intelligent Machine Control 2.0: PIONEERING KOMATSU TECHNOLOGY BREAKS NEW GROUND IN MACHINE AUTOMATICS
Komatsu’s intelligent Machine Control (iMC) is getting a significant upgrade, adding more automation features that operators will use frequently. Ultimately, iMC 2.0 will make your dozing operations more efficient, accurate, and productive.
iMC 2.0 has four productivity features that help operators complete dozing jobs faster and more accurately, according to Mike Fenster, manager of Columbus Equipment Company’s Smart Construction Division.
The system uses two GPS antennas per machine, which is especially helpful when dozing on a slope. Together, the two antennas indicate if a bulldozer is slipping and adjust accordingly. The twin antennas also play a part in other, new 2.0 features.
Here’s a brief look at iMC 2.0 features and benefits.
Proactive Dozing Control
Komatsu previously rolled out Proactive Dozing Control as an upgrade on certain iMC dozers, which has already resulted in a dramatic increase in how frequently operators use automatics, Fenster said. With Proactive Dozing, operators use automatics nearly half the time compared to less than 15% of the time previously, increasing productivity while saving fuel.
With Proactive Dozing, the machine gathers information about the existing surface as it tracks over the ground. With that data, the dozer can plan the next pass taking into account what it knows about the existing surface. It’s useful in many applications, including backfilling, spreading and stripping, not just finish grading.
Lift Layer Control
Lift Layer Control combines the capabilities of Proactive Dozing Control with the ability to read two surfaces at one time. The system can read the existing surface below the design surface and lay down layers of dirt to reach the design surface – at customizable depths. The consistent layers allow for better compaction.
“Once you get to the design surface, the machine knows to follow the design and not to keep filling,” Fenster said.
Lift Layer Control can double production. The operator can work on massive cuts or fills without having someone else monitor when he gets close to grade because the automatics won’t allow the dozer to cut too deep or fill too high.
Tilt Steering Control
This element of iMC 2.0 uses the two GPS heads to monitor the dozer and ensure it maintains a straight travel path whenever there’s material on the blade. If the tracks are slipping, the intelligent system will automatically tilt the blade to correct the travel course without the operator having to reduce hydraulic power. That way, the dozer can maintain full hydraulic power for a straight, powerful push.
Tilt Steering Control is one way that an intelligent dozer mimics an experienced operator’s work and increases accuracy and productivity on the job, Fenster noted. It’s highly productive in heavy cuts.
Quick Surface Creation
With the touch of a button, the operator can quickly create a surface design and begin stripping or spreading, even if the 3-D model hasn’t been uploaded yet. (Original iMC allows the operator to create a temporary model, but it required navigating through multiple submenus. the new version provides a shortcut.)
iMC 2.0 also uses a 4G remote support modem, an upgrade from the 3G modem used with the original iMC. “The 4G modem is a faster network for remote support, increasing our ability to support the machine and the customer,” Fenster noted.
With iMC 2.0, Komatsu looked at what works well with the logic and intelligence concepts it introduced with iMC, incorporated user feedback, and improved the features. Now, users and owners will benefit even more from the advantages automatics bring to the jobsite.
Komatsu will make iMC 2.0 available on dozer models going forward. The first dozer to feature iMC 2.0 is the new D71i, which will be available from Columbus Equipment in the first quarter of 2021. Fenster expects the D61i to be the next dozer to incorporate iMC 2.0.
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