Topic: News

OSHA delays effective date for enforcing employees’ rights to report workplace injuries, illnesses

WASHINGTON – Toshahe Occupational Safety and Health Administration is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. Originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin Nov. 1, 2016.

Under the rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

Source: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=32802

 


PBE Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

PBE Group photo (1024x683)aerial 5 (1024x445) jimmy holly mike ed mark (1024x756) 20160611_102430 (1024x768) Pat Plenio touse (800x600)

Pine Bush Equipment marked its 60th anniversary with open houses held, June 11, 2016, at its Pine Bush, N.Y., location and  June 18 at its Newington, Conn., location.

The events featured food, fun and prizes for the whole family, including a children’s activity tent with crafts, games and a sandbox to dig in. Equipment demonstrations were held throughout the day featuring Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control and an equipment rodeo that was sponsored by Kubota. Hundreds of contractors and their families from across the Hudson Valley were in attendance.

 


HoistCam: custom-made camera systems designed to improve safety and efficiency for heavy equipment operators

Four years ago, Chris Machut went for a walk in downtown Norfolk.

But instead of facing straight ahead, looking down at the sidewalk or staring into his phone, he tilted his head back and gazed straight up.

What he saw was a towchris machuter crane, rising high above the spot that would become the Slover Library.

And it gave him an idea.

As chief technology officer at Netarus, he has built a business around expanding lines of sight for the maritime and construction industries. Over the last three years, his Norfolk-based company has sold more than $800,000 worth of custom-made camera systems designed to improve safety and efficiency for heavy equipment operators.

Netarus creates “situational awareness platforms.” Simply put, they attach high-tech, cloud-connected cameras to construction equipment. The company’s HoistCam gives crane operators a new way of seeing their work, and the enhanced views allow them to work faster, safer and more confidently.

“Safety means money,” Machut said. “If you don’t have accidents, you don’t lose money.”

But along the way, he discovered completely understanding the big picture requires you to do more than just open your eyes.

Settling in and looking up

The evolution of Netarus started with the simple belief a sea captain should be able to see where his ship is going.

“Every time I went on a vessel that was more than 25 feet long, I saw that there was a ton of blind spots,” Machut said. “To navigate, you had to rely on other people.”

Along with a partner, Machut launched TugCam, a business that specialized in creating camera systems for tugboats.

Machut understood they had the concept and the know-how, but they needed a place. They needed a local business network and access to a long list of partners who could push them forward.

In 2012, on the recommendation of friend and mentor Marty Kaszubowski (now executive director of the Center for Enterprise Innovation at ODU), Machut applied to Hatch. The then-fledgling small business accelerator accepted TugCam into its inaugural group of five companies. TugCam got a home office in downtown Norfolk and, more importantly, access to the right people.

“(Hatch) is THE reason I met Mark Shaw, my current business partner … THE reason I met (partner) Lew Crenshaw … and it is THE reason that we still have a business because I would have never seen that tower crane across the street.”

Changing direction

By many definitions, HoistCam is a success. It provides a simple solution for a niche industry. Machut and his company design and build each camera unit in-house and positive word-of-mouth is generated from a growing client base.

But as appealing as the road ahead appeared, it became clear there was a better way. Cameras, no matter how fancy, are a commodity and Netarus has already attracted copycat competitors. In an industry ruled by hard hats and heavy lifting, Machut quickly learned knowledge is king.

“The life of a general contractor as it exists today is more about human resources and information technology than buildings,” Machut said. “They have to make very critical and expensive decisions very fast.”

Cameras kick-started his career, but Machut has since accepted data is his destiny. The shift started last summer when an analytics company paid Netarus a visit. Their conversation inspired a change in direction.

“I’ve realized that we’re not a manufacturing company, we’re a data company,” he said. “People will pay so much more for the information than they would the hardware.”

The pivot led to a pitch that earned them a $250,000 investment last April. The Launch Place, a Danville-based startup supporter, saw potential in Netarus’ HoistCam Director Platform.

