“ELECTRONICS SHOULD MAKE THE JOB EASIER, WHICH IS WHY FULL INTEGRATION IS SO IMPORTANT.” Jonathan Spendlove, product marketing manager, excavators, Hitachi
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T R A I L LIEBHERR R 930 herr’s clear overall logic. Komatsu is also combining electronics improvements with machine control opportunities; the company recently introduced its fifth Intelligent Machine Control excavator, Moncini noted. The second-generation machine control allows contractors to expand versatility in their applications. According to Link-Belt’s Mulaney, integrating grade control with hydraulics means that the better the hydraulic system, the better the system works. “The Machine Control (MC) system on our Link-Belt 210 X4 uses a hydraulic valve block that controls the boom and bucket to keep the machine on grade to create smooth, flat or sloped surfaces with more precision and ease. The operator is in full control and can override the semi-automatic function at any time.” Cat next-generation machines feature high-performance sensor technology that aids in the use of grade control as well, Stellbrink said. “Front linkage sensors are standard on our new Next Generation excavator models 336, 330, 323 and 320. These standard sensors enable up to 45 percent operator efficiency through the use of standard technologies such as Cat Grade, Cat Grade with Assist, Payload and Lift Assist.” Factory-integrated 2D or 3D grade guidance options are available on John Deere machines as well, along with a Grade Reference Ready option, Spendlove noted; it “enables dealers and customers to choose the grade reference offering that is best for their application and their pocketbook. In some applications – for example underground trenching applications – grade guidance may be sufficient and is available at a far better price point than a full grade control system. The return on investment may be much higher in both the short and long term on such an acquisition.” HEG
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