Construction machinery comes in many shapes and sizes and there’s no shortage of manufacturers all claiming to offer the best excavators. While it’s true that many machines share similar technologies, Kobelco has long been an excavator innovator and is constantly finding new ways to integrate the latest technology into its machinery in order to provide real solutions to customer problems.

Over the past decade, our Global Engineering Center (GEC) in Japan has introduced several new technologies to our excavator line-up including iNDr (Integrated Noise and Dust Reduction and Cooling System), KOMEXS remote monitoring and, of course, Hybrid technology.

Most recently, following increasing demand for demolition and heavy machinery in Europe, we entered the demolition sector with three new machines. Like Kobelco’s other heavy excavators for Europe, the Kobelco SK350DLC-11, SK400DLC-11 and larger capacity SK550DLC-11 are hand-built in Japan and feature a host of Kobelco-developed demolition-specific technologies too.

Before deciding to enter the European demolition sector, our research and development into demolition machinery had taken many years – while we are already a market leader for demolition equipment in Japan, Europe presented a completely new challenge.

After showcasing our SK400DLC-10e demolition model at BAUMA 2016, we welcomed feedback from dealers, customers and operators in order to further improve and develop the machine. Many of these suggested improvements were implemented in the Generation 10 models before they were launched.

In addition, our product development teams and engineers at our Itsukaichi factory in Japan wanted to find a way to maximise productivity on demolition job sites. Previous demolition machines had a structure that did not allow attachments to be exchanged, meaning one machine was required to complete either high or low demolition projects. Having machines dedicated to their individual specialty was useful on site, but productivity was low and investing in multiple machines was costly.

Working closely together with the manufacturing teams at our Itsukaichi factory, our designers and engineers came up with a solution to develop a machine structure with a common-use type base boom with interchangeable attachments, allowing one machine to be adapted to multiple specifications.

However, our engineers would also need to study how this type of demolition machine assembly could be completed safely in as short a time as possible in order to reduce downtime on the job site.

The SK350DLC-11, SK400DLC-11 and SK550DLC-11 all feature our proven Kobelco-developed NEXT system for both high elevation and foundation demolition work. This system gives the operator the ability to change tools on site and work at multiple heights with a single machine, maximising productivity.

This means that the machine can be quickly set up and adapted to meet the job requirement, and can be used for the full duration of the project instead of swapping machines – attachments can be changed in around 20 minutes.

The NEXT ultra-high attachment is best suited to the demolition of tall buildings from ground level and the SK350DLC-11, SK400DLC-11 and SK550DLC-11 all have ultra-long attachment configurations and can work to a maximum height of approximately 21m, 24.7m and 27.5m respectively.

The separate boom configuration is ideal for tackling the lower floors of tall buildings where the concrete is at its thickest. With this in mind, any one of the Generation 10 machines would have the ability to completely demolish a multi-storey building, including any basement structure, significantly saving costs.

Another important benefit of the NEXT system is the low storage height of the ultra-high attachment when collapsed. This attachment is designed with the jib and arm cylinders crossed over the shorter inter arm, while the back of the arm remains flat. As a result, the height of the attachment in its stored position is approximately 2m, which means that it can be transported between projects on a standard trailer, further saving logistical costs.

HAND-BUILT IN JAPAN Over the coming months, we’ll be exploring key areas of our manufacturing process at our Itsukaichi factory from the Global Engineering Center and fabrication and welding sections, to upper/lower assembly and quality control, as well as meeting some of Kobelco’s key engineers.
Hand-Built in Japan page >>>

Episode 1 – Itsukaichi factory >>>

Episode 2 – Excavator innovators since 1930 >>>

Episode 3 – NEXT generation demolition technology >>>

Episode 4 – Welding and fabrication >>>

Episode 5 – Quality is key to assembly>>>



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