Second technology award for Volvo Construction Equipment Pipelayers

Volvo’s latest PL4608 pipelayer has been awarded runner up prize in the New Technologies Award at this year’s annual International Pipeline & Offshore Contractors’ Association (IPLOCA) Convention, held in September in San Francisco.

The New Technologies Award, sponsored by oil giant BP, is in recognition of a significant achievement in this area and is presented every alternate year to an IPLOCA Member or Associate Member who, in the opinion of the adjudication committee, has made ‘a significant contribution to innovation in cross-country pipeline construction’. Volvo is an Associate Member of IPLOCA.

This second award follows Volvo’s win in 2007 of the BP special award for ‘a product in the development stage’ for its first pipelayer model, the 110 metric ton tipping capacity PL4611, at the IPLOCA Convention in Sydney. The company’s latest achievement underlines the recognition and growing acceptance within the oil & gas sector for the innovative Volvo excavator-based pipelayer concept as a viable alternative to conventional sideboom pipelayers.

Judging criteria
With an operating weight of 57,475 kg (126,708 lb) the PL4608 has a maximum tipping capacity of 80,000 kg (176,370 lb). Where operational safety is concerned, the ability to manage such a heavy load is helped by the machine’s Load Management System (LMS), a feature of all Volvo pipelayers. Using boom and base machine-mounted sensors to enable onboard computers to monitor boom angle, machine orientation and inclination, the computer uses this information to compute and display actual loads and related working loads in real time. This information improves safety by allowing operators to maintain full control of the load, whether on level ground or slopes. When carrying pipe on a slope, the machine’s mechanical swing lock facilitates moving safely and this feature is also a benefit when pipe needs to be held in position, such as in pipe welding.

In terms of versatility, a feature of Volvo pipelayers is the possibility to convert them from a pipelayer to a standard excavator by simply switching the pipelayer boom for a conventional digging boom and arm.

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