Chinese construction equipment maker Zoomlion has reported signing deals worth $1.4bn on the first day of the Bauma China trade fair in Shanghai, and $3bn over the whole event.
The company did not offer any analysis of the orders, but the Chinese domestic market for construction machinery grew at a rate of more than 6% a quarter in 2019, assisted by the Chinese state aid in the form of tax cuts, loans and increased infrastructure spending.
The event, held at the New International Expo Centre on the 24-27 November, was for makers and buyers of building materials and equipment around the world.
Zoomlion offered around 50 types of construction equipment from nine product lines. Sales were made partly using livestreaming events to interact with global customers.
Guo Xuehong, vice president of Zoomlion, said the exhibition gave the company a chance to highlight its "high-end 4.0 generation products", which he said represented "a qualitative leap of intelligence".
Among these products on offer were:
- An electric tower crane with no driver’s cabin, operated using a 5G remote control system.
- A truck-mounted hoist that is fitted with "machine vision", as well as AI and 5G communication, to allow it to operate autonomously.
- A heavy-lift crawler crane equipped with the company’s self-developed overloading counterweight technology, which Zoomlion says reduces the area of operation by 60%.
- An intelligent self-propelled aerial work platform that can elevate to 67.5m, which Zoomlion is claiming as a world record.
- A voice-controlled dry-mix mortar equipment that uses the company’s "Powerdos" high-precision automatic powder metering system.
A number of equipment makers have brought out intelligent machines in the past year or so, and interest in the possibilities of 5G sites that use electrically powered autonomous equipment is growing rapidly.
In May of this year, Zhibing Mao, chief engineer for China State Construction Engineering, gave GCR an account of how its demonstration 5G site in Beijing worked.
In November, Bouygues Construction signed a three-year contract with French remote driving specialist Lextan to trial a research and development programme using remote and assisted driving for construction site machinery.
At last year’s Bauma fair in Munich, Korean equipment maker Doosan became the first company to demonstrate the possibilities of 5G communications by operating an excavator in South Korea from 8,500km away, in Germany.
Image: Zoomlion’s ZE210E excavator (Zoomlion)