The construction machinery sector in Europe grew by around 10% in 2016 compared to the previous year. The demand for building constriction machines was higher than that for machines for earthworks, civil engineering and road construction. However, despite this positive development in Europe with the highest market level for 5 years, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the market as a whole is still significantly below the highest level reached during the golden years prior to the construction crisis.
As was also the case the previous year, the European market developed better than the markets in most other regions worldwide. In terms of market growth, Europe is in 3rd place behind China and India. Within Europe, the strongest sales growth was achieved in the French, German and Italian markets.
The construction machinery market is also highly competitive, and is characterised by the typical side effects such as price competition and high levels of competitive pressure. This development in the construction sector requires cost reductions, productivity increases and a reduction in machine consumption, and this is also apparent in the product development work currently being carried out by leading construction machine manufacturers. This trend points to mobile construction machines that are powerful, quiet and highly productive with low fuel consumption. German manufacturers produce machines of recognised Made in Germany quality, but are under increasing pressure to tangibly demonstrate their quality and performance benefits in the form of profitability comparisons.
The range of different products used in construction machinery technology is huge. These products range from compact excavators and chain excavators to compaction machines, wheel loaders, tracked carriers and telehandlers right through to asphalt millers and wheeled pavers such as those used for asphalt installation on extreme inclines of up to 11%, which is quite common in the Alps.
This wide variety of products and the high stresses put on the hydraulics, engines, transmissions and all moving parts mean that both machine manufacturers and suppliers need to be able to provide components and assemblies of reliably high quality.
High levels of competitive pressure, extremely high technical requirements and the industry's desire for differentiation all mean that components are increasingly being developed to be both customer and product-specific. The reasons for this are clear. Standard products are usually available immediately, but rarely achieve the right balance between verifiably long service lives, innovative strength and competitive advantages. This trend towards individual product solutions is met by ttv in the form of its own dedicated development area.
Over recent years, ttv has established itself as a specialist in construction machine technology as well as in agricultural engineering, with its two competence fields of seals and slide bearings. For ttv, typical challenges include applications relating to drive trains, transmission gearing, ring gear seals and axles. Customers usually have a very clear profile made up of previous experience and objectives. Standard products from stock are often not adequate in dealing with the enormous strains experienced in the construction sector, such as continual use in mud, heat, frost or wet conditions. The increasing time constraints also lead to a significant increase in the amount of strain being put on the materials.
This development has lead to the strategic decision by ttv to set up a separate development area for customer-specific product solutions, with substantial capacity to support ttv customers. ttv has an experienced team of specialists in the fields of technology and engineering working in this new area, and these specialists, who are based in Illertissen, Germany, attend to every conceivable detail of a project. Material properties, material composition and design open up possibilities to increase performance, thereby ensuring that dirt, mud and moisture remain on the outside.
In the field of technological components and assemblies, seals and slide bearings are comparatively small components. However, this should not distract from the fact that both product categories are often crucial in the service life and functionality of construction machines and construction vehicles.
Customer and project-specific solutions from ttv have verifiably brought about significant service life increases over recent years, as well as improved temperature resistance, friction properties and leak-tightness.
Mechanical face seals from ttv are a typical example of our solution-finding expertise. Inspired by the excellent results that have already been achieved in other industries, the ttv technicians have developed new mechanical face seals that have increased service life alone by over 32%.
Installed in a split housing, the ttv mechanical face seals are pressed together with lapped running surfaces. An O-ring (NBR/FPM etc.) is usually used as a preload element, which fixes and aligns the seal inside the housing. Aggressive and abrasive media are prevented from getting into the seal, making it possible to guarantee increased wear resistance and service life.
It's a similar story with the customer-specific cassette seals by ttv. Self-contained, pre-lubricated and with multiple sealing lips, these seals form a kind of labyrinth of seals, which is particularly important for robust applications in the construction sector. The actual sealing lip runs around a processed running surface in the inside of the seal, meaning that there are fewer demands placed on the shaft seat. The use of different materials for the component has increased the temperature load by 26 % to 108°C, which has impacted on the service life in equal measure.
The ttv engineers have also been able to meet the increasing requirements for slide bearing technology in the construction machinery sector, in collaboration with its customers' development and design teams. This related to the improved application of the ttv-090/ttv092 or the CuSn8 slide bearings. The introduction of special oil grooves, modified clamping dimensions and design improvements helped to exceed the desired results in order to optimally support the qualitative differentiation strategy of the ttv customer.
Anyone looking for innovative and noticeably better product solutions in order to stand out in the demanding construction machinery market would do well to come to ttv. The company can find an individual solution to meet any set of requirements.
ttv. Engineering Solutions.