The key to Komatsu’s fuel efficiency is SmartLoader Logic, which integrates the hydraulic and engine systems to maximize productivity and fuel savings.
A big part of what makes this possible is the hydraulic pump. Komatsu’s variable displacement piston pump is combined with the Closed-center Load Sensing System (CLSS) to deliver as much hydraulic flow as the job requires, preventing wasted hydraulic flow.
“SmartLoader Logic uses machine inputs such as boom position, work equipment pressure and accelerator position to provide input to the machine’s controller, which then decides when it can reduce torque to save fuel,” explains Armando Njera, product manager, wheel loaders, Komatsu America Corp. “For example, during a load and carry application, the return trip does not need as much power since it has an empty bucket. The machine recognizes this and manages the fuel wisely without impacting productivity.”
A new feature that can help an operator improve fuel efficiency is Eco-Guidance. It displays messages in the monitor panel to give the operator additional information that can be used to improve machine operation. For example, if the loader is in a long load and carry application but the torque converter lock-up has not been activated, the monitor will remind the operator to engage the switch. With these Eco-Guidance messages, Komatsu’s Tier 4 Interim machines are taking a more active part in improving efficiency.
The KOMTRAX telemetric system is also fully integrated with SmartLoader Logic and the Tier 4 Interim engine system to continually monitor and record machine health and operational data. “Information such as fuel consumption, utilization, maintenance tracking and error code communication help keep machines working,” says Njera. Eco-Guidance messages are also logged and can be remotely reviewed. ET