Komatsu and Topcon launch integrated machine automation
By Chris Sleight16 April 2013
Equipment manufacturer Komatsu and instrument maker Topcon have used Bauma to unveil a new intelligent machine control system for dozers and excavators. Shown at the exhibition on a Komatsu PC210LCi tracked excavator and 61PXi dozer, the system is capable of fully automating earthmoving operations, and is integrated into the machines when they are manufactured by Komatsu.
Ray O’Connor, senior managing executive officer at Topcon said, “This is the world’s most advanced fully integrated machine control system.” He added, “The deep integration offers possibilities that just couldn’t be achieved by an instrument maker on its own or the equipment manufacturer on its own.”
The dozer system features a GPS antenna and receiver integrated with stroke-sensing cylinders controlling the blade and other sensors on the machine. Whereas current machine control systems would adjust only the position of the blade, the new Intelligent machine Control System also senses the load on the blade and adjusts its position under high load to prevent the tracks from slipping, which can lead to an uneven finish to grading work.
Integrating the GPS equipment at factory level, with an antenna fitted to the cab roof, also means that expensive instruments do not have to be mounted in vulnerable positions, such as on the dozer blade.
As the system is integrated into machines, it is not available as a retrofit option. However, Topcon and Komatsu said the system is compatible with existing machine control software, and can accept design data from all standard surveying and CAD systems.