Intelligent machine from Komatsu
By Sandy Guthrie23 September 2014
A new excavator claiming to be the world’s first with intelligent machine control has been launched in EU markets by Komatsu Europe International, with the new PC210LCi-10 excavator which features fully-integrated intelligent machine control and guidance systems.
First seen at Bauma 2013, the machine is now available for the first time. Komatsu said the guidance system was fully integrated with all other qualities and benefits of a standard Komatsu PC210LC-10 excavator.
The intelligent machine control is said to improve efficiency on the job site by increasing accuracy and therefore saving time.
Dirk Legrand, deputy general manager of Komatsu Europe, said the time was right to launch the new technology. “The margins in roadbuilding are so small that people are happy to talk now.”
Komatsu said that thanks to the exclusive control function, developed in co-operation with Topcon, the operator would no longer worry about digging too deep or damaging a target surface. It claimed that from rough digging to finish grading, the PC210LCi-10 excavator could dramatically improve efficiency, precision and safety on the work site.
Mal McCoy, Komatsu product manager for hydraulic excavators and intelligent machine control products, said, “This latest Komatsu technology is a revolution in how hydraulic excavators will be used in the coming years. The ability of the PC210LCi-10 to achieve and maintain grade with minimum effort from the operator is awesome.”
Operating weights range from 22.620kg to 23.480kg, depending on the configuration, with a net 123kW at 2,000rpm.
With the intelligent machine control excavator, the bucket is automatically limited from digging beyond the target surface. The control function maintains grade automatically, with real-time bucket edge positioning in relation to the machine and the job surface. The status is instantly displayed on the full colour, multi-function 307mm control box monitor, which Komatsu said eliminated the waiting time associated with conventional sensors.
Komatsu’s fully-integrated, factory installed, intelligent machine control system includes stroke sensing hydraulic cylinders for the boom, arm and bucket, newly developed by Komatsu for precise real time bucket edge positioning.
The IMU (inertial measuring unit) gives precise machine orientation and determines machine angle from gyro and accelerometer data. High performance antennae integrated into the hand rails send satellite signals to a GNSS receiver that processes them and provides real time position of the machine.
Komatsu said the new technology allowed the operator to focus on moving material efficiently, without worrying about digging too deep. The touch screen control box monitor, is said to make grading easy and accurate with a facing angle compass, a light bar and audio guidance. Information such as real-time as-built status, a magnified fine grading view or a 3D bird view can be displayed simultaneously.
By setting 3D design data on the control box monitor, staking can be reduced or eliminated, as can surveying and final inspection. Safety is said to be greatly improved, with less people needed on the job site and near the machine.
The latest Komtrax technology on the PC210LCi-10 sends machine operating information to a secure website using wireless technology. Data such as operating hours, fuel consumption, location, cautions and maintenance alerts are relayed to the web application for analysis. The Komtrax fleet monitoring system claims to increase machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft, allows for remote diagnosis by the distributor, and provides a wealth of other information to drive business efficiency and productivity.
Topcon’s Sitelink site management software is available as an option on the new excavator.
Earlier this year, Komatsu Europe International introduced the D37EXi/PXi-23 dozer to the European market. Also equipped with Komatsu’s latest intelligent machine control technology, it was the second intelligent machine control Komatsu dozer model available in Europe.
The GPS antennae are situated on the roof rather than the blade. Komatsu said that the idea was not to take away the skill of the operator, but simplifying the operation of the blade.