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Spring 2013 The Machine Control Newsletter from KOREC

Down to Earth this issue: nn Plantworx nn New Trimble Releases nn Customer Story The Connected Machine nn KOREC News

3 new Trimble releases In the last couple of months we’ve seen some exciting releases from Trimble. Here are the highlights! Trimble Site Tablet Launched at the end of 2012, Trimble’s new Site Tablet is a lightweight, rugged and fully connected field computer for construction applications and is an ideal platform for the latest version of Trimble’s on-board Trimble SCS900 Site Controller Software (see overleaf). The Trimble Site Tablet is an integral component of the Trimble Connected Site solution, with built-in cellular modem and communications features. Unlike consumer products or tablets that have an exterior shell to make them appear rugged, the Trimble Site Tablet is built rugged from the inside out, with IP65 protection from dust and water, and with military-grade MIL-STD-810G certification for temperature, altitude, humidity extremes, vibration and shock. The full-colour, seven-inch screen resides under a Gorilla Glass panel that is scratch resistant and is as tough as the rest of the tablet and sunlight readable. We asked Brian Core, KOREC’s Machine Control Consultant for Scotland for his thoughts. “… Lighter…thinner…quicker and an unbelievable screen you can see from any angle. I’m hard to impress, but I’m impressed!” Take a look inside to see how the new Trimble Site Tablet compares to its predecessor, the Trimble Tablet.

continued inside...

Strong KOREC presence at Plantworx 2013 New biennial exhibition for the construction equipment industry PLANTWORX 2013 will take place at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry May 14-16th 2013. With more than 100,000sqm of working machines, live demonstrations and site applications, it will be the largest working construction event in the UK and that’s why KOREC has both a large avenue stand and a dedicated site demonstration area for live machines. KOREC and Trimble experts will be on hand to talk about the very latest earthmoving and site measurement technology including the new Trimble Site Tablet, SCS900 software and ‘Remote Assistant’ a web-based application hosted by Connected Community, all featured in this newsletter. This newsletter also features KOREC’s Machine Control Consultants talking about their hot topics for 2013 and Plantworx will be the perfect opportunity to find out more on these areas. …and of course there will be a few KOREC surprises! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with all our show developments.

Stop Press: AP Webb purchase three GCS900 3D UTS systems for Babcock Rail contract

...Trimble Releases Trimble Site Tablet...continued

Brian Core KOREC customers frequently ask me how they can become more efficient. Of course the first step has to be invest in machine control, the second step is now, without doubt, invest in Trimble’s Connected Community (TCC).

GCS900 Grade Control System v12.4 including Remote Assistant Trimble has just released its GCS900 Grade Control System version 12.4 featuring Trimble Remote Assistant, a powerful new support tool for machine operators.

Trimble Tablet

Trimble Site Tablet

Touch screen

Resistive touch screen with stylus only

Multi-touch screen with fingers, stylus or capacitive gloves

Screen Readability

Sunlight readable

Improved sunlight readability, optimised with SCS900 v3.0


3 lbs (1.4 Kg)

2.6 lbs (1.2 Kg)


Data card modules

Internal 3.75G SIM and Auto Carrier recognition


2 MP camera with geotagging

5 MP camera with geotagging

Battery Life

Up to 8 hours with extended batteries

Up to 8 hours with standard batteries

2.4GHz Radio Modem

Externally Mounted


This release also introduces new lane guidance functionality and two soft-key updates. A web-based application hosted by Connected Community and enabled by the Trimble SNM940 Connected Site Gateway, Remote Assistant enables immediate remote technical support to a machine operator, without the time and cost of waiting for a technician to drive to the construction site. The end result? Faster Technical Support - receive immediate assistance from a company support team member via the Trimble CB450 or CB460 Control Boxes, all without ever leaving the cab or taking the machine out of production. Improved Training for Operators - An experienced support person can advise an operator from any location, observing their use of the system and developing their understanding of key features. In both scenarios the training or support is provided from the safety of an office or vehicle, minimising the number of people on site and around machines.

