Digitization, powertrains takecenter stage at bauma 2019

Organizers of the bauma 2019 building material machinery and construction equipment trade fair, April 8-14 in Munich, stress the digitization trend across attendees’ markets as more and more technologies make their way into the industry. Cloud-based infrastructures, digital services and security solutions are spurring what show manager, Messe München, dubs a change of paradigm for stakeholders up and down the construction value chain.

“It is possible to realize and automate projects more efficiently, faster and more cost-effectively without having to sacrifice quality. In order to achieve this, all stakeholders must be perfectly connected with each other, and the processes must be handled electronically,” the organization notes. “Initial systems for these purposes already exist. They can be seen at bauma, the world’s leading trade fair for construction and building.”

“Digitization of the industry is increasingly important. Many machines are already equipped with communication interfaces that provide comprehensive data, e.g. on location and fuel consumption. This development is also reflected at bauma 2019, [where attendees] will not only be able to find out about initial technologies, but also exchange views with the exhibitors about their potential,” adds bauma Project Manager Mareile Kästner. “Off into the cloud, coordinating all the activities of several construction sites—sometimes located thousands of miles apart—this is no longer a vision of the future. Cloud-based solutions already enable projects like these.”

Planning, implementation, monitoring and optimization of construction projects are consequently running fully digitized, Kästner observes. Site vehicles can even be controlled and managed by various technologies. For example, special sensors register the direction of mixer truck drum revolutions and record the concrete unloading process. Digitization does not stop at height: Cranes at various locations are already run remotely from a control center so that they can carry out work without operators.


Along with digitization measures sweeping the industry, Messe München points to alternative drives as another key construction machinery trend. In the future there will no longer be one single typical drive system but instead an increasingly wide range of competing systems. The world’s leading manufacturers will be showcasing their developments and discussing the opportunities and challenges presented by new technology at this year’s mega gathering in Munich.

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True to market developments that Messe München officials list among bauma 2019 highlights, Caterpillar Inc. has unveiled the D6 XE as the world’s first high drive Electric Drive dozer, offering up to 35 percent better fuel efficiency and increased agility compared to the previous 3-speed model D6T. Measured against traditional diesel-powered machine transmissions, the D6 XE’s next-generation Electric Drive system offers high performance plus simplified diagnostics and serviceability to help lower maintenance and life cycle costs.
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“Electromobility and driverless vehicles are two areas gaining traction with manufacturers and service providers in construction machinery. As such, we intend to provide these hot topics with a platform at bauma 2019. The important thing to note is that we won’t only be showcasing the diverse range of possible applications of leading exhibitors’ products but will also be providing a platform for discussing the aims, potential and sustainability of new technology,” affirms Kästner.

Producing cleaner, quieter and more efficient machinery is the future aim of electrification, according to many construction machinery manufacturers. In fact, more and more companies are already upgrading smaller machines in the lower power range with electric drives; interest in hybrid vehicles likewise grows. As such, systems that can handle light work but then engage a combustion engine where maximum power is required are already under development.

Solutions to enable driverless construction machinery already exist in certain areas of the mining industry and other related areas. They are particularly suitable for use in quarries as the same routes are followed from the extraction point to processing area. There are also future plans for excavators, which will be able to dig excavation pits autonomously. Although a lot of preparatory work has already been done, driverless machines are not yet something that can be fully accomplished or implemented due to the safety aspects involved at complex construction sites, Messe München officials note.

Within the bauma Hall C2 FORUM, a “Driverless Vehicles, Electromobility & Electric Drives and Zero Emissions” thematic group will focus primarily on aspects regarding autonomous driving. bauma 2019 exhibitors covering both technology fronts and potentially joining the Driverless and Electromobility FORUM will include Bosch Rexroth, Doosan Bobcat, Hydac, Komatsu, Liebherr, MAN Truck, Mecalac, Perkins Engines, Siemens, Wacker Neuson and ZF.www.bauma.de