Efficiency, safety and environment are all generally becoming more and more important on demolition and recycling worksites as using the right tool for the job is extremely important today. Fully automatic quick coupling systems have been the solution for the operators for years now, with new systems and upgrades being released continuously. Here’s the latest from the products’ manufacturers.
Smart Attach from Kramer
Kramer’s new, patented and fully hydraulic quick hitch system for wheel loaders, Smart Attach, aims to ensure greater productivity, efficiency and safety. The attachment is locked and hydraulically coupled, with automatic pressure release by a simple touch of a button with a secure two hand operation. With the coupling unit’s integrated locking display, the operator can always see that the attachment is attached to the machine successfully and securely. For all machines already fitted with the new quick-change plate, the display also features a corresponding illuminated indicator.
What makes the new and patented system so special is its total flexibility. Attachments without the hydraulic function, or with conventional hydraulic coupling systems can still be used. Customers also have the option of retrofitting older attachments or using new attachments that are customized ex-works to the Smart Attach system with the tried and trusted quick-change plate.
This flexible solution is unique on the market. The patented system with floating coupling storage also ensures that there is no wear on the quick coupler. The performance characteristics of machines used in combination with the new Smart Attach system remain at the highest level. Consequently, not only does Kramer ensure that there is no need for constant interruption to the scheduled work process, the company also scores points with operators who are able to make quick and safe use of the appropriate attachment for the relevant application.
Kramer also provides the EC declaration of conformity for the entire system, for both machines and attachments. Initially, the system will be offered as an option in the large 5-series as well as for some machines in Kramer’s premium 8-series range. Along with attachments already factory-fitted for these machines, corresponding retrofit kits will also be provided to enable existing attachments to be fitted with the system.
Liebherr Likufix for wheel loaders
Liebherr is increasing the availability of its fully automatic Likufix quick change system for additional wheel loader models. It is now available for the two compact loaders L 506 and L 508, for the two stereo loaders L 507 and L 509 as well as for the XPower® large wheel loaders up to the L 580. As before, Likufix is still available for the medium sized Liebherr wheel loaders L 526, L 538 and L 546.Smaller Liebherr wheel loaders from the L 506 Compact to the L 509 Stereo are known as versatile all-rounders. With Likufix the flexibility increases even further. The machine operator can switch, for example, between a hydraulic 4 in 1 folding shovel, a forklift or a sweeper within seconds at the push of a button. The hydraulic lines are connected automatically and reliably with Likufix which means no valuable time is lost.
Working with hydraulic tools such as high dump buckets, buckets with hold-down devices, log grapplers, or separator buckets is typical for larger Liebherr wheel loaders. This is why Liebherr also offers its fully automatic quick-change system for larger wheel loader models. The Likufix quick change system is prepared for tough requirements. The hydraulic coupling is supported by springs. The forces that act on the quick coupler are therefore not transferred to the coupling system. Even with long periods of use, the connections between the hydraulic circuits remain absolutely tight. To make maintenance easier, all moving parts are easily accessible. If necessary, customers can easily carry out cleaning and simple maintenance activities such as changing a seal themselves.
Connect, the integrated quick coupler from Mecalac
Mecalac states that it was the first manufacturer to equip its machines with a hydraulic quick coupler as a standard. Its integrated Connect quick coupler was recognized at the Intermat Innovation Awards, when it was launched in 2015 for being light, reversible, easy to use, and completely safe. There is no need for an intermediate and heavy part to be added in between the tool and stick for the connection, and therefore no extra weight. This compactness also further reduces the distance between the end of the stick and the tools, thus further preserving forces at work.
The Connect hydraulic quick coupler is a combination of a patented hanging system—a hook device that prevents the tool from falling both when it is unlocked and when working. The hydraulic coupler itself is made of just a cylinder that locks and releases the tools. The cylinder also compensates the play due to the wear of the tool over time. Mechanical tools are switched very easily directly from the safety of the cab thanks to this ultra-intuitive device. The Connect quick coupler is also reversible and lets users work in both directions, which makes operation more efficient.
The OilQuick solution with new plant in the US
OilQuick claims to be the original developer and first commercial manufacturer in the world when it comes to fully automatic quick couplers. According to the company, OilQuick is also the world’s best-selling manufacturer of hydraulic quick coupler system with more 40,000 systems sold worldwide. OilQuick is in a very expansive phase right now, expanding both production plant and office facilities in Hudiksvall. The company is continuously hiring new staff and looking for ways to grow as fast as it can. OilQuick is also growing in Europe and this January also started a production plant in the US under the new name OilQuick Americas.
The OilQuick safety features help the operator to avoid dropped buckets and other attachments. The OilQuick product series contains quick couplers for excavators, material handlers, cranes, loading machines, and forklift trucks. All systems come with a wide range of connections to suit specific needs and can distribute hydraulic oil, grease, water and electricity. Other advantages are fast change of hydraulic, electric and mechanical attachments from inside the cab to ensure the right attachment for the job. Other benefits include fewer machines on the site and increased productivity, reduced transport costs, minimal oil spills, protected hose routing, and less dirt in the cab.
