Load & Haul

Integrated Tech an end solution for project management

According to Aaron Marsh, Komatsu Australia’s national technology solution expert manager of construction, and head of intelligent machine control at its Smart Centre in Fairfield, New South Wales, SmartConstruction allows Komatsu to integrate a host of game- changing technologies for the benefit of its customers.

“With these new technologies, we are now able to provide an end to end solution for our customers across construction, quarrying and mining,” he said.

SmartConstruction covers critical steps in a project’s development, from initial site survey and design through to machine control management, machine interconnectivity and review of project progress during the construction phase, and finally development of detailed as-built information for future construction and infrastructure maintenance.

It covers four key areas:

  1. {{image2-a:r-w:300}}A UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) drone service, covering initial site survey, along with cut/fill and stockpile calculations, plus ongoing progress tracking and site logistics.
  2. 3D data services, including conversion of 2D and 3D data files to formats suitable for machine control applications, and a best industry practice 3D design consultancy, development and management over the life of a project.
  3. Komconnect cloud-based service, bringing together all information relating to a project, from initial survey, design drawings and construction plans through to machine control data files, project progress data generated by machines and survey equipment as the job progresses, and final as-built information once it is completed.
  4. Support services, covering remote monitoring, remote file transfer and operating training, iMC (intelligent machine control) advice, project integration and site set-up, assistance and professional consultancy with 3D design file development, troubleshooting and servicing of machines and control systems.

To deliver SmartConstruction across the region, Marsh said Komatsu Australia has established a Komatsu Smart Centre, with a team of Komatsu-trained technology solution experts and a national remote support team. 

“SmartConstruction builds on our industry- leading expertise in machine management through our INSITE fleet management centre, KOMTRAX remote monitoring service, along with our highly innovative iMC offerings, which are currently available in dozers and excavators,” Marsh said.

“We are building on these technologies with the introduction of our drone-based survey and site management technology and now our cloud-based Komconnect information management offering.

“Komatsu’s ability to offer this fully integrated, end to end range of cutting edge products, services and solutions across every aspect of a project now gives our customers a real edge in today’s increasingly competitive and challenging business environment.”

A key element in ensuring the success of SmartConstruction is delivering the training and support necessary for customers to successfully implement it within their operations and projects.

That’s where the team of Komatsu technology solution experts (TSEs) come in; they will provide customers with training, support, assistance and advice across all aspects of SmartConstruction technologies.

“Our TSEs will work across all levels with our customers: owners and management, surveyors, engineers, site project supervisors and managers, operators and maintenance crews,” said Marsh.

“We are also providing access to more specialist training, specific site machine solutions and advisory services, for example working with a company called AviAssist to provide UAV training.

“In addition, we have a national service and support agreement with the Australian Topcon distributor Position Partners to harness their years of experience in surveying and precision machine control.

“These alliances allow us to offer our customers any machine control or site survey solution for their operations.

“SmartConstruction truly is the next big step in construction industry management technology, bringing together some of the key technological developments over the past couple of decades in an integrated end to end solution. It represents a huge advancement in how contractors, project owners, quarry operators and miners can design, plan, construct and manage their projects.”



SmartConstruction’s drone service offers further integration, not just with Komatsu (and other) machines, but across entire sites and projects.

The Skycatch high precision drones can deliver services at a fraction of the time and cost of conventional ground-based surveys, including:

  • Site survey cut/fill and stockpile volume calculations, allowing users to:
  • Measure quantities to confirm cut and fill estimates.
  • Identify potential delays and verify truckload estimates.
  • Carry out continuous as-built surveys.
  • Progress tracking and site logistics, allowing:
  • Billing verification and work-in-place tracking.
  • Site logistics overlay and site constraint analysis.
  • Quicker, more accurate site planning.
  • Online collaboration and communication, including:
  • Frequent map updates for safety and co-ordination with outside agencies.
  • File exports for data manipulation, reporting and site meetings.

“Industries that can benefit immediately from this service include civil construction, quarrying and mining, and we have already added value to a number of clients across all three said sectors,” Marsh said.

