Mobile working machines: Electronics boost efficiency

Mobile working machines: Electronics boost efficiency
Marginal Column

November 2016


It’s like squaring the circle: Mobile working machines are expected to have lower exhaust and noise emissions while boosting efficiency and user-friendliness at the same time. Electronification is a key factor in achieving greater energy efficiency.

Be it an excavator, municipal vehicle, forklift or tractor – mobile working machines need to meet stricter limit values over the next few years to comply with emissions standards such as Tier 4 final (USA) or Stage V (Europe). Machine manufacturers are therefore challenged to make their vehicles more efficient and environmentally friendly. At the same time, customers in different markets expect customized solutions, tailored to regional requirements. What counts everywhere are lower operating costs, less noise generation, maximum operating comfort and increasing connectivity as a prerequisite for the networking of systems. The electronification of hydraulics is an essential key to solving these problems. Highly dynamic, energy-efficient, and thus future-proof drives need to be developed, which will ideally not increase product costs.

A holistic system approach

The market is demanding more than just minutiae improvements to individual components. Bertram Hoffmann, member of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth AG and responsible for the Business Unit Mobile Applications, is convinced: The future limit values might just be achieved, safely and easily, by optimizing the entire drive system in mobile working machines such as excavators, tractors or forklifts. The rapidly increasing electronification of hydraulics in the coming years will further increase performance, energy efficiency, and productivity in the future.

This applies to tractors as an all-round machine in agriculture, as well as excavators in construction, municipal vehicles in the waste management sector or forklifts in production. For, in combination with the electronification of hydraulics, the internal combustion engine can always operate at optimum efficiency within a constantly low rotational speed range. This not only makes it more economical, but also quieter. Both of these protect the environment.

Professor Ludger Frerichs, Head of the Institute for Mobile Machinery and Commercial Vehicles at the Technical University of Braunschweig, also sees a promising future in digital networking: “Mobile machines are increasingly being equipped with intelligent technologies. They can communicate with one another and automatically coordinate work processes. Increasing productivity and efficiency, as well as resource conservation are the primary objectives. More research and development needs to be done for the required technology.”

Performance for mobile working machines

“We need smart hydraulic systems.”