Digitalisation and sustainability were the focal points of the Wirtgen Group Technology Days 2024

Kleemann plays host to the international industry get-together

2,700 guests from more than 100 countries responded to the invitation to visit the Wirtgen Group Technology Days 2024 in Göppingen. The overarching themes of the two-day event at the headquarters site of Kleemann GmbH were digitalisation and sustainability. True to the motto ‘Smarter. Safer. More sustainable.’ the company group demonstrated machines and technologies developed to enable the successful realisation of construction projects.

The Wirtgen Group impressed and fascinated the professionals attending the event with numerous innovative systems and solutions (including eleven world premieres) and a clear vision for the future of road construction, and showed that the new developments are a response to the pressing challenges of our times. ‘Innovation is in our genes. As we are aware from the feedback we receive from our customers, there is increasing demand for smarter, safer and more sustainable solutions in markets around the globe. We have concentrated our efforts on this, and can now present state-of-the-art machine technologies and digital systems with which we support and assist our customers in all aspects of the digital transformation. At the same time, we attach great importance to holistic solutions for their construction projects – from the planning phase through to documentation and statistical analysis’, says Dr Volker Knickel, CEO of the Wirtgen Group. The motto of the event: ‘Smarter. Safer. More Sustainable.’ succinctly describes our road map for the future.

Machine exhibition with 11 world premières

With around 70 exhibits for a range of different application scenarios, Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm, Kleemann, Benninghoven, CIBER and John Deere showed the concrete solutions with which they will accompany the industry on the way to more digitalisation and automation in road construction and materials processing.

Interest in the world premieres was particularly strong. These included a SUPER 1800-5i ‘Dash 5’ generation asphalt paver from Vögele that offers smart automatic functions, improved comfort and an optimised drive system. Hamm presented a total of four new machines, including an HC series compactor with an innovative VA (variable amplitude) drum. The Smart Compact compaction assistant enables automatic compaction to a specified target value with VA compactors. With its satellite-based Rock Crusher system, the latest addition to the portfolio of wheeled soil stabilisers from WRC, the Wirtgen AutoTrac 240i, demonstrated how the ground for road and highway construction can be prepared more quickly and with fewer resources.

For the materials processing sector, Kleemann, the host of the event, presented the new MSS 502i EVO scalping screen with an alternative, fully-electric drive option. Asphalt production offers the greatest potential when it comes to reducing CO₂ emissions. In response to this, the company group also presented the new generation of burners from Benninghoven, which supports the use of up to four different fuels at the same time. This means, for example, that an asphalt mixing plant can be flexibly operated with the most appropriate energy source – including, for the first time, exclusively with green hydrogen.

Industry-experts present groundbreaking technologies

Internationally recognised experts and specialists from the Wirtgen Group provided first-hand insights into the technologies of the future. In the programme of presentations on the subject of sustainability, they shared their experiences and knowledge on subjects including sustainable construction, the potential for CO2 reduction offered by the recycling of hot-mixed asphalt and cold recycling and new, electrically-powered drive solutions for crushers and screening plants.

In the thematic complex of digitalisation, presentations by specialists from the Wirtgen Group showed how the company group can support and assist its customers in the course of the digital transformation. Here, the John Deere Operations Center for construction equipment will become the central platform for the provision of digital solutions for the management of entire construction sites – at any time and from anywhere, including planning, monitoring, analysis and maintenance. The Operations Center will act here as an interface between operators and machines on the construction site, the offices of site and resource managers and the workshop manager.

But what does this mean in practical terms? Thanks to plannable machine availability, customers will, for instance, enjoy the benefits of a high degree of process reliability. The immediate availability of comprehensive information will enable project managers and machine operators to make the right decisions. A higher degree of process automation and the use of machine assistance systems will not only lead to higher productivity due to operators being able to concentrate fully on the work in progress, but also to a more efficient and effective deployment of human resources. The precision and, consequently, the quality of the work will also increase, which will in turn avoid the need for reworking and allow for savings in terms of material and operating costs.

The broad spectrum and the informational depth of the presentations underscored that the Wirtgen Group has a road map that lays out how it will support and assist customers in the use of their production systems with product, system and service solutions and, at the same time, decisively accelerate the industry's digital transformation.

How to ‘Do More with Less’: Production System solutions in real-world scenarios

The greatest ecological and economic potentials lie in the totality of the construction process. The various live demonstrations showed how the Production System solutions from the Wirtgen Group play a role in this – for instance the use of low-temperature asphalt, concrete and asphalt recycling or soil stabilisation – and illustrated how the target-oriented utilisation of technologies leads to greater precision, higher quality of results, and the consumption of fewer resources. Or, in other words: ‘Do More with Less’ – and be ‘Smarter, safer and More Sustainable.’

As Knickel explains: ‘This enables our customers to realise more construction projects with fewer resources, build and rehabilitate more infrastructure and simultaneously increase their profitability.’ At the same time, he emphasised that digital assistance systems and process automation will also contribute to offsetting the shortage of qualified personnel throughout the industry: ‘This also means that less experienced machine operators will be in a position to deliver qualitatively identical results to those a skilled specialist would achieve.’ On top of this, telematics solutions will deliver greater transparency about the operational status of customers’ fleets and enable them to carry out proactive and even more precisely targeted servicing and maintenance of their machines.

A look behind the scenes: Kleemann opens the factory doors

On a guided tour through the Kleemann production facilities, the host of the event gave the professional audience fascinating insights into the manufacturing process chain. Since the opening of the new plant in 2009, the highly-specialised facility has been successively extended and, like all other Wirtgen Group factories, has been constantly upgraded for sustainable operation in line with the group’s sustainability strategy. Today, the Kleemann plant is one of the world’s most modern facilities for the production of crushers and screening plants. Many of the visitors were particularly impressed, not least by the highly complex prefabrication centres in which the core components of the Kleemann plants are produced with exceptional precision.

‘In past years, we concentrated our efforts on target-oriented expansion of our product portfolio and now offer suitable solutions for every application, no matter whether for recycling or natural stone processing. ‘To achieve this, we invested in areas such as expanding our production capacities and improving our assembly or logistics processes’, says Kleemann CEO Alexander Knam, describing the development of the company’s headquarters site in Göppingen. He believes that the specialist for materials processing equipment is ideally positioned for the future: ‘With these investments, we have laid the foundation for the ongoing production of our products and technologies under ideal conditions, namely sustainably and efficiently’, says Knam.

Impressions from Technology Days 2024

Media - Press

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