Trimble SCS900 Site Controller v.3 A clean, simple, updated user interface and simplified workflow are on offer with the latest version of SCS900, Trimble’s software for measurement, setting out, quality control and progress monitoring.

Now: Main menu accessible through buttons

Of course, as the market matures the manufacturers of these systems haven’t sat back and just watched the market grow; they’ve been busy developing technology to bring new efficiencies to site. Trimble’s Connected Site Solution is typical of this. The Trimble promise is of a site where two way real-time communication will enable site managers to monitor the utilisation of equipment, track results instantly, enable smarter decisions and manage multiple job sites from a single location. In short, remove elements of the job that aren’t making money.

See this issue’s case study on TCC users, WM Donald

Whilst the technology is still in its infancy, other areas of Europe, in particular Denmark, have an encouraging take up of one aspect of this technology which enables job sites to be monitored Trimble’s from a single location. The SNM940 Connected Site technology that facilitates this Gateway. is Trimble’s SNM940 Connected Site Gateway. The technology is straightforward and the benefits tangible and I believe that 2013 is the year that we see more contractors making the investment.

Andy McCann

Now it never takes more than three screen taps to access any feature in SCS900!

nn Map-based user interface nn No stylus required – drag and drop

Now: Numerical and visual cues guide you to the point

nn Improved setting out capabilities nn More realistic construction icons, also used in GCS900 nn Customizable display bars nn Colours optimized for reading in sunlight nn Each function no more than 3 button presses away

In 2012 we have seen 3D machine control successfully used on drainage and housebuilding jobs and even on an excavator with a rockwheel to profile a rock face to 3D design on a road project.

Before: Guidance to points very small, no orientation especially when close to the object

KOREC Opinion 2013 In his Autumn Statement Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that £5.5bn more cash will be made available for infrastructure projects, with £1.5bn for roads and specifically £400m for maintenance and renewal. We asked KOREC’s Machine Control Sales Team to share their thoughts on the latest technology that can help contractors get a head start in 2013 as projects come on-line. Their response was unanimous – invest in the right technology. Here are their suggestions.

Pete Brooks Whilst the benefits of machine control are now widely accepted, I believe that 2013 will be the year that we see contractors taking a closer look at compaction systems. With so many new road and maintenance schemes underway, we can expect to see clients, such as Local Authorities, requesting pass counts to be recorded by GPS to ensure quality and provide QA for both themselves and the operator.

operator’s judgement on what ‘give it 6 passes’ entails will no longer be subjective but an efficient and quantifiable process. The only hurdle that I can see to the take up of the Trimble CCS900 system is a reluctance by plant hirers to put anything on the machine that ups the price of the hire. However all our tests show that this is a system where the advantages far outweigh the costs. The end result also benefits the general public, an improved life cycle for the road and less break up due to over/ under compaction.

The reason it is my top recommendation for 2013 is simply that HCE can help you decrease costly mistakes and increase productivity in the office and on the construction job site. HCE offer modules to meet all needs and is ideal for everyone - from a small site contractor to those who manage large projects. I believe the latest version is an exciting step forward simply because it shows that Trimble has listened to, and acted upon, customer feedback from its world-wide distributors including some very specific requests from the UK. One of the nicest features is the ability to very easily elevate 2D data to 3D using spot elevation text or the elevations of the contours.

See our Technical Support section for full details

A typical system comprises: nn CB460 Control Box nn SNM940 Connected Site Link nn MS972 GPS Receiver with WAAS nn Dual IS310 Temperature Sensors This set up will enable operators to reap the key benefits which include operator and client taking the guess work out of compaction.