The platform gives clients the ability to monitor and record HoistCam activity from anywhere in the world. It also allows for the integration and monitoring of third party equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles. It’s a full-service video analytics suite that includes complete job site analysis from BIM model integration to logistics tracking.

“We have all this data from these job sites that has to be useful,” Machut said. “We want to take that data and analyze it and understand it. We want to help our clients better understand what’s happening at the job site.”

Accelerating analysis

Things are moving fast and slow for Netarus.

Machut said the company has two primary goals: get more cameras in the field and figure out the fastest, most useful ways to analyze the job site data.

“We’ve worked with some amazing partners,” he said. “W.M. Jordan has been phenomenal. They gave us unprecedented access to their job sites and in exchange, we come back with information and ask what it means.”

Machut said there have been some incredible examples of how acting quickly on incoming information could have saved money.

“There was one case where someone said, ‘Had I seen this before I did that … it would have saved us $7,000.’ And I basically pointed out that if they had seen that and could’ve have reacted immediately, they would have made a return on investment in 10 seconds.”

The company recently received a $45,000 Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund award from the state and the Center for Innovative Technology. The grant money will be used to help develop the data analytics side of the business.

The ultimate goal is to have all of their cameras and collection methods shooting data into the cloud and analyzing it as it’s being captured.

The next step is putting together a software development team. Machut has set goals for closing the time delay between data collection and analysis. By March 2017, the target is 30 minutes. By the end of 2017, he hopes to be able to deliver actionable data analysis and renderings on site in under two minutes.

“Our biggest challenge is educating all these people that this technology exists,” Machut said. “We have a full blown product in the camera, in the recording and capabilities, but we don’t know what we have in the analytics … yet.”

 

 

Author : Pete Humes

Source: Hampton Roads Business Journal  June 22, 2016


Telematics : How to use equipment data to track fuel, plan routes and diagnose problems

telematics pic construction-machine

http://www.komatsuamerica.com/komtrax/construction-machines

Telematics data is a lot like a map to buried treasure. The information does you no good unless you act on it.  The gold is there. But, if you don’t pick up a shovel and start digging, you’re never going to find it.

In our previous Telematics 101 article, we looked at some of the things you can do with three different types of telematics data: location, run time/utilization and fuel burn data. This month, we’ll look at idle time, driver monitoring and diagnostic codes.

Keep in mind that if you’re running equipment that’s three years old or newer from most of the major OEMs, you can probably get this telematics data for free from their websites. If your equipment is older, or if the OEM website route doesn’t fit your needs, you can also wire up almost any machine with third-party telematics products from a wide variety of vendors.

 

Idle time

How would you like to cut your diesel fuel bill by 10, 20 or even 30 percent?

A lot of smart contractors are saving money by using telematics data to find excessive idle time. This is probably the most widely used data set in the heavy equipment telematics field for one simple reason: Accurate measurements of machine idle time are saving small earthmoving companies tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. Big companies are saving millions.

There is no good reason to keep modern diesel engines idling more than a few minutes at a time. By tracking idle time by machine, truck or operator, you can quickly see who is wasting fuel versus who is diligent about saving the company money. When you find excessive idle time, you can use that information to see if the job is structured wrong or to show operators and drivers how wasteful the practice is.

Coaching better behaviors is the best approach to take, rather than criticizing or reprimanding employees. Some companies will offer operators bonuses (based on the fuel cost savings) through anti-idling programs.

Another cost savings associated with cutting idle time is that it reduces wear and tear on engines. If you’re not putting those extra hours on the engine, it’s going to last longer, stay in warranty longer, require fewer service intervals and bring a higher resale value at trade-in time. Excessive idling also generates extra soot, which can prematurely clog diesel particulate filters, requiring more maintenance and regenerations.

