Innovation in the forestry industry by German OEM Albach sees its wood-chipper, powered by Volvo Penta, become a global success.
Following a successful launch of the revolutionary Diamant 2000 wood-chipper in 2015, the machine is now being sold in 28 countries. Customers across Europe, the US and Chile, have been taking advantage of its excellent wood-chipping capabilities as well as its ability to travel at speeds of up to 80 kmh on highways – making it both functional and easily mobile. Prior to its launch, wood-chipping units had been available in two forms: slow self-propelled models that could not be driven on highways, and trailers that were pulled by tractors.
“The Diamant 2000 has been a game-changer in the forestry industry,” says Stefan Hierlmeier, head of control engineering at Albach. “We spent a lot of time designing a machine that could both perform its wood-chipping operation well, and travel quickly to different locations. The technology we invested in and the design we created means that our machine passes legal regulations to be driven on highways – something that no other self-propelled unit could do before.”
The machine has a boom with a claw to pick up logs and position them onto the conveyor which then feeds them into the chipper. A curved arm then maneuvers the wood chips to deposit them into a separate container. Both elements work simultaneously.
“It is important not only to have good handling at speed on roads, but also to drive across muddy forests with enough chassis clearance,” adds Hierlmeier. “Our machine has proven to be successful, and we’re pleased with its growing demand around the world.”
Different power options, same quality
Albach, based between Munich and Nuremberg, in southern Germany, was founded in 2006. With a background in agricultural engineering, its team began designing and manufacturing machinery to suit the practical needs of forestry customers. The company began collaborating with Volvo Penta in 2013 for prototyping of the machine, and the Diamant 2000 is now available with any of three 16-liter engines: Volvo Penta’s TAD1671VE, TAD1672VE and TAD1643VE-B – with a power output of 450 kW, 515 kW, and 565 kW, respectively. The TAD1643VE-B is the highest power density engine per liter of displacement in its class.
The 6-cylinder engines each feature electronic high-pressure fuel injection, overhead camshaft, and electronically controlled wastegate turbo. The compact engines have high power and torque at low rpm; noise levels are low; and they are easy to service and maintain.
The machine’s engine powers both the hydraulic drive system and the chipper rotor, and the chipping operation can be switched between 1800 rpm and 1600 rpm, depending on the type of wood being cut. The powerful Diamant 2000 produces up to 380 m³ of wood chips per hour.
“The Volvo Penta engines provide a suitable weight, excellent fuel consumption, and a good torque curve for our purpose,” says Hierlmeier. “Productivity is higher on the Diamant 2000 compared to previous models we had with another manufacturer’s engines. For driving, fuel economy is improved by up to 10 per cent, and for chipping, it’s up to 15 per cent better. The possibility to choose between three engines with different power, that have nearly the same dimensions, mean that we can fit any of them into our engine housing, to suit the customer.”
Great working relationship
The engine and all machine diagnostics are operated via software on the electronic control unit (ECU), for ease of servicing and maintenance.
“The support we have from Volvo Penta’s engineering team is very good,” adds Hierlmeier. “We had a good collaboration when we installed the first engine, and great support from the test department. Their technical guys are very capable, and always help us when we need it.”
The relationship between the companies has also been beneficial to Volvo Penta. “We’ve learned a lot about the requirements that forestry customers have, through working with Albach,” says Miron Thoms, head of industrial engines for Volvo Penta’s Central Europe region. “It’s heartening to see how successful the Diamant 2000 has become across the world, and we hope to continue working with Albach in future.”
Albach will be at stand 186:A at Elmia Wood forestry fair in Sweden from June 7-10. Volvo Penta will be at stand 1065.