Plant & Equipment

Heavy-duty dozer launched with machine control

The 73-tonne D375Ai-8 is powered by a US EPA Tier 4 Final diesel engine, rated at 455kW in forward gears and 558kW in reverse. Its applications include quarrying, heavy construction and mining.

According to Michael Hall, Komatsu Australia’s mining product manager, the iMC version of the dozer can carry out bulk and final trim dozing in fully automatic mode from start to finish.

While this is Komatsu’s first large dozer fitted with integrated machine control, the concept has been successfully used on its smaller and mid-sized dozers across Australia in the past three years.

“The concept has been shown to significantly increase productivity and efficiency – up to twice as productive as dozers fitted with ‘bolt-on’ third-party machine control systems, according to Australian users and operators – while reducing the cost of each metre of material moved,” Hall said.

“For quarrying and construction operations it can be used in bulk earthmoving, as well as final grade work, sand and gravel extraction projects and site restoration works. Komatsu’s iMC is also another step on the path to fully autonomous dozer operation.”

The D375Ai-8 incorporates a standard fully integrated Global Navigation Satellite System.

“Because the machine control system is fully integrated, it eliminates the need for coiled cables between machine and blade,” Hall said. “The operator or service technicians don’t have to climb up on the machine to remove and replace antennas or masts, and there’s no requirement for daily connections and recalibrations.

“An enhanced sensor package combined with an intelligent logic system provides for high accuracy in a fully integrated system without the need for traditional blade-mounted sensors.”

The iMC system automatically controls blade elevation and tilt according to target design data, using common industry standard design data software and systems.


“With these machines, not only can the automatic machine control features be used for final grading, but also for bulk dozing, a capability that’s unique to our intelligent dozers,” Hall said.

“Loading of the blade at the start of the cut is controlled via set parameters. During the pass, if the load on the blade increases, automatic blade control manages the load and minimises shoe slip, ensuring effective dozing at all times.

“Then, when the material level approaches the target design surface, the machine reverts to fine blade control for close final grading.

“Highly experienced dozer operators have reported that, with this technology, they can be more productive than before – placing material faster and with more accuracy.”

Dozing progress can be checked using the integrated as-built mapping display, which collects surface data by continuously measuring elevations. This data is also communicated to the planning software, to enable monitoring of material movement by planning and management personnel.

The intelligent dozer technology is also readily integrated with Komatsu’s SmartConstruction offering, which combines drone-based survey and site management systems and cloud-based information offerings to design, plan, construct and manage quarrying operations.

“When Komatsu released its first intelligent dozer, the 20-tonne D61EXi/PXi-23 construction dozer in 2014, the technology was described as fully scalable to other machines in our dozer range,” said Hall.
“We proved this with the release of three additional iMC dozers, and now we’ve extended the technology to the D375Ai-8.”

The D375Ai-8 is based on the recently released D375A-8, which features a fuel-efficient, low emission engine, increased reverse power and enhanced chassis and track frame durability to deliver lower operating costs per metre of material moved.

The Tier 4-compliant diesel engine reduces fuel consumption through a heavy-duty exhaust gas recirculation system, a hydraulically driven radiator cooling fan and auto-idle stop.

Production efficiency is enhanced through increasing engine power by 20 per cent when in reverse, thus reducing cycle time in downhill dozing applications.

The dozer’s other features include automatic transmission with lock-up torque converter for reduced fuel consumption and greater powertrain efficiency, automatic gearshift transmission, better visibility to the blade and ripper, and maintainability enhancements.

“The D375A-8 was a significant advance in dozer technology in terms of improved performance, productivity, operator comfort and ease of maintenance,” said Hall.

“Our new D375Ai-8 intelligent dozer takes that technology to the next level through its integration of machine control and its benefits to all types of dozing operations.”

Source: Komatsu Australia

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