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under Germany


Engineering company Wayss & Freitag relies on portable power to build wastewater tunnels in an effort to restore the Emscher river system in Germany to its natural state.


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Contents issue 1/2013

What should our customers focus on?

GERMANY Johann Ettengruber shares his views on the demolition industry in Germany (page 8).

Green opportunities

ALMOST EVERY European capi-

tal today includes a landscape of lonely cranes and unfinished building sites. The credit crisis from 2008, public debts, financial market instability and the eurozone’s struggles have led to uncertainty in the construction sector. In this mature and lowinvestment market, what should our customers focus on? The answer is sustainability. Demand for this type of development is knocking at our customers’ doors, and Atlas Copco can help, either in renovation projects or sustainable (“green”) infrastructure developments. Countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France offer substantial growth potential for sustainable construction. Many European contractors and project developers anticipate increased growth with the implementation of sustainability regulations. Atlas Copco is the European construction and mining industries’ partner for sustainable productivity. This issue describes how Atlas Copco ranks among the world’s top sustainable companies, and it includes an interview with the president of the European Demolition Association in which he talks about recycling regulations. Also, don’t miss our coverage of new product launches at Bauma Germany and the new, strong visual identity for our road construction equipment. Enjoy your reading!

BELGIUM This response team is often among the first to arrive after a tragedy (page 19).

SOUTH AFRICA A nature reserve relies on strong fencing to protect rare species (page 18).

Nico Delvaux Business Area President Atlas Copco Construction Technique



PUBLISHER Mercedes Hernandez EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anna-Karin Stenlund

PRINT druckpartner GmbH, Essen, Germany EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Mercedes Hernandez, Anja Kaulbach, Anna-Karin Stenlund and Elsie Vestraets PRODUCTION Appelberg Publishing Group, Sweden EDITORS Linas Alsenas and Lena Nilsson AD Ersan Cürüklü

ADDRESS Atlas Copco (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd.

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Copyright 2013, Atlas Copco AB, Stockholm – Construction Technique, 16/F China Venturetech Plaza, No 819 Nanjing West Road 200041 Shanghai, PRC WEB COVER PHOTO Friedmann Vogel

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For the seventh time, Atlas Copco was recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable companies by the annual Global 100 list, presented annually at the World Economic Forum. The list is based on selection of 4 000 developed and emerging market companies, which are measured against key performance indicators such as revenues in relation to consumption of energy and water. Atlas Copco ranked 18th. Ronnie Leten, the company’s President and CEO, says, “Being socially and environmentally responsible is not only the right thing to do, but it is how we develop and grow our business in a profitable way.” He points to the new compressor factories in India and China as examples; they are built according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard.


Plus Program is Atlas Copco’s new aligned portfolio of extended warranty products within the Construction Technique business area. The program offers a variety of coverage types and agreement periods, with extensions of the regular warranty ranging from an additional one to four years. An extended warranty helps control equipment costs and maximize uptime. With an extended warranty, Atlas Copco or an authorized participating dealer will repair and provide spare parts at no extra cost. Regular warranty conditions apply during an extended warranty period, which means that regular maintenance inspections are carried out by Atlas Copco or an authorized dealer and that genuine Atlas Copco parts are used. Fluids, maintenance and wear parts are not covered by warranty, although the extended warranty can be bought together with or upgraded into a maintenance contract that includes them.



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This magazine is now available for download as an app for iPads and iPhones. It’s free of charge, and it’s available (in English) through the App Store, where it is easily found with the keywords “Atlas Copco.” The new Build App provides additional content beyond the print magazine: videos, related links, campaigns, product information and more. An Android version of the app will be available later in 2013. “The idea is to have state-of-the-art, two-way communication with our customers and readers across the world, providing them valuable information and strengthening our relations,” says Nico Delvaux, President of the Atlas Copco Construction Technique business area.

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The results of the compaction are shown directly on the screen of the portable DCA unit. The recorded data can easily be transferred to a desktop computer by means of a memory card.