The Trimble CCS900 system is ideal for this and the positive response to this technology in other countries, backed up by the successful trials we’ve seen in the UK (including on asphalt), further reinforce this. The Trimble CCS900 system is key in that it offers benefits to client and contractor alike. The client knows exactly what he’s paying for whilst the contractor can prove the work has been done. The contractor also has the added bonus of knowing that material has been correctly compacted within the correct temperature range whilst a colour coded screen display shows the operator exactly where he’s been and how many passes have been completed. Fuel can be saved by avoiding over compaction and from a health and safety point of view, workers can be kept away from the machine. The old system that relied on the

The latest version of Trimble Business Center – Heavy Construction Edition, 2.7 - was released at the end of November 2012 and is ideal for the preparation and management of data for Heavy Civil Construction projects. Business Center - HCE is the only office software you need to manage, analyse and process road, rail and general site construction data. You can combine and manage data easily from multiple sources to generate accurate, integrated results and then use these results for yourself or share them with whoever else needs to see them.

It is slicker and faster to use with many ease of use and performance improvement related features. There are also improvements to the way BC-HCE works with lines, surfaces and corridors as well as additional functions in the Take Off, Mass Haul and Corridor Mass Haul modules. Take a look at our Technical Support section in this newsletter for a full run down on what’s new. I would suggest that new users begin with the free Core Product which makes managing data for Trimble 3D machine control and site positioning systems easier and more seamless than ever before, whilst also allowing you to do simple volume calculations. …and of course it’s worth visiting Trimble’s youtube area:

Compaction - typical in cab operator display shown here on the CB460 screen

The Machine Control Newsletter from KOREC

Customer story Pioneering Instinct In the UK the first to take up a Trimble Connected Community License (TCC) is WM Donald, a Scottish civil engineering and construction services company based in Aberdeen. The company recently celebrated 35 successful years in the business and is a perfect example of how a machine control strategy can be developed. Although WM Donald was an early adopter of Robotic Total Station technology and a long term user of Trimble systems, up until 12 months ago the company had never used machine control on any of its projects. Keen to change this situation was Mike Meldrum who runs the site engineering side of operations covering everything from the day to day management of machines to preparing the drawings and models. Although there were mixed reactions from both the company’s operators and management, some sceptical, some keen, Mike contacted KOREC to arrange a demonstration of the Trimble GCS900 3D GPS machine control system. “We’ve been loyal to Trimble since our days of using Geodimeter total stations and were aware of many companies in Scotland successfully using machine control. This is current, tried and tested technology and it definitely felt like the time was right for us to investigate further.” An initial system was purchased for muck shifting and for trialling on house foundations and was fitted onto one of WM Donald’s EC240 Volvo excavators. Mike reports that following some brief training, including Trimble’s on-line training, even the biggest sceptics amongst the operators were won over as the time and cost savings became apparent. Two months later, another two systems were purchased to coincide with the upgrade of an EC220 and EC240 Volvo excavator as part of WM Donald’s rolling upgrade programme. The company also opted to use Trimble’s VRS Now Service for its real-time GPS corrections rather than a base station – a key decision in preparation for its move towards becoming the UK’s first company to take up a Trimble Connected Community License.

Volvo EC240 with GCS900 dual GPS system

three Trimble TCC licenses @£20 each per month, one for each machine.

“If you’re running VRS, a TCC license is a no brainer and for us it was always something we were going to do after we were bedded in with the three machines with the GCS900 If you’re using systems,” explains Mike. “Of course I understand that VRS isn’t VRS, TCC is a the perfect solution for everyone, no brainer… but here in Aberdeen our mobile phone coverage is excellent, Mike Meldrum, especially now that we are using WM Donald the roaming T-mobile SIM cards which cover several networks

Using Trimble VRS Now Trimble’s VRS Now Service was an obvious choice for WM Donald who tend to move their machines regularly around a number of sites within a 30 mile radius of their office in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. Often the machines are moved in to muck-shift and do the sewers before a site’s infrastructure has been established which means there is no site cabin and no secure area to set up a base station. “If someone says right, we’re moving the machine to the next site, you’ve got an hour to get it ready, I can go to the site, do the site calibration, log into TCC, send it to the machine and when the machine arrives, it’s ready to start. That’s a fantastic way for a system to work,” explains Mike. With VRS Now, there is no base station hardware involved to lose or damage, no engineer required to set up and take down the base, daily, and no time wasted recharging its batteries – all major benefits for a company that moves its machines from site to site.

