Land of the rising sun: Hitachi

Waste Management Review speaks with Hitachi’s Matt McCarthy, about promoting sustainability.

For the last 1400 years, at the very least, Japan has been known globally as the land of the rising sun. While there are various theories as to how the reference came to be, a common belief is that the name came from China, the idea being that from an ancient Chinese perspective, the sun, which rises in the east, always rose first in Japan.

While waste and resource recovery machinery might not be one’s first thought with mention of Japan, Hitachi, which manufactures the aforementioned equipment, is one of the country’s and world’s largest corporations.

Literally translated to mean “rising sun”, Hitachi was founded by Namihei Odaira in 1910 under the auspice of contributing to society by developing original technology and products. Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM), the industrial equipment arm of the company, was founded 39 years later.

According to Matt McCarthy, HCM Australia National Major Account Manager, HCM now operates extensively throughout Asia Pacific, China, Japan, India, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East. The company’s central focus, he says, is the design and manufacture of hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders.

“Our position within the global Hitachi network gives us unique access to vast resources and advanced technologies that are unrivalled within the industry. We also deliver impressive sales, service and parts support to Australian customers across a range of industries, including waste and resource recovery, through a wholly owned national branch network,” Matt says.

Furthermore, Matt says HCM’s close relationship with the waste industry allows the company to manufacture machines based on extensive specialised knowledge.

As part of HCM’s commitment to contribute positively to society, Matt says the company is consistently working towards manufacturing environmentally neutral or beneficial products and facilities.

“With growing demand for businesses to take responsibility for their impact on the environment, HCM has created a long-term environmental perspective: working towards a low-carbon and resource-efficient society where our business lives in harmony with nature and the global community,” Matt says.

All HCM machines, he adds, are designed to reduce their impact on the environment, with fewer emissions and lower fuel consumption.

“HCM also collects and analyses operational data to reduce total lifecycle costs,” Matt explains.

HCM’s ZW-5-wheel loader range is an example of this commitment, Matt says, with the unit satisfying a range of international emissions regulations including US EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage IIIB.

“HCM designed the range to deliver high level performance, reliability and productivity. However, as with many of our products, we also focused largely on fuel efficiency, producing positive environmental impacts as well as lower running costs,” he says.

“This benefits the climate, the earth and our client’s bottom line.”

The HCM ZW-5 range achieves this via two separate work modes. Standard, Matt says, facilitates smooth and efficient acceleration during loading, regular operations and level terrain travel.

“Standard mode is well suited to applications such as paper or organics movement, where efficiency is crucial, but the machine isn’t required to fully exert its engine due to weight and material composition,” Matt says.

“The second option, P mode, is better suited to heavy duty applications such as construction and demolition or commercial and industrial waste handling.”

P mode enables greater traction force, Matt says, with the engine’s maximum rotations per minute increased by approximately 10 per cent. He adds that under P mode, the wheel loader has a faster front speed and greater rimpull.

“P mode allows operators to really make the most of their HCM machines, while standard mode provides fuel efficiency when optimum running speeds aren’t required,” Matt says.

“Given they regularly deal with harsh materials that require safe and environmentally sound handling, operators at transfer stations, landfills and resource recovery facilities expect a lot from their equipment. And I think HCM’s really delivered with this particular range.”

Another point of difference, Matt says, is the ZW-5-wheel loader’s torque proportional differential system.

“HCM includes standard torque proportioning differentials against the whole range. As a result, all usable power is available to the ground,”
he says.

“Customers comment that the pushing power of the machines is exceptional, and because it’s concentrated, the torque proportional system also facilitates further fuel efficiency and environmental benefit.”

The HCM torque proportional differential system automatically adjusts the machine’s driving force to both wheels.

“Unlike conventional differential systems, when road resistance under both wheels is inconsistent, the differential reduces slippage and enables the loader to move freely, even when operating on slippery and uneven terrain,” Matt says.

HCM’s ZW-5-wheel loaders are also equipped with a new hydraulic circuit, Matt says, which accelerates combined operations of the bucket and lift arm for loading.

“The lift arm movement contributes to the new ZW-5’s high productivity levels, as the flow control lowers the lift arm smoothly, reducing vibrations and operator fatigue,” he explains.

For its waste clients, HCM also provides a specialised waste handling package that is compatible with the ZW-5 range.

“We fit ZW-5s with durable guarding, reducing the potential for waste to get trapped in the machine and cause damage,” Matt says.

“We also have dust protection screens and guards for the front windshield, buckets and axle seals, all of which conform to outdoor waste safety specifications.”

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