Komatsu has released a significant update to its intelligent Machine Control (iMC) technology, known as iMC 2.0, that delivers major productivity, efficiency and cost saving advantages to its latest model “intelligent” dozers and excavators.
The new technology is available on Komatsu’s D71EXi/PXi-24 and D61EXi/PXi-24 dozers and PC210LCi-11, PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 excavators.
iMC 2.0 advances the automation capabilities of these machines, with factory integrated enhancements including two multi-constellation GNSS antennas. These assist iMC dozer operations on slopes, while new generation excavator hydraulic cylinders incorporate Komatsu’s stroke sensing technology with a factory inertial monitoring unit (IMU) sensor attached to the tilting attachment, automating the tilting function.
In addition, iMC 2.0 features all new “intelligent” high resolution touchscreen monitors, purpose designed for each machine type, that provide accurate displays of machine operating conditions, and the jobsite design.
Operators can customise split-screen views for optimum views of their tasks, while an easy-to-use multi-touch navigation system provides real time information on bulk earthmoving, grading, digging and finishing. These combine to ensure greater accuracy and increased response speeds, according to Aaron Marsh, Komatsu Australia’s national product and solution manager for the SmartConstruction and Integrated Machine Control Division.
“Our new iMC 2.0 products, services and digital solutions incorporate a host of advanced machine technologies – some exclusive to Komatsu – allowing users to integrate sophisticated productivity-enhancing automation and cutting edge jobsite design into their operations,” he said.
“By applying Komatsu dantotsu (unique and unrivalled) principles, this technology delivers distinct benefits with automated and semi-automated dozer and excavator operations.”
IMC 2.0 DOZER FEATURES
Available initially on Komatsu’s D71EXi/PXi-24 and D61EXi/PXi-24 dozers, iMC 2.0 automatically controls the blade so that it closely follows the target surface, controlling cut depth while avoiding track shoe-slip.
The exclusive features of iMC 2.0 on dozers include Lift Layer Control, and Tilt Steering Control. With Lift Layer Control, the dozer automatically spreads fill material from existing areas of the worksite with the press of a button, then measures the terrain it is tracking over – and using that data to plan the next pass.
“This feature allows the design surface to be created from as-built data, and can cover lift work,” Marsh said. “Compared with conventional dozing practices, production rates are doubled, plus – because it’s 100 per cent automatic while automatics are engaged – each layer is consistent and accurate.”
The one-touch Tilt Steering Control feature frees the operator from having to steer the dozer to maintain a straight heading by continuously and automatically tilting the blade as required to maintain straight-line travel.
“This results in greatly reduced operator fatigue because operator input is reduced by up to 80 per cent, compared with a conventional dozer,” Marsh said. “And straight-line travel guarantees a cleaner cut, along with increased productivity.”
Other features of iMC 2.0 on Komatsu’s latest dozers include:
Quick surface creation, letting the operator create a temporary design service at the press of a button. The machine begins spreading or stripping using automatic modes while awaiting finish-grade designs. The operator simply sets the elevation, fall and cross-fall, and gets to work.
Proactive dozing control, allowing the dozer to perform dozing and carrying tasks by using the as-built data the machine has collected in previous passes – creating a target blade trajectory by offsetting its collected as-built data. This allows the machine to minimise undulations and under-cutting, with work carried out as smoothly and efficiently as if it were being done by a highly experienced operator.
Manual co-ordination control, enabling the operator to manually adjust blade tilt or lift in cases where the actual surface and the design surface don’t match; automatic operations resume once the steering lever is set back to neutral. The system is designed to be flexible enough that the operator can adjust the work/blade positions as required by jobsite conditions.
Faster blade response on grade breaks, letting the operator briefly increase blade reactivity in transitions between different grade angles, to avoid over- or under-digging, and maintain accuracy.
“In addition to these new features, our iMC 2.0 dozers include two integrated GNSS antennas, which are able to receive location signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDoun and QZSS satellites,” Marsh said. “They also include a new GNSS receiver control box, incorporating an LTE modem for remote access, and a digital transceiver for GNSS correction information.
“These combine to ensure higher positioning accuracy due to increased satellite availability, and the ability to work continuously and accurately regardless of how remote the site is, or where there’s vegetation or in steep terrain. Through our automatic dozing capabilities, Komatsu machines equipped with iMC 2.0 technology make every pass count, from bulk cutting out to final trim work.
“This assists customers to achieve superior production rates and lower construction costs compared with traditional aftermarket machine control systems,” he said.
IMC 2.0 EXCAVATOR FEATURES
Komatsu’s new PC210LCi-11, PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 include iMC 2.0 to ensure greater productivity gains for end-users.
“The accuracy and automatic grading capabilities of our existing iMC machines has been enhanced with features that increase ease of operation and finish quality, while significantly reducing cycle times,” Marsh said.
“Automatic features, such as Auto Grade Assist and Auto Tilt Control let the operator relax and focus on productivity, without worrying about overdigging. These two features keep the bucket edge precisely on-grade, while increasing bucket fill factors.”
iMC 2.0’s Auto Tilt automatically tilts the bucket to design, then returns it to horizontal to unload, so that achieving final grade is quicker and easier.
“This increases ease of operation on slope and ditch work, automatically limiting under-digging and increasing bucket fill – making delivering final grade quicker and easier,” Marsh said. “It’s ideal to use with tilting buckets, particularly on slopes, ditches and complex designs.”
The Auto Grade Assist function includes a bucket angle hold feature, which lets the operator select the desired bucket angle, then the system automatically holds this angle through the grading pass.
“This makes final grading and trimming work easier, while allowing the operator to manually intervene at any time just by operating the bucket lever function,” Marsh said.
He added this feature is ideal for final grading, trimming multi-plane surfaces and detailed sealing applications. “Komatsu iMC 2.0 builds on our unique sensor technology, incorporating stroke-sensing hydraulic cylinders and IMU sensors, meaning operators no longer need to worry about over-digging,” he said.
“When the bucket hits the target surface, the control function automatically limits and maintains grade with real time bucket edge positioning, ensuring accurate surfaces that exactly match the design, first time, every time.
“This latest excavator dantotsu technology from Komatsu lets us deliver increased productivity, efficiency and finished quality across a wide range of earthmoving, construction and production applications,” Marsh said. •
For more information about the iMC 2.0, visit komatsu.com.au
This article appears in the February issue of Quarry Magazine.