Kaiser S12 – The Alp Climbing machine clear the power line

Some weeks ago, I had the pleasure to see a Kaiser S12 machine in operations. It’s an extreme versatile machine, normally used to climb the Alps for different kind of jobs. I visited one of the few machines that are currently operating in Sweden, doing clearing work. A Kaiser S12 that contractor Ekströms Skogsservice uses to clear brushes and small trees in power lines. On flat land!

Under a high voltage power line, I met Niklas Jonsson who runs the contracting company (together with Johan Persson) and Jonny Svensson who’s operating the machine. They showed me how the Kaiser S12 machine works and it’s a pretty cool and capable machine to watch. In the video (below) you can see how it can adapt to terrain and obstacles.

Before we go into the details of the Kaiser machine, it’s a good idea to tell a bit more about Ekström’s forest service: It is a company that specializes in clearing power lines in both wide (tree-secured) and narrower power lines. The company is located in Eksjö in south Sweden and they have about 30 employees. Except for clearing power lines the company also do silviculture and forest services such as forest clearing and some arborist missions.

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Why Your Hydraulic Machine Probably Needs an Oil Cooler—and a Big One!

A lot of attention is paid to contamination of hydraulic fluid, usually viewed as dirt, water, and air. But heat is also quite detrimental to hydraulic fluid and may account as many component failures as “regular” contamination.

The inconvenient truth about hydraulic machines is they are heat-generating systems. They are not unique in this respect: Energy conversion and control with 100% efficiency remains elusive. But it’s my contention that unavoidable inefficiency, which manifests as energy contamination of the hydraulic fluid, does not command the attention it deserves.

With the exception of the reservoir, every component in a hydraulic system is a heat-generating device. The process of moving hydraulic fluid through a conductor from A to B results in pressure drop and, therefore, heat generation. Installing depth filters to control particle contamination also creates a pressure drop, which increases heat load. Pumps and motors leak internally, resulting still more heat-generating pressure drops. The charge pump on a hydrostatic transmission is 100% heat load. In open circuits, heat-generating orifices, throttles (in all their various forms), and hydrostats are installed to control direction, flow, and pressure—and loads are counterbalanced by installing hydraulic resistance.

Read more: Why Your Hydraulic Machine Probably Needs an Oil Cooler—and a Big One!

Why Your Hydraulic Machine Probably Needs an Oil Cooler—and a Big One!

The inconvenient truth about hydraulic machines is they are heat-generating systems. They are not unique in this respect: Energy conversion and control with 100% efficiency remains elusive. But it’s my contention that unavoidable inefficiency, which manifests as energy contamination of the hydraulic fluid, does not command the attention it deserves.

With the exception of the reservoir, every component in a hydraulic system is a heat-generating device. The process of moving hydraulic fluid through a conductor from A to B results in pressure drop and, therefore, heat generation. Installing depth filters to control particle contamination also creates a pressure drop, which increases heat load. Pumps and motors leak internally, resulting still more heat-generating pressure drops. The charge pump on a hydrostatic transmission is 100% heat load. In open circuits, heat-generating orifices, throttles (in all their various forms), and hydrostats are installed to control direction, flow, and pressure—and loads are counterbalanced by installing hydraulic resistance.

The point is that energy wasting-pressure drops are a fact of life in hydraulic systems. They can (and should) be minimized, but they can’t be completely eliminated. So let’s stop ignoring the elephant in the room. Because if left unchecked, energy contamination is just as problematic as particle contamination, and arguably more so.

Energy Contamination Affects Lubrication
Adequate lubrication of hydraulic components and efficient power transmission both depend on appropriate oil viscosity. If hydraulic fluid temperature is allowed to exceed that required to maintain viscosity at around 20 centiStokes (cSt), the likelihood of boundary lubrication—resulting in friction and wear—increases dramatically.

The temperature at which this point is reached depends on the fluid’s viscosity grade and its viscosity index (VI). The VI is a measure of an oil’s resistance to change in viscosity with a change in temperature. An oil with a high VI is often called a multi-grade oil. Multi-grade oils are often specified for equipment that must operate in cold. The high VI helps prevent the oil’s viscosity from increasing (thickening) at low temperatures. However, a high VI also helps prevent its viscosity from decreasing (thinning) at high temperatures.

Read more: Why Your Hydraulic Machine Probably Needs an Oil Cooler—and a Big One!

GOMACO to Unveil GT-3600 Curb, Gutter Machine at World of Concrete

GOMACO’s new Xtreme GT-3600 curb and gutter machine will be displayed for the first time ever in GOMACO’s booth in the Central Hall at World of Concrete 2019. The GT-3600 was the first three-track machine to slipform a 24-in. radius, and now, with the Xtreme package on board, tight-radius paving is easier and more efficient than ever before. The Xtreme package adds G+ radius software with slew drives, smart-sensored hydraulics and intelligence to the GOMACO GT-3600.

Xtreme steering and ultimate intelligence have been added to each of the GT-3600’s three tracks and include rotary-sensored slew drives, sensored All-Track Steering and All-Track Positioning, and smart hydraulic cylinders. The Xtreme GT-3600’s tracks can now rotate farther than ever before. The smart cylinders allow the G+ control system to know the exact position of all three tracks so it can make steering adjustments as needed. It’s the ultimate in finite and accurate machine control.

The first three-track slipform curb and gutter machine to slipform a 24 in. radius now features GOMACO’s Xtreme Radius program for tight radii on stringline. The G+ radius software allows the operator to program the size of the radius into the controller.

G+ calibrates and manages all the aspects of traveling around the radius, including track angles and individual variable track speeds. As the Xtreme GT-3600 approaches the radius, with the values already dialed in, the operator activates the radius program, and the machine slipforms around the radius. It’s that easy for any operator to pour a curb and gutter radius. The individual track speed control provides smooth machine travel around the radius. The G+ control system also easily interfaces with any of the major 3D guidance systems for the same smooth control.

A smart hydraulic cylinder also is utilized for intelligent offset when telescoping and sideshifting the mold mounting system. The smart cylinders provide G+ the ability of repeatable mold offset. The trimmerhead and mold also have independent vertical adjustments for raising and lowering to work around job-site challenges.

The Xtreme GT-3600 is equipped with the latest in Tier IV technology. Along with Tier IV is a new optimized cooling package with a hydraulic fan controlled by G+. G+ adapts the cooling needs to individual jobsite conditions for a quiet and efficient operation. Fuel efficiency also has been optimized and combined with an increased fuel capacity for an uninterrupted day of paving. The Xtreme GT-3600 also is available with GOMACO Remote Diagnostics (GRD) for machine troubleshooting, diagnostic reviews, software updates, and more.

Read more: GOMACO to Unveil GT-3600 Curb, Gutter Machine at World of Concrete