In June 2013, we launched D61PXi/EXi-23 intelligent Machine Control dozers featuring the world's first automatic blade control in North America. We have broadened the model range to four today. We are also planning to introduce Machine Control hydraulic excavators to Japan, Europe and North America this fall.
We have already sold over 200 iMC dozers worldwide (as of March 31, 2014), increasing the number of completed jobsites. In Japan, iMC dozers, rented through Komatsu Group rental companies, have completed about 40 jobsites.
Capable of automatically controlling the blade from rough cutting to finish grading, our iMC dozers have a proven record of an outstanding reduction of ground-leveling time. They also enable customers to skip staking. Customers' comments include, “Even when this dozer was rolled, the blade was accurately controlled, which is very difficult even for veteran operators.” “As this dozer required no support worker around it, we were free from worrying about safety.”
With this iMC dozer,
our work style is changing.
Possibilities are unlimited.
Based on position information from the survey system installed on the iMC dozer as well as machine operating information from KOMTRAX (Komatsu Machine Tracking System), we can find out and analyze daily progress on the jobsites. This is the process “visualization.” We can anticipate the future workflow of transmitting daily work instructions to construction equipment from the office, after receiving information concerning the progress of work from the machines, and planning the next day's work flow, including machine allocation, in the PC in the office.
We are on the start line of developing a business model of Machine Control construction equipment. As we approach the development of a business model by transcending the conventional framework of a manufacturer of construction equipment, we can see a number of possibilities of novel civil engineering and construction jobsites with Machine Control equipment. To develop such a new business model, it is indispensable for us to look into an open innovation in which we incorporate the latest know-how and technologies through an academic-industrial or private-sector industrial collaboration and integrate them with our technologies. To accelerate our efforts in this direction, we created the Office of Chief Technology Officer in April 2014.
We paid special attention to the importance of ICT to our business many years ago, and have since promoted ICT applications, such as the standardization of KOMTRAX for our construction equipment and the use of KOMTRAX Plus for our mining equipment. By sharing information gained from these systems with distributors and customers, we are making progress in improving lifecycle costs of equipment. As a leading solution with ICT, we have successfully commercialized our Autonomous Haulage System for the first time in the world. To enhance customers' productivity and safety through ICT, we are expanding our business domain into customers' jobsites from the conventional domain of equipment per se.
We are aggressively advancing ICT applications to construction and mining equipment and making data “visible”. Together with customers, we are working to develop DANTOTSU (unrivaled) solutions with new value for them.