Caterpillar has released two new expansions within its Command system, providing new ways to remotely run certain dozers and excavators. Command for Dozing is now available on D5, D6 and D7 dozers. Command for Excavating is now available on the Cat 374 and 395 large hydraulic excavators.
With Command fully integrated with the machine's electronic and hydraulic systems, remote operation delivers quick response, smooth control and virtually no latency. Companies have the option of equipping their machines with line-of-sight (LOS) or non-line-of-sight (NLOS) operation.
Both systems allow for the operation of machines with the Command console (LOS), which is portable and lightweight. Workers can operate from outside the cab and from a range of up to 437 yards or 400 metres, remaining in direct visual contact with the machine. Console layout is ergonomic and intuitive. Built-in safety features stop the machine if the remote shutdown switch is pressed, wireless communication is lost, or the console is tilted more than 45 degrees.
Operators are able to access many of the systems in their machines to aid in operation through the console. Dozers can access traction control, AutoCarry and stable blade, for example, while excavators can take advantage of features like Grade Assist, Swing Assist, E-Fence and others.
For non-line-of-sight operation, the Command station can be installed in an office on-site or miles away, and connects wirelessly. Using this system reduces fatigue from the vibration of machine movement. The configurable station is designed to give a similar feel to the machine cab, with familiar controls,
The Command station provides non-line-of-site operation from the comfort of an air-conditioned office on-site or many miles away, as distance is limited only by the capabilities of the wireless network. By eliminating the fatigue-inducing vibration of machine movements in the cab, operators can work with less fatigue.
Beyond improving safe operation and increasing productivity, the Command systems offer a potential solution to worker shortages and added training opportunities for newer operators. By allowing the operator to work outside the machine, Command opens opportunities to those with physical limitations which prevent them from climbing into the equipment. It can attract a new generation of worker while increasing the longevity of experienced operators.