Ros Roca is a major engineering and environmental group, with factories in Spain, France, UK and Germany producing specialised equipment for street cleaning and solid waste collection. The company’s latest range of Cross rear loading refuse compactors have been developed to make refuse collection as quick and efficient as possible, while improving working conditions and safety for vehicle operators. Additionally, the company wanted to reduce noise levels so that the vehicles can be used in urban and built up areas outside of normal working hours and at times when streets are free of other traffic, to help customers reduce collection times and improve productivity.
This is a problem for most refuse collection vehicles as they need to run diesel engines at speeds of at least 1,000rpm while vehicles are stationary, to drive the hydraulically powered onboard compaction and packing systems at optimum cycle rates without the risk of stalling the engine. As well as increasing noise levels, this also produces higher emissions and consumes more fuel.
To address this issue, Ros Roca partnered with Parker Hannifin, the global leader in motion and control technologies, to develop a new method of powering the various hydraulic mechanisms.
The solution developed by Parker is based on its Stored Energy Management System (SEMS), where energy generated during frequent vehicle braking is captured by a hydraulic accumulator. Stored energy is then released via a specially designed conversion and modulation unit to reduce energy to the precise output levels required by the compacting and packing mechanisms. This is then typically integrated with computerised control, in-cab HMI and conventional ancillary hydraulic components into a system that is easy to install and use. In addition, the accumulator can be charged using an electronically controlled pump, which is attached to a power take-off (PTO) point and that normally operates while the vehicle is in motion to improve efficiency still further.
For Ros Roca, this has produced a low maintenance waste compaction and packing system that is almost silent, complying with the latest European noise regulations, and which has resulted in an average drop in fuel consumption and emissions of around 5%. The company’s Project Leader for the Cross range, Sr. Caseillas, is delighted with the success of the system and the support provided by Parker, “We’re extremely pleased with the system development, level of technical support and speed of response that we’ve received from Parker’s Mobile Systems team. In particular, they have helped us create, prototype and produce an advanced and effective system, and bring it to market in less than 12 months. Just as importantly, our customers have reacted positively to the new technology and, as a result, we’re already taking orders for new vehicles.”