The Connected Machine All Trimble GCS900 systems now come with an SNM940 Connected Site Gateway included as part of the installation process. For WM Donald having the SNM940 and having a subscription to VRS Now meant that Mike Meldrum was just one step away from achieving the two-way data sync which would enable him to send and receive information directly to and from the machines and his site engineer’s loggers. Following a demonstration from Trimble’s Dwayne Rosie, who also showed him systems working ‘live’ in Africa and America from his lap top, Mike took the final step and purchased

WM Donald’s Mike Meldrum managing data

seamlessly, and although the machines have radios in their base kits in case there is no phone signal, we’ve never had to use them. If you’ve got the connection, you may as well use it! Our set up is now completely fluid and using the SNM940 and TCC licenses has become part of our day to day process. With four machines on different sites, the amount of time I save is considerable, roughly 1.5 hours for each change to the design. For example, if I receive a new sewer or levels layout, which can often change throughout the project, then I can make the changes from wherever I am, even on holiday, as long as there is an internet connection. The whole process can take less than 10 minutes. I can even be on another site and use the internet sharing option on my Trimble TSC3 logger, log in, make the changes and send a new drawing without being anywhere near the office. There’s no need to get a surveyor into the office, I’m saving on fuel and am far more in contact with what’s happening with the machines” The system offers two-way data and Mike has also been taking data off the machine to assist with general site planning and decision making. “Information such as gully and plot tail positions in drainage tracks, soft spots, branches and rock head levels can all be stored with exact 3D coordinates allowing the engineering team to pinpoint them again months down the line without the need for drawings or measuring. The data from the cabs also enables us to update as built drawings on a daily basis rather than monthly as previously. Basic surveys can be sent back using our own feature coding instantly, should the need arise.”

Showing locations of each of WM Donald’s excavators

Down to Earth | Spring 2013

Mike concludes, “Everything with machine control is quicker because we’re never waiting for an engineer and we don’t have to stop when it gets dark and of course the biggest

benefit of all is the safety element; we don’t need someone out there boxing out muck shifts or doing profiles. Ultimately I see WM Donald investing in more machines and more TCC licenses. I’ve been very impressed with the whole set up and it’s been money well spent.” In January 2013, WM Donald further invested in machine control with the purchase of a Trimble PCS900 Paving Control System from KOREC.

How the system works The connected machine system works by broadcasting corrections from a base station connected to the internet; these corrections are then received at the excavator via the SNM940 and 3G cellular connection. IBSS on a single base solution will give an accurate RTK solution of up to 10-15km. WM Donald had already opted to use VRS with their Trimble machine control system because of the good phone signal in the area. They therefore also used VRS for their SNM940 connectivity. Whilst the SNM940 is a powerful asset and fleet management tool when used with Trimble’s VisionLink fleet, asset and site productivity management solution, the SNM940 is also designed to bring the office and the machine together with remote machine support and integrated data flows and it is this aspect that has captured the imagination elsewhere in Europe and is being used by WM Donald. The key benefit is that design data can be sent to and from multiple machines on multiple sites - all you need is an SNM940, SIM card (for each machine) or VRS Now and a TCC license for each machine.

Volvo EC220 excavator from inside and out


Technical Support

MC on the TV!

Hire Fleet Boost

Release notes for BC-HCE 2.70

“It’s a project which sounds like something out of science fiction: creating an entirely new landscape from barren ground; hills, valleys, and lakes constructed using giant machines, to a precision of just a few millimetres.”

