The Doosan Bobcat Campus at Dobris in the Czech Republic has played host to the latest version of the very successful Bobcat Demo Days, an industry-unique event held every year since 2011. Located close to the capital city of Prague, the Dobris Campus has just been expanded with the opening of the new Doosan Bobcat headquarters for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The Dobris Campus is a unique operation among Doosan Bobcat’s many facilities around the world. Not only is Dobris home to the new headquarters, Innovation Center and the training centre for EMEA, it also includes the Bobcat manufacturing plant, which produces a significant proportion of the company’s compact machines destined not only for EMEA but for many other markets worldwide.
At Dobris, Doosan Bobcat has all of the company’s engineering, development, production and management capabilities under one ‘roof’ on the Campus. As a result, the Dobris Campus is an unrivalled venue for an event like Demo Days, where Bobcat customers and dealers can see and try out new products and concepts before they come to market. The new investments in R&D, manufacturing, facilities and processes at Dobris are intended to make it even easier to do business with the company.
Blending established products with new developments, Demo Days 2019 was attended by over 700 customers and dealers from across EMEA - the highest number ever - who grasped the opportunity to try out the full range of Bobcat loaders, mini-excavators, telehandlers and attachments in working conditions. Recently launched products appearing at this Demo Days for the first time included the world’s first one tonne electric mini-excavator – the E10e - and the new range of Bobcat Waste Expert telehandlers.
Gustavo Otero, EMEA President for Doosan Bobcat, said: “Demo Days reflects the very close relationship between Bobcat and its customers from all around EMEA. The event provides a great platform for Bobcat’s 180 dealers in 120 EMEA countries and their customers to try out a wide selection of machines and over 100 different types of attachments in working conditions.”
Taking place over two weeks in October 2019, Demo Days typifies the support and care Bobcat offers customers throughout the region. This builds on the close proximity customers have at a local level, with easy accessibility at Demo Days to Bobcat personnel in all parts of the company, to ensure that feedback and experiences are exchanged in both directions.
Among the new developments at Demo Days was the launch of a new branding identity which reflects the company’s iconic ‘One Tough Animal®’ brand message, while representing more powerfully the core qualities of Bobcat equipment: Tough, Agile and Versatile. At the same time, the new look unifies and strengthens the visual identity of all Bobcat product lines. The new styling is now more modular and can be applied to machines of all different types and sizes.
For a number of years now, Bobcat's products have enjoyed a strong identity composed of white, black and orange colours with the Bobcat logo. By anchoring the new styling in the Tough, Agile and Versatile keywords of Bobcat’s DNA, the designers have succeeded in breathing new dynamism into the equipment’s distinctive silhouette and the unique, time-honoured Bobcat image (see separate press release in press pack).
In the EMEA region, the first product line to carry the new styling will be the new versions of Bobcat’s market-leading M-Series S450, S510 and S530 models, the first in the range to feature a specially developed Stage V compliant Bobcat engine. Launched at Demo Days, these new machines will be commercially available in Europe, where Stage V regulations apply from January 2020. The new Stage V M-Series loaders provide operators with increased performance, enhanced comfort and optimised maintenance requirements to maximise job site efficiency.
Skilful design work has ensured that even with the Bobcat Stage V engine incorporated, the small dimensions of the new S450, S510 and S530 skid-steer loaders are maintained, offering a truly compact size and low weight, so they can work/manoeuvre easily in tight spaces and can be easily transported.
The new Bobcat engine provides 37% more torque and fast recovery from overload compared to the previous machines, which ensures increased comfort for the operator as they can work with the same power at lower RPM, at lower noise levels and with lower fuel consumption for the same jobs (see separate press release in press pack).
The next product line with the full branding design in EMEA will be the new R-series loaders, set to be launched in 2020, followed by others later next year. Bobcat gave a sneak preview of the R-series loaders range at Demo Days, displaying the new R-Series S580 skid-steer loader and T580 compact track loader.
Offering enhanced performance and comfort compared to their predecessors, the new R-Series loaders offer more comfort and less noise and feature a new one-piece cab design and a new LED lighting system for better visibility at night. More detailed, machine operation information is available through the new standard 5-inch and optional 7-inch touch screen displays.
All R-Series loaders feature new cast steel loader arms (20% stronger than the previous fabricated steel design). They also feature a redesigned cooling package in response to demand for higher capacity cooling.
In addition, all R-Series compact track loaders offer high stability thanks to the five-link torsion suspension now incorporated on all the track loader models in the range.
Appearing for the first time at Demo Days, the new Bobcat Innovations HUB provided an area dedicated to new ideas and concepts from the company that are being tested and evaluated with the goal of improving productivity for customers.
One of the concept machines demonstrated at the show was the Bobcat quad-tracked loader, featuring quad-tracks that are bolted on to the frame of Bobcat skid-steer loaders. The bolt-on/bolt-off design of the quad tracks adds versatility to the machines to adapt to the environment and applications they are working in. At Demo Days, the concept quad-tracked machines were available for customers to test and provide feedback about the versatility of this feature which aims to give customers the flexibility to work productively in various environments or job sites. At this point, the quad-track machine is only a concept in the evaluation phase, but it shows Bobcat’s capability to rapidly build, demonstrate and evaluate concepts much faster.
Another exciting Bobcat development at Demo Days was the Bobcat MaxControl system, which provides a new IOS(Apple) based plug and play remote control solution that uses a smartphone to control Bobcat loaders. With its similarity to gaming joysticks or an Xbox controller, MaxControl ensures operators have a tactile feel when remotely operating Bobcat loaders.
For operators using Bobcat MaxControl, it means that there is no need to get in and out of the machine to open gates, park the machine, load it on to a trailer or loading and dumping material. Bobcat MaxControl enables the operator to perform most tasks remotely, that would normally be carried out while sitting inside the machine. The system has been launched on a limited basis in North America and will begin testing in the EMEA region.
At Demo Days, the external space is maximised to give customers plenty of room to drive and operate the complete range of Bobcat machines and attachments. Several of these products are presented in working application scenarios that demonstrate how Bobcat machines and attachments are used in customer markets such as landscaping, road maintenance, utilities and forestry.
Customers have the freedom to drive and operate almost any machine of their choice, safe in the knowledge that assistance and advice is close-at-hand from the many Bobcat product specialists, market experts and demonstrators in attendance.
One of the highlights of the Demo Days is – as the name states – the Demo Show. Each time the Demo Days takes place, the demo team changes the choreography, so that it is a new show on every occasion. This year, the use of live music, more performing artists than ever, colour laser lights, fog effects and fireworks, coupled with an increased number of machines and operators, ensured the Demo Show was one of the most spectacular ever.