What is Machine Control?
The use of Machine Control is growing among contractors who realise the need for greater productivity and precision on work sites when excavating, grading, dredging or piling. Machine control is the integration of positioning tools into construction machinery.
It uses software solutions to determine a machine’s current position on the earth and then compare that position with the desired design surface. This creates a display on the screen which will allow the plant operator to efficiently determine the intended design and more accurately position earthwork machinery, therefore giving more precise results, faster.
Machine Control Systems can be fitted to just about any earthmoving machine; typically to larger dozers and excavators, but it can also be fitted to graders, pavers, rollers, DROTT’s and more.
The survey positioning aspect of the system breaks down into 3D GPS, 3D total station or 2D laser. This is what is used to ‘guide’ the machine. 3D refers to a complex 3-dimensional model whereas 2D is a more basic level of grade. It will depend on the kind of work you are intending as to which system is best for you.
Machine control systems can be used to help increase efficiency, reduce time on the job, improve health and safety and reduce resource and material usage.
Eliminates the need for the time-consuming and costly engineering works such as batter rails, pegs, profile, stakes and so on to be established before projects begin. The operator also doesn’t need to wait for an engineer to check positions, as they can already see how accurate they are with the machine control system and can adjust accordingly.
Due to the reduction in engineering works, Health & Safety is improved as there are less people physically on site where the machines are moving.
The reduction in the amount of time that the machine is being used also means lower machine operating costs, as the machine is on site for less time.
With this precision comes the fact that the earthworks will be right first time, so there’s no need for costly rework.
How Does Machine Control Work?
For 3D GPS systems, GPS receivers are mounted on the machine which, in conjunction with a GPS base station, tells the system its position accurately. The 3D model is loaded onto the system, so the machine knows where it needs to be to achieve the required design. The system combines these two sets of data so the operator can dig the difference.
A 3D total station system works in the same way as above, except the GPS receivers and base station are replaced with a Prism and a Total Station.
For 2D systems, laser receivers are mounted on the machine and use the laser beam from an external rotating laser to indicate where the required level or grade is.
Machine Control Hire
Opti-cal has the youngest and most up to date hire fleet of machine control equipment, delivering a complete solution from initial evaluation and consultation, through to installation service and support.
With a dedicated Machine Control installation and support team, we are always on-hand to discuss your needs, help with site data and assist with installation. That means you can get advice tailored to your requirements and get the right equipment for the job.
We are also a distribution partner for many manufacturer’s equipment and can provide a competitive quotation for all purchasing requirements.
Machine Control Training
If you hire or purchase a machine control system from us, we carry out driver training once installation is complete as part of our service. We complete a thorough guide of the system and answer any questions whilst on site.
We also offer simulation-based training for plant operators, to provide an exercise environment that prepares students for the real-life experience of machine control in all aspects.
Our state-of-the-art simulator-based training concept is highly effective and has been designed to introduce operators to the world of Machine Control guidance, educating those who attend to become more productive on any jobsite using the latest technology.
There are plenty of benefits to machine control simulation training, not least the fact that it allows the operator to work in a safe, controlled environment while they are learning the basics. Inexperienced operators can start driving from day one without risk of accidents.
Talk to Us
If you’re interested in buying, hiring or receiving training for machine control solutions, please contact us.
Call Us: 0330 678 0181