Kobelco's new excavator makes the mark with intelligent hydraulics

  • 06-Feb-2012 01:50 EST
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"The Mark 9 maximizes the capabilities of its Tier 4 Interim certified FPT engine and optimized hydraulics with the upgraded ITCS," said Reece Norwood, Kobelco Platform Manager.

Kobelco Construction Machinery America's full-size SK210 is now part of the company's Mark 9 series, which includes Tier 4 models such as the SK260, SK295, SK350, and SK485 excavators.

Featuring an upgrade to Kobelco’s intelligent hydraulics and a new Economy power mode, the SK210 Mark 9 is equipped with what Kobelco claims is "the industry’s first" selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions solution that allows excavators to meet Tier 4 Interim regulations. SCR is an aftertreatment-only solution that allows the excavator’s engine to optimally generate power.

The high efficiency in the combustion process significantly reduces fuel consumption while improving power. SCR with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is also the preferred choice for working in extreme temperatures.

“The average rate of consumption of DEF is about 5% of fuel, so refilling is only required every fourth or fifth fuel tank refill—or, on average, every eight to ten days,” said Reece Norwood, Kobelco Platform Manager.

The upgrade to electronic control of the common rail fuel injection on the SK210 Mark 9 excavator gains efficiency, while also providing more exact fuel metering and fuel/air ratio.

For improved system efficiency and reduced component wear, the SK210 Mark 9 also features a fully automatic engine and hydraulic warm-up system. This warms the hydraulic circuit to an optimum 126°F (52°C).

A new ROPS/FOPS-certified cab provides a more comfortable work environment, and a low engine cover improves operator visibility and productivity. The larger, isolation-mounted cab on the SK210 Mark 9 excavator accommodates all operator sizes, says Kobelco. Repositioned controls, moveable front and door windows, and more glass improve visibility from the sides of the cab.

A new control monitor provides key operating data—including a new function that graphs fuel consumption per hour—and a rear camera view to expand the operator’s view to the back of the machine. An optional air-suspension seat with heated cushions provides additional operator comfort.

To match work operations, the work mode system provides three modes. H Mode, for heavy-duty excavation and loading work, gives priority to the workload at high speed. S Mode, for standard digging and loading work, provides versatility. Mode, for economy, leverages more of the intelligent hydraulics features to deliver exceptional fuel efficiency with productivity for normal digging conditions.

There are also two attachment modes—B Mode, breaker/hammer optimized (one-way hydraulic flow) and A Mode, for auxiliary attachment work such as demolition with a crusher/nibbler breaker or shear (two-way/two-pump flow).

An upgraded Intelligent Total Control System (ITCS) incorporates the culmination of three generations of continuous improvement in hydraulic controls and is "based on extensive customer input and product testing," according to Kobelco.

“ITCS recognizes the operator’s moves and assists by providing power where and when it is needed. It also provides hydraulic sensitivity for fine grading and leveling,” said Norwood. "The Mark 9 maximizes the capabilities of its Tier 4 Interim certified FPT engine and optimized hydraulics with the upgraded ITCS.”

Integrated swing priority, a Kobelco first, provides seamless and smooth transition of additional pump power to the swing function. Automatic hydraulic regeneration feeds the cylinder demanding oil first, with oil that is being pushed out of another cylinder. This requires much less energy than having to repump the oil again and also allows the next action to happen quicker. The independent travel feature, activated with a switch, dedicates a pump to travel motors for better movement while performing other functions, such as when handling pipe while moving to the trench.

Upgrades to the main valve and intelligent hydraulics, as well as new joysticks with proportional controls for the auxiliary hydraulics, contribute to the controllability upgrades of this new excavator.

“The Kobelco Mark 9 excavators set the industry standard in terms of controllability, especially in multifunction applications,” Norwood said. “Operators will appreciate the impressive control and smoothness of the SK210 Mark 9. The ease of operation makes a good operator a great operator and allows a novice excavator operator to be a good, productive operator.”

The Power Boost feature on the SK210 Mark 9 delivers 10% more bucket breakout force on command, without time limit, while the Heavy Lift delivers 10% more lifting and swing capability on command, without time limit.

Several factory-available configurations are available for the excavators—including High & Wide, Long Reach, and Mass Excavation versions—and a choice of three undercarriage options. Heavy-duty frames, booms, arms, and undercarriages are standard on all the Mark 9 excavators.

The SK210 Mark 9 Long Reach, suitable for dredging and bigger ditch cleaning jobs, has a maximum reach of 52 ft (15.85 m). The SK210 Mark 9 High & Wide has a more stable stance, making it suitable for such applications as craning large pipe, loading out trucks, and scrap and forestry work.

An optional reinforced, severe-duty undercarriage is available for working in forestry, rock, or with single grouser track shoes. An optional special application package, featuring High & Wide undercarriage, reinforced frame, guarding, auxiliary hydraulics with extra rotation pump, and provisions for a cab riser, is available for above-ground applications such as forestry and scrap handling.

Additional features on the new Kobelco SK210 excavators include swing flashers and step extensions. Plug-in capability for telematics is standard on all Mark 9 excavators. All the excavators are compatible with grade control systems from leading suppliers to meet customer preference and applications.

A full selection of buckets, couplers, and thumbs are offered to maximize the machine’s versatility.

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