The roller is positioned using GNSS equipment




The compaction meter measures the bearing strength of the surface in CMV (Compaction Meter Value). The drum accelerometer measures the stiffness of the compacted surface.


DOCUMENTED IMPROVEMENT Computerized documentation systems help contractors increase efficiency and quality when performing soil compaction tasks. TEXT ULF WIMAN ILLUSTRATIONS ATLAS COPCO

A STRUCTURE IS ONLY as strong as the foundation

upon which it is built. This applies figuratively to most things in life and literally to things such as buildings and roads. Soil compaction must be performed in the right way in order to guarantee the quality of road construction. But as a report from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute notes, “Documentation on compaction performed needs to be improved.” A computerized documentation system can help. One example is Dynapac’s DCA system, which uses the roller as a measuring instrument to check the compaction results, number of passes and other information

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(see factbox). By using GPS data for positioning, the results can also be presented on a map or drawing. Vassbakk & Stol AS, one of the leading earthwork companies in Vestlandet in southwest Norway, has seen the benefits of using such a system. “Offering project documentation has helped us win several prestigious projects,” says Jon-Aage Ødegaard, training coordinator at the company’s headquarters in Kopervik. Vassbakk & Stol, which has built oil and gas terminals and several airports, has taken part in several road construction projects for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The company’s first project

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DCA-S benefits  onitoring of compaction progM ress, achieved stiffness and/or number of passes performed Clay

 perator receives visual realO time information



 ver and under compaction can O be avoided, thus increasing quality and productivity

140 120 100

 ull documentation of the F compaction procedure

80 60 40

 nalyses of real-life projects A have shown productivity gains of up to 40%.


 or asphalt applications, DCA-A F maps temperature and the number of passes. 10







Vassbakk & Stol Founded: 1969 Headquarters: in Kopervik, Norway, on the island of Karmø­y (about 150 km south of Bergen) Specialties: excavation, digging and blasting Number of employees: about 460 Net sales: about NOK 1 billion (2012)

using the DCA system was in 2009, when Statoil’s gas terminal in Mongstad was extended. The project was successful, and today four of Vassbakk & Stol’s vibratory rollers are equipped with DCA-S (GPS). A major advantage is gained from linking the in-

formation from the documentation system to the map program, explains Ødegaard: “We were working on a large plot, about 100 000 m 2, and without the DCA system we wouldn’t have been able to show how many passes we made, or that we compacted the entire plot. With the system, it was easy to show that we had performed the task to the customer’s specification.” Knowing the number of passes for each individual project creates peace of mind for the contractor. Too few can lead to poorer quality, and – in the worst-case scenario – expensive claims for damages. Performing more passes than required is a waste of time, money and fuel, and it causes unnecessary wear to the equipment. The DCA systems can also be used both for feasibility studies and on a running basis to control efficiency and quality throughout the project. “We did a job at an airport, and before we started on the task itself, we

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“Offering project documentation has helped us win several prestigious projects.”

used the DCA system to see what was in the ground and to test the soil stiffness,” says Ødegaard. “This made it easy to remedy areas at an early stage that could have led to problems later on.” Ødegaard thinks that the main challenges of DCA systems are training the roller operators and raising the status of their work. Today Vassbakk & Stol trains its own personnel in the systems, but he stresses that Dynapac helped the company enormously when it first adopted the system: “Being able to engage in frequent dialog with Dynapac during the start-up phase was a major advantage, especially in terms of processing the files and transferring them to a different program, for example.” Ødegaard believes that documentation requirements will increase in the future. “Today, there are no requirements for documenting soil stiffness, only the number of passes,” he says. “But the Norwegian Public Roads Administration will be issuing more stringent requirements for documentation in their new guidelines. With DCA systems, we’re able to guarantee the quality, especially of large jobs, and monitor and make constant checks – which weren’t previously possible.”

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IN Germany The country’s building industry faces challenges, but business keeps charging ahead.

