Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, announced that Pomerleau, one of Canada's leading construction companies and a pioneer in sustainable buildings, has selected Procore as one of its valued partners to help future-proof its business.
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Telematics and machine control were discussed extensively as part of the technology focus at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017. Here, we provide a look at some of the innovative approaches that manufacturers have taken to advance these important aspects of equipment management and operation.
Simple to use system makes an enormous impact for digging
Volvo Construction Equipment showed its new Dig Assist system, used with the Co-Pilot interface. Co-Pilot is a ten-inch, high-resolution touch screen, in-cab interface; when used with Dig Assist, it allows operators to easily input job specifications and track progress along the way to ensure the job is done right.
"We've designed Dig Assist in a way that it is very easy to learn and very intuitive to use, requiring as little as 10 minutes of upfront training and only a few touches to get started with a new job," said Matt McLean, product manager, GPE Products at Volvo Construction Equipment. "Once you're up and running, there's no more guesswork. You can design and track progress in real time - thereby reducing the need for on-site engineers, surveyors, and manual grade and depth checks. It's very simple to use, but can make an enormous impact to productivity and job profitability."
Dig Assist allows the operator to work more independently thanks to its ability to display key factors of the required digging profile. With up to four views simultaneously, including side, front, top and 3D views, plus Volvo Smart View, the operator is acutely aware of the machine's position in relation to the job at all times. Custom digging profiles can be drawn from the cab. Using the standard Material Layers function, the operator can more easily backfill the trench by pre-setting depth layers for backfill materials, and viewing progress in real time.
Remote control for dozers and loaders
Caterpillar showed off its newest control approach at CONEXPO - a remote control system that can be used by an operator either nearby or across the country.
Used extensively in mines on the Cat D10T and D11T dozers, the Cat Command technology is now available on the company's workhorse D8T.
Command for Dozing improves safety and efficiency by allowing the operator to control the dozer nearby using a compact, portable console or a comfortable operator station. Deep integration with Cat machine systems allows for smooth and precise operation.
An over-the-shoulder console is recommended for short-duration use, such as cleaning up near highwalls and road cuts, stabilizing slides or working in any other areas that pose added risk. Line-of-sight control can reach 400 metres. For more comfort, a remote operator station allows the user to work from a comfortable seated position, using familiar controls, away from the active dozing area. An operator in the station is essentially in a dozer cab with all the usual controls. The station is designed for line-of-sight use, but if video and audio feeds from the site and dozer are added, the station can be used for long-distance use. Cat demonstrated the system by allowing operators to run a D8T in Peoria, Illinois from their booth in Las Vegas.
Command for Loading remote control system is also available for Cat's 988K large wheel loader. A compact control console on a shoulder harness provides operators ergonomic controls and full access to primary machine functions. It also has a line-of-sight range of 400 metres from the machine, and includes features that ensure the operator is in full control of the machine at all times - for example, if a transceiver loses power, or if radio or onboard communications are lost, the machine will shut down.
A shutdown will also occur if the console is tipped more than 60 degrees.
Industry's first aftermarket 3D control for excavators
Trimble has expanded its machine control offerings with the launch of Trimble Earthworks for dozers and excavators. The company is offering what it states is the industry's first integrated 3D aftermarket excavator automatics capability that runs on an Android operating system.
The Earthworks application was developed based on feedback from construction equipment operators around the world, resulting in an interface optimized for productivity. Colourful graphics, natural interactions and gestures, and self-discovery features make the software intuitive and easy to learn. In addition, Earthworks allows data files to be transferred to or from the office wirelessly and automatically so that the operator is always using the latest design.
With Trimble Earthworks, contractors can now take advantage of the first integrated 3D aftermarket automatic grade control for excavators, allowing operators to create smooth, flat or sloped surfaces more easily. When the excavator is placed in Auto mode, the operator controls the stick, and Trimble Earthworks controls the boom and bucket to stay on grade, reduce overcut and increase production. Trimble Earthworks for Dozers mounts dual GNSS receivers on top of the cab to eliminate masts and cables traditionally located on the blade. The dual GNSS receivers are ideal for steep slope work and complex designs with tight tolerances.
All-in-one system for harsh construction environments
Hemisphere GNSS attended CONEXPO with its own solutions available to OEMs looking to build machine control and guidance systems. Its C321 GNSS Smart Antenna and SiteMetrix site management software pair together to provide an all-in-one system designed for harsh construction environments.
