Design Principles In Excavator Technology

Design Principles In Excavator Technology

Just as wind tunnels are used when designing aerodynamic Formula One cars to go as fast as possible. Our R&D division design and develop earth-dynamic buckets that move through the earth and dig as efficiently as possible.

See How Earth-Dynamic Design Works

Design Principles in Excavator Technology

For close to a decade, eiengineering has been committed to relentless product innovation - designing and developing the highest performing buckets and attachments available on the market today.

Scientifically engineered with earth-dynamic design to cut through the ground with minimal resistance and drag to unleash devastating digging power and bucket capacity.
eiengineering's revolutionary double radius bucket design uses Precision Geometry to cut through the ground more effectively while the self-fill action maximises bucket fill. Combined, this results in time and fuel savings with less wear.

Standard/conventional bucket eiengineering double radius design

Design Principles

Just as wind tunnels are used when designing, prototyping and perfecting aerodynamic Formula One racing cars to go as fast as possible. Our R&D division use the latest state-of-the-art technology to design and develop earth-dynamic buckets that move through the earth and dig as efficiently as possible.

Why all the fuss?

The difference from F1 teams who spend tens of millions on research each year in the pursuit of the most aerodynamic design, is that it merely results in reduced track times of a fraction of a second faster.

Whereas R&D into earth-dynamic design with maximal bucket fills has taught us huge results can be achieved in the areas of reductions in operational time, fuel savings and reduced wear. See the case studies for the latest figures.

With close to a decade of Research and Development we've identified the following objectives as mandatory in building the most efficient and highest performing bucket.

Performance Design Objectives

  • Maximal digging force for the minimal amount of pressure exerted
  • Reduced power requirements and increased fuel economies
  • Compact design for greater break out force without losing bucket capacity
  • Bucket shape simulate the natural arc of the dipper arm as it digs the earth to reduce strain on the excavator
  • Ensure only the G.E.T penetrates the material
  • Bucket design mimics the geometry of the excavator

How Are these Performance Design Objectives Achieved?

The development phase begins by creating 3D models for the bucket using the latest state-of-the-art CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to simulate the design.

The models are first graphically simulated and tested to ensure a high degree of "fit and function" before being prototyped.

Designs are then validated using methods such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) in order to predict performance and stress loading.

Our engineers then physically verify this in the R&D workshop and perform operational, cyclic and durability testing. Designs are subjected to several thousand cycles (represents decades of practical operation) of maximal loading to identify weaknesses only developed over longer periods.

Finally comparison tests are performed against our existing designs as well as standard and conventional buckets to ensure performance improvements.

Click here for a various comparison and performance tests that have been undertaken.

The Performance Design Objectives are met with the following design features:

  • Streamlined bucket flow with a natural bucket arc - The bucket shape needs to follow the natural arc of the excavator arm while digging through the material. This maximizes digging force, reduces strain on the excavator and hence its power requirements, and improves fuel economies
  • Employing shorter pin-to-point* - This allows the bucket to break the ground with more force while retaining the bucket fill capacity
  • G.E.T penetration design - Buckets are designed so that only the G.E.T breaks the material, ensuring that the actual bucket is just there to collect the broken material instead of grinding into the material and experiencing additional wear
  • Designed to fit - Each bucket type is designed according to the industry standard excavators allowing it to be easily deployable on the right machine

* pin-to-point dimension = bucket pin to end of tooth

How Earth-Dynamic Design Works

Designs That Cut Deeper, Move More Material, and Last Longer

For a brief demonstration of how earth-dynamic design works check out the video below.

Conventional Design

Standard and conventional buckets have a flat bottomed design that when moving in the natural arc of the excavator arm ploughs the material using extra power and fuel. Note that the heel of the bucket grinds into the cut right through the digging process.

Standard/conventional bucket

Double Radius Design

The full curve bucket back plate design ensures only the G.E.T penetrates the material and the rest of the bucket follows the teeth through the cut collecting the dug soil quickly and efficiently. This puts less strain on the bucket as well as the excavator and will save fuel and maintenance costs.

eiengineering double radius design

More Power and Greater Capacity by design

Increased bucket capacity while reducing pin-to-point for greater break out force was difficult to achieve. We identified a deeper horizontal depth to height ratio to build 10% more capacity into the bucket. Importantly, this means that greater capacities are achieved without losing any of the bucket breakout force.

Self-fill Action

The conventional flat bottomed bucket creates digging resistance and drag making it harder to fill. While the double radius design is intentionally curved and provides a unique curling action of the bucket to promote easier bucket fills for increased payloads. Think rolling a ball bearing down a steep waterslide compared to flat one.

Why doesn't everyone build their buckets this way?


The majority of excavator attachment manufacturers do not have the technology nor do they have the R&D capabilities to understand the principles needed to design high performance attachments. Many are just welders or boilermakers who have been asked to copy a client's bucket. It's a little like getting your motor mechanic to design your car and make all the components!


Higher calibre buckets simply cost more to manufacture. The efficiency of the double radius bucket design in eiengineering buckets requires the entire back plate be rolled, whereas in a single-radius design, only a small part of the back plate needs to be rolled.

eiengineering buckets employ the toughest Bisalloy 80 grade steel and while incurring higher costs than mild steel it provides a resonating long-term durability that is demanded for earthmoving.

The bet that we took was that while reducing initial profit margins, by building better buckets that have a lasting return our customers investment, we would get a tonne of referrals down the road and get our buckets onto many more excavators.

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