Machine Control: How Leading Contractors Improved Productivity
Furthermore, Operators using machine control can also work faster with fewer mistakes, so the long-term cost savings are significant.
Machine control also maintains a record of all activity, proving beneficial to quality control, training, and work process improvement. It also allows contractors to create as-built models, which can be provided to customers as a value-add.
Cab top GNSS antenna allows for accurate as-built surface data collection by measuring actual elevations as machine continuously tracks in operation. This means you can measure progress in real-time with operator selectable settings.
Companies can establish key performance indicators and use machine control data to measure results.
- How many machine hours did you budget?
- How long does it usually require you to finish specific jobs?
- How much rework do you have?
Another critical point is that machine control is only as good as the data you put into it. Hence, you need to be able to create machine files that are 100% accurate. So again, this is a critical link, and we recommend that contractors either designate a role for this, or hire engineering firms that specialize in it.
All in all, it's incredibly impactful to have machine control, but it's not as easy as just flipping a switch.
Did You Know? The new auto tilt bucket control helps keep the operator on design so that the finish grading can be accomplished without having to align the machine with the target surface.
Once you have the equipment in place, the change management portion is critical. Machine control will change your business processes, so you can't just show up with a design file and a GPS machine and expect to gain efficiencies. It would be best if you had a robust training plan for your technology champion and the operator that's going to be operating your GPS machine.
Takeaways from Kris:
- Contractors are facing a skilled labour crunch as experienced equipment operators retire.
- Machine control allows work to be done efficiently by less experienced operators, and it also is a draw for younger workers who might not otherwise choose construction.
- Machine control also has significant side benefits, including collecting real-time data for quality improvement, training, and as-built models.
- Two critical prerequisites for machine control are GPS positioning infrastructure and the resources for creating accurate machine files.
- The keys to success are selecting the projects in which machine control is most effective and planning for sufficient training and change management.
- SMS Equipment has the unique capability to support multi-vendor environments through a strong implementation team and best-in-class remote support.
Komatsu iMC 2.0 Dozers
New iMC 2.0 dozers increase production up to 60% with the ability to use automatics from grass-to-grade.
- Lift layer control uses the shape of the existing terrain to place lifts consistently with high accuracy, reducing compaction rework
- Create a temporary design with quick surface creation
- Tilt steering control automatically tilts blade to maintain straight travel during rough dozing and reduces track slip
Komatsu iMC 2.0 Excavators
Intelligent Machine Control with automated tilting bucket feature allows smarter excavation from start to finish, removing over-excavation throughout the job.
- Auto tilt control automatically tilts the bucket which greatly increases ease of operation on slope and ditch work
- Protection + precision + performance = the formula for pursuing maximum productivity versus conventional machine guidance
- Excavator automatics for trenching, slope work and high production applications