Posted July 11, 2017
The Ashdod port in Israel is one of the country’s two main cargo ports. Located about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, the port is undergoing a substantial expansion to meet the forecast of a 40 percent increase in cargo traffic by 2021.
This sophisticated project has brought together a number of international companies that have created a uniquely advanced solution to dig deep below the water line.
That solution was found in the popular Cat® 6015B OEM Frontless Hydraulic Shovel fitted with a custom-built, distinctive 30-meter boom attachment. Known as the Cat 6015B OEM Long Reach Hydraulic Shovel, it’s the result of cooperation between Caterpillar, Israel Tractor & Equipment (I.T.E.), Dutch company STC B.V. and PMEC in China.
“This is an extraordinary project,” said Rotem Bamani, Vice President of Projects with the Infrastructure Division for I.T.E. “To succeed, we needed to understand the needs of PMEC as well as the complex transportation and assembly logistics. One aspect allowing full collaboration and trust was the positive customer experience PMEC had with us in the past.”
Production of the hydraulic shovel took place in three locations. Engineering, production and assembly of the 30-meter boom was given to STC, along with a timeline of just five and a half months.
Meanwhile, the Caterpillar factory in Germany was preparing the 6015B body, which would be delivered frontless to STC before heading to Israel for final assembly at the worksite. With synchronization, cooperation and attention to international bureaucracy, the 6015B OEM was delivered smoothly.
“With no doubt, this is a rare tool,” said Roee Levin, Engineering Department Manager with I.T.E. “The special requirements produced seamless collaboration with everyone involved and we were able to create a special parts plan and service agreements.”
Because the 6015B OEM is such a different machine, it was crucial to provide on-site training for operators. “I have a lot of experience with Cat machines. But, because this is the first tool of its kind, it was important to deliver my knowledge to PMEC operators in Ashdod. This is a sophisticated tool, which is equipped to handle exceptional loads. Proper training will make all the difference,” added Bas Barkhof, Instructor for Heavy Equipment at STC.
COOPERATION PAYS OFF
According to Xiong Tao, Engineering Department Manager for PMEC, “It was important for us all to work as one. Cooperation among so many variables can sometimes be problematic. But in this case, professionalism from Caterpillar, I.T.E. and STC helped keep everything on track. I am very satisfied with the work rate so far, and we believe we will continue at this pace.”
“Our decision to purchase the 6015B OEM was made because of our intensive work with water. This is a tool that plays a crucial role in our fleet. I believe we will get to the finish line before the official target date,” said Tao.
Technology plays a big role at the Ashdod project. PMEC uses EMSolutions (Level 5), which provides real-time data about the location of equipment, fuel, engine hours and idle time. This machine management solution helps maximize fleet capabilities and reduce costs.
In addition, a Trimble GCS900 machine control system is also in use. Because much of the work requires a shovel to dig more than 15 meters under water, it was vital to incorporate technology that could enhance productivity and precision. Using the system, operators can dramatically increase accuracy – up to 2cm – as well as productivity.
Innovation and development in the world of heavy equipment have had to adapt to become faster and more powerful. The cooperation and coordination in creating the Cat 6015B OEM long reach hydraulic shovel are not only revolutionary, they are part of a story that spans continents.