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JCB: Supplying Sustainability

For the last 75 years, JCB has exemplified innovation in manufacturing services, taking the company from its origins in agricultural tipping trailers into the global brand that pioneers the way as a manufacturer for construction, agriculture, waste handling and demolition. It is the company’s pioneering spirit that has made its operations such a global success, as it continues to push the boundaries of manufacturing through research and development. Now with a turn towards implementing a more sustainable future; its manufacturing has shifted to meet global sustainability efforts whilst supporting its customers every step of the way.  

From its beginning in 1945, JCB has grown globally into a brand with 22 plants in operation across 4 continents. With more than 750 dealers globally, it is no surprise JCB is such a well-known brand with 11,000 employees worldwide. JCB is such a recognisable brand with their iconic yellow logo, which has played a crucial role in sculpting the modern world as its products are used in key agricultural, construction, and power generation sites. We have seen a real shift in the last 10 years towards more sustainable options, and JCB has followed suit in their desire to reduce environmental degradation. Thus, through the continued development of its manufacturing processes and the machinery and equipment they produce, JCB remains a leader globally by providing crucial sustainable solutions for its customers. 

JCB has announced it is expanding its electrical Powerpack range, introducing 3 new models which will deliver 400 Volts (V) in a three-phase output. The new models include automotive-grade lithium-ion battery technology, which we typically see in the use of electric vehicles. In design, they are constructed with a robust full steel enclosure with fork pockets and lifting points making them easy to transport on-site. The Powerpack is aimed to help JCB customers to reduce their dependence on diesel-powered generators, especially when electrical demand is low. The Powerpack provides its customers with a green energy solution for charging JCB E-Tech electric machinery, as they can be charged using green energy and then transported to worksites to recharge machinery as and when needed.  

Furthermore, the new models are JCB LiveLink enabled to provide remote monitoring to ensure that power is and will be available when required. This feature gives customers the option to remotely control the multiple outlets on the Powerpacks, in which the sockets can be remotely turned off when no longer required. This not only improves the efficiency of customers’ sites but is more sustainable to conserve the Powerpack’s power to allow for more recharging potential. With no fluids, filters and no routine services required, JCB’s new line ensures that running costs for its customers remains low whilst offering the maximum availability of sustainable output due to the energy-dense lithium-ion battery technology that it is built with. Therefore, JCB’s introduction of the new Powerpacks, which have a much larger capacity, reduces the need to rely on diesel fuel and consequently promotes the use of renewable energy on-site globally.    

Globally there is a current push towards electric-powered machinery due to its low emission output and cost-effective design. This movement has been noticed by JCB and so they have introduced their own electronic and hybrid drive for JCB E-Tech Articulated Booms. Announced in May 2023, JCB has introduced two articulated boom aerial work platforms. The platforms will provide a choice of full-battery electric and diesel/electric hybrid drivelines. The new A45E and A45EH drivelines aim to improve efficiency, enhance operator access, and introduce higher levels of monitoring all with the end goal of increasing productivity for its customers. It comes as the electric version of JCB’s previous AJ48D, to offer a zero-emission solution to its diesel counterpart. However, JCB has even considered site operation in remote locations where external power supply is not readily available, so has introduced the electric/hybrid drive train that can operate on fuel when the electrical part cannot easily be recharged. This promotes sustainability for the future, whilst being realistic about the need for machinery in more remote locations.  

Its design is full of innovation where productivity is at the forefront, whilst remaining safe and sustainable. The new models are powered by 6V batteries, creating a 48V and 400 Ampere Hours (AH) operating system, located on either side of the chassis. This placement ensures a strong and low centre of gravity in the drivetrains. With both 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel steering as standard, the drivetrains have been carefully constructed to climb up 40% gradients through those the individual wheel drive and oscillating axle. Again, these new models also feature the LiveLink systems for remote working, whilst also providing a platform with 3 entry points and 4 harness clipping locations, to ensure the operator on-site can have full access to the basket. The secondary guard system ensures the safety of the operator by ensuring they are not crushed through the automatic halting of boom functions when triggered. Ultimately, JCB has shown that its manufacturing remains committed to the efficient and reliable standards that the brand has been known for throughout the last 75 years. Then, with its newer models, JCB is looking at how to sustainably build upon these designs towards a more renewable future.  

To exemplify JCB’s role in the sustainable manufacturing world, JCB has received its largest-ever order from European Metal Recycling (EMR) for electric equipment. EMR are a global leader in sustainable materials recycling, with over eight million tonnes of metals and plastics being recycled each year. EMR has purchased 50 electric Teletruck models from JCB to replace its existing fleet of diesel models. The JCB 30-19E and 35-22E electric Teletrucks are part of JCB’s new generation of products from their innovative E-Tech range which do not produce emissions whilst maintaining the same performance JCB is known for. The deal between JCB and EMR is worth over £3 million and sees JCB playing a key role in sustainably supplying a greener future for EMR.  

Overall, JCB is a brand that fosters innovation by supplying machinery and equipment made for a greener and more sustainable future. As we have seen in JCB’s announcements, they are gearing up their manufacturing towards renewable energy to meet the demand for improved sustainability worldwide. Therefore, JCB is leading the way in its delivery of world-class manufacturing to help its customers to fulfil their operations, whilst always ensuring safety, efficiency and sustainability are key factors in the designing and manufacturing process.