Customer case

Cotech’s commitment to innovation unearths buckets of creativity using Hardox® wear plate

October 14, 2021 6 min read

Case details

Product Hardox® 450
Country Canada
Company Cotech/X-Metal
Industry Yellow goods and construction
Brand program Hardox® In My Body

When excavator operators complained about interrupting their work to change out attachments, Canadian-based Cotech/X-Metal went to work on a solution with four new category designs

For anyone working in excavation, time is money. The idea of a quick-coupler attachment line is attractive to operators, and the concept immediately saves money by reducing the number of machines required on site to finish the job.

Project managers need only arrange for one excavator and a menu of quick-change attachments for digging, material handling and gripping.

Users can also oscillate between hydraulic and manual controls for ultimate power switching – no matter the equipment brand. Plus, when it’s time to dig under a building or prepare for a French drain, the reversible bucket easily turns to tackle these types of trenches.

Cotech features four category designs using Hardox® wear plate to make light, tough and versatile buckets.

Cotech features four category designs using Hardox® wear plate to make light, tough and versatile buckets.

First to market by focusing on efficiency first

Continuously focused on creating maximum efficiency, Cotech/X-Metal founder Etienne Côté is quick to adopt new ways of working to ensure the highest level of productivity, time-saving techniques and even software programs that reduce redundancies.

Efficient processing techniques inspired him to engineer a greater offering for excavation following the installation of 11 welding robots and a high-definition plasma cutting table. So when Etienne looked at how excavator operators sat idle waiting for an attachment change, he immediately recognized an efficiency gain opportunity.

Reversible bucket designs offer excavator operators greater flexibility to get complex projects done faster.

Reversible bucket designs offer excavator operators greater flexibility to get complex projects done faster.

Specify an advanced performing steel

For nearly 15 years, Etienne waited patiently for a chance to work with Hardox® wear plate. He knew about the steel’s tough characteristics and long-last wear resistant benefits and even built a waste container made with Hardox® 450 to test its capabilities.

“I have my own Beast box next to our shop. You know, the same kind they rolled down a hill in the video?” Etienne says. “We built it and put it through the paces, so I knew it was the right kind of material for our bucket and coupler series. We wanted to stand out from the competition in the small excavator market of 10 tons or less and be a leader in this field,” says Etienne. “When we looked for a tough, long-lasting abrasion resistant steel to bring our design idea to life, we chose to work with SSAB because of their reputation and technical support.”

Today, the Cotech branded line of couplers, buckets and attachments features Hardox® 450 to deliver long wear life and impact toughness. Even though the changeovers from one type of attachment to the other is quick, they still take a beating and stand up to rigorous applications.

Making friends in the workshop

With a full workshop of traditional welding and 11 robotic cells, Cotech’s fabrication side of the business, X-Metal, adapted quickly to the consistent properties Hardox® wear plate offers. SSAB continuously works to improve production processes in order to develop new and better products. This has resulted in the ability to guarantee both closer tolerances and improved workshop properties. SSAB´s Hardox® Guarantees include tight thickness tolerances, tight flatness tolerances, as well as tight bending guarantees.

“When moving from mild steel to Hardox® wear plate, many people are surprised how easy it is to integrate the material into the workshop,” explains Maurice Picard, Technical Development Manager. “It becomes clear that they can achieve higher performance from the material without having to change their processing equipment or techniques. We have very tight parameters and anyone can see them in our Guarantees brochure.”

“As we all know, time is money. We didn’t want to just improve on what’s already in use, we wanted to change the whole game and make it fast and easy to adapt the excavator. The development of our quick-change couplers, interchangeable components and even offering a reversible bucket disrupted how excavation projects get done."

Etienne Côté

Pictured with their pup named “Hardox”, brothers and co-owners of Cotech/X-metal, Etienne and Alexandre Côté, focus on a fast, first-to-market approach with innovative buckets.

Pictured with their pup named “Hardox”, brothers and co-owners of Cotech/X-Metal, Etienne and Alexandre Côté, focus on a fast, first-to-market approach with innovative buckets.

Only certified products wear the sign of quality

The Cotech branded line of couplers, buckets and attachments features Hardox® 450 to deliver long wear life and impact toughness. Even though the changeovers are easy, performance must exceed expectations. To give customers additional assurance of the highest quality, Cotech joined the Hardox® In My Body program and applies the sign of quality to certified products.

The Hardox® In My Body program supports more than 500 members in 60 countries, and the sign represents first-rate equipment that delivers unsurpassed performance. It tells end users that the equipment is manufactured to the highest standards, earning the right to be certified.

Find out how upgrading pays off

Please complete the following information so that we may contact and support you with any upgrading questions:

180