The OilQuick LockSupport (OQLS) is an advanced user-friendly driver support for safe and secure attachment switching on excavators. OQLS is available for all nine sizes of OilQuick fully automatic quick couplers and all tiltrotators. Nowadays modern excavators are equipped with hydraulic quick couplers and use a number of buckets and attachments, which in many cases are switched several times each hour. There is always an element of risk when switching buckets and attachments. OQLS minimizes all these problems and gives the operator safe and secure support for the right decisions when switching buckets and attachments.
Next-generation Rototilt QuickChange
Technology development in the construction industry continues, with efficiency and ergonomics increasingly going hand in hand. A new example being the new generation of fully automatic Rototilt quick coupler systems that introduces new innovative benefits for machine couplers, tiltrotators and tools. One of Rototilt’s goals has been to develop a system able to handle the high flow tools available on the market. Its own tests and measurements also show that this goal has been achieved by a wide margin. The test operators who have tried Rototilt QuickChange in advance of release, and customers who are now investing in the new technology, have said to welcome the system. Users can quickly set the tiltrotator and mount tools directly on the system’s machine coupler, getting extra power when, for example, the operator switches from a tooth bucket or ripper. Rototilt QuickChange is based on the open standard for fully automatic quick couplers for excavators, Open-S. It is a further development of the symmetrical quick coupler standard for excavators, the S standard, which gives machine operators and contractors freedom of choice when it comes to combining tiltrotators with tools from different manufacturers. Open-S is owned and administered by an independent organization, the Open-S Alliance, which in turn is led by a council of engineers from a growing number of member companies.
Steelwrist adds SQ90 to the range of fully automatic quick couplers
The global demand for fully automatic coupler systems continues to grow in both the demolition and construction industry. During 2021, Steelwrist introduced the SQ90—so far, the biggest model in Auto Connection range of quick couplers. The SQ90 is targeted toward excavators up to 70t in the demolition industry.As well as all other Steelwrist SQ products, the SQ90 follows the global Open-S industry standard for fully automatic couplers for excavators. The standard makes it easier for machine operators and contractors to choose quick couplers, tiltrotators and work tools from different manufacturers and be confident that they function together.
Steelwrist’s Front Pin Lock is a mechanical lock of the front shaft which significantly limits the risk of an unintended drop of work tools. With Steelwrist’s entrance into the demolition segment, the patented Front Pin Lock technology has been upgraded to a second generation in order to support the heavy demolition work tools. Furthermore, all SQ couplers come with QPlus technology which enables higher hydraulic flows with less pressure drops than many other systems on the market.
Other news from Steelwrist is that Steelwrist and Volvo CE are continuing to develop the partnership that started more than a decade ago when Steelwrist became the preferred supplier of true factory mounted tiltrotators and quick couplers fitted to Volvo excavators. As the demand for fully automatic quick couplers on excavators continues to grow rapidly, Volvo CE is now expanding the offering with Steelwrist SQ Auto Connect quick couplers directly from the factory for both crawler and wheeled excavators between 13t and 35t. The launch also includes work tool adapters in matching sizes. With the fully automatic SQ quick couplers operators can efficiently and easily change between tiltrotator, hydraulic powered work tools and mechanical work tools, from the comfort of the cab.
Steelwrist has also announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with Demarec for SQ fully automatic quick coupler systems for Demarec products and SQ quick couplers. Demarec is one of the major manufacturers of hydraulic attachments for the demolition and recycling industry. With more than 25years of experience in the sector, Demarec has been successful in answering market demand with innovative technology and expertise. In addition, Sandvik and Steelwrist have entered into a cooperation agreement for fully automatic work tool adaptors for Rammer hydraulic hammers. As the global demand for fully automatic coupler systems is rapidly increasing, Sandvik started offering Steelwrist SQ-type adaptor plates directly from the factory during the third quarter of 2021. The deliveries from Sandvik will be compliant with the global Open-S standard.
SMP Parts new member of the Open-S collaboration
The Open-S Alliance works towards the global interchangeability of hydraulic work tools for excavators, and is a manufacturer independent organization. Membership is available as either full, associate or supporting level depending on if Open-S products are developed, produced in house or sourced. The alliance was initiated by Steelwrist and Rototilt. In November, 2021 SMP Parts was the latest company to join the Open-S Alliance and the third manufacturer of tiltrotators and quick couplers to become a full member. SMP Parts is a manufacturer of tiltrotators and quick couplers with complete mounting systems for excavators. The company operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, UK, Spain, US, and the Benelux countries, with a number of dealers in each country. All development and manufacturing are carried out at the main headquarters and factory in Ilsbo, Sweden.