5 min read / July 22, 2019 / Derek Morris and Michael Salyers
When you buy a new smartphone, you don’t only use it to make phone calls. Smartphones let you do far more than simply phone home, so why only use it for 10 or 20 percent of its capabilities?
Likewise, why only use the machine control on your dozer for finish grade?
Our new Proactive Dozing Control logic lets you use the dozer’s machine control 100% of the time. The fully integrated dozing control system allows you to perform auto-stripping, auto-spreading and high production dozing, as well as finish grading.
Whether an operator has 20 years’ experience or is new to the job, our Proactive Dozing Control provides precision work every time, guaranteeing you a level of efficiency, making your operation easier and more productive.
Proactive Dozing Control logic opens up a world of application possibilities for machine control technology. It’s a game-changer because the integrated system allows operators to use automation any time, whether for general site clean-up, backfilling trenches and more.
Traditionally, GPS machine control focused on finish grade, which meant operators only used the technology 10 to 20% of the time. Due to the limitations of previous machine control, operators compensated and dozed manually much of the time. They did what they do best: read the terrain, understood the drainage, recognized where the cuts and fills were and took everything down to a point where they could utilize their machine control.
But now, our industry-first Proactive Dozing Control logic enables operators to utilize machine control from “grass to grade.” As the machine moves, it records terrain data and generates a surface based on that data. Using real-time conditions, the system understands what the terrain around the machine looks like. The system makes calculated decisions — whether it should cut and carry material, whether it should spread or fill that material, or whether it should be finish grading.
Thanks to true integration, the system’s automation means the dozer can be used to full functionality, redefining how a machine control system should work.
Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic is built on our existing intelligent machine control. We still use Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning in conjunction with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to calculate precise position, with the two sensors working together to calculate exactly where the tracks are on the ground.
Thanks to true integration, the machine control system communicates with the tractor’s hydraulic controllers, engine controllers and the machine controller. Using cylinder sensor technology, the position of the blade is calculated with respect to the machine body. The machine itself gauges the surrounding ground and determines what has been done on the area being graded and stores that data and information. Then, when the dozer gets ready to go back over that area to cut or work it more, the system knows what it was like from its previous track and can therefore, follow the existing terrain — the very terrain that was just created.
Proactive Dozing Control logic provides real-time position of the machine on the job site (think of how you use Google Maps when you’re in your car) and creates a highly accurate elevation for the system to drive the blade to precisely the grade needed. A key differentiator is that our system collects data at the tracks, while aftermarket solutions collect data at the blade.
Because data is collected at the track, the system can provide a real-time picture of the ground around the machine, allowing the system to make calculated decisions based on the current terrain. By collecting data at the track level, we’ve created machine control that is far more advanced, offering an entirely new level of efficiency.
The new machine control of Proactive Dozing Control continuously learns the terrain of the existing ground and it provides that data to the machine, giving expanded possibilities for the operator.
Because the system is continuously updating data at every pass, it makes adjustments accordingly, while the operator is moving material. Operators are still operating the machine, but with Proactive Dozing Control logic, the machine assists them, so they don’t have to manipulate the blade as much.
It’s important to note that the system does not limit an operator’s ability to use his/her skill. Instead, it benefits experienced operators because our Proactive Dozing Control logic can learn from the operator. The machine doesn’t “fight” the operator, it just makes it easier to do the job, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newer operator.
Proactive Dozing Control logic is truly integrated machine control — not blade control — making it faster and more productive. It offers the best hydraulic performance to the blade, so it won’t gouge during a transition (over a dip in the ground) because during the transition, the blade pops up then comes down when it should.
The clearest benefit to Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic is that operators can now use the machine to 100% of capacity, and increased utilization leads to better ROI and better production. Owning and operating costs are also lowered since wear and tear on the machine is reduced by automating operation. By significantly minimizing track slip during operation, undercarriage wear is reduced, thereby lowering O&O costs, since 50% of the ownership cost of a dozer is the undercarriage.
When we first introduced and demonstrated our Proactive Dozing Control with customers, there were some skeptics. They thought it seemed too good to be true. But once they got in the seat themselves, and tested and operated the machines, the system changed their perception of what machine control is, and what it can do. Our customers learned that what dozing logic does, is help operators — even the experienced ones — be better at what they do.
Want to see what Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic can do for your operators and jobsite? Contact your local distributor for a demonstration.
Komatsu currently offers Proactive Dozing Control logic on our D51i(EX/PX)-24 and D61i(EX/PX)-24 dozers.