Technological advances from Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) changed the reality at what speeds dozers could operate, effectively and efficiently, with its introduction of 3D-MC2 technology in 2008.
Now, 3D-MC2 technology is available for motorgraders. The technology allows a grader to operate at speeds above those achieved on other 3D machines, with tighter tolerance, according to the manufacturer.
Ray O’Connor, TPS president and CEO, said, “Topcon’s introduction of 3D-MC2 shattered the final 3D automation production barrier in dozers — speed. Now, that technology, which allows dozers to deliver smoothness and grading accuracy and speed comparable to graders, allows unmatched productivity in graders.”
He said 3D-MC2 for graders opens up “unexplored territory. The system not only dramatically speeds up grading operations, it allows a grader to operate at speeds far exceeding those of other systems currently on the market.
“Additionally, the technology provides pitch compensation so the operator is free to roll the blade to adjust the cutting edge based on material conditions.”
O’Connor said, “ConExpo’s theme — ’Innovation from the Ground Up’ — perfectly fits this new technological advance of 3D-MC2 for graders for the construction industry. The current best average results for finishing work is 40,000 to 160,000 square feet per workday. With 3D-MC2 on a grader with consistent material conditions, it is possible to finish up to 750,000 square feet a day … or more. In fact, in a recent test, a grader equipped with 3D-MC2 finished more than 1,000,000 square feet in a day.
“That’s an incredible increase in productivity, which translates to a short-term return-on-investment, plus automatically creates more profit for the company.
“With a single dozer and a grader, both equipped with 3D-MC2,” he said, “a contractor can accomplish more with greater accuracy than ever before. With this technology, you have a dozer doing grader-quality finish work and a grader doing finish work faster than has been previously possible.”
Adding 3D-MC2 to a motorgrader, O’Connor said, allows the control system to immediately sense any changes in the cutting edge position and make corrections up to 100 times per second, providing “superior stability and smoothness when finish grading.”
The 3D-MC2 technology works in synergy with Topcon’s existing slope sensor to “maintain the industry’s best slope accuracy from flat grades to steep slope applications. With the increase in correction speed, operators can breeze through transitions without having to slow down to allow the system to keep up,” he said.
In addition, 3D-MC2 has built-in tilt compensation. “Whether you need to roll the blade forward to shave a high spot or back to carry a windrow,” O’Connor said, “the system automatically adjusts for the change in blade position to maintain the correct grade.
“Best of all,” O’Connor said, “Topcon’s 3D-MC2 system is compatible with all of our existing sensor technology. No matter if you want to run single or twin antenna GPS, Millimeter GPS or a robotic LPS solution … all work with the 3D-MC2 hardware. You can even have the technology work in a 2D application with sonic and lasers when GPS is not available.”
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