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Executive Report : Meeting megatrends
Atlas Copco’s Power Technique business is gearing up its research and development to cater for a changing world environment.
Megatrends is a term that is increasingly being mentioned as organisations identify global changes that will shape the world’s development and are adapting their product offerings accordingly.
Such factors include population growth, an ageing workforce,
urban migration, healthcare and sustainable energy.
The last-mentioned topic is a key area of focus for Atlas Copco Power Technique, the group’s re-branded Construction Technique business area. At a briefing held in London recently, Power Technique President Andrew Walker explained that megatrends such
as digitalisation and construction of ‘smart’ cities would create demand for cleaner and more connected energy source technologies across multiple industries.
He said, “We are now focused on three pillars - air, power and flow, and will continue to accelerate our research and new product development in these areas.”
Power Technique aims to triple its revenues from non-polluting drive technology by 2022 and is developing electrically driven equipment to replace diesel machinery, where appropriate. Exemplifying this is the new E-Air 250 portable compressor which has variable speed drive (VSD), designed to give 40% greater flow for the same energy consumption as conventional compressors.
The E-Air 250 is offered through Atlas Copco’s Portable Air division, which is now complemented by a new Power and Flow division,
and it demonstrated several new products at the event. These included the QAS 35 VSG variable speed generator, which has automatic speed control from 800rpm to 2,550rpm. It also incorporates a
power management system to reduce fuel consumption and increase reliability in applications with an average load of less than 20%, such as certain construction projects, outdoor events and
The new QAC 1450 TwinPower generator is a 20ft containerised unit housing two compact 725kVA generators, powered by V8 Scania engines with double bearing alternators. This configuration allows
the generators to work independently or in parallel.
Also on display was the Highlight B5+ lighting tower which has been specifically designed for use in urban areas, and offers a quoted noise level of as low as 55dBA. It has LED lights and can illuminate an area of 5,000m2 at an average luminosity of 20 lux. This machine,
as well as future Atlas Copco
lighting towers, can be fitted with a SmartMast system with sensors
that are designed to detect adverse conditions like high winds and to lower the mast automatically
The Power and Flow portfolio also encompasses electric submersible pumps and diesel-driven centrifugal machines. The latter includes
the PAS range offering 18 models for construction, mining and flood restoration tasks. Variants are available in 4in, 6in, 8in and 12in.
In addition, the pump line-up includes the recently re-designed WEDA+ range of submersible de-watering units that are now
claimed to offer up to 20% overall reduction in power consumption compared against previous models.
Another megatrend is the impact of modern technology and Atlas Copco reports that it, like other manufacturers, has seen growing demand from end users for intelligent digital solutions providing accurate and timely information. It has now introduced two smart connecting solutions. The first is FleetLink, a telematics system
that enables customers to manage machines remotely. It also lets users monitor their equipment and offers options like geo-fencing
and automatic reporting.
The second smart solution is Power Connect, an online portal giving users access to information about Atlas Copco products. By scanning
a QR code on a machine, the app takes the operator to the relevant section of the site giving equipment specifications as well as instructional videos, interactive manuals and spare parts information. •