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Cover Story
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Fastflow Pipeline
Komatsu
New Steel
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MOVING THE EARTH
Recognised for its unmistakable quality and reliability all over the world, Komatsu has established an enviable reputation across Europe, particularly in the UK.

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Having pioneered the introduction of the hydraulic excavator in 1968, Komatsu is now recognised a world leader in the production, development and sale of excavators. Komatsu UK Ltd was established in 1985, and a design and development centre followed in 1992. Komatsu UK is now Europe’s premier manufacturer of crawler and wheeled excavators.

In 1967, Komatsu established its sales, marketing and service support centre in Brussels. Later as part of a worldwide localisation programme, production and design centres were established throughout Europe. Now approximately 95 per cent of all Komatsu products sold in Europe are manufactured in Europe.

Many international companies work from the top down – not Komatsu. It draws on local inspiration for innovative local operations. Komatsu UK relies on localisation of management, research, development and production to make some of the world’s most powerful construction equipment.

Komatsu machines are recognised for their unmistakable quality and reliability all over the world, but particularly so in the UK where the market appreciates high standards in engineering. Komatsu has been manufacturing in the UK for nearly 20 years and currently designs, manufactures and tests its market-leading hydraulic excavators in Newcastle upon Tyne.

At Komatsu UK, high standards begin with its highly trained staff and suppliers, who in partnership with state-of-the-art technologies manufacture products that pioneer the frontiers of technology and quality to meet local customer requirements. As a result, Komatsu has acquired a reputation for quality and offers a service that UK customers have come to expect. Komatsu machines are used for many expert applications other than earthmoving, such as demolition, waste management and recycling, railway maintenance, ditch clearing and civil engineering, to name but a few.

Indeed, Komatsu, the leading manufacturer of earthmoving equipment has recently launched a revolutionary new excavator tooth system, featuring a patented reusable lock. This new system, called Kmax, which has been developed by Komatsu to provide a range of excavator bucket teeth, not only offers excellent performance in terms of sharpness and wear resistance, but also allows the unique locking pin mechanism to be reused when the teeth require replacing.

With health and safety such an important issue in the construction industry at present, the Kmax system is a vessel for improving on-site safety. It is a significant step forward from the conventional approach of removing teeth with a sharp blow from a hammer to the securing pin, and risk of injury is greatly reduced. The Kmax system is very quickly and easily fitted by pushing the pin into position to hold the tooth in place on the adapter, then a simple 90-degree turn of the spring-locked pin mechanism locks the tooth securely and safely in place.

Kmax utilises the highest specification steels with a number of tooth styles to suit a variety of machines and applications. The Kmax profile is lengthened and tilted for optimum performance, with a sharpness that is maintained from the tip of the tooth right throughout its end and into the adaptor leg. Premature wear is prevented by all Kmax teeth being heat treated to critical standards, ensuring the teeth meet exacting specifications not only on the surface but also, importantly, at the core.

Trials conducted in the laboratory and on-site have shown Kmax to be extremely effective, including in severe conditions, both in terms of productivity and resistance to wear. Following on from the January 2006 launch of the Kmax range of excavator teeth will be the introduction of a range of Kmax teeth designed for use with wheel loaders. Komatsu, listens to the needs of users in designing the new approaches to come up with solutions that are being widely specified by quarrying companies.

Komatsu, in conjunction with Marubeni-Komatsu Limited (MKL), the sole distributor in the UK for the Komatsu range, has developed successfully by making customer support a priority. When customers buy from MKL, they are buying more than Komatsu machinery – they are buying into MKL’s confirmed commitment towards helping customers achieve maximum output. Indeed, both organisations have built up an impressive infrastructure of customer support locations, so even the most remote mainland customers are never far away from assistance.

With over 40 years of experience in delivering to the Japanese market, Komatsu is well-placed to know what the UK’s specialist needs are. MKL continues to work closely with Komatsu on its customers’ behalf to ensure the machines and service package it offers are relevant. Komatsu expects nothing less than high quality, and neither does its customers.  CT-E

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