Text Michael Miller Photo getty images

To the casual observer, Germany might seem to be a fully built country. Vibrant cities abound, studded with gleaming high-rise buildings and linked by wellmaintained expressways and sleek, punctual trains. Still, construction goes on. In fact, over half of all German investments are still made in the construction sector, and about 2 million of Germany’s 82 million people are employed in the industry proper and in finishing trades, according to the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. The German Institute for Economic Research reports that in 2011 the German construction industry experienced one of its strongest years of growth since the country’s reunification two decades earlier. The industry went through a slight slowdown in 2012, but Stephan Ketteler, General Manager of Atlas Copco MCT GmbH, says analysts expect to see growth of 2–3% this year. “The main driver will be

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new apartment buildings and the renovation of old buildings to consume less energy,” he says. “Road construction will be stable, and some new tunneling projects are coming up.” One such project is Stuttgart 21, a new underground train station in the capital of the state of BadenWürttemberg in southern Germany. Plans for the station include a new high-speed rail line from Stuttgart to Ulm, speeding the connection between Paris and Vienna, but its construction has seen numerous delays and cost overruns. Concerns about the health of the German construction industry center on the state of the overall economy

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in the eurozone, where worries about the solvency of countries in southern Europe have dominated headlines for several years now. “The crisis is not yet over, but it’s no longer as critical,” says Reto Gallati, President of Chicago-based investment advisory firm Raetia Investments. “Greece is now a footnote – it’s been written off.” Gallati, a Swiss national who is a veteran of Nuveen Investments, Putnam Investments and the Zurich branch of Goldman Sachs, says one thing to watch out for is increased public dissatisfaction with cost overruns on major public works projects. Stuttgart 21 now has an expected price tag that is

more than 2 billion euros over the planned ceiling of 4.5 billion euros, and Gallati points to other projects with similar stories. The Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport has been built, but it has not yet opened because of a variety of problems. Its cost of 4.3 billion euros is nearly twice the figure that was initially anticipated. Similarly, a new concert hall under construction for the Hamburg symphony orchestra has already cost more than twice its originally estimated price tag. “People are getting very aware of these big infrastructure projects,” Gallati says. However, the public component of German

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Udo Kiesewalter, General Manager of the German Association of Construction and Machine Builders

“Business development is far better in Germany than in other European countries.”


construction spending is relatively small. In 2011, the last full year for which figures are available, housing construction accounted for 54% of total construction spending, while commercial construction was at 31% and public construction at just 15%, according to the German Institute for Economic Research. Udo Kiesewalter, General Manager of the German Association of Construction and Machine Builders, says Germany’s economy is faring relatively well. “Business development is far better in Germany than in other European countries,” he says, adding that housing construction is especially strong. Kiesewalter acknowledges that the delays and cost overruns at projects such as those in Stuttgart and Berlin present problems and force difficult decisions about how to proceed. “There is often not enough coordination between the construction companies and the government, and the real costs can never be exactly fixed,” he says. Even though German economic growth was slightly negative in the fourth quarter of 2012, the economy showed a small gain for the full year, according to the Federal Statistics Office. In February 2013, German investor confidence rose to its highest level in nearly three years. As the world’s fourth-largest economy, Germany knows that building must continue if it is to remain in the forefront of global economies.

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Demolition man Johann Ettengruber reflects on changes in the German demolition industry over the years and shares his concerns about proposed EU regulations. Text Michael Lawton Photo Claudia Reiter

