A “Dextreme” test for excavator hydraulic systems

By Mike Brezonick01 March 2023

Danfoss Power Solutions has partnered with U.K. building materials supplier Ashcourt Group to test the Danfoss Dextreme hydraulic system in three Volvo excavators. Ashcourt, based in East Yorkshire, England, said it expects the system to increase the productivity of its machines while reducing fuel consumption.

Ashcroft Group Volvo excavators Danfoss Power Solutions is partnering with Ashcourt Group to test the Danfoss Dextreme digital hydraulic system in three Volvo excavators. (Photo: Danfoss)

The excavators were fitted with the Dextreme Swap system in collaboration with U.K. Volvo dealership SMT. The system replaces the excavator’s main hydraulic pump with a Danfoss Dextreme Digital Displacement pump, custom software and controller.

Danfoss said the Dextreme Swap is the first level within the Dextreme system solution pathway. The pathway consists of three levels — Swap, Flex, and Max — and is predicted to deliver fuel savings of up to 50% in excavators of all sizes. Dextreme Swap involves simply replacing the excavator’s hydraulic pump. Dextreme Flex adds flexible flow output, while Dextreme Max incorporates load control directly from the pump and energy recovery.

Testing at quarry and washing facility

Ashcourt is testing the system on three 20-ton Volvo EC200 diesel-powered excavators. Two of the machines will be used at the company’s Partridge Hall Quarry in East Yorkshire. The third will operate at a nearby material washing facility. In the trial that began in February, each machine is forecast to complete 2000 operating hours over the next 12 months. To compare operating data with Ashcourt’s existing fleet of standard Volvo EC200 machines, each excavator has been fitted with data logging equipment.

“Our goal is to see how the Danfoss Dextreme-equipped machines perform in terms of productivity and fuel use in a tough quarrying and material moving environment,” said John Hood, Ashcourt Group plant director. “So far, the feedback from our operators has been uniformly positive. The fuel savings I can’t speak to yet, but my team is telling me the new machines are very responsive and strong, with the EC200 performing more like an EC250.”

Danfoss Dextreme pump The Dextreme digital displacement pump technology is engineered to improve productivity and fuel economy in hydraulic excavators. (Photo: Danfoss)

A study by Danfoss Power Solutions revealed that excavators account for 50% of all carbon dioxide emissions generated by construction machinery. Around 90% of those emissions come from excavators of ten tons or more, which is why the Dextreme system solution is specifically targeted at the excavator market.

According to Danfoss, an excavator utilizing the Dextreme system will have a lower total cost of ownership than a standard diesel machine. For excavator owners more interested in reducing cycle times than reducing fuel consumption, Dextreme Swap can deliver up to 25% higher productivity.

A system for all power sources

The Dextreme system can be integrated into diesel, hybrid, and fully electric excavators and will work with any machine control system. Its integral digital pump controller provides extensive data, providing fleet operators with real-time performance monitoring and diagnostics.

“Today’s excavator systems are only 30% efficient, with around 70% of the engine’s energy wasted as heat in the hydraulic system,” said Leif Bruhn, head of Digital Displacement, Danfoss Power Solutions. “We’ve designed the Dextreme system to radically reduce hydraulic system losses, leading to increased productivity and lower fuel consumption. We are excited to be working with the Ashcourt Group in such a challenging environment to demonstrate that Dextreme-equipped excavators deliver more productivity while consuming less fuel.”

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