Continental Will Play Integral Role in Upcoming Productivity Boost of Construction and Mining Industry
Continental used this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG to show how it is set to support the upcoming productivity leap in the construction and mining industries triggered by digitalization. Continental’s Smart Conveyor Management, a set of digital services for asset surveillance, asset management and asset productivity, has been nominated as a finalist for the ConExpo Next Level Awards Program, putting wind in the company’s sails.
Continental is set to show industry stakeholders how its broad portfolio of rubber products and electronic hardware is complemented by solutions that foster technological progress in the fields of digitalization, automation, connectivity, material competence and sustainability. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG the company showed how it interprets its role as an innovation partner under the motto “We build tomorrow. Now”.
“The construction industry is about to undergo a profound transformation in the coming years. Productivity per construction machine is set to significantly rise thanks to digitalization, creating more value throughout the construction industry,” said Mario Branco, head of Business Development Off-Highway at Continental. “Continental is ideally positioned to support the industry as a reliable innovation partner. As an automotive supplier and technology company, Continental has set itself the ambitious goal to help shape tomorrow’s construction and mining industry today. Thanks to our broad expertise in the fields of digitalization, automation, connectivity, material competence and sustainability we are extremely well positioned to realize this technological leap together with the industry.”
Continental is achieving further innovations by using passenger car technology and adapting it for construction and mining machinery. For the digital surround view system ProViu 360, the technology company presented several software-based features. Worker Detection, for example, allows the system to detect people near a machine and warn them of collisions. For the ProViu 360 system a platform approach ensures that customers can easily upgrade with new functions without having to make changes to hardware or install new software.
Another benefit of the platform approach is that sensors other than cameras, like radar, will be added to ProViu 360 in the future, taking the next step toward automating construction machinery. Another innovation based on a Continental solution for road traffic is the Digital Safety Assistant. In the version of this system for construction sites, people, machines and vehicles communicate with one another via signals that they send through a smartphone or telematics unit. In this way, every machine and every person can be warned in real time of an impending collision.
Great potential for the construction and aggregates industries lies in Continental’s Telematics and Connectivity portfolio. Backed by the company’s 27 years of experience with connecting passenger cars and trucks and, overall, more than 42 million connected vehicles on the road, Continental has started to market its competency to construction manufacturers. Continental relies on its success with commercial vehicle manufacturers where several projects have already been awarded, for example with 5G-Hybrid-V2X solutions. Also, as the technology company is used to looking at least one technological generation ahead, 6G development has started at the labs of the company’s Software and Central Technologies unit.
Tire data, such as air pressure and temperature, is recorded and evaluated with the help of the digital tire management system ContiConnect 2.0. If the tire pressure is too low or there is a risk of overheating, the driver is informed directly via a warning system. This ensures a fail-safe, long tire life and fuel-efficient operation. At Continental, all radial tires for earthmoving are equipped with a sensor ex-factory, making them ready for use with ContiConnect. Complementing this, the new generation also offers the ability to track tires both in stock and in use to support predictive maintenance. The next system update, coming in the 2nd quarter of 2023, will enable the monitoring of tires via Bluetooth connected devices.
The revised app-based service platform Conti+2.0 integrates numerous conveyor monitoring systems and processes in a single application and analyzes all important sensor data. This helps companies improve the productivity of their operations and extend the life of their conveyor belts.
With its new IoT (Internet of Things) solution Zonar SightIQ, Continental is setting new standards for productivity management in quarries, mines and on construction sites. The solution is developed by the fleet and asset management experts of Seattle-based Continental subsidiary Zonar and are already in operation with pilot customers in the aggregates industry. SightIQ integrates all available data from mobile machines, vehicles and stationary equipment such as conveyors or tools in a cloud application, regardless of the manufacturer. SightIQ Predict collects and decodes proprietary ECM data across major manufacturers and translates that data into actionable insights and predictive diagnostics, inspection, and peripheral data. SightIQ Optimize consolidates site data into real-time information, regardless of location, across entire fleets. It grants select personnel access to the data so they can streamline site processes and enhance location efficiencies. The IoT suite can be expanded to include other digital solutions from Continental, such as Conti+ for intelligent conveyor management or ContiConnect for safe and efficient tire management. In developing this innovative solution, Continental drew on its cross-industry expertise.
The electrification of off-highway machines increases efficiency as well as productivity and can help to limit emissions. With its holistic approach, Continental offers a comprehensive portfolio of hardware and software for electric machinery with architecture and consulting, software or product development. Products like power electronics, low voltage electronic control units, powertrain auxiliaries or sensors were on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.
In 2022, Continental acquired family-owned belting manufacturer WCCO Belting headquartered in Wahpeton, North Dakota. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, Continental presented for the first time a product innovation that shows what great material competency has been added to the technology companies’ knowledge base. The patented Direct X conveyor belt technology for crushing, grinding, sorting, screening and piling operations in the aggregate and recycling industries is now available for purchase by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket. The patented Direct X cleat profile increases conveyor capacity by capturing more material across the belt width than standard industry patterns. Combined with the benefits of a specialized belt construction that is thinner, yet stronger and more flexible in design, the product is a high-value solution that reduces cover wear, increases energy savings, and improves belt life.
For the first time on display in North America was Continental’s ConveyorInspect drone-based service. An infrared and RGB camera-equipped drone inspects both sides of the conveyor following a pre-programmed flight routine. With the Drone Pilot inspection service, a certified pilot controls the drone and collects data in dangerous or hard-to-reach places. Visual data is uploaded to the cloud via the ConveyorInspect portal, and the data is then processed and analyzed by an artificial intelligence-based data pipeline, customized to detect conveyor component damage.
This service is only one element in Continental’s comprehensive range of monitoring systems and services that enable predictive maintenance and thus reduce downtime.
Also designed with the aim to reduce downtime are Continental’s top-selling hoses of the Gorilla series. The tube is made from carboxylated nitrile and provides superior oil and abrasion resistance. Gorilla hoses can soon be used in diesel applications, too. The hose experts of Continental’s Industrial Fluid Solutions business area were available at Continental’s second booth at the International Fluid Power Exhibition (IFPE) to explain how they made this adaptation happen.
Continental’s new SAM (Shock Absorbing Mount) is the airless solution for spring replacement, vibration isolation and shock impact. Its innovative design will cut costs in most industrial applications as it is maintenance-free and thus reduces downtime. Its rubber and fabric compound are designed to handle damp and corrosive environments. SAM also dramatically reduces the noise level and can therefore help to improve working conditions.
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