Original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Bell Equipment, which through its Southern African distribution network is the exclusive distributor of Japanese OEM Kobelco excavators in Southern Africa, has introduced the tenth-generation Kobelco SK220XD excavator to South Africa.
Bell Equipment marketing and alliance partner manager Stephen McNeill tells Mining Weekly that the first units arrived in South Africa in December, with the company having sold some into South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia since then.
“This is a 20 t excavator aimed at general earthworks and materials handling. With the reinforced structures in the undercarriage, boom and arm, it is well suited to all medium-size excavator applications,” he explains, claiming that the heavy-duty machine is productive and economical in all aspects.
“The SK220XD-10 is loaded with features not usually found in 20 t machines – features that make this model well matched to Africa’s toughest mining and construction sites.”
The SK220XD-10 has a rated power output of 118 kW at 2000 rpm and a maximum torque of 592 Nm at 1600 rpm. The machine – as well as the current SK210 and SK260 machines – is fitted with a four-cylinder Toyota Hino engine, which McNeill claims has performed well in Southern Africa’s construction, mining and forestry industries.
“Bell Equipment has sold about 150 Kobelco machines with this engine since 2017.”
Kobelco’s ongoing focus on hydraulic efficiency is key to achieving maximum power output and low fuel consumption on its excavators. The idea is that reduced friction in the system translates to less energy wasted, better production and better fuel consumption.
McNeill explains that this has been taken a step further with the tenth-generation machine by introducing the latest hydraulic technology – the arm interflow system.
“When lowering the boom, the system uses the downward force generated by the boom’s weight to push fluid to the arm cylinder. Essentially, this means that the machine is using gravity to generate hydraulic energy, which translates to less demand on the hydraulic system and engine,” he says.
Improved hydraulic efficiencies, therefore, improve fuel burn. On the SK220XD-10, Kobelco claims a 19% increase in fuel savings when in Eco-mode, 14% when in S-mode and 16% in H-mode, compared with S-mode on the SK210LC-8.
The SK220XD-10 also boasts an auto idle stop feature, which stops the engine automatically if the boarding and/or disembarking lever is lifted up, thereby eliminating wasteful idling during standby, further saving fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
“The SK220XD-10 also offers improvements to the fuel and hydraulic filtration systems to increase durability and longevity of an already reliable machine. This makes it even more suited to our harsh South African conditions,” McNeill claims.
Further, the SK220XD-10 is also much stronger structurally, with a 1 m3 heavy-duty bucket designed and manufactured by Bell Equipment with South African conditions in mind.
The boom and arm, which endure the greatest punishment, are reinforced with thick steel plate for a more robust attachment while long, solid rock guards prevent damage to the arm.
McNeill notes that the undercarriage has extra wear-protection plates for increased durability, compared with standard models. In addition, the travel system is more powerful and heavy duty, owing to large, strengthened track guides, a reinforced travel motor cover, and robust guarding to protect the hydraulic piping and equipment.
“These packages are designed for hard applications where operator abuse is common. Although they were not added specifically for South Africa, the protection is well suited to our environment and applications,” he says.
All Kobelco’s tenth-generation machines have roll-over protection system certified cabs, from the SK220 to the SK520. Additionally, the cabin is airtight, quieter and more comfortable than before, owing to features such as air-conditioning, seat suspension, recliners and armrests.
The cabin is 4% larger than previous models, with 80 mm more leg room and a lighter, smoother touch on the controls. Kobelco claims that, consequently, up to 38% less effort is required to operate the controls, thereby reducing fatigue.
A full colour multi-display provides operational information, including fault codes, fuel consumption and maintenance details. A telematics system is fitted standard to the latest generation model SK220XD, which provides fuel level and consumption information, engine water temperature, location, as well as various fault codes and warnings.
The maintenance display features a self-diagnostic function, which provides early-warning detection and display of electrical system malfunctions, while the service-diagnostic function makes it easier to check the status of the machine at any time. A record function also keeps record of any previous breakdowns, including irregular and transient malfunctions.
“From the excellent visibility to the layout and storage, we are confident that operators will find our SK220XD-10 comfortable and efficient to operate,” says McNeill.
The SK220XD machines are sold with a standard three-year, or 5000-hour warranty.
“With our Bell Care packages, we offer customers flexible and cost-effective service and maintenance packages that are tailored to their needs,based on machine use over a desired period,” he elaborates.
The machines are currently available for order and, although a rental option is not available, the company can assist clients with different finance options.