Highlighting its ongoing commitments to both technology and its customers, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) announced it is building a test and demonstration area for electric autonomous solutions at its Customer Center in Eskilstuna, Sweden, as well as expanding its Customer Center at its North American headquarters in Shippensburg, PA, with the addition of a $4.3 million training center.
At the Customer Center in Eskilstuna, construction has already begun on a new area at the dedicated to testing and demonstrating the latest innovations in sustainable power, connectivity and autonomous solutions. The more than 710,000-sq.-ft. “innovation zone” will include a secure track for full-electric, automated and teleoperated machines with charging infrastructures and 5G connectivity, a control and training room building, a spectator stand and training area for the Volvo Co-Pilot assist functions.
Chief among the innovations on display will be the TARA autonomous transport solution from Volvo Autonomous Solutions for defined sites, such as quarries or mines.
“We are excited to demonstrate our complete TARA solution to customers, including how to set up and run the site, how to charge and store the TA15 electric autonomous haulers and how we manage the control room and surveillance operations – everything in a brand new state-of-the-art facility” explains Calle Skillsäter, technical specialist in connected machines at Volvo Autonomous Solutions.
The secure track will also showcase remote-controlled machines, which are also suited for working in quarries or mines, using two teleoperation rigs installed in one of the control rooms. Another control room will demonstrate in real time how the company’s uptime and productivity services can reduce customers’ total cost of ownership and operation.
“This is an important strategic investment, not just for Volvo CE and Volvo Autonomous Solutions but the entire Volvo Group – and is proof of our commitment to drive sustainability through innovation. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to this world-class facility and allowing them to experience exactly how we are building tomorrow,” says Carl Slotte, head of Sales Region Europe & International at Volvo CE.
The new innovation area is expected to open by Fall 2021.
Expansion of Technical Training Facilities and Programs
According to the company, the addition of the $4.3 million training center in Shippensburg, PA, represents a major investment in technical training facilities and programs in North America.
“This investment demonstrates Volvo CE’s commitment to our dealers and customers as well as the future of the construction industry,” said Stephen Roy, president of Region North America, Volvo CE. “Equipment and technology are constantly changing and improving. These training opportunities will help prepare new technicians for successful careers and help veteran technicians keep up with the latest developments.”
The training facility will be an extension to the Volvo CE Customer Center, which was opened in 2014. According to the company, it is part of a larger strategy to invest in in-person and virtual training throughout North America, with m details to be announced later this year.
The facility will offer a space to develop and deliver in-person and virtual trainings. It will include the addition of several new machine bays, classrooms and a virtual lab used for creating and hosting virtual trainings.
Training will include technical courses on equipment as well as productivity and uptime services. There will also be training and demonstrations on electric machines, automation and connectivity. The virtual lab will allow for the use of video, augmented reality and other technologies to support dynamic virtual training courses for dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada. “This investment to our Customer Center puts our training staff closer to the equipment and technologies, and it emphasizes to technicians the importance of customer productivity and uptime,” Roy said. “Today’s techs must learn both the ‘nuts and bolts’ as well as the connected systems.” While training will primarily be for Volvo dealer technicians, the facility will also benefit customers who visit Shippensburg by providing a holistic view of what the company is doing to support their operations with training for operators and technicians, plant tours, the ability to interact with Volvo CE experts and more.
Construction on the facility is expected to begin later this year and finish in late 2022.
Information provided by Volvo Construction Equipment and edited by Becky Schultz.