Johann Ettengruber’s demolition company, Ettengruber

GmbH, is typical for the industry in Germany; it’s a real family business. Ettengruber took it over from his father, and his wife and son work for the firm. “We’re number two in the region,” he says. “Sixty percent of demolition companies here have fewer than 20 employees; we have more than 80. But, basically, all the companies are very similar.” Only Ettengruber GmbH, however, has the chairman of the national demolition industry association (Deutscher Abbruchverband) as its boss. The company’s history begins in 1959, when Ettengruber’s father started a transport company in Munich. In those days, when rubble was removed from a site, it wasn’t a large leap for the transport company to do the demolition as well. Soon the company’s focus began to move toward demolition. The 1960s were a boom time in Munich. “The Olympics led to an explosion of construction activity,” Ettengruber recalls. “The main thing back then was to get rid of the old building so you had room for something new. Whatever the war hadn’t destroyed, we brought down.” But demolition didn’t interest Ettengruber much; he was more interested in the trucking part of the family business. He trained as a truck mechanic and was about to embark on a career in that sector when his father fell ill. “He said, ‘I can’t run the firm anymore; you’ll have to do it,’” Ettengruber says. “So I did, and I began to enjoy it – going out on the digger, running the projects. We were small, and we used to do the whole job ourselves.” Today demolition is done very differently. Ettengruber realized years ago that the future lay in providing a full service, coordinating the preparation of a site for a new building. “We plan the whole project,” he says. “But we don’t do it all ourselves anymore; we have subcontractors, such as geologists who examine the ground conditions, or specialist construction companies who build foundations for the new building.” The secret to success, he says, is the planning. “Whenever we have problems, it’s because we haven’t done the planning right. You used to just say, ‘Joe, take the excavator to the site and knock it down,’ but now you ask yourself which employees have the right skills for this job, which contractors

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should we use, how long should each stage take.” According to Ettengruber, the biggest change for demolition contractors over the years has been in the equipment: “It’s much more powerful, efficient and comfortable to use.” New equipment saves time and money, but it also makes less noise and dust. “Once people expected vibrations, noise and dust when demolition was going on, but they’ve become more sensitive,” Ettengruber says. “Now you only have to start a bulldozer and they call the police.” Environmental regulations on separation and recycling have also changed the business significantly. Ettengruber is not altogether pleased with the way the rules are being set. He says regulations currently being introduced by the EU and the German government are contradictory: “Our laws say that it’s better to recycle than to dump. That’s a noble aim, and we’d gladly fulfill it, except that the regulations make it impossible for us.” In the current drafts, the limits for various pollutants in construction waste are so strict that, for example, it’s often not permitted to use brick and concrete rubble for the foundations of a car-park. That means it has to be dumped, but Germany doesn’t have enough appropriate landfill sites of the right quality. “For example,” says Ettengruber, “clay contains natural vanadium, so recycled brick rubble exceeds the limit for vanadium.” The regulations, he argues, have to be made by people who understand the industry and who are prepared to go along with what is realistic. Ettengruber thinks the industry already meets the 70% target for recycling that the EU has set for 2020, but he sees problems ahead – not only because of excessive regulation, but also because new materials will be impossible to recycle. To improve insulation, fiberglass may be added to clay in bricks, or layers of polystyrene may be being sandwiched between layers of plasterboard. “Our recycling rate could fall to under 30%,” he warns. Despite his concerns, Ettengruber has a level view of the industry. “You have to put it into proportion,” he says. “My father was an apprentice after the war; what perspectives did he have? And we get hot under the collar about regulations! You can’t complain all the time. The spice of life is in dealing with challenges, and I’m very positive about the future.”

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The spice of life is in dealing with challenges.

Johann Ettengruber Age: 52 Birthplace: Munich Occupation: CEO of Ettengruber GmbH in Dachau, near Munich Other: Chairman of Deutscher Abbruchverband (German demolition industry association) Family: Wife Sophia, son Johann, Jr. Hobby: Collecting vintage trucks and construction machines

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TUNNEL A tunnel project in the Ruhr region of Germany is helping to restore a natural river system that has long been used for wastewater. TEXT MICHAEL L AW TON PHOTOS FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

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A 70-kilometer-long wastewater tunnel will enable the entire Emscher river system to be restored to its natural state.

