At the recent ConExpo exhibition in Las Vegas, Hitachi showcased the new grade control technology it had developed with Topcon Positioning Systems.
The Hitachi Solution Linkage Integrated Grade Control technology allows excavator operators to focus on controlling the machine’s arm, while the machine itself controls the boom and bucket.
Hitachi said the system can reduce the number of passes required to achieve the correct grade, as well as allowing less experienced operators to grade without the need for intensive supervision.
The company said the need for grade stakes is also reduced, as are the incidences of over-excavation, as the technology prevents the excavator digging below a pre-set elevation.
The system will be offered, factory-fitted and calibrated, on future models of Hitachi’s Dash-6 construction excavators.
Hitachi says it will offer two options – 2D or 3D Grade Control. The 2D version controls the elevation of the cutting edge in relation to a benchmark, while the 3D includes Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which controls position and elevation with respect to a global reference.
System data from both options can be analysed through ZXLink, so the machine’s health can be monitored.
Jonny Spendlove, product marketing manager, excavators, Hitachi Construction Machinery, said, “With Solution Linkage Integrated Grade Control with Topcon, our customers will combine the smooth hydraulics and fast cycle times of Hitachi excavators with advanced grade technology in one package.
“This technology is all about saving time and making good operators great.”