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CNH Industrial aims for 3D printing, sustainable energy and alternative fuels

The methane powered concept wheel loader effortlessly tackles tough terrain
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The methane powered concept wheel loader effortlessly tackles tough terrain

Elsie De Nys, Global Head of Product Lines, Network Development, Brand Marketing & Remarketing of CNH Industrial, presents new methane-powered wheel loader concept, 3D printing technology, suistainable water management and the future of trade fairs.

Were you satisfied with the construction machinery trade fair bauma 2019? Did it meet your expectations?

For us, Bauma was a very successful tradeshow. We have seen increased visitor number compared to previous edition and a lot of interaction with our customers and potential new customers.

We organised a press conference for the presentation of #ProjectTetra and assembled more than 200 journalists from the international trade press, showing a lot of interest to our decision to move towards CNG solution for the future.

Bauma is an excellent tool for our dealer partners to bring customers and prospects, present our machines and services in excellent conditions, meet valuable members of the company to have in depth business discussions, use our stand for hospitality and take advantage of our evening activities to offer our customers and partners the true Case hospitality.

For us it was an important opportunity to present our product and service offering in this international context, showing our 3 segments; General Construction, Road Building and Site Preparation and Compact & Service Equipment, each with their specific novelties and service offerings, and with the product specialists on site to give the best possible explanations.

However, these large events cost the companies a lot of money. What is your opinion on future trade fairs and exhibitions in terms of the financial side? Could the companies come up with new presenting strategies or would the trade fairs still play a key role?

Indeed, these trade shows are large investments for companies. Bauma is still the largest tradeshow in the world, and as a global player in the construction equipment industry it is important for us to be present.

We deliver real-world solutions to our customers’ everyday challenges so every opportunity we get to connect with our customers gives us the opportunity to hear what we can do more and what we can do better to meet their expectations. We are known for meaningful innovation and for a tenacious drive to deliver customer-focused solutions that meet the needs of our customers today and which anticipate the needs of our customers in the future. At Bauma, we were able to showcase a number of novelties and show our brand and what it stands for to an international audience.

The company CNH Industrial currently consists of 12 agricultural and construction brands. Is this a definitive number?

Indeed, CNH is a company that houses 12 strong global brands. We operate through 180 international markets delivering high-quality machines and vehicles from 66 manufacturing and our 54 research and development centres across the world.  

Could you tell us more about the additive manufacturing (3D printing)?

CNH Industrial is indeed leading the way in the innovative use of 3D printers to manufacture components and spare parts, providing its customers with rapid availability and support throughout the product’s lifecycle.

As part of its continued drive to streamline manufacturing processes, enhance productivity and find more sustainable ways of working, CNH Industrial has taken a significant step in the implementation of Additive Manufacturing technology by producing its first 3D printed spare parts. 

Additive Manufacturing, a synonym of 3D printing, is the process by which components are created from a digital file to build layers of material under computer control. Once printed, each part undergoes stringent testing to ensure it meets CNH Industrial’s requirements and specifications.

One of the main benefits of 3D printing is that it enables the local, on-demand manufacturing of spare parts. This is especially advantageous when only a small quantity of parts is required to satisfy specific urgent orders and also leads to smarter overall management of stock and increased availability. Each product can be printed within 24 to 36 hours with the optimal amount of resources. Unlike traditional subtractive manufacturing, where raw material is removed or cut away, Additive Manufacturing is a precise process which creates less waste and leftover material while, at the same time, minimizing machine downtime. This, in turn, provides customers with enhanced total cost of ownership (TCO).

The first components created by this new process include four parts for use on buses and agricultural equipment. All parts are manufactured in plastic and the company is conducting further tests which will enable the future production of metal components using this technology.

CNH Industrial is committed to further investigating the potential of Additive Manufacturing with the aim of producing a full range of parts and promptly respond to all types of needs at every stage of the product’s lifecycle. 3D printing offers significant sustainability advantages including the optimization of raw materials, energy usage and the overall manufacturing and supply chain. 

People with ecological thinking may be fond of your project of sustainable water management. What is it all about?

CNH Industrial was recognized for the 8th consecutive time with Dow Jones Sustainability Index. We believe the sustainable management of water is a strategic commitment in a global context where the growth in population (and therefore in water demand) is met by a marked scarcity of water resources in an increasing number of regions worldwide.

From a business perspective, the Company recognizes the economic importance of proper water management, and the potential risks associated with the lack therefore for the continuity of both supply and industrial processes.

CNH Industrial draws water mainly for industrial use, specifically for painting, cooling, washing, and machining, and strives to increase water efficiency within all its industrial processes (regional and environmental circumstances permitting). Furthermore, the Company’s plants operate locally to reduce water requirements and wastewater volumes without compromising quality standards.

The company is also active in supporting local communities: in late 2018, CNH Industrial completed its 3-year project in Tunisia with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Tunisia. The project was first established in 2015 to improve the country’s water mobilization and irrigation, and to help reduce rural poverty and insecurity of resources in the Governorate of Kebili, significantly impacted by desertification and climate change. The project benefitted 243 people.

The overall aim was to enable the fully sustainable management of water, a resource that is especially valuable in an area at such risk.

 In 2017, the company presented a methane-powered concept tractor followed by a vision for the sustainable future of farming. Moreover, the visitors of bauma 2019 could examine the ProjectTETRA of a methane-powered wheel loader. Can we expect more biofuel-powered machines in the near future? How costly is the development of the biofuel-consuming machines compared to the fossil fuel-consuming ones?

CNH Industrial has made significant commitments in terms of overall R&D spending – totalling over some billion in 2018. The alternative fuels program has received significantly R&D investment during the last two decades. It is one of the four key strategic themes which are fundamental to driving future company growth.

Today, CNH Industrial’s brands have the broadest range of alternative fuel powertrains and products in their respective segments. Our R&D investment is concentrated on developing a range of viable solutions across the product portfolio, whilst ensuring that the solutions are tailored for specific product ‘missions’.

This methane-powered concept wheel loader is not simply focused on the fuelling system but also on the operator environment. This concept wheel loader has been designed as a concept, and commercialization of the machine in this format is not foreseen. However, in specific reference to the delta cost forpowertrain technology, and in line with the strategy adopted in other segments, the cost of a methane-powered wheel loader would be competitively priced when compared to that of a traditional diesel powered machine when production volumes are achieved.

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Company overview

CNH Industrial ranks amongst the global leaders in the capital goods sector. The company consists of 12 major brands from specific industrial sectors with valuable experience, wide range of products and worldwide presence. In total, the company owns 66 plants and 54​​​​ R&D centers. The brand is presented on 180 markets and reports over 64,000 employees. The company's agricultural sector is represented by Case IH, Steyr and New Holland Agriculture and the construction sector by Case and New Holland Construction. The remaining brands are Iveco, Iveco Bus, Heuliez Bus, Iveco Astra, Magirus, Iveco Defence Vehicles and FPT Industrial.

Source: LECTURA Verlag GmbH; Patrik Eder