Bomag Looks to the Future After 50 Years of Innovation

Thu April 17, 2008 - National Edition
CEG



Just more than 50 years ago, the founders of the company known today as Bomag built a machine based on a revolutionary concept amidst humble beginnings in a small town in Germany.

This year, Bomag is introducing a dozen new products, demonstrating its continued commitment to innovation. The products, like the BW278AD-4 tandem drum roller, reflect the company’s heritage of research and development and finding new ways to solve customers’ problems.

The new BW278AD-4 combines intuitive operator controls with improved performance and productivity. Its Eco-Mode feature helps reduce fuel costs, emissions and job site noise, while the infinitely variable frequency allows the roller to be used in a variety of applications.

Commitment to Innovation

Bomag’s culture of innovation dates back to its first days in 1957, when the company was started in a timber yard garage in Boppard, Germany. Noticing that the single-drum rollers of the day created a bow-wave in the soil, company founders Karl Heinz Schwamborn and Benno Kaltenegger had the idea of achieving compaction with double vibration combined with all drum drive.

After research into the market and possible applications for their new idea, Schwamborn and Kaltenegger formed Bopparder Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft - the company now known as Bomag. The company’s first product was the BW 60, the first hand-guided double-vibratory roller.

Five years later, Bomag introduced the BW 200, the first ride-on machine with double vibration technology. The 7-ton (6.3 t) tandem roller featured a 0.9mm amplitude and was capable of 2,580 vibrations per minute in the front and rear drums.

Increasing its commitment to innovation, Bomag decided to build a research and development center in 1972. To this day the largest of its kind in the compaction category, the facility is home to ongoing research on compaction technology.

Solidifying its position as a technology and innovation leader, Bomag introduced several new products during the 1970s. Product introductions included the BW 211, the first Bomag single-drum roller, and the first hydrostatically driven stabilizer, the MPH 1, in 1973.

In 1976, Bomag launched . the first heavyweight articulated tandem roller for asphalt compaction, the BW 160 A, and added the first small articulated tandem roller, the BW 100 D, in 1979.

Entering New Markets

The 80s saw Bomag bring its expertise to the landfill market with the 1987 launch of the BC 601 RB. The first machine developed specifically for landfill compaction, the BC 601 RB featured a totally enclosed rear frame, four gear motors on the front and rear axles and hydrostatic drive powering the four wheels.

The BC 601 RB led to the development of the present-day BC 1172 RB, a 60-ton (54 t) landfill compactor with a scraper bar system that keeps the wheels free of trash for better compaction.

Raising the Bar

During the 1980s and 90s, as the compaction industry matured, Bomag turned its attention to raising the level of performance and productivity its machines offered. The innovations that followed helped achieve better results by measuring and controlling compaction.

Launched in 1983, the Terrameter BTM 01 was the first measuring system that controlled the degree of soil compaction during rolling operations. This introduction began Bomag’s reputation as a leader in compaction control.

That reputation was reinforced in 1996, when Bomag developed variomatic, a system that automatically controlled the compaction output of a roller depending on the status of the material being compacted. Two years later, Bomag improved on that concept with variocontrol, which automatically controlled the compaction output on single drum rollers.

Introduced in 2001, asphalt manager took control to the next level with a system that automatically controls and measures the compaction of asphalt.

The 90s also saw Bomag make improvements in ergonomics and control that allowed the operator to more precisely control the machines while enjoying greater comfort and reduced fatigue. In 200t, use of new software called Ramsis made it possible to optimize the operator’s station using virtual models of people and simulations of cabs. .

In 2004, Bomag unveiled the largest product introduction in its history. Among the innovations launched was a combination of GPS technology with variocontrol and asphalt manager dynamic compaction control. This gave contractors control over the compaction process, increasing productivity and efficiency.