Excavators Excel in Technology, Safety and Emissions

The first Hitachi 120t EX1200-7 excavator, a new addition to the EX-7 Series, recently arrived in South Africa.

The smallest machine in the EX-7 series, the EX1200-7, comes in two configurations, backhoe or shovel, and packs a punch with a 4.5% increase in bucket capacity, optimised swing control and an upgraded hydraulic system, including a flow-regeneration valve, which means lower power requirements, lower fuel consumption, and increased pump life.
“Fuel efficiency was a major factor in the design of this series because we recognised the importance of caring for the environment while remaining profitable. These machines make this easier than ever before,” says Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) Africa’s marketing & business development manager, Marius Weber.
The electric-controlled main pump and a hydraulic regeneration circuit added to this latest line of machinery, reduces fuel consumption by up to 10% in some models, and also includes a linear controlled oil cooler and radiator fan clutch throughout the EX-7 series.
Emissions under control
In addition, different engine options are available, in particular the FCO (Fuel Consumption Optimisation) configuration chosen for the African market, thanks to the emissions reduction technology employed in their design.
Improvements have been made in terms of fuel economy, with functions such as shutdown control which, when activated, prompts the machine to switch to “soft key off” status” to prevent unnecessary fuel burn.
“Customers now have the option to choose between various power supplies, allowing for regional regulatory compliance and/or preferential satisfaction,” Marius adds.
HCM provides a choice between an MTU internal combustion engine or a Cummins gas engine for all models from the EX2600 upwards.
Meanwhile, the EX1200-7 offers some structural improvements on its predecessor, the EX1200-6, with the track frame’s swing circle having been upgraded from a cast structure to a forged structure, and the top plate thickness increased from 50mm to 55mm for greater durability. The EX1200-7 also has an improved grease system that enables automatic lubrication to grease all points in the superstructure, including the bucket pins.
Technology to help with maintenance
Further to the reduction in operating costs and increasing of production capacity, the excavators include a number of Hitachi’s technologies for digital integration.
Global E-service and ConSite are remote machine management systems that monitor and report on machine health, allowing clients to ensure that the EX-7 machines consistently deliver at maximum efficiency. ConSite also allows clients to access status information on their machines from a personal computer on a daily basis.
Contamination sensors on all main hydraulic pumps, centre joints and swing motors of the new EX-7 Series can detect contaminants that may cause damage to any of these components and alert the operator of potential contaminants and record the fault in the DLU (Data Logging Unit), even remotely advising maintenance control.
Addressing safety issues
Among several new features added to the series is the Aerial Angle, which is a 360º peripheral vision display system that feeds live footage from cameras mounted on the excavator, improving overall safety for both operator and mine.
In terms of safety, the EX-7 now also has an MDG 15 regulation standard dual isolator switch for both the engine starter and the battery, which aids in safely troubleshooting and downloading machine information.
Hitachi Construction Machinery
Marius Weber