Plantworx 2019

By: Chris McCullough, Photography by: Chris McCullough

Presented by
  • Plant & Equipment

It was a typical English summer for Plantworx, but the show goes on. Chris McCullough reports

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Rain didn't stop play at this year's Plantworx in the UK

Heavy rains descended over parts of England in June, but this didn’t dampen spirits at the fourth biennial Plantworx construction machinery show.

Held at the event’s new home at the East of England Arena, Peterborough, Plantworx also incorporated Railworx and was hosted by the Construction Equipment Association.

The show was 20 per cent larger than the 2017 event and was home to more than 450 exhibitors, including Railworx exhibitors, and was the biggest Plantworx to date. However, visitor numbers were down from the 15,500 recorded in 2017.

However, with just over 13,700 visitors attending the show over three days, this was deemed respectable given the torrential rain that fell during most of that time. Hardy visitors braved the elements to see the plethora of brand-new equipment and products on display.

Alongside the regular plant and machinery from the mainstream manufacturers, this year’s event was packed with new initiatives and innovations which represented the current demands in the ever-evolving construction sector.

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Even when wet demos were a key part of the show

MILLER UK

Earthmoving attachments manufacturer Miller UK showcased its GT Series, the latest in quick coupler innovation from the company suitable for excavators from one to 50 tonnes.

"Plantworx was the perfect venue to launch our brand new Miller GT Series range. It’s a very hands-on exhibition and despite the weather conditions, the flow of traffic onto our stand continued throughout the three days and visitors were able to see the latest GT quick couplers in action for themselves," James Ross, Miller’s business development director, says.

Miller says its GT coupler delivers the safest, lightest, lowest, yet strongest class leading quick coupler in the marketplace. The Miller GT series also offers an ISO 13031 compliant novel locking system, designed to ensure that the widest set of OEM pin pickups are safely attached from the cab.

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Trying out a drone for pot hole repairs at Plantworx

JAMES FISHER PROLEC

James Fisher Prolec, a producer of safety systems for construction equipment, unveiled a suite of new additions from site digitalisation and connected technologies, to next-generation smart machine control.

The Prolec PMX aims to redefine on-site safety when conducting operations in close proximity to the passing public. Combining two well-established technologies, excavator hazard mitigation and geolocation, PMX helps prevent plant equipment from striking pre-defined hazards and increases machine efficiency by up to 30 per cent when compared with existing systems, it says.

Virtual walls and ceilings are quickly and easily set up by site managers, allowing operators to move safely within pre-defined work zones. Hazard maps only need to be established once and can deployed to any PMX-enhanced excavator to provide consistent, site-wide safety limits without the need for operators to repeatedly re-enter hazard locations.

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Engcon tackles all jobs with its tiltrotator

ENGCON

Tiltrotator manufacturer Engcon exhibited a host of products from its all-new second-generation grabs to innovative cassette-mounted attachments.

Also on the stand was the latest hoseless variants of EC-Oil, its automatic hydraulic connection system, which the company is now offering as standard on new twin-hitch installations using its DC2 control systems.

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Good weather for ducks at the Plantworx demo site

SILTBUSTER

Wastewater treatment company Siltbuster exhibited its new Micro Concrete Washout System (MCW), which is designed to capture and treat the water from the washing down of chutes on mixer trucks and the cleaning of small tools and plant equipment on site.

The system removes solids from the water, neutralises the pH and stores the grey water ready for reuse at the next washdown.

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Around 450 stands were present at Plantworx

DOOSAN

Korean manufacturer Doosan exhibited some new products for the first time in the UK including the new 2.7 tonne DX27z, one of two zero tail swing models being added to Doosan’s range of mini-excavators.

The DX27z was shown alongside the new Stage V version of the company’s very successful DX62R-3 six tonne and DX85R-3 eight tonne mini-excavators.

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Hyundai also had an impressive stand

DOING BUSINESSES

There were also some significant deals done at Plantworx, including one for 230 new Cat machines. Flannery Plant Hire, one of the largest providers of operated and self-drive plant in the UK, signed an exclusive deal with Finning UK & Ireland to purchase the Cat machines as part of its fleet refurbishment programme.

Signed by Patrick Flannery senior, the deal is the biggest single order for Finning in 2019 and will bring the average age of the Flannery fleet to an impressive 1.8 years.

The company’s investment totals over £30 million (A$53.9 million) and sees Flannery take delivery of the UK’s first Cat D6XE next-generation dozer. The deal includes units from the Next Gen Hex range of excavators, including Cat 308 minis, Cat 315 and Cat 325 excavators with zero tail swing.

The line-up also includes the new Cat 730 articulated dump truck fitted with the Caterpillar Production Measurement system, alongside a broad range of other Caterpillar machines.

The show’s Drone Zone highlighted the importance of the use of drones in the construction sector and there were daily demonstrations from companies who manufacture state-of-the-art drones using market-leading technology.

At the end of the event, Peter Beach, the sales and marketing manager for exhibitor Genquip Ltd, was full of praise for Plantworx.

"Weather aside, the showground was a tremendous facility and proved it can handle the rain. Plantworx organisation on set up and breakdown were brilliant, and of course, assistance during lead up was superb," he says.

"I do believe that the weather brought out serious visitors, which meant we had more time to speak with them and not the usual timewasters during sunny periods so a great show for us," he added.

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