n a cold and sunny day in the German city of Gelsenkirchen, two priests, one Catholic and one Protestant, said a couple of prayers over a bronze statue of Saint Barbara. The Catholic priest sprinkled some holy water, and the saint was lowered into a little shrine hung inside a shaft. A tunnel would be dug here under the Rhine-Herne canal. The blessing was followed by the “launch” of a tunneling machine with a bottle of champagne. “It’s a tradition to call for a blessing on a tunneling project,” explains Günter Osthoff, Head of the engineering company Wayss & Freytag, which owns the machine. Barbara is the patron saint of both tunneling and mining, and the project to build a 70-kilometer underground wastewater canal parallel to the Emscher River brings the two industries together. The area, part of the Ruhr region, was a major source of coal in the last two centuries, and the landscape is still marked by its past. The mines caused major

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subsidence of up to 20 meters, and 30% of the region is now below the groundwater level. The Emscher River and its tributaries were used as a sewer. Running between concrete banks, they carried the wastewater for 2.5 million people and the region’s industry. “That had the advantage that one could keep track of problems resulting from subsidence,” notes Osthoff. Now that the mining has almost ended, the whole river system – all 300 kilometers – is being restored to its natural state. The ambitious project was initiated by the Emscher Cooperative, which was set up in 1899 and is the oldest wastewater disposal coordinating authority in Germany. A century ago, the Cooperative turned the rivers into sewers, and now it is transforming them back into places of recreation and enjoyment. At the same time, the wastewater has to go somewhere, and that’s where the tunnel builders come in. The ceremony on 1 February was the fifth that Osthoff, who heads up the Wayss & Freytag Emscher project, has attended. The company now has a total of five

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Everyone can see that this project makes sense.


YELLOW POWER Because of its size and long industrial tradition, Germany is one of Europe’s largest markets for portable energy. Heiko Schultz, Atlas Copco Portable Energy division’s business line manager in Germany, says, “As a longtime market leader in portable compressors – and with a good market share in generators and light – we aim to grow further in all five of our ‘pillars’: air, power, light, water and the used market.” A key focus now, says Schultz, is bringing attention to pillar pumps, especially the WEDA pumps range. The division also has ambitions for growth in generator power: “We want to be No.1 in predictable power solutions.” Schultz also points to the goal of delivering sustainable productivity to customers. “We incorporate the latest technology, such as Stage III B-compliant engines for compressors above 130 kW installed engine power,” Schultz says. “This will be one highlight at Bauma.”

Günter Osthoff, Head ofWayss & Freytag

GETTING CLOSE tunneling machines operating simultaneously, and another two are likely to be added. “We are responsible for 47 kilometers of the main tunnel from just outside Dortmund to Bottrop,” says Osthoff. “The tunnel starts with an inner diameter of 1 600 millimeters and finishes with 2 800 millimeters, and each section has to have its own machine.” The machine in Gelsenkirchen is the largest: It has to drill a 3 700-millimeter hole to leave room for the tunnel lining pipes. As the machine drives through the earth, the pipes are rammed in behind it. “It’s not like a railroad tunnel through a mountain, where two tunneling machines start at either end and meet in the middle,” explains Osthoff. “This tunnel is divided into more than 100 sections, and each one has a shaft at the beginning and another at the end.” The friction between the earth and the lining pipes would be too great if the pipes had to be forced in too far, so the shafts cannot be too far apart. The section under the Rhine-Herne canal is 350 meters long, and the longest is about 1 000 meters.

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”This tunnel is divided into more than 100 sections.”

Ever since Atlas Copco began operations in Germany, service has been one of the company’s main activities here. The Construction Technique Service team, headed by Olaf Seiffert, comprises 58 people, including 25 mobile and 11 workshop service technicians. They are responsible for service related to the company’s offering in construction tools, road construction equipment and portable energy. “In order to provide the best possible service to our customers, proximity has been a top goal in Germany during recent years,” says Seiffert. “We have four of our own workshops, and the workshop located near Hanover is the main service center. With a strong and wide distributor network supporting end customers all over Germany, we have also built up a third-party network to service compressors and generators as well as light construction tools. These ‘Service Partners’ are supported with full training from Atlas Copco.”

