As more and more contractors come to appreciate the efficiencies that Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control (iMC) and other technologies bring to the construction industry, Columbus Equipment Company is expanding its technology services.
To reflect those changes, the company has created a SMARTConstruction Division — an evolution from the company’s former Machine Control Division. The new division will offer aerial mapping services, as well as additional personnel to assist customers with the ever-advancing technology.
Komatsu has long been a pioneer in construction industry technological advances. The new division finds its genesis in the manufacturer’s multifaceted approach to advanced construction technologies. In addition to site mapping, the SMARTConstruction Division offers services ranging from sales and support of iMC equipment to jobsite setup, 3-D data services, and training and consultation.
The new mapping service uses drones to scan the jobsite and collect data, said SMARTConstruction Division Manager Mike Fenster. Columbus Equipment
Company specialists will map the sites and work with our partner company, Skycatch Inc., to crunch the numbers and process the data into the critical time- and cost-saving information you, as a contractor, need most.
Many customers are likely to use the drone service for preconstruction planning, having the drones map jobsites after they’ve been cleared but before they start moving dirt, Fenster said. “We’ll be creating topographical maps of the existing grade and compare them to the design grades.” This preconstruction map allows the contractor to more accurately calculate upfront how much dirt needs to be moved, rather than trying to resolve any discrepancies in the amount of dirt moved with the client after the fact.
Drone mapping can also be used to monitor job progress. Columbus Equipment Company can periodically scan the site and create a color-coded, cut-fill map to show where the project is on grade and where the site needs to be cut or filled. This allows you to calculate the quantities moved and the quantities of dirt remaining.
With drones, our mapping service can provide the same accurate results you get from an on-the-ground survey, but it can be completed in a fraction of the time.
While some larger contractors do their own aerial mapping, “small to medium-sized contractors have been doing without these services because they have been too expensive in the past,” Fenster said. “These new site-mapping services will give contractors working on jobs of all scopes and sizes the ability to better plan and manage a project.”
The SMARTConstruction Division has added two people to help customers with all facets of construction technology:
Technology Solutions Expert Zac Lucas: Zac’s focus is on working in the field, providing customers with training, support and demonstrations. Zac, an Ohio State University grad, has been with the company for nearly two years and previously was a sales coordinator in the Perrysburg branch.
SMARTConstruction Technology Specialist Robert Ditmars: Robert will focus on remote support, aerial mapping services and phone support. His role will be more behind-the-scenes. Robert, also an OSU grad, has been with the company for six years and previously served as a network administrator in our IT office.
By doubling the size of the SMARTConstruction staff, Columbus Equipment Company has shown its commitment to achieving product support excellence, by training and consulting with users of Komatsu iMC technology. All iMC equipment from Columbus Equipment Company comes with a package of in-person and telephone support.
With the department’s expansion, “More than ever before, we’re making cutting-edge services and resources available to our customers to help ensure their success,” Fenster added.