In the run-up to MaskinExpo 2013, engcon launched Non Accident Generation – a concept to further increase safety at its customers' workplaces. As part of this concept, engcon presented Q-Safe – a completely new safety hitch development that offers threefold safety for excavators.
"We've completed field tests with Q-Safe, and we'll be gradually replacing a number of our quick hitches with Q-safe during 2014," says Fredrik Jonsson, head of R&D in engcon Group.
engcon tells us that Q-Safe (Quick Safe) is the safest solution on the market for ensuring no-one is injured by dropped or hanging buckets, as in principle it's impossible to foul things up when hitching.
Every time the operator uses or even moves the bucket or tool, two separate sensors on the Q-Safe check to make sure the tool is locked at both its forward and rear axles.
This also minimizes the risk of hanging tools, which can occur when only a front axle lock is used", says Stig Engström.
Behind engcon's work developing the market's safest quick hitch are not only studies of workplace accidents, but also customers' own experiences.
"Indeed, our work is based on a broad foundation, and we're confident we've really found the right solution," continues Fredrik Jonsson, before he goes on to explain how Q-Safe. works.
"Our hope now is for as many people as possible to recognize this opportunity to make their excavators safer by fitting them with the full version of our Q-Safe quick hitch."
Initially, Q-Safe will be supplied with a warning system where both audible and light signals alert the operator unless both bucket axles are fully engaged by the hitch. Then, as customers place orders and in collaboration with machine suppliers, we will fit the full version with a slew limiter and a function that requires the bucket or tool to rest on the ground before the lock can be opened, as a standard feature. The model with only audible and light alarms will become an option after a time.
"We must work to make safety a standard feature, and not an optional extra," commented Stig Engström, engcon's founder and owner, when he saw the Q-Safe prototype for the first time.
Q-Safe is also ready to install on EC-Oil, engcon's proprietary hydraulic quick hitch for automatically connecting hydraulics, central lubrication and electrical power to tools without the need to exit the cab.
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