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Products ranging from an intelligent excavator to a pioneering wheeled excavator, from an electric crusher to a ‘pop up’ welfare unit are among the winners of this year’s Plantworx Innovation Awards.

The winners were announced yesterday (Thursday) in London at an event hosted by Rob Oliver, chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association, and all the winning and highly commended products will be on show at the Plantworx exhibition in Leicestershire in June.

Judges said the standard and volume of entries indicated an industry “full of innovative ideas” for the construction sector.


Security – Sponsored by SKM Asset Finance

Winner: Datatag – MicroCESAR

Puts a ‘fingerprint’ on your kit.

A unanimous choice of the judges, MicroCESAR was first announced at the Combined Industries Theft Solutions conference at the end of 2015 and has been in development since. The security marking technology gives each piece of equipment a unique ‘fingerprint’ that thieves cannot remove and enables police forces to verify the ownership of a piece of equipment without special equipment or lengthy laboratory testing.

Thefts of small power tools are extremely common and the judges felt MicroCESAR is likely to make “significant inroads” into reducing the problem. Power tools manufacturer STIHL has already announced it will fit MicroCESAR as standard on all its cut-off saws.


Commitment to Skills and Training – Sponsored by CEA Skills Council

Winner: Hire Association Europe

Highly Commended: Engcon

Highly Commended: A-Plant

Hire Association Europe won the category with its innovative use of gaming technology for health and safety training, including 360° video, 3D animation, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR). The first modules are for working at height and cut-off saws, with users working with VR to select the correct PPE and identify areas of risk.

They will soon be followed by modules for dust, noise and HAVS, and other product groups such as breakers, angle grinders and diamond drilling. The judges said the HAE’s approach is genuinely innovative and an important change in trying to ensure health and safety training reaches a wider audience.


Environment – Sponsored by CEA

Winner: Red Rhino Crushers – Red Rhino 5000 Electric Tracked Crusher

Highly Commended: Wacker Neuson – Electric wheeled loader WL20e

Highly Commended: Avant Tecno (UK) – E5 and E6 electric compact loaders

‘Incredibly useful.’

The Red Rhino RR5000 electric tracked crusher was initially developed as a machine for an underground mine in France but proved so popular that the company has taken it into full production. The crusher is powered from mains electricity and only uses 24kW of power, when a comparable sized diesel-powered machine would use more than 60 litres of fuel per da, with the resulting exhaust and noise emissions.

The assessors said they could envisage the machine being incredibly useful on city centre and restricted sites and would also be valuable at waste treatment facilities.


Engineering – Sponsored by Leica Geosystems

Winner: JCB – Hydradig

Runner Up: Brokk – SmartPower


‘Genuinely new.’


The stand-out engineering innovation this year is JCB’s new Hydradig wheeled excavator. “The company has taken what has traditionally been a problematic machine class and redesigned it from the ground up, starting with the decision to relocate all the major components to the lower chassis. The result is an excavator that has much better visibility, stability, mobility, manoeuvrability and serviceability than anything in this class before,” said the judges.

It is, they added, “one of the first genuinely new pieces of construction equipment in 20 years”.



Efficiency – Sponsored by Datatag

Winner: Marubeni-Komatsu – PC210LCi

Runner Up: Gecko – TruckLoader

‘Significant savings.’

Komatsu’s PC210LCi-11 intelligent machine control excavator is much more than a simple upgrade of the previous award-winning model, judges declared. “Komatsu has created a hydraulic excavator that comes out of the factory with intelligent machine control and the capability for semi‐automatic operation.

“The combination of the machine control system and a tilt bucket that is automatically limited from digging beyond the target surface should lead to significant efficiency savings on various levels.”



Non-operated Plant and Support Products – Sponsored by CEA

Winner: Securi-Cabin – Smart Pick Welfare Unit

Runner Up: SiteStak

The runway winner in this new category is a product that prompted “absolute delight” among the judges. The units are designed to be placed on site without a lorry loader crane and sit flat on a trailer during transport. Once on site, the trailer is manoeuvred into position, hydraulic legs extend from the base of the unit to the ground and then raise the unit off the trailer so the trailer can pull away. The welfare unit can then be lowered to the ground.


‘Absolute delight’.


“All of this is done by an operator using a wireless remote control system, so at no stage does anyone have to climb on to the unit to fix chains, or operate any kind of crane or lifting gear. Another feature of the unit is that it can be extended once it arrives on site – again using the remote control – from 5.4m long to 7.2m. The judges described it as “a fantastic innovation”.



Winner: Husqvarna – DXR Dust Reduction Kit

Highly Commended: Tufftruk – Truxta Rigid 4×4 Micro Dumper

Highly Commended: Rhinox Buckets – Uni-tusk X1


‘Reduces risks.’


The winner is a product that tackles the serious health risks caused by breathing in dust from demolition and breaking activities. Designed by Husqvarna for all its DXR robots for use with a range of Atlas Copco breakers, the product supplies water to the tool to bind any airborne dust, causing it to fall to the ground rather than being breathed in by an operator.

Judges commented that Husqvarna had found a very efficient way to tackle an important safety issue. Because the water supply is triggered by the breaker, it ensures that the dust suppression will always happen, rather than relying on human intervention.




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Article posted 7/4/2017