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Machine control system takes the guesswork out of drilling

From spray-painted markers to working on uneven surfaces, hitting an exact point from a location, depth and inclination perspective comes with its share of challenges.

The Trimble DPS900 machine control system is designed to take the guesswork out of drilling. The DPS900 is an aftermarket, land-based 3D system that relies on positioning technology to guide operators to correct locations easily and confidently, with centimetre-level precision.

With the DPS900 system, drill plans can be created in either office or field software and sent wirelessly to a Trimble site tablet, located in the cab at the operator’s fingertips. All metrics are displayed using large icons on an easy to read touch screen.

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}Using two global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers and machine sensors, the system improves quality by guiding the operator to the precise location and angle of each hole, resulting in evenly spaced holes and correct bench slopes. Because the system uses elevation, not depth, it eliminates all uncertainty around drilling to the correct bench height, regardless of uneven terrain. The system offers an “auto stop” feature to ensure all holes will end on the same plane, leaving the operator with a level bench.

Avoiding over-drilling

The Trimble DPS900 system also helps reduce the amount of consumables used for drilling. In many cases operators compensate for the guesswork involved in hitting precise depths by over-drilling. But over-drilling even a little bit every time adds up to substantial wear and tear to the machine, plus extra costs associated with the additional explosives. Drilling to exact elevations without over-drilling improves efficiency and helps contractors reduce consumables, wear and tear, and ultimately cost.

The system also increases job site productivity by eliminating the need to lay out hole locations. Putting the drill plan at the operator’s fingertips enables workers to go from drill plan creation to production immediately. You also never have to worry about markings getting moved or washed away.

The DPS900 also addresses job site safety, which is another concern for those drilling in quarries. Getting surveyors off the bench and allowing operators to position over hole locations without assistance significantly increases worker safety. In addition to keeping workers out of the way of drilling machines, the system includes an “avoidance zone” feature that will warn an operator who is approaching unsafe work areas.

Across the construction industry, positioning technology is increasing quality, efficiency, productivity, safety and profitability. The Trimble DPS900 system helps achieve all these and more for companies drilling in quarries.

In Australia, Sitech Solutions (New South Wales) and Sitech Construction Systems (national except NSW) are the authorised dealers for the Trimble DPS900.

Kevin Garcia is business area manager for paving and specialty construction in Trimble’s civil engineering and construction division.


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