SiteMetrix is a complete 3D/GNSS site management and inspection tool, and can be used in most grading, mining, and landfill applications. It provides cut and fill information across the job site in real-time moving easily between a vehicle to a man-rover pole. SiteMetrix supports most GNSS receivers by offering the world's largest GNSS library.
See more of a project on larger screen
Topcon introduced several changes for its machine control system this year, including the new GX-75 touchscreen display.
"The GX-75 is the largest touchscreen display for Topcon construction machine control ever available," said Kris Maas, director of construction product management. "Its 10-inch, bright, rugged and sunlight-readable screen allows operators in the cab to see more of the project file at once, in practically any weather condition. It is also a perfect system for operators using the Sitelink3D monitoring and management service to instantly communicate job site progress to the office in real time, as well as quickly receive updated plans and job files."
The GX-75 is available for use with dozer, motor grader and excavator machine control systems. It comes with a standard lock connector used with previous Topcon control boxes, allowing for backward compatibility.
A milestone in machine monitoring
Most manufacturers are developing their own telematics and monitoring systems, and several were expanded upon at CONEXPO.
The launch of Volvo Construction Equipment's ActiveCare Direct in North America is a milestone; the system brings 24/7 active machine monitoring and fleet reporting to the table, direct from Volvo and in partnership with Volvo dealers.
Volvo monitors customers' machines, capturing thousands of machine data points through its CareTrack telematics system. Those data points are analyzed by the Volvo proprietary system in real time, keeping track of machine health and performance. Each month, Volvo generates a comprehensive telematics report for the customer, highlighting areas of opportunity to increase productivity and reduce operating costs.
With ActiveCare Direct, Volvo monitors machine alarm codes, prioritizes them, and communicates any necessary action to the dealer and/or customer. This cuts through the noise for customers and helps avoid unplanned downtime. Remote analysis provides multiple benefits - it provides the opportunity to catch problems before they occur; it helps provide more efficient service scheduling; and it aids the dealer in making fewer trips to the customer site by helping to ensure that the right tools, parts and people are brought to the site on the first visit.
Connect all assets and all brands with one system
Caterpillar also presented new hardware and software that extend the company's Product Link capabilities, allowing equipment managers to connect all of their assets, from the largest earthmover to the smallest generator, and including both light and heavy-duty trucks and utility vehicles. Cat Connect hardware and software will connect any brand and type of equipment and report through the VisionLink system.
The new technologies offer multiple communications channels - cellular, satellite and Bluetooth - to best match the type of asset and the needs of the user. And the systems are designed for easy installation using plug-and-play technology and apps for mobile devices. Battery backup for machine-powered devices and long-life batteries for units on non-powered assets help ensure reliable operation.
The new Product Link device for monitoring production machines has scalable features that enable increasing data collected as needed - from machine hours and location through machine health parameters and production numbers. A new tracking device for non-powered assets, such as attachments and trailers, reports location only. The new truck monitoring hardware is designed for retrofitting all brands of light and heavy-duty trucks, including pickup trucks, service trucks and materials haulers.
More from Construction Technologies
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Power and precision converge with the new grade-guidance-technology equipped John Deere 470G LC excavators. First introduced for the 210G LC and 350G LC excavators, John Deere developed this solution in cooperation with Topcon Positioning Group. The integrated grade guidance system provides the operator with the bucket's location in relation to a 2D reference or 3D design surface. This information arms operators with the detail they need for precision excavation projects, such as digging trenches for pipes, shaping ditches or slopes or digging structure foundations.
Volvo Construction Equipment continues to unlock the full productivity potential of its excavator and wheel loader lineup with its basic package of Dig Assist – Dig Assist Start – now standard on new EC220E to EC480E excavator models, and its Load Assist system now standard on new L150H to L260H wheel loader models.
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Topcon Positioning Group announces new cloud-based photogrammetry processing powered by Bentley ContextCapture to its MAGNET Collage Web web-based service for publication, sharing, and analysis of reality capture data. The integration allows MAGNET Collage Web users who share and collaborate with scanning and mesh datasets to now process and add UAV photos directly to the MAGNET Collage 3D environment.
Trimble PULSE Remote Expert is an augmented reality (AR) tool that improves the productivity of field service technicians by connecting them with support experts via video, audio and spatial annotations in real-time.
