibition. The local manufacturer needed every centimetre of its nearly 7,400m² of exhibitor space to set up its offerings – from cranes and earthmoving machinery to aerial work machinery and industrial vehicles.

Zoomlion’s ZCC9800W crawler crane was a crowd-pleaser, towering over the exhibition site. Zoomlion said that the unit’s lifting performance is higher than other products of the same weight. The 180m maximum lifting height can be used to hoist 160m-tall mainstream wind turbines. Since it was launched, it has completed turbine installations in the Shandong Yantai Wind Farm, the Zhejiang Gaoyou Wind Farm and the Hebei Nangong Wind Farm.

Zoomlion said that its newest business segment - aerial work machinery, which it launched last year - will be equipped with lithium battery-powered scissor aerial work platforms in the coming months. The products are characterised by their intelligent interconnectivity and sustainability, noted the company. Zoomlion, which transformed from a national research institute into a manufacturing company, has its Aerial Work Machinery Smart Factory in the Wangcheng District of Changsha. The plant has 32 robots, eight smart assembly lines and more than 10 sets of smart handling equipment that can automatically complete the process of material transfer cutting, welding and painting. The company also announced that it is planning to build a 7km² Zoomlion Smart Industrial City – what it claims will be the largest single-unit park in the construction machinery sector. It will be an environmentally-friendly, ecological high-end equipment intelligent manufacturing base and an artificial intelligence research and application centre.

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CRCHI unveiled a boring-cleaving jumbo: remote control enables cleaving to be done from the cab after drilling is completed

LiuGong: continuous improvements

Within its 3,000m² exhibition space, LiuGong’s line-up consisted of 26 machines for applications such as mining, road and highways, utilities and logistics.

On display in the mining area were LiuGong’s 890H, the wide body truck DW90A, along with a LiuGong 939E excavator, a LM S48 counterattack crawler crushing station and an LMI 1213 screening station for ore disposal. Road construction was highlighted by a LiuGong 160C bulldozer, a 4180D grader and one 6622E roller - covering the three key steps of any road project. The rest of the line-up included an 870H - known as the “King of Efficiency”, said the company. One 870H has the power of two 5tonne loaders but with the fuel consumption of a single 6tonne loader, according to the company.

LiuGong, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, has 19 product lines, 20 manufacturing facilities, more than 9,500 employees and 300 dealers in over 100 countries. “LiuGong will continuously improve its products and service by knowing what our customers and markets need,” said Zeng Guang’an, chairman of LiuGong. Those customers include the China Polar Research Centre. In the past 11 years LiuGong has sent six machines including wheeled loaders, excavators, one crane and one skid steer loader to the Antarctic.

Shantui: product expansion

At Shantui’s 520m2 open air booth, the new generation of DH17C2 hydrostatic bulldozers were on prominent display. Shantui said that technological upgrades include that of the new generation DH17C2 hydrostatic bulldozer. By deploying the newly upgraded 162kW Weichai III electric control engine, the machine has the extra power for carrying out its three operational modes - heavy load, medium load and light duty. The hydraulic system incorporates the latest static pressure drive control technology, achieving real-time intelligent matching of work load. All the while fuel consumption is reduced by 22%, said the company.

Shantui – which acknowledges that it is best known for its large bulldozers – said that it is moving to “enrich” its other product lines, such as loaders, concrete equipment and excavators. To this end, the company brought along two loaders - “Xiaoxiang Heavy Load Edition” L58-C3 and “Xiaoxiang Smart and flexible Edition” L53-C3. The L58-C3 Xiaoxiang heavy-duty loader, equipped with a Weichai WP10 National III electronically controlled engine, reinforced heavy-duty frame and bucket and boom, is suitable for heavy-duty loading and unloading.

Meanwhile, the L53- C3 loader is equipped with a Weichai WP10 Country III electronically controlled engine and has a wheelbase of 2920mm, articulated in the front to guarantee flexible steering. The L53-C3 is suitable for small and medium-sized concrete plant operations such as loose material handling as well as loading and unloading where space is restricted.

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Zoomlion's Crawler Crane ZCC9800 grabbed the attention of spectators

Sunward: big strides

Sunward Group, which has been making big strides selling into Europe through its Belgium distribution centre – opened in 2014 - was exhibiting in full force at Changsha with an exhibition area of over 3,000m². The company’s full excavator range was on display, from 0.8tonnes to 90tonnes. No job is too small for its smallest machine and none too big for its largest.

Sunward’s skid steer loaders were also prominent, including the SWL2820-II, SWL3210-II and SWL4018. The company said that these powerful small machines are characterised by their compact design, flexible steering and operation and – importantly – ease of  maintenance.

Sunward is noted for its piling and drilling machinery, both in China and globally. To that end, the company was displaying rotary drilling rigs such as the SWDM60, SWDM160, SWDM300 and SWDM360H. The units are characterised by fuel efficiency and also the ability to be assembled and dismantled onsite with ease and speed for fast transportation to the next job. Two units in particular - SWDE165A and SWDH89A – were unveiled. Compared to similar products on the market, Sunward said that they have a lower operating cost and higher efficiency.

Sany precision control

As the largest exhibitor of the exhibition, Sany Group - also a local company - showcased 68 pieces of equipment. The company claimed that its domestic excavator sales have ranked first for eight consecutive years. An example of its competitiveness, said the company, is the SY315C excavator that can automatically adjust operating efficiency according to working conditions. It achieves real-time precise control, featuring lower fuel consumption than previous models.

The Sany C10 concrete pump truck – which made its first appearance in Changsha - is a newly upgraded version of the company’s best-selling classic C8 pump truck. It is characterised by low fuel consumption, high efficiency, intelligent control and ease of maintenance.

Completing Sany’s pump line-up were five pieces from German manufacturer Putzmeister, including the HA45CI hydraulic station, EKO1260 plunger pump and SPJ3017 wet spraying machinery. This was the first time that Putzmeister had attended the Changsha exhibition since joining the Sany family in 2012 – emphasising the international nature of the Changsha event.

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