 

Driver issues and public image

In earlier articles, we talked about how telematics location data can help you set up geofences and curfews to prevent unauthorized use of trucks and vehicles. You can also track, and plan, the routes of your trucks around traffic jams to save time. These are the most popular uses of telematics location data for heavy trucks and pickups. But there’s another important safety benefit to having your equipment wired for telematics.

Truck telematics not only report on the whereabouts of your vehicles, but most will also calculate their speed. Many truck-specific third-party telematics products will also record things like harsh braking, sudden stops or acceleration, swerving and other undesirable driver behaviors. Some of these systems even use driver-monitoring cameras (as we reported in the October 2015 issue, page 37).

But, you can harvest a lot of useful data from truck telematics without a camera system, using just location and tracking data. For example, many large construction companies have fleets of hundreds of vehicles, both pickups and vocational trucks. Inevitably, this means that the company will occasionally field complaints from  concerned citizens regarding poor driving, or perhaps gravel, dirt or debris blowing off the top of a loaded dump truck.

Smart contractors, especially those who do a lot of public funded work, know that a good public image is important. But, in the absence of telematics data on a truck, such a complaint can often become a he-said/she-said situation.

Using telematics, you can check the truck in question, see if the driver was in the area or not, and better engage the citizen who complained. If it wasn’t your truck, tell them. If it was your truck and your driver was driving carelessly, you can apologize and assure the person that corrective actions will be taken. If there were extenuating circumstances, such as an injury or emergency, you can explain that as well.

In either case, right or wrong, you’ve taken action to respond responsibly to a citizen’s complaint. This course of action is much more productive than casting aspersions on an innocent driver, or being unresponsive to the concerns of the public.

Telematics-driven examples like this aren’t big money makers, but they can help lower insurance costs, encourage your drivers to be safer, and demonstrate to the public that your company is responsible and responsive.

 

Remote vehicle diagnostic codes

In the dark ages before telematics, if you got a call from an operator who said a machine was down and he had no clue as to why, you had only one option: Dispatch a service tech to investigate. The technician logs whatever travel time is necessary and then discovers he needs a part, which means another trip back to the shop or dealer, and then a return trip to make the repair. At a minimum, you’ve blown a half-day (if not two full days).

Most OEM telematic data feeds will provide a huge amount of information about machine operating parameters like engine temps, hydraulic pressures and fluid levels. The Association of Equipment Management Professionals is putting the final touches on an updated version of a standardized telematics protocol that will identify more than 40 fault codes and parameters, and every OEM we’ve talked to is going to adopt this standard when it’s finalized by the ISO.

With this kind of information, you can diagnose equipment problems from your desk or any connected mobile device before the service tech ever hits the highway. In some cases, if the problem is simple, there may be a quick work-around for the operator. But, in almost every case with available telematics data, the tech can have the problem generally diagnosed and the parts in hand before he even leaves the shop. This generates huge cost savings and increases uptime.

Written by

Tom Jackson | May 27, 2016
Equipment World Magazine – http://www.equipmentworld.com/telematics-101-how-to-use-equipment-data-to-track-fuel-plan-routes-and-diagnose-problems/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=05-30-2016&utm_campaign=Equipment%20World&ust_id=9b27c72f6528f7d3624a8c7b0551aab3

 

 


Komatsu America Corp. introduces the new PC360LCi-11 intelligent machine control hydraulic excavator

First 3D semi-automatic excavator offered in North America’s most popular size class

PC360LCi-11 Rolling Meadows, Ill., May 25, 2016 – Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today introduced the new PC360LCi-11 hydraulic excavator, the first 3D semi-automatic excavator available in the popular 36-ton weight class.

“Nimble, yet highly productive, the PC360LCi-11 is easily the most anticipated intelligent machine control machine to launch from Komatsu in recent memory,” said Jason Anetsberger, senior product manager, Komatsu America.  “From trenching on a utility worksite to mass excavating on a highway project, the PC360LCi-11 is flexible and versatile enough to be at home on almost any jobsite,” Anetsberger said.