Trimble has introduced Trimble Siteworks Software version 1.1, featuring full GNSS tilt compensation functionality in standing, walking and vehicle modes, and support for the Android operating system. Construction surveyors can now capture accurate points without levelling the pole, making surveying in areas such as building corners accurate, fast and easy. In addition, Siteworks version 1.1 now supports the Android operating system, giving contractors the flexibility to choose the field device that best fits their needs and budget.
Hatz is integrating light equipment as well as compact machines into the digital world of Industry 4.0 with its Connected Services. This advance means that the engine specialist is closing the gap between industrial digitalization and machines that were previously manually controlled and operated.
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Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform version 1.9 comes with support for fully automatic guidance for excavator tiltrotator attachments and Trimble Universal Total Stations for motor graders. Full automatic support for tiltrotators makes the attachment easy to use and learn, even for operators who have never used a tiltrotator. Universal Total Station support allows contractors to achieve millimeter-accurate fine grading with a motor grader.
Trimble and Liebherr have introduced a Trimble Ready factory option for new Liebherr PR736 Generation 8 bulldozers. PR736 Generation 8 bulldozers that ship direct from the Liebherr factory are now ready for the installation of the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform, which can significantly reduce the cost and complexity of the installation for the contractor. The announcement was made at bauma 2019.
Topcon Positioning Group introduces a new LN-100 hands free, voice activated heads-up display (HUD) solution. This wearable assistant provides visual layout directions via HUD glasses that guide the operator using an LN-100 to efficiently perform layout work at a construction site. The wearable assistant enables customers to use both hands to accurately mark layout points.
Topcon Positioning Group has announced a new automated edition of its 3D modular aftermarket solution for excavation — the X-53x automatic. The system uses the same components of the original system and adds hydraulic, automated control.
Topcon Positioning Group announces the introduction of Pavelink, a cloud-based logistics application designed to connect every stakeholder in real-time throughout the paving process. The mobile application is designed to complete a connected ecosystem workflow between the asphalt plants, delivery trucks, company office, and paving site.
Topcon Positioning Group has launched a new edition of its real-time 3D job site monitoring and management system — Sitelink 2.0. The update includes a new pay-as-you-go point-based service model, new features to Sitelink Support Desk, as well as a new Haul Truck application.
Topcon Positioning Group announces the release of major updates to its flagship 3D dozer machine control system — 3D-MCMAX. The innovative inertial measurement unit- (IMU) based system, without a mast needed for the blade, is now available for more configurations and diverse applications.
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B2W Software unveiled key product developments to extend the advantages of its unified ONE Platform during the company's annual User Conference in San Antonio, Texas, March 3-5.
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Trimble expands PULSE field management platform to seamlessly connect service, equipment and fleet managers on a single platform
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Ironworks LLC has announced the addition of two major western Canadian construction contractors to its roster of beta program participants for Ironworks, the world's first comprehensive, cloud-based equipment cost management system for infrastructure contractors.
Trimble introduced today the Trimble Groundworks Machine Control System, a reliable and streamlined machine control solution for drilling and piling operations. The next-generation system enables contractors to perform drilling and piling operations quickly, safely and accurately.
Hitachi is taking efficiency to a new level with Hitachi Grade Guidance, integrated and developed in cooperation with Topcon. Leveraging the latest components and technologies, Grade Guidance is a "one-stop shop" solution that helps complete precision-excavation more efficiently.
Trimble announced a new wearable hard hat compatible device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite—the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2. In addition, an expanded set of Trimble software and services will be available to provide field-oriented workflows that leverage constructible 3D models and mixed reality to solve daily work tasks.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated presented SYNCHRO XR, its app for immersively visualizing 4D construction digital twins with the new Microsoft HoloLens 2, which Microsoft announced during a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Trimble introduced today the Trimble T7 Tablet, a rugged, lightweight and versatile device for construction surveying applications. Using Trimble Siteworks Software for construction surveying, the Trimble T7 provides real-time data to visualize cut/fill levels, calculate material volumes, check grade and communicate work orders to increase productivity and enable better decision making.
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Topcon Positioning Group announces the latest upgrade to MAGNET Collage Web, the web-based service enabling the sharing and collaboration of UAV and scanning data sets. MAGNET Collage Web version 1.3 is designed to allow operators to work with more types of data with greater flexibility, including the ability to import BIM models, as well as CAD and GIS data.
New Kespry construction innovations further drive project profitability by enhancing drone flight and on-demand data accuracy
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