Mobile equipment continues path toward electrification
At the recent IFPE and CONEXPO shows in Las Vegas, there was plenty to see for fans of mobile hydraulic technology. Hydraulics has long been the technology of choice for many off -highway vehicles thanks to its excellent power density. In the past decade, it’s been increasingly married to electronic controls, and these shows confirmed that trend.
On the machinery side, it was particularly interesting to hear how CASE Construction Equipment and CNH Industrial have been doing — in 2022, they grew an incredible 20% year over year. CASE has been electrifying more product lines to try and build a quieter, more satisfying workplace while also reducing emissions and lowering ownership and operating costs. They unveiled a host of new products at the show, including mini excavators, small articulated loaders, mini track loaders, wheeled excavators, and compact wheel loaders.
In addition, CASE is introducing five new backhoe models, so they now have models from entry-level machines to something being used as a utility workhorse (and ideal primary machines for owner-operators). Backhoes are seeing a huge resurgence in construction these days. That’s actually being driven by the ongoing labor shortages since these small, nimble machines provide plenty of job site flexibility and functionality for customers.
I asked Brad Stemper, CASE Construction’s Director of Product Management, how the company sees the future of hydraulics with the continued move toward electrification.
Stemper told me he thinks there absolutely is a convergence of electric and hydraulic technologies, and that we’ll continue to see a meld of electric, hydraulic, and mechanical components on their machinery. He explained that it really is something that’s a cost/value justification. It comes down to their engineers asking, “Are we able to provide a solution that allows the machine to do the work for a justified cost?”
One of the things that they’re most concerned and involved with now, is the control of the machine. Their focus is managing how much energy is being used by the hydraulic and electrical systems to really maximize how much work can be accomplished. To me, this is a great illustration of what engineers do best — combine older and newer technologies in innovative ways — to increase efficiency and create an exciting new generation of machines.
Paul J. Heney – VP, Editorial Director
On Twitter @wtwh_paulheney
Filed Under: DIGITAL ISSUES