Bespoke JCB remote-control digger gets to work

Aaron Morby 8 years ago
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JCB has developed a remotely-operated excavator for Birmingham-based demolition specialists Coleman & Company.

The firm purchased the bespoke 21-tonne excavator which combines a JCB JS190 upper structure with a JS220LC undercarriage and rubber track pads.

The result is a machine powerful enough to deploy a 4-tonne multi processor attachment without exceeding a gross weight of 25 tonnes.

The development of the groundbreaking machine has required close co-operation between Coleman Engineering Services, dealer Gunn JCB and JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

The new excavator is working at Birmingham New Street Train Station where it is removing existing reinforced concrete floors to create a void beneath the new atrium roof.

Coleman has now clocked up in its fifth year on the site. The current phase involved removal of 6000 tonnes of mass reinforced concrete.

Some beams weigh as much as 80-90 tonnes and are 2.5 wide and 1.5 metres deep.

The new JCB machine is expected to work on the project for the next 9 months. Once completed, it provides Coleman & Company with a unique tool for highly complex demolition tasks.

Coleman & Company Contract Support Manager Malcolm Hurst added: “The remote control machine gives Coleman & Company the option to operate in restricted and confined areas while the operator remains in a safe location.

“It can be used on demolition projects that are deemed too dangerous to risk an operator in the cab or in contaminated structures where human access is unsafe.”

Coleman had already identified the specific multi processor attachment as the only existing attachment that complied with the project specification when it commissioned JCB to develop a 21-tonne machine capable of operating it.

The next challenge was to prepare the machine for the high-risk environment in which it will operate. It has been designed with the health and safety of operators, site personnel and the people below as the primary focus.

Remote control enables the operator to work the machine while positioned in a mobile elevated work platform or cherry picker above the beam being demolished allowing for close assessment of the task in hand. The integrated infra red laser fence restricts the unit’s operation to a designated safe zone preventing it from operating too near the edge of the suspended floor.

In addition, the JCB excavator also features: LED lighting for night vision, a non-biodegradable safe fuel system, TAB (triple articulated boom), range control, on board auto fire fighting equipment, on board dust suppression and a jet ski-style emergency stop pull chord.

 

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