Intelligent Machine Control features a unique sensor package, including stroke sensing hydraulic cylinders, an IMU sensor, and GNSS antennas. The machine utilizes 3D design data loaded into the machine’s monitor to accurately display machine position relative to target grade. When the bucket reaches the target surface, automation kicks in to limit over excavation.

Features that make the PC360LCi-11 a unique hydraulic excavator include:

  • Auto Grade Assist – as the operator moves the arm, the boom adjusts the bucket height automatically, tracing the target surface and minimizing digging too deep.
  • Auto Stop Control – during boom and bucket operation, the work equipment automatically stops when the bucket edge reaches the design surface, thus minimizing design surface damage.
  • Minimum Distance Control – the machine controls the bucket by automatically selecting the point on the bucket closest to the target surface. If the machine is not facing a sloped surface at a right angle, it will still follow the target surface and minimize digging below it.
  • Facing Angle Compass – the orientation of the facing angle compass’ arrow shows the operator the facing angle, relative to target surface. This allows the bucket edge to be accurately positioned square with the target surface.
  • Realistic 3D Display – the machine and design surfaces are shown in realistic 3D.  The angle and magnification of the views can be changed, allowing the operator to select the optimum view, depending on work conditions.
  • Control Box – the Intelligent Machine Control monitor uses a large 12.1 screen for visibility and ease of use. The simple screen layout displays the necessary information in an easily understood fashion. A touch screen icon interface, instead of a multi-step menu, simplifies operation.

Other performance features include:

  • A 8.85 liter, 257 horsepower, EPA Tier 4 Final, SAA6D114E-6 engine
  • An up to 13 percent productivity improvement, thanks to increased hydraulic flow in Power Mode
  • Up to seven percent more arm crowd force and bucket digging force, respectively, when the one-touch, Power Max function is engaged
  • KOMRAX® level 5 technology feeds the operator machine data, such as fuel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) levels, Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), regeneration status, location, cautions and maintenance alert information.

The PC360LCi-11 excavator, whether rented, leased or purchased, is covered by the Komatsu CARE® program for the first three years or 2000 hours, whichever comes first. Komatsu CARE includes scheduled factory maintenance, a 50-point inspection at each service and up to two complimentary Komatsu DPF exchanges and up to two DEF tank flushes in the first five years.

Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America also serves forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality reliable products for nearly a century. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.

Note: All comparisons and claims of improved performance made herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu model unless otherwise specifically stated. Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd.  KOMTRAX® and Komatsu CARE® are registered trademarks of Komatsu Ltd.  All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.


Komatsu America Corp. introduces the new D39PXi-24 crawler dozer

Skipping cables, climbing and connections of traditional aftermarket systems save operators up to 30 minutes a day, plus hassle

D39i-24 Rolling Meadows, Ill., May 19, 2016 – Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today introduced the new D39PXi-24 crawler dozer, the smart choice for any machine owner looking for intelligence and efficiency beyond what is typically available in machine control systems.

Eliminating the need to install and remove blade-mounted sensors each day not only saves on machine and operator wear and tear, it converts potential downtime into more time spent running the machine.

“With factory integration and a host of intelligent capabilities, the more owners of the D39PXi-24 run their machines, the more they save,” said Jason Anetsberger, Komatsu senior product manager. “The monthly production gains from starting sooner, finishing faster, using less fuel and saving on materials can add up quickly,” Anetsberger said.
Intelligent Value

First-to-last pass, rough-to-finish automatic dozing extends production gains. Once engaged, the system automatically starts the cut and lowers the blade to grade in a typical dozing pass. If the load increases to a maximum, the blade automatically raises to minimize track slip to keep dozing productively. This intelligence achieves up to 8% greater efficiency in moving material, based on start-to-finish grade testing against typical aftermarket machine control systems.

Machine Performance Enhancements

  • New standard, operator-selectable, automatic reverse grading mode enables automatic blade control, while reversing to grade target surface, per customer feedback.
  • New Triple Labyrinth final drive housing design provides additional protection for the final drive floating seals.