“It’s also designed to allow a high degree of integration to our Komconnect application, and real time as-built file management and reporting through our iMC technology.”



SmartConstruction’s 3D data service covers a range of services for customers working with 2D and 3D design files on their projects. These include:

  • Professional consultancy for 3D design and site related survey, including training and recommendations, both directly or indirectly to a customer’s primary client.
  • 3D data management, including recommended solutions and services on a project-by-project basis.
  • Conversions of 3D project data files to OEM-specific machine control files.
  • Data localisation conversions as part of site preparation for a project.
  • Developing 3D design files from 2D engineering plans.
  • Ongoing design changes as required throughout the life cycle of a project.

“This service has broad applications across civil construction, quarrying and mining, for all customers working with 2D or 3D design-based projects,” Marsh said.

“In addition, our Smart Centre professional consultancy service has been developed to address a range of issues within this industry sector, for both existing and new users using 3D data for machine control applications.

“Our Smart Centre team can help manage best practice site set-up, 3D data preparation for successful intelligent machine control operation, train new users and operators and assist in negotiations with third-party design consultants, primary contractors and others on behalf of customers.”

In addition, Smart Centre service technicians can provide 3D design data creation for new users or those users who may not wish to create the data themselves.

“Site set-up can be completed on a new site by our Smart Centre team, localising projects and co-ordinating the 3D design to the actual site location.”



Komatsu’s new cloud-based Komconnect offering is designed to improve safety, productivity and operation efficiency on construction sites.

The “brains” of SmartConstruction, it brings together all the information related to a project, connecting people and machines, and providing them up-to-date information from a variety of sources on or off site.

Komconnect’s features include:

  • Progress volume management.
  • Logging machine as-built data.
  • Colour change of updated areas as
  • work progresses.
  • Displaying machine position.
  • Data management.
  • File export.
  • Remote support of machines and control systems.

Komconnect provides a number of key phases in the SmartConstruction process, starting with a high precision site survey using drone support, then combining the captured and stored data with design drawings provided by the customer to create a 3D computer model of the site.

This provides an accurate picture of the area, shape and volume of earth to be moved.

A third stage involves adding in data on site-specific factors such as ground conditions and buried objects.

Construction plans are developed from this data, and then uploaded to the Komconnect cloud.

During the construction phase, data from the design model is transmitted from Komconnect to Komatsu’s iMC equipment on-site.

With the iMC system’s ability to automatically control the position of the blade or bucket, even inexperienced operators are better able to carry out high precision work – while experienced operators will be even more productive.

Progress on the project is continuously logged and monitored by the iMC machines working on-site, with the resulting data fed back into Komconnect.

In the final stage in the process, this stored data can be used to provide reliable, accurate as-built information to the client and can act a resource for future infrastructure maintenance.

“Our implementation of Komconnect is allowing Komatsu to continue on our technology journey – with our sole focus being to harness new and emerging technology to the benefit of our customers,” Marsh said.

“This is the next evolutionary step after the introduction of automation and intelligent machines to the industry.”


To ensure the successful implementation of Komatsu’s SmartConstruction end to end solution, the company has developed a network to support all facets of the product and service offerings.

{{image6-a:r-w:300}}This is based around Komatsu’s new Smart Centre at its Fairfield head office, offering localised service and support through Komatsu-trained TSEs based in regional areas throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The goal of the support team through the Smart Centre and regionally through the TSEs is to:

Provide customers with professional, expert advice on iMC products and SmartConstruction service offerings.

Educate customers on the benefits and advantages of Komatsu’s new technology offerings in enhancing their businesses.

Provide best practice and principal industry support to customers in setting up and achieving optimum results through their iMC machines, as well as providing training, 3D design and support.

Remote access to machines working in the field, for continuous monitoring, troubleshooting and service solutions.

“Through SmartConstruction, we can offer solutions to all of our customers, across a range of industry sectors,” Marsh said. “And the in-built flexibility and capabilities of these technology offerings mean we can tailor products and services to their needs, and personalise to each individual business.”


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