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Excavator range's improved stability and state-of-the-art control system expected to appeal to Europe Kobelco seeks increased presence with new range


JAPANESE manufacturer Kobelco has launched a range ofhigh-performance machines with which it hopes to increase its presence in the European market.

The Dynamic Acera range of excavators features improved stability and a sophisticated computerised control system which, the manufacturer believes, represents the next generation of hydraulic management.

The 20-tonne, 25-tonne and 30-tonne machines have had their stability increased by 10 per cent on previous models, thanks to increased weight in the counterweight and platform.

'The range offers a bigger machine's strength with a medium machine's performance,' said Jim Harker, Kobelco UK's general manager.

The Dynamic range's increased hydraulic pressure and larger boom forces, together with a more powerful Mitsubishi engine, give a 10 per cent greater digging force than previous models.

The range also incorporates a computerised engine management system operating on 'fuzzy logic' which the company claims is an industry first. The system senses the movements of the operator's lever and matches them to recognised patterns of working, adjusting hydraulic pressure and engine speed accordingly. Rather than operating in fixed modes, the system recognises a large number of work patterns.

Other features include a patent pending lift-up radiator for improved service access.

Kobelco has also launched another in its range of reduced tailswing machines, designed for the European market and aimed at the increasing number of urban sites that demand a high degree of manoeuvrability.

The 235SRLC is a 24.6 tonne machine - the largest size the company is manufacturing in the short radius SR range.

The other machines in the UK range are 7 tonnes and 13 tonnes, although a further SR machine is expected to be launched at Intermat in Paris in May, fillingin the gap in the upper range.

The 2355R's rear overhang is25 mm, which is the smallest in its class; the front-end overhang is 405 mm.

In addition, the track width with 700 mm tracks is 3.29 m, making it very compact.

With the new machines, the Farnborough-based UK operation is looking to build on the 5 per cent share of the excavator market it has accrued in its first year of business.

Mr Harker is circumspect about his target for next year, although he said there would be an increase in marketing activity and launches of 1.5-tonne and 46-tonne machines.

'We don't sell backhoes, artics or dozers, so we can focus on our market, which is excavators,' he said.

The company is also looking to increase its dealers from four to five, preserving its policy of large territories for each dealer.