Under The Hood

  • A 3.26 L, 105 HP, EPA Tier 4 Final certified, SAA4D95E-7 engine offers the same power, while increasing fuel efficiency with the addition of the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).
  • A new water cooled, Variable Flow Turbocharger, provides added durability and excellent engine response.
  • The Komatsu Diesel Oxidation Catalyst provides 100% passive regeneration and does not interfere with machine operation.
  • New auto-idle shutdown helps reduce idle time and saves fuel.

The D39PXi-24, whether rented, leased or purchased, is covered by the Komatsu CARE® program for the first three years or 2000 hours, whichever comes first. Komatsu CARE® includes scheduled factory maintenance, a 50-point inspection at each service and two complimentary Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter exchanges and DEF tank flushes in the first five years.

Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America Corp. also serves the forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality, reliable products for nearly a century. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.

Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd.  KOMTRAX® and Komatsu CARE® are registered trademarks of Komatsu Ltd.  All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.

Note: All comparisons and claims of improved performance made herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu model unless otherwise specifically stated. Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice.


Construction firms added 1,000 jobs in April, here’s a new way to connect workers with jobs

Despite Monthly Slowdown, Construction Hiring Outpaced Overall Jobs Market On a Year-Over-Year Basis, New AGC Career Center Will Help Firms Find Qualified Workers Amid Growing Labor Shortages

2.3 Blog

Construction employment rose in April by 1,000 for the month and 261,000 for the year as mild winter weather and labor shortages impacted the early spring hiring season for many firms, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that construction spending continues to grow and worker shortages are likely to get worse, which is why they are launching a new online career center to help connect firms with qualified workers.

“Some of the slowdown in hiring last month was due to mild winter weather that allowed contractors to hire or retain workers in the first quarter instead of waiting until spring,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Yet reports from contractors and recent Census Bureau data on construction spending through March suggest industry demand for workers will remain robust, if firms can find employees with the right skills.”

Construction employment totaled 6,670,000 in April, the highest level since December 2008, and is up by 261,000 jobs compared to a year ago, a 4.1 percent increase. Residential construction—comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors—declined by 3,800 jobs in April but is up by 140,800, or 5.7 percent, compared to a year ago. Nonresidential construction—building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms–added 4,400 jobs for the month and 120,100 jobs compared to April 2015, a 3.0 percent increase.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed jobseekers in April who last worked in construction totaled 530,000, the lowest April total since 2000. The unemployment rate for such workers was 6.0 percent, a 16-year low for April. As the number of unemployed construction workers continued to decline, average hourly earnings for the construction industry continued to grow, up 2.3 percent compared to April 2015.

Association official noted that many firms report having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire as demand for construction continues to expand.  That is why the association is launching a new online job portal for the construction industry called the AGC Career Center.  The new site will allow individuals looking for construction jobs to search for postings by location, keywords, categories and experience level and to post their resumes.  Employers will be able to post positions, browse resumes and get alerts when new resumes they might be interested in are posted.

“With labor shortages likely to get even more severe, we want to do everything possible to connect qualified workers with firms looking to expand,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer.  “The new career center will make it easier for firms to find workers when they need them.”

For more information about the new AGC Career Center, visit www.agc.org/careers/.


Komatsu America Corp. introduces the new WA500-8 wheel loader

Up to 10 percent production gains, up to five percent less fuel consumed and a bigger, better bucket

Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today introduced the new WA500-8 Wheel Loader. Equipped with an EPA Tier 4 Final certified engine, this latest addition to the wheel loader family combines an enhanced lockup torque converter function and SmartLoader logic to achieve low fuel consumption and high travel speeds.

The standard bucket capacity increased to 7.6 cubic yards and the bucket now fills easier and retains material better, contributing to machine efficiency and productivity gains of up to 10 percent. Also, by optimizing control of engine power, and improving power train and hydraulic efficiency, the WA500-8 consumes up to five percent less fuel than its Tier 4 interim predecessor.

