Komatsu’s rollout of new low-emission, more fuel-efficient engines that comply with US Tier 4 Final emissions regulations has seen it launch an unprecedented 25 new machines across excavators, loaders, trucks and graders – the largest in its history.
All feature Komatsu’s new generation Tier 4 Final-compliant engines, which incorporate unique Komatsu technology to reduce emissions levels by 90% compared with their previous-generation Tier 3 equivalent machines, according to Dean Gaedtke, Komatsu’s Executive General Manager, Construction.
“At the same time, Komatsu has introduced new electronic control systems throughout the new machines that ensure engine power, hydraulic requirements and transmission output is optimised – resulting in fuel consumption savings of between 5% and 15% – depending on models and applications,” said Gaedtke.
“In addition, all Komatsu’s new Tier 4 machines take advantage of the company’s latest developments in its KOMTRAX Step 5 telematics-based remote monitoring system to deliver owners and fleet managers even more data about key operating criteria.”
New Komatsu Tier 4 Final-compliant machines being launched include the following:
- PC30MR-5, PC35MR-5, PC45MR-5 and PC55MR-5 short-tail mini excavators
- PC77UU-10 and PC88MR-10 short-tail midi excavators
- PC138-11 and PC228-11 short-tail construction excavators
- PC240LC-11, PC290LC-11, PC360LC-11, construction excavators
- PC490LC-11 heavy construction/quarrying excavator
- HB215LC-3 and HB335LC-3 fourth-generation Hybrid excavators
- A PC360LCi-11 featuring Komatsu’s unique intelligent Machine Control system – and the largest excavator with this system
- WA270-8 and WA320-8 hydrostatic drive toolcarrier loaders
- WA380-8 and WA470-8 general purpose loaders
- WA500-8 and WA600-8 production loaders
- GD655-6 grader
- HM300-5 and HM400-5 articulated dump trucks
- HD405-8 and HD605-8 rigid frame dump trucks
New engine technologies
According to Charles Wheeldon, Komatsu’s General Manager Construction & Utility, its new Tier 4 Final engines include a number of technology innovations that help achieve the stringent requirements of this standard, as well as contributing to lower fuel consumption.
“They incorporate Komatsu proprietary technologies developed over many years to reduce emissions levels,” he said.
Technologies introduced in these new engines include:
- A heavy-duty after-treatment system
- An advanced Electronic Control System
- A heavy-duty cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system
- A Komatsu Variable Geometry Turbocharger (KVGT) system
- Heavy-duty High-Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) fuel injection system
Heavy-duty after-treatment system: This new system combines a Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), which injects the correct amount of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the required rate, thereby decomposing NOx into non-toxic water vapor (H2O) and nitrogen gas (N2).
Heavy-duty cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system: The EGR system in Komatsu’s Tier 4 Final engines recirculates a portion of exhaust gas into the air intake and lowers combustion temperatures, thereby reducing NOx emissions.
EGR gas flow has also been decreased on Tier 4 Final engines through the addition of SCR technology, dramatically reducing NOx, while helping cut fuel consumption below levels on previous-generation machines.
Advanced electronic control system: The electronic control system on Komatsu’s Tier 4 Final engines performs high-speed processing of all signals from sensors installed in the machine, providing total control of all components.
Engine condition information is displayed on the monitor inside the cab, providing all necessary information to the operator, as well as being uploaded to KOMTRAX for ongoing monitoring by machine owners and fleet managers.
Komatsu variable geometry turbocharger (KVGT) system: The KVGT system incorporates proven Komatsu design hydraulic technology for variable control of air-flow, supplying the optimum amount of air according to load conditions. This upgraded version also provides better exhaust temperature management.
Heavy-duty high-pressure common rail (HPCR) fuel injection system: Designed to achieve an optimal injection of high-pressure fuel digitally, this system ensures near complete combustion, significantly reducing PM emissions.
“In addition to these technologies, all our new Tier 4 Final engines incorporate mode selection systems that help best match engine, hydraulics and/or transmission output to different applications – further contributing to lower fuel consumption,” Wheeldon said.
KOMTRAX Step 5 technology
“The latest KOMTRAX Step 5 telematics-based remote monitoring system on our new Tier 4 Final machines gives owners and fleet managers unprecedented visibility and up-to-date operating data on their equipment,” he said.
“It’s the most sophisticated version of KOMTRAX to date, designed to provide equipment managers with data that increases their peace of mind, knowing that the advanced technologies incorporated in today’s equipment are working reliably to deliver operational efficiencies.”
KOMTRAX Step 5 technology has been developed to ensure that key operational criteria of Tier 4 Final engines are all working correctly, delivering data reporting on:
- Komatsu Diesel Particulates Filter (KDPF) soot count
- Active KDPF soot removal regeneration time and fuel used
- Any KDPF cautions
- Diesel Exhaust Fluid (AdBlue) levels.
It also includes enhanced reporting abilities on:
- Machine travel hours and distances
- Working modes
- Cycle times
- Maximum speeds
“Another new feature of KOMTRAX Step 5 is our operator ID system, which can be set for each operator,” said Wheeldon.
“This allows data sent from KOMTRAX to be used to analyse operating status by operator as well as by machine.
“We know many of our customers are using KOMTRAX data to work with their operators to optimise site productivity and machine performance.
“It’s now common for KOMTRAX reports to be discussed and analysed by operators, fleet planners and site or project managers working together to get the very best from their equipment,” he said.
“And because KOMTRAX – which is provided free of charge on all Komatsu utility and construction machines sold in Australia and New Zealand – continuously monitors and records machine health and operational data, it provides exceptionally detailed machine operating history– significantly lowering owning and operating costs.
“For machine managers, knowing important operational details such as idle time and fuel consumption helps maximise machine efficiency, and make decisions that can improve fleet utilisation,” said Wheeldon.