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Menditia nones int ea nihit, tet vollaute et vellam et eatquam, quiat liquam ium eos es aciame nima ipsam sitia con re, natisquam, oditatur, cor seditiania pra conem quid ut por seque la iunt.

The German market is very important for Atlas Copco’s Construction Tools Division. The company is the clear market leader here for traditional products such as hydraulic hammers and hand-held pneumatics. Germany enjoyed a relatively good economic climate last year, and customers have continued to invest in Atlas Copco construction tools. “In recent years silent demolition tools have become increasingly important, and the market for these types of products is growing,” says Rune Magnusson, Business Line Manager, Construction Tools. “Thanks in part to our many successful product demonstrations, our silent demolition tools’ turnover grew by 65% last year, and they continue to gain market share.” Magnusson says that the greatest challenge for Atlas Copco Construction Tools in Germany is building up a stronger position for light compaction and concrete products. It’s making good progress: After reorganizing its sales structure, the division in Germany doubled both sales and market share of light compaction products last year.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

KING OF THE ROAD Each shaft is surrounded by a little island of industrial activity as the earth is dug out, raised to the surface and disposed of. A battery of generators supplies electricity. “Mains electricity would not be flexible enough,” says Osthoff. “Sometimes our shafts are in urban areas; sometimes they are in very rural areas. We needed a power supply which was flexible and independent.” Atlas Copco has so far supplied 22 portable generators, of which four or five are linked in series at each of the five shafts which are operating at any one time. They’re equipped with a control module which ensures that each of the generators works only when needed. “There are very different loads, depending on whether the tunneling machines have to work at full power or if they are going through relatively soft material,” says Osthoff. By turning the generators off, the software saves energy and wear-and-tear. The Emscher project has the widespread support of area residents, who are prepared to put up with the inconvenience of construction work until 2017. “The people here are used to industry,” says Osthoff, “and everyone can see that this project makes sense.”

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”We needed a power supply which was flexible and independent.”

“Competition is quite strong in this country,” says Thilo Ohlraun, Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco’s road compaction equipment division in Germany. “All our competitors have factories here, too, but our equipment is environmentally and technically superior.” Ohlraun notes that overall investment in road construction equipment for paving and compaction has decreased, but customers still invest in new machines. “The life cycle of a paver is approximately four to six years, so we have a lot of requests for rollers and pavers,” he says. The biggest challenge for Ohlraun’s team is to convince customers, via demonstrations, to buy the equipment and develop trust. “But with the new design in Atlas Copco colors, customers recognize that Dynapac belongs to a really big company,” Ohlraun says. “This gives them peace of mind.” Atlas Copco is featuring the SD 2500series paver, the new soil roller generation (CA rollers) and the MF 2500 feeder at the Bauma trade fair.

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New hue

Dynapac rollers, pavers and planers get a makeover in 2013. Text Linas Alsenas ImageS ATLAS COPCO

Dynapac customers will no longer be seeing red. The range

of rollers,pavers and planers is sporting a new look this year. “The color scheme will change to yellow and gray, which is already used for Atlas Copco’s construction tools, portable compressors and generators,” says Nico Delvaux, President of the Atlas Copco Construction Technique business area. “The

ambition is to form a strong uniform identity toward construction customers in all parts of the world.” The Atlas Copco logotype is clearly visible alongside Dynapac. The yellow-and-gray color scheme aligns the products’ appearance with the rest of Atlas Copco’s offering for the construction industry.


The ambition is to form a strong uniform identity toward construction customers in all parts of the world.

