"First on the market to have completely integrated machine control"
Komatsu has launched the D61EXi/PXi-23, the first in a new range of "intelligent" machine control dozers, incorporating the industry's first fully automatic blade control system.
This allows it to carry out both bulk and final trim dozing in automatic from start to finish with final grade performance, significantly increasing productivity and efficiency while reducing the cost of each metre of material moved.
Komatsu's new D61EXi/PXi-23 intelligent dozer incorporates an integrated highly durable and extremely accurate off-blade sensor package.
According to David Small, Komatsu Australia's General Manager, Construction, it represents the "next generation" in machine control.
"Our new D61EXi/PXi-23 can carry out not only automated finish grading which has been a feature of dozer machine control systems for a number of years but can also make all passes using automatic blade control, from rough dozing to finish grading, forward and reverse," he said.
Available in conventional (EX) and low ground pressure (PX) variants, the D61EXi/PXi-23 has an operating weight range of 17.9 to 18.8 tonnes depending on configuration and is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107-2 rated at 125kW.
David said the result was outstanding improvements in productivity compared with both standard dozers as well as dozers fitted with conventional machine control systems.
"Komatsu's intelligent dozer is the first on the market to have completely integrated machine control using this innovative new technology which includes integrated blade stroke sensing cylinders.
"And it is scalable to other Komatsu machines; this is groundbreaking technology for dozer operators, contractors and clients.
"The ease with which our intelligent dozers transition from bulk dozing to finish grading when automatic blade control is engaged is so seamless that both experienced and inexperienced operators will gain significant benefits in productivity, dozing accuracy and job completion adding up to a lower cost of operating.
"The efficiency improvements, greater value and simplicity of operation with these new dozers are the latest examples of the innovations that Komatsu is bringing to the earthmoving equipment industry," David said.
An additional feature of the new intelligent dozer range is the integration of Komatsu's KOMTRAX remote monitoring system and Topcon's construction management solutions.
This gives the potential for high-efficiency, unified management of construction work through access to real-time online machine data, allowing fleet, site and project managers to track key work progress data, such as the amount of material moved on a site.
Fully automating blade control
David pointed out that dozers have been able to carry out high-precision finish grading with the installation of an add-on machine control system for a number of years.
"The breakthrough innovation we have achieved with these new intelligent dozers is being able to provide fully automatic blade control throughout all phases of the dozing cycle.
"We can now offer automatic blade control from initial bulk dozing, right through to final grade performance in the most popular size class of dozers for machine control application, due to our fully integrated intelligent machine control technology," he said
In bulk dozing, the dozers' automatic blade control system monitors blade load, constantly adjusting blade elevation to minimise track slip, and therefore ensuring dozing is done to optimum efficiency.
"As work progresses closer to the required finish grade, the automatic blade control adjusts accordingly, to provide final trim performance with high-level precision," said David.
"Stroke-sensing cylinders measure the actual position of the blade at all times for highest-precision grading accuracy on any surface or grade."
He said that according to tests carried out by Komatsu, productivity improvement through the combination of automated bulk dozing and finish grading was up to 9-13% higher compared with add-on machine control systems and significantly more than conventional "manual" dozing.
Integrated factory installed machine control
Komatsu's intelligent dozer concept replaces the typical "bolt-on" machine control system components mounted on the blade.
Instead, these new dozers feature unique stroke-sensing hydraulic blade cylinders, a factory-installed cab top GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) antenna, and an enhanced inertial measuring unit (IMU+).
These components, combined with the machine control monitor and controllers mounted inside the cab, are all installed during machine assembly, ensuring factory-quality installation for the highest level of reliability, David said.
"Our integrated sensor package is not only robust and accurate but also eliminates the daily hassles of installing and removing machine control antennas and cables from the blade, plus the wear associated with that.
"The quality, reliability and product support our customers have come to rely on with Komatsu equipment is now extended to the machine control system itself with these new dozers," he said.
Intelligent dozing: enhanced for optimised performance
The new D61EXi/PXi-23 is a completely integrated package, designed to deliver optimum performance, productivity and cost-effectiveness.
Inside the cab, customer selectable dozing modes allow system responses to be tailored to the application for optimum machine performance.
Similarly, blade load settings are adjustable between pre-sets to match actual material conditions.
Between passes, the intelligent machine control system can be left with the automatic blade control engaged, due to its ability to precisely automate the lowering of the blade at the start of a pass, then raise it at the end.
And when the machine moves around the job site, the cab-top GNSS antenna collects accurate surface data by measuring actual elevations.
"All the added intelligence features on these new machines, in addition to their innovation and integration, really drives up the value proposition of Komatsu's intelligent dozer range, both for existing and new machine control users," David said.
Brief specs of the new dozers are:
D61EXi-23: Operating weight, 17,890 kg; engine Komatsu ecot3 SAA6D107E-2 rated at 125 kW; maximum speed, F/R, 9 km/h; PAT blade capacity, 3.4 cu m.
D61PXi-23 (low-ground pressure dozer version): Operating weight, 18,770 kg; engine Komatsu ecot3 SAA6D107E-2 rated at 125 kW; maximum speed, F/R, 9 km/h; PAT blade capacity, 3.8 cu m.
For more information contact:
Komatsu Australia's National Operator Trainer Supervisor - Construction
Phone 1300 588 287