Focussing on the KWF Innovation Award

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Source: AHWI Maschinenbau GmbH

With its customary mix of innovation and future-oriented design, AHWI Maschinebau GmbH was able to present itself, and its products, at this year’s Interforst 2010 trade fair in Munich. The chosen exhibit items took into account perfectly the current forestry sector trends, with a core theme clearly focused on the acquisition and subsequent processing of biomass for energy generation. Besides the more conventional technologies in use for wood chip production, AHWI presented a truly innovative processing system in the form of the H600 Biomass Harvester, which is targeted at biomass cultivation from both lying and upright organic material. Whereas typical traditional methods require more personnel, more passes and even more diverse equipment to complete the task. At AHWI, the H600 follows one simple rule: one machine, one driver and one pass to both harvest and shred the biomass.

The H600 harvests and then subsequently shreds the material to a transportable size that can be easily discharged through a chute to an accompanying collection vehicle. Between 15 and 30 tons of biomass can be harvested per hour using this method, which can then be used immediately for energy generation or soil preparation.

The H600 Biomass Harvester can be effortlessly and rapidly attached to the AHWI RT400 crawler tractor, or to all current carrier vehicles with a performance class between 240 HP and 400 HP. The horizontal rotor can be equipped with a variety of different AHWI-manufactured carbide-tipped hammers to suit both the application and environment.

The H600 operator not only saves on personnel costs, but also on time and financial expenses too. The energy consumption per ton of biomass is considerably reduced, which impacts favourably in the product’s environmental performance evaluation. The H600, therefore, makes the perfect cut – twice: ecologically and economically.

Focussing on the KWF Innovation Award

With a total of three products, AHWI participated in the ‘new innovations’ competition sponsored by the German Board of Trustees for Forestry Work and Technology (KWF). Beside its H600 Biomass Harvester, AHWI entered a new brand of crawler tractor and mulcher equipped with a turbine clutch.

The AHWI RT200 is a completely new concept of tracked carrier vehicle. It shows its superiority when compared with other crawler tractors in those operational areas where high performance is required on challenging terrain, and where manoeuvring space is a premium. Its 6-cylinder, 180 HP Caterpillar diesel motor satisfies that latest emission standards, and is able to tackle its tough assignments effortlessly – even on steep gradients or inclines. It is the ideal accomplice for line maintenance tasks, forestry lane construction, fire prevention and for the recultivation and upkeep of plantations.

The efficient engine, with its capacious 350 litre fuel tank, guarantees unbeatable mileage in this class of up to 200 HP crawler tractors. This allows work to progress without those annoying stops to refuel, which effectively increases the hourly area coverage. A well thought out modular design ensures easy serviceability and maintainability and, of course, excellent accessibility. Individual modules, such as fuel tank, engine and radiator are simple and easy to service or even exchange.

A very comfortable and spacious cab imparts an excellent sense of safety to the RT200’s driver. A cabin guard, anti roll bars, and safety glass all shield the cab from falling branches or trees and from the unwanted intrusion of loose objects. A centrally located ergonomic display feeds the driver with status information of all machine functions, while a clearly arranged operator panel provides responsive control. Driver comfort is further enhanced with a pneumatically cushioned comfort seat and air conditioning, which make lengthy assignments more than tolerable. The vehicle’s velocity can be fine-tuned in ten steps, and a standard integrated rear-view camera permits the highly manoeuvrable RT200 to negotiate the toughest of terrains even in reverse gear.

The new M700 is a very rugged mulcher attachment unit, for extreme applications, that has been designed for installation on carrier vehicles rated with a performance class between 250 HP and 400 HP. A technical highlight of this unit is an optionally available hydrodynamic turbo clutch that delivers virtually wear-free power transmission while effectively preventing motor stalling. The advantage: the carrier vehicle can be driven continuously at an optimum engine speed, which not only preserves its motor and its drive elements, but also the power transmitting components of the attachment.

The user of this innovative piece of technology is paid back in more ways than one. Because the operator (driver) can work in an undisturbed manner, the area coverage per hour increases by some 20% compared with its predecessor. Simultaneously, fuel, maintenance and tool costs are reduced by typically 10%.

Wood chips to suit the customer’s taste

AHWI, with its main offices near Lake Constance, already has an excellent market reputation in the field of forestry and special-purpose machinery, which has been further substantiated with the inclusion of the EC950 Euro Chipper for truck mounting.

Sustainability as a production principle features highly in its corporate philosophy and accordingly, the robustly constructed chipper for truck mounting was shown to the general public at this year’s trade fair in Munich. Typically, the AHWI chippers are distinguishable by their longevity, reliability and high-quality workmanship. The AHWI chippers are configured from individual sub-assemblies, which the customer configures to suit the operational requirement. The complete unit can then be attached to a variety of carrier vehicles, such as trucks, crawlers, tandem trailers or dumpers.

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