New generation of material feeders from Vögele

Material feeders form a hub in the transfer of material from trucks to pavers, thus guaranteeing a constant and efficient paving process and high paving quality on large jobsites. To further enhance the user-friendly nature and efficiency of the machines, Joseph Vögele AG has introduced its new MT 3000-3i Standard and MT 3000-3i Offset PowerFeeders, weighing some 20 and 24 t respectively.

The MT 3000-3i Standard PowerFeeder and MT 3000-3i Offset PowerFeeder with pivoting conveyor are equipped with the efficient and ergonomic Dash-3 machine technology. This includes the ErgoPlus 3 intuitive operating concept, AutoSet Plus automatic functions and PaveDock Assistant truck communication system, among others.

“We have developed the new generation of PowerFeeders in close collaboration with our customers,” said Bastian Fleischer, product manager at Joseph Vögele AG. “All the functions are aimed at making jobsite processes even more efficient, economical and convenient – whilst delivering the same high performance.”

Both versions of the material feeder achieve a conveying capacity of up to 1,200 t/h and can accommodate a full truckload of mix within 60 seconds. The MT 3000-3i Offset is also fitted with a conveyor belt that can be pivoted 55°. This provides contractors with a wide variety of potential applications, from parallel feeding two pavers to the so-called InLine Pave method, in which the material feeder, the paver for the binder course and the paver for the surface course work one after the other.

Latest operating technology, optimised material handling concept

The MT 3000-3i Standard and MT 3000-3i Offset integrate the ErgoPlus 3 operating concept to increase efficiency on the jobsite. In the process, Vögele designed the operator’s console specifically to suit the requirements of material feeder operators, making it as intuitive and convenient as possible - all the functions are arranged in logical groups, and clear function and status indicators, a high-contrast display and glare-free backlighting facilitate operation for users. The pivoting seat console also allows for ergonomic working environment with excellent all-round visibility.

The AutoSet Plus and PaveDock Assistant assistance systems are new; Vögele previously offered these only for pavers of the Dash-3 generation. With the AutoSet Plus automatic functions, operators only need to push a button to put the material feeder in the transport, repositioning or operating positions - or to save material handling programmes and just easily call up these settings again whenever they are required. This is especially useful on jobsites that demand frequent repositioning or have similar paving requirements.

The optional PaveDock Assistant communication system facilitates material transfer. The material feeder operator can use two signal lights to show the truck driver clearly whether he/she is to back up, stop or dump mix. If the InLine Pave method is in use, the signal lights also indicate whether material for the surface course or the binder course is required. This leads to reliable, loss-free and efficient material transfer.

In addition, Vögele has paid particular attention to the conveying components. The new design of the receiving hopper, for example, guarantees extremely fast material transfer and loss-free conveying. The colour-coded markings on the receiving hopper simplify the material transfer process, even in the dark. The offset and additional seals in the inlet area prevent loss of material and soiling of the conveyor belt.

A new control system and special centring aids ensure that the conveyor belt always remains centred, even under difficult conditions involving crossfall. “Another important new feature is the optimised belt heating,” added Mr Fleischer. “The new control system provides optimum temperature management and is even more economical than before.” The system can handle critical materials, such as low-temperature asphalt, without loss of temperature.

Simple to maintain, simple to transport

Vögele has significantly improved access to the maintenance and setting points, as well as to the cleaning zones. For instance, the transfer hopper of the MT 3000-3i Offset is hinged, and its larger step makes it easy to clean. The setting points have also been reduced in number and colour-coded to make them more easily identifiable.

Contractors can transport the new material feeders comparatively quickly and easily. The large angle of inclination of 15° makes it easier to load feeders onto commercial low-loaders, whilst the receiving hopper can be raised 25 cm higher than before. This now allows users to deposit material feeders on the so-called goose neck of the low-loader without any issues, resulting in reduced transport length.

“Material feeders are now being used more and more. From a paved asphalt surface area of 6,000 sq m, they are compulsory in specifications, which was why we gave particularly high priority to rapid readiness for operation and simple handling when developing the new models,” said Mr Fleischer. “With the new Dash-3 generation, we have once again significantly increased the practicality of the product.”