“The WA500-8 is made for loading on-highway trucks or smaller rigid trucks in quarry applications, articulated trucks on construction sites, or load and carry applications,” said Rob McMahon, product manager for Komatsu America. “Operators will also appreciate enhancements in cab comfort and features like the integrated load meter and full automatic digging function,” McMahon said.

Standard features of the new WA500-8 include:

Under The Hood

  • A powerful, 357 HP, EPA Tier 4 Final certified, SAA6D140E-7 engine uses up to five percent less fuel than its Tier 4 Interim predecessor.
  • Nearly 20 years of leadership in emissions technology enabled designers to create an engine that reduces Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) by more than 80%, from the Tier 4 Interim model.
  • The new improved Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) with increased capacity and other after treatment components are designed in conjunction with the engine for efficiency and long life.
  • More than 93 percent of KDPF regeneration is performed passively, with no action required of the operator and no interference with machine operation.
  • Komatsu’s SmartLoader Logic, combined with the lockup torque converter that activates in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear, provides optimal engine torque for improved acceleration, hill-climbing ability, a higher top speed and fuel savings.

In-Cab Enhancements/Features

  • New, air-suspension, high-back heated seat that softens machine vibration for operator comfort and new cast frame members are added for increased strength.
  • Seat-mounted electronic pilot control levers with F-N-R switch for operator ergonomics and convenience.
  • Pioneering KOMTRAX telematics system and monitor that provides key machine metrics, including KDPF status and DEF-level data, fuel consumption, plus performance information collected and sorted by Operator ID.
  • Komatsu Auto Idle Shutdown to reduce idle time and save fuel.
  • Auxiliary jack and two 12-volt outlets.
  • Seven inch, full color, high resolution monitor with Ecology Guidance.
  • Dedicated, full-color, rear-view monitor is standard.

Additional Features/Benefits

  • Swing-out cooling fan, with wider fin spacing and a standard auto-reversing fan, for ease of cleaning.
  • Gull-wing engine doors provide quick, convenient access for daily checks and service items
  • Full-rear fenders, standard.
  • Sight gauge at DEF fill cap to minimize overfilling.

The WA500-8, whether rented, leased or purchased, is covered by the Komatsu CARE® program for the first three years or 2000 hours, whichever comes first. Komatsu CARE includes limited scheduled factory maintenance, a 50-point inspection at each service, and two complimentary Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter exchanges and two factory recommended services of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system during the first five years. With select labor, fluids and filters covered by Komatsu over this period, Komatsu CARE lowers ownership costs, raises resale value and improves equipment uptime and availability. For full program details, refer to the Komatsu CARE reimbursement letter.Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America Corp. also serves the forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality, reliable products for nearly a century. Visit the website at www.komatsuamerica.com for more information.

Note: All comparisons and claims of improved performance made herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu model unless otherwise specifically stated. Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd.  KOMTRAX® and Komatsu CARE® are registered trademarks of Komatsu Ltd.  All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.


Hottest High-Strength Material? Not What You Think

I assumed you thought the answer was spider silk. orange_spider_on_black_webAnd you are wrong – it’s sea snail teeth.

If you want to get weird for a moment (and still keep it safe for the kids), there is no faster way to get there than following new materials research and development. In the February 18, 2015 issue of The Royal Society journal Interface, it was reported that the teeth of the common limpet species (Patella vulgata) are “tougher than Kevlar and stronger than spider silk,“ as published on the livescience website.

Just to (stickily) touch on spider silk for a moment, for years this substance has been considered the material du jour for potentially dramatic innovation. As we’ve seen with carbon fiber and titanium, experimental materials research that go mainstream can have enormous implications for military, industrial and consumer applications.

