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Volvo Active Control Cuts Grading Time By Up To 45 Percent

Thu March 12, 2020 - National Edition

With automated boom and bucket movements, Volvo Active Control creates a semi-autonomous excavator that hits target grades to within 1 in., all at the touch of a button.
With automated boom and bucket movements, Volvo Active Control creates a semi-autonomous excavator that hits target grades to within 1 in., all at the touch of a button.

Volvo Construction Equipment is proud to launch Volvo Active Control, an automated grading machine control system, now available on the EC220E, EC250E and EC300E crawler excavators in North America. The system allows operators to get the right depth and angle easily, reducing grading times by up to 45 percent.

"Volvo Active Control is a simple system that will benefit novice and experienced operators alike by making it faster for them to create the perfect grade," said Matthew McLean, product manager, excavators, at Volvo CE.

Less Time, More Safety

Volvo Active Control is powered by the Dig Assist application, which is operated via a 10-inch, in-cab Volvo Co-Pilot tablet. The system guides the operator through the functions to automate the digging process. Once the parameters of the job are entered and it's launched via a button, the excavator automatically adjusts the boom and bucket movements to make precise cuts, following the desired shape and delivering the right angle of grade.

The speed and precision of Volvo Active Control cuts grading time by almost half compared to conventional grading. And, there is no need for rework because the system gets it right the first time, with accuracy within 1 in. of target grade. Safety is also improved because a second person is not needed to take depth or grade checks.

The system was designed by Volvo and uses drive-by-wire technology to control the excavator's electro-hydraulic system. With Volvo Active Control in charge to automatically adjust boom and bucket movements, the operator can achieve the perfect job with only the left hand needed to control arm speed. At this time, the system is not available for aftermarket installation.

Making Everything Easier

Volvo Active Control does more than deliver the perfect grade. It also ensures hazards are avoided. A depth limit feature stops the bucket from digging below a pre-set limit, thereby avoiding collision with underground utilities. A height limit feature helps prevent the bucket, boom or stick from colliding with power cables, ceilings and more. And, a swing fence feature prevents the machine from hitting obstacles to its sides.

Loading trucks is also easier, thanks to a swing position control that allows the operator to pre-program the location of the pile and the truck. Even servicing is improved, as there are no hydraulic pilot lines to worry about — helping boost machine uptime even further.

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