A Sustainable Step Ahead

As a Dutch company, Janssen Group likes innovation.

“We are always interested in new sustainable technology to better serve our customers, ourselves and our community,” says Christian Janssen, Technical Sales Manager for Janssen Group. Christian is part of the third generation of Janssens at the helm, together with his brothers Joshua and Pascal Janssen, and cousin Mischa Janssen. Second generation Hub and Willy Janssen, and Christian’s father Marcel Janssen, are in charge of the company today.

Janssen Group is located in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Maastricht sits in the southern part of the Netherlands and is known for its hills and presence of raw materials (minerals). The company was founded more than 45 years ago by Christian’s grandfather, Jean Janssen, with one tractor and a drive to succeed. After a few years, and an investment in a tracked and wheeled hydraulic excavator, the company grew to three family members. When their children grew up, the second generation started working in the company and expanded it to include trucks, bulldozers and additional  hydraulic excavators. Today the company is a leading contractor in the areas of industry, general construction, quarry and infrastructure and employs more than 100 people and owns more than 100 machines.

The company operates mostly at a national level, but also performs work in Germany and Belgium. As the Netherlands is a country with a lot of water, many Dutch contractors are specialized in dredging and earthmoving.

A History of Innovation and Sustainability

Innovation has played a role at Janssen Group for many years, explains Christian.

“We have always invested time and money in new  technology to improve productivity,” he notes. “We can’t stand still on technology.” About 20 of the company’s machines are equipped with Trimble Machine Control Systems like GPS and Total Station. “We continue to expand our equipment technology every year. The use of 3D Machine Control Systems increases the productivity of the machines so we have less unnecessary and costly fuel burn.”

“Machine emissions are very important in the Netherlands,” says Christian. “If you operate machines with low emissions, you have advantages over competitors when bidding for a project.” In addition to reducing emissions, lowering fuel costs and increasing productivity are also a concern.

“In the Netherlands, companies contract a project together as a cooperative. In this way they can contract more complex projects, because you have more expertise as a cooperative. We also contract more and more projects in this way.”

“Also the requirements before contracting a project are heading the sustainable route. We have found that we can achieve more sustainable points [towards a LEED-type project]  if we have reached a higher level in reducing CO2 emissions.”

Field follow test – A Natural Choice

As an innovation pioneer, Janssen Group was chosen as one of several companies to field test the new Cat 966K XE Wheel Loader. The company was familiar with Cat equipment and already incorporated Cat hydraulic excavators, a track-type tractor, wheel excavators, wheel loaders and several work tools in its fleet. “If you leave out the on-highway trucks, our fleet consists of 40% Cat equipment,” says Christian.

“Testing a Cat 966K XE was the perfect opportunity to experience new, innovative technology in our own environment,” he says. “What expectations did we have? We expected the machine to be stronger, have a quick response, a lower fuel consumption and lower noise level. Because we already have several Cat H-series wheel loaders, we were able to compare them to each other. The Cat 966K XE arrived in November 2011 and we tested it for about a year.”

The Cat 966KXE wheel loader incorporates an advanced powertrain (parallel path continuous variable transmission) that delivers up to 25% increase in fuel efficiency (tons/liter). The sustainability features of the new machine include:

  • Reduced regeneration interval: Lower engine operating speeds reduce soot load, increase duration between regeneration cycles and reduce fuel consumed for aftertreatment regeneration.
  • Reduced fuel consumption for extended engine life rebuild intervals.
  • Integrated retarding and modulated torque control for increased tire and brake life.

The test

The Janssen field test of the Cat 966K XE involved loading trucks; filling hoppers; loading, carrying and stock piling different materials.

There were  two different work sites in which the 966K XE were utilized:

  1. The limestone quarry of Sibelco Europe Minerals Plus. The Cat 966K XE ran high production all day, loading trucks with a 35-ton limestone load in five passes. In between, the machine was utilized for dozing and stock piling in the quarry. About 2,000 tons were loaded in an eight-hour day. The machine was used for one month in this quarry.
  2. Minerals plant of Sibelco Europe Minerals Plus. At this plant the Cat 966K XE was operated in two shifts of eight hours each; five days a week with two operators. During the busy season, the machine was operated 24 hours a day for several weeks. The work site is partially paved.

The results

“The Cat 966K XE stood out in many ways, but the most important improvement for us was the lower fuel consumption and of course the coherent lower emissions,” Christian notes. “We monitored the fuel consumption at the minerals plant and compared the Cat 966H and the Cat 966K XE. We found that the 966H used 14.5 liters of fuel an hour (about 3.83 gallons). The 966K XE used only 11.5 liters of fuel an hour (about 3.04 gallons) in the same conditions. The 966K XE also delivered a higher production which can’t directly be measured, so the savings were even higher. The fuel consumption was reduced by more than 20%.”                                                   

Expansion and Sustainability are the future

“Expanding our company in the future is a goal,” says Christian. “We also want to realize larger projects, not only as a subcontractor but as an equal partner in a cooperative.”

He notes the sustainable goals for the company are:

  • Investing in new machines with lower emissions, like hybrid’s or technology like the Cat 966K XE
  • Reducing the CO2-emissions of our company
  • Becoming certified as a company on the CO2 Performance Ladder.

“We are happy to have been able to test a Cat 966K XE,” concludes Christian. “The innovative machine is a perfect example of what we stand for a company.”

To read the full story, click here to download the Summer 2013 issue of Sustainable Construction.