In fact, spider silk had such a cache that genetic engineers started experimenting with goats to have them secrete spider silk in their milk in order to increase production capacity. As noted in the BioSteel wiki, the value proposition behind such experimentation was clearly defined[Spider silk] is reportedly 7-10 times as strong as steel if compared for the same weight, and can stretch up to 20 times its unaltered size without losing its strength properties. It also has very high resistance to extreme temperatures, not losing any of its properties within -20 to 330 degrees Celsius.

So what about the goats?

When the female goats lactate, the milk, containing the recombinant DNA silk, was to be harvested and subjected to chromatographic techniques to purify the recombinant silk proteins.

Alas, despite best efforts here, commercial quantities of goat-expressed spider silk has still not been achieved.

Back to sea snail teeth. According to livescience, “The limpet uses composite fibers that are thousands of times thinner than the man-made nanofibers in airplanes, bulletproof vests or bicycle frames. The biological composites are a mix of the iron oxide mineral goethite and chitin, which acts like a natural plastic… The teeth fibers withstood a pulling force that was equivalent to a spaghetti strand hoisting 3,000 bags of sugar, equivalent to about 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms)…

As manufacturers look to optimize material strength while lightening equipment weight, Nature continues to serve as an almost limitless pool of resources to draw from. After all, any creature that has survived up to this point must have exercised some extensive materials innovation itself in order to sustain that survival.

Manufacturers looking to stay competitive with stronger, lighter and faster competitor products must also be willing to continuously innovate – or at least be receptive to the research that flows from unusual corners of the scientific universe.

If you’re still reading this article, I encourage you to breeze through a slideshow, also courtesy of livescience, where other animal and plant compositions are inspiring new and fascinating technologies.

Enjoy!

By Larry Buzecky, AEM Vice President, Business Intelligence & Strategy

Association of Equipment Manufacturers http://www.aem.org/news/march-2016/hottest-highstrength-material-not-what-you-think/


Komatsu and Cummins Sign Agreement to Improve Global Communities through Corporate Responsibility Partnership

Komatsu Ltd. (President and CEO: Tetsuji Ohashi) and Cummins Inc. (Chairman and CEO: Tom Linebarger) have signed a global corporate responsibility partnership agreement to improve communities around the world. This partnership will build on the companies’ already strong business relationship. Both companies have invested in technical education in their communities as social contribution activities and have already partnered in some community projects.
By leveraging each other’s resources and best practices, they will support human resource development on a global scale.

Mr. Ohashi, President and CEO, Komatsu (left) and Mr. Linebarger, CEO, Cummins (right)

Tetsuji Ohashi expressed, “We share a common commitment to producing and supporting products in a responsible manner, as well as to strengthening education and improving opportunities for the people of the communities where we do business. A partnership that helps the people of our communities will only make our business partnership stronger. It is with great enthusiasm that Komatsu enters into this global collaboration with a trusted partner like Cummins.”

“For decades, Cummins and Komatsu have built a strong and growing business relationship,” said Tom Linebarger. “We share common goals and aspirations for our respective businesses, as well as for the people living in our communities. Using the strength of our employees’ skills, our global presence and our strong business partnership, we can provide opportunity to those most in need. This is a win for Cummins, a win for Komatsu, but most importantly a win for our communities.”

[Komatsu and Cummins-partnered Programs (Ongoing and Planned)]

[About Cummins Inc.]
Cummins Inc. of the United States is a global leader of diesel and natural gas engines, manufacturing, distributing and servicing them for automobiles, electric power generation and other industrial applications. In 1961, Komatsu entered a technology license agreement with Cummins. Today, there are joint-venture companies established by the two, including Industrial Power Alliance, Ltd. which researches and develops diesel engines in Japan, Komatsu Cummins Engine Co., Ltd. and Cummins Komatsu Engine Company, manufacturing diesel engines in Japan and the United States, respectively.

[Komatsu’s Initiatives for Developing People Needed by the Community]http://www.komatsu.com/CompanyInfo/csr/2015/citizenship/citizenship01.html

Information in the news releases is current on the date of the announcement and is subject to change without notice.