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What you missed at the 2018 AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo

By |  May 29, 2018
Photos by Allison Barwacz

The DX900i surface top hammer drill rig is the latest development in Sandvik’s Ranger DXi series. Photos by Allison Barwacz

While ConExpo-Con/Agg brought a wave of new technologies a year ago, a number of manufacturers utilized this year’s AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo and World of Asphalt Show & Conference to bring new equipment to the market.

According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which organize the two shows, more than 460 exhibitors, including 160 who were new to the shows, displayed their latest innovations in Houston.

“This year, there was a lot more equipment here,” says Sean Donaghy, territory manager at Terex EvoQuip. “From the previous shows, [there] seemed to be a lot more big equipment here. A lot of the smaller companies brought in equipment rather than just doing the booth. It gave me the sense that there is a lot of optimism in the economy and that people are willing to invest in the marketing to come to the show.”

Mark Krause, McLanahan Corp.’s managing director of North America, agrees.

“The show continues to get bigger each year,” he says. “They say we’re growing 5 to 7 percent each year. It’s exciting to see new vendors, new people, new space. [AGG1] also brings in new people. We’re talking about a very high attendance level here. Personally, I was concerned with the industry being so busy trying to operate that people wouldn’t come. [But] we’ve seen great turnouts.”

P&Q reported live at AGG1 from the George R. Brown Convention Center and produced a series of videos on equipment, technologies and trends from the show floor.

New tech

In drilling, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s Ranger DX900i surface top hammer drill rig launched to the North American market.

According to Sandvik, the DX900i features the most powerful rock drill in its class, Sandvik intelligence features and a counterweight, revolving superstructure enabling stability. The DX900i offers 290-degree coverage.

“This is a unique machine because [it] has a turning superstructure,” says Pekka Kesseli, director of sales development at Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology. “The upper part of the machine turns like an excavator.”

New screening technologies were also on display at AGG1, including Hoyt Wire Cloth’s ESE (exchangeable screen elements) system, which allows users to convert their modular polyurethane system to accept almost any screen media.

“We found this is a good solution for the end user,” says Andy Bartels, director of sales and marketing at Hoyt Wire Cloth. “They don’t have to cut, burn or remove anything from their current deck. We’ve seen an increase in production numbers.”

Also, the throughput is significantly better and ESE is a lower-cost replacement, Bartels says, because urethane usually does not have to be replaced.

“It’s usually just a wire cloth piece that gets replaced, and you don’t have to replace a whole row,” Bartels says. “Those are the big things when you’re converting back from a modular system to a wire cloth system.”

In the area of motors, drives and bearings, Van der Graaf showcased the new GrizzlyDrive to deliver a drum motor that can withstand the high-vibratory conditions and the dustiest of aggregate and mining environments.

“We’re trying to build a totally different heavy-duty drum motor that is going to power the conveyors that have heavier bearings, [a] heavier electric motor [and] heavier gearing with a better sealing capacity,” says Alexander Kanaris, president of Van der Graaf. “It is a product that is maintenance free – it’s a very robust product.

Users don’t have to maintain pillow block bearings on the outside, Kanaris adds, and energy savings are elevated by 20 to 25 percent.

“It’s safe,” Kanaris says. “Nobody can get hurt from the external components from the conveyor.”

Photos by Allison Barwacz

Hoyt Wire Cloth’s ESE system allows users to convert a modular polyurethane system to accept most screen media.

Also new in Houston was SSAB’s Hardox 500 Tuf, the latest upgrade to the Hardox range of products. 500 Tuf is tough enough to perform as a structural material in heavy-duty tipper bodies, containers and buckets – even in freezing conditions, the company says.

“It’s got very good abrasion resistance and it will last a lot longer,” says Bill Donohue, SSAB’s wear services manager. “You get very good abrasion resistance with the 500 brinell material. It [offers] very good impact resistance and for using it for truck bed liners, crusher liners, it’s really good material.”

Other developments

Caterpillar introduced the 988K XE wheel loader last fall, but the machine was on display at AGG1 for the greater industry to see.

“The 988K XE is equivalent in size to the 988K standard machine which has a mechanical drive,” says Don Weinhold, senior market professional at Caterpillar. “This machine is electric drive. So we have a generator driving a motor [and] there’s a power invertor involved. Other than that, the drivetrain is essentially the same.”

The big benefit of the 988K XE is a 25 percent improvement overall in fuel efficiency, Weinhold says.

“It’s production and fuel,” he adds, when asked about the loader’s key benefits. “It’s longer life on the drivetrain, less maintenance costs. We think the engine will last about 25 percent longer in addition to certainly using less fuel over the life of the machine.”

Volvo Construction Equipment was also focused on loading equipment at AGG1, where the company’s latest innovation in mid-sized wheel loaders was unveiled with the debut of the updated L90H.

“The L90H wheel loader features updates to its transmission and torque converter that shorten cycle times and provide up to 20 percent greater fuel efficiency,” says Chris Connolly, product manager of wheel loaders at Volvo Construction Equipment. “It also has a higher tipping load and dump height.”

Among the new features is a delayed engine shutdown that reduces engine wear by avoiding hot turbo shutdowns. Electro-servo hydraulic controls feature adjustable sensitivity and allow operators to shift quickly between linear and single-lever controls.

Additionally, a new loader arm design is optimized to result in increased payload.

“We have some other exciting features like rimpull control,” Connolly says. “The operator is now going to be able to control rimpull on the machine, so that will all but eliminate tire slippage. That’s a huge expense for an owner.”

Tire technology was also a discussion point in Bridgestone’s booth, where the PressureStat tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) was the highlight.

“We introduced PressureStat in late January to the market,” says Rob Seibert, director of off-the-road marketing at Bridgestone Commercial Solutions. “PressureStat is a TPMS system which provides on-board alerts to heavy equipment operators if there’s a pressure situation that needs to be addressed.”

The PressureStat system provides instant access to tire pressure and temperature data, allowing customers to manage tire pressure on a real-time basis.

Another new technology showcased at AGG1 was the second-generation Warman WGR pump from Weir Minerals.

“It’s a pump that has a couple of features [designed] primarily for the aggregate market,” says Michael Klimek, product marketing manager at Weir. “First and foremost, it has the Linatex rubber and the R35 liners. The R35 material is the absolute best material for a sliding wet abrasion, which is what you’re going to see in a sand and aggregate mine.”

Weir redesigned the pump over the last couple of years to improve the sealing, Klimek says. The pump features an expeller seal, which requires no water in the field.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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