Bobcat expands capability to design, test and manufacture machines for the EMEA market
The Bobcat Innovation Center in the Czech Republic has invested in a CNC horizontal boring machine, CNC 5 axis milling machine, and dynamometer
Doosan Bobcat believes the ability to design, test and manufacture Bobcat machines locally is one of the company’s competitive advantages in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In order to boost these advantages, the company has increased investments in technology, machinery and processes at its Innovation Center in the Czech Republic. The Innovation Center is the R&D hub of an integrated site at Dobris that also includes manufacturing, sourcing and training at the same location.
The Innovation Center is a European Engineering Center of Excellence, serving as an expert R&D center for all Doosan Bobcat engineering teams across EMEA and has global responsibility for small compact loaders and compact excavators in the range 0-3 tonnes. It focuses on driving innovation, product development, research and testing activities. The facility has more than 8000 m2 of floor space for prototyping and testing and 1400 m2 of office area.
Doosan Bobcat aims to integrate all operations at the Innovation Center, from rapid prototyping and prototype assembly to performance and durability testing. During the last 12 months, the company invested in a CNC horizontal boring machine, CNC 5 axis milling machine, and dynamometer.
The CNC horizontal boring machine and CNC 5 axis milling machine support faster prototype builds, providing full control of the processes without the involvement of third parties. Other important aspects are fixtures production for the Dobris manufacturing plant and testing of machining processes that help in the introduction of new machining in the production plant.
The dynamometer measures engine or powertrain system loadings in laboratory conditions. Based on the loading, machine performance (cooling, hydraulic parameters, fuel consumption and so on) are tested in a set ambient temperature. Testing on the dynamometer is mandatory for new engine implementation and for application approval by suppliers.
A 300 kW dynamometer with six electric generators has been installed in the Innovation Center. The dynamometer load tested machine allows Doosan Bobcat to test and optimize cooling performance in the ‘hot’ climate-controlled chamber at temperatures up to 55 °C. Advanced functions of the dynamometer allow replication and simulation of real duty cycles in a laboratory environment based on data from the field.
The Bobcat polygon for field testing is situated close to the Dobris Innovation Center and the main plant. The polygon encompasses six hectares of space with artificial lighting, machine shops and diagnostic laboratories and accommodates more than 20 engineers, operators and technicians. Field testing on the Bobcat polygon has been identified as one of the company’s important success drivers in terms of quality and rapid innovations. The company plans to expand the size of the polygon to 10 hectares in the future, with a road circuit and new specialised sites where different types of machines will be built.