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The European demolition industry faces a number of challenges in satisfying EU environmental regulations set for 2020. TEXT MICHAEL L AW TON PHOTO ATL AS COPCO


n the days before regulations, demolition was quite simple, even if it was hard work: you just needed a heavy hammer and a truck to take away the debris. “The evolution of the demolition industry,” says José Blanco, Secretary General of the European Demolition Association (EDA), “goes hand-in-hand with the evolution of regulations.” When a building is demolished, all of its constituent materials become, in a sense, waste. “We have to think about how to decontaminate the hazardous waste and how to recycle or

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dispose of the rest,” says Blanco. The European Union’s Waste Directive, passed in 2008, requires that, by 2020, 70% of demolition waste will be recycled. Blanco says, “The directive has to be adopted into law by each individual EU country, and in some countries the laws are made by regions or cities.” There are different ways of approaching the issue, so that’s quite a challenge for us. We don’t yet know how the member states are going to make sure the directive is kept.” Progress in this regard varies widely across EU countries, and

Blanco says the root of the problem is money. “We can recycle 90% – or even more – of non-hazardous waste, but someone must pay for the work this requires.” HE POINTS to size as a significant dif-

ference between countries. “Big countries have more resources, and they don’t have the urgent need to recycle,” Blanco explains. “Take the Netherlands: they don’t have much aggregate of their own, so they are keen to recycle construction waste. Italy and Spain have plenty

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José Blanco, Secretary General of the European Demolition Association

of aggregate, so they’re in a different situation.” One major problem for recycling is that buildings are made of mixed materials, with plaster on walls, screeds on floors, and silicone between tiles and bath. “If you crush gypsum with brick,” says Blanco, “you have a recyclability problem – especially if there is contact with ground water.” He thinks more research in recycling processes for mixed materials is needed. Few people build with an eye to demolition. Blanco notes that “demolition always runs 40 years behind building trends.” Forty years ago

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asbestos was already going out of favor, but the industry now has to deal with Persistent Organic Pollutants and PCBs, as well as the perennial problem of lead. “In 40 years’ time, we’ll probably find difficulties in recycling some of today’s insulation materials,” says Blanco. The lack of documentation about what exactly goes into buildings presents a major hurdle. Even if original information exists, buildings change. “You’ll often find two buildings built in the same way at the same time on the same estate, but they will have developed differently and present us with different challenges,” says Blanco. “Interiors are often refurbished, but there’s no culture of documenting how buildings evolve.” Blanco would like to see “green thinking” become an advantage in economic terms. “No one has to tell a demolition contractor to segregate steel,” he says. “Recycling the steel is part of his business calculation. We need to get to the same state for other materials, such as

Demolition recycling in Europe Construction and demolition waste as a percentage of total waste from all sources in the EU: 25-30%.

Amount recycled: varies from less than 10% to more than 90% in different countries. Proportion to be recycled by 2020 according to the EU Waste Directive: 70%.



Interiors are often refurbished, but there’s no culture of documenting how buildings evolve.


wood or gypsum, perhaps by making it more expensive to throw away mixed materials. That would get the owner of the site – who under the directive is the producer of the waste – involved in the decision-making process.” Although Blanco is not sure whether the industry will have all the right equipment by 2020, he has noticed a lot of investment in attachments, rather than machines. Attachments allow operators to deal with different materials in a more targeted way. Demolition contractors, he says, are generally happy that regulations exist; they increase the importance of the industry. For example, demolition contractors are called in to clear up hazardous sites because of their expertise, even if no demolition is involved. Before regulations, the builder demolished an old building before he started building a new one. Nowadays, if you want to demolish properly, you have to call in the experts.

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On the mend

When a winter storm brought down 35 kilometers of difficult-to-access fencing at a South African nature reserve, the fate of rare animal populations hung in the balance. Text Linas Alsenas Photos Iain Scott

One of the largest private nature reserves in South Africa, Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve spreads out over 125 square kilometers of mountainous terrain. Formerly a 300-year-old sheep farm, the reserve was established in 2002 by the Wildlife For All Trust to restore a number of species, including kudu, springbok, Burchell’s zebra, black wildebeest and the endangered Cape mountain zebra. In mid-2012, reserve staff were busy upgrading the reserve’s fencing in the eastern portion – they planned to introduce cheetah – when an unprecedented winter storm’s freezing rain brought down 35 kilometers of fence. The reserve is operated by unpaid professionals, and it relies on businesses for specific material donations. Wussy Gardner and Vicky de las Heras, two Komsberg staff members, were able to temporarily prop up the huge length of fencing in the course of just four days. Fortunately none of the reintroduced animals had left the area, but the reserve desperately needed a more durable solution. An even stronger fence would require an additional 2,000 metal Y-posts and 380 wooden posts, all dug down into rocky, mountainous terrain. This work would require a rock drill and a breaker, along with an accompanying generator. However, the reserve does not maintain vehicle access to the fence (to preserve as much vegetation as possible), so all equipment and fencing materials would have to be carried long distances by hand. The ideal solution was found in Atlas Copco’s Cobra Combi, a portable combination rock drill and breaker with a built-in gasoline tank. Atlas Copco’s South African partner company donated the necessary equipment and sent a trainer from Johannesburg to teach the staff how to use it properly.

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Vicky de las Heras operates the Cobra Combi at Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve.

2013-04-04 12:10:41

a magazine from atlas copco construction technique – NO.1 / 2013


The rescuers

A dedicated Belgian rescue unit may be among the first to arrive after a disaster to provide assistance. Text Linas Alsenas Photo atlas copco

The Belgian First Aid & Support Team (B-FAST)

was created after devastating earthquakes ravaged Turkey in August and November of 1999. To the Belgian government, Turkey’s tragedy highlighted the need for a rapid response unit to provide emergency aid to countries hit by disasters, both natural and manmade. Since then B-FAST has provided assistance all around the world, in countries such as Albania, Haiti, Peru, the Philippines, Romania and Thailand. Each time, the team mobilizes within 12 hours of the decision to intervene and stays for a maximum of 10 days. “A reliable source of electricity is essential for our rescue and support efforts in the field,” says B-FAST’s Dimitri Defre. “Without constant contact with the command post and our teams as well as those from other countries, our efforts wouldn’t be fully coordinated, which could have serious implications for

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human safety and health.” Because disasters usually involve a host of infrastructure and transportation challenges, portability is an important requirement for B-FAST’s generator. “We needed a powerful generator that was easy to maneuver over rugged terrain,” says Defre. “The solution we found was the Atlas Copco QAS 14 generator with a trailer, which is light enough to be handled by just a few team members. It gives us peace of mind that the generator is fuel-efficient, only using one and a half tanks of fuel for a week of operations. It is big enough to power our command post and recharge all appliances, including our satellite phones, camp lighting, water heaters and the radio system.” Defre says the QAS 14 has never failed the team, and it provides more than enough power for their needs. “Overall, I’d say it’s an essential part of our equipment.”

”We needed a powerful generator that was easy to maneuver over rugged terrain.”

2013-04-04 12:10:46



international trade fair

presents new solutions for th e construction industry, including the following:


LH 8E is the lightest fully vibro-reduced handheld hydraulic pick hammer on the market. Weighing 9.5 kilograms, the breaker is ideally suited for building renovation and horizontal work in brick and concrete.

Atlas Copco presents the Black line series, a new range of working tools for hydraulic breakers. An agile supply chain has been set up for quick delivery times and the best prices for quality products.



A dedicated Series 7 Kubota compressor range for the rental industry combines Kubota engines with Atlas Copco technology for high fuel efficiency and low operational costs.

Living up to the core value “Predictable Power”, Atlas Copco offers solid power solutions, including Power Management Systems (PMS) and digital genset management.



Atlas Copco completes the range of CA single drum rollers by introducing the smaller Dynapac CA1300 and CA1500 (and their variants), which offer low noise, low diesel consumption and easy serviceability.

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The only 2.5-meter feeder on the market – thus avoiding special transport permission from the EU – the Dynapac MF2500CS has a conveying system that can feed 27 tons of gravel, sand or asphalt in just 35 seconds.

PMI 3390 0663 01


Atlas Copco

2013-04-04 12:38:09

BUILD No. 1 / 2013  

A customer magazine from Atlas Copco Construction Technique.

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