KOREC continues to invest in its hire fleet. Latest additions include:

nn Improvements to user interface to bring it in line with Terramodel UI, including:

As announcements go, this was the perfect introduction to whet the public’s appetite for ITV’s recent news item featuring machine control. The footage was filmed at The Great Bells Farm Habitat Creation project on the Isle of Sheppey and explaining on the clip how the Trimble system works is Fred Lusted, Engineering Manager for Essex based specialist earthmoving and civil engineering contractors, The Pryor Group. The RSPB is under contract from the Environment Agency to develop and manage the site which will provide 145 hectares of freshwater habitat by careful water management and shallow excavation of ponds, scrapes and ditches across Great Bells Farm. The site has been bought by the EA to compensate for anticipated habitat losses in North Kent and comprises an area of former arable land, intertidal saltmarsh and mudflats. The aim of the project is to enhance and to develop a grazing marsh habitat by constructing an infrastructure which will provide a sustainable hydrology regime.

Heavy and Highway cab kits CB460 (premium display control box) MS992 (integrated smart GPS antenna) SNR420/SNM940 (The new SNM940 Connected Site Gateway allows two way data and integration with VisionLink). Site Positioning Systems SPS930 (Universal Total Station) SPS620 (Total Station), TSC3 (Logger allowing simple connection to VRS) with SCS900 software SPS985 (GNSS Smart Antenna, a lighter more flexible rover allowing the user to work faster), SPS855 (GNSS Modular Antenna)

Congratulations! Congratulations to Mark Humphrey of Land and Satellite Surveys for his winning entry in our KOREC photography competition. Mark won himself a week’s free KOREC equipment hire up to the value of £250 with this image in the On-site Category.

o Command pane persistence

o Layer persistence

nn Graphics performance enhancement for Point Cloud data nn SketchUp import and export support nn New Microstation DGN support nn Ability to create Circle linestrings nn Improved Draping of objects on surface nn Display corridor template instructions by material layer nn Draft alignment labels to show chainage values nn MAJOR changes to Site Take-off, to improve speed / efficiency of applying site improvements

People can upgrade by downloading the full 2.7 install from the following location: Business_Center-HCE_download.aspx Although this is a free install, existing users with USB licenses may need to purchase a Software Warranty upgrade in order to continue to use their existing licensed modules

Operator Training 2013 course dates for our Trimble GCS900 (3D Dozer & Excavator) Certified Operators Course have just been published and are now bookable. Please visit www. You’ll also find details here for a number of our other courses including Trimble Business Center – Heavy Construction Edition, GNSS Operations for Site Engineers and Introduction to Setting-out.

The clip can be accessed from our facebook page at www. by clicking on the ITV news story.

KOREC supports CRASH KOREC is pleased to announce that it has become a patron partner of CRASH, the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people.

It’s a great clip showing the whole earthworks process from survey to design, site works to handover. Cut into the piece is some older footage showing the same work with traditional methods – a great reminder of the health and safety benefits of machine control. This clip can also be found on our facebook page.

nn Compatible with Windows 8

The process has been straightforward from start to finish. The benefits of machine control are well documented; we’re more efficient, more cost-effective for clients and achieve our Health and Safety targets. KOREC has provided all the support we need and Trimble doesn’t over complicate its technology – it does exactly what it says on the tin!”

The Pryor Group isn’t the only company using machine control to find itself on prime time TV. Galway based construction company Maveric Contractors has also been filmed using its Trimble GCS900 system on a housing development in Craughwell, east of Galway.

o Context menu enhancements

nn Ability to export sub-alignments to GCS machines – allows operator to select any node from a cross-section to navigate to

KOREC caught up with Fred Lusted to find out how the systems performed.

On the 145 hectare site

o Recent commands list

nn Support for SCS900 v3 and for new R10 features (XFill, RTK/PPK Tilt etc)

At the busiest time, Pryor had 3 CAT dozers and a Komatsu excavator on site, each equipped with a Trimble GCS900 3D machine control system.

“The Pryor Group is a long standing KOREC customer and we’ve been involved with machine control right from its earliest days,” explains Fred. “The systems have been useful for all our earthworks jobs, but really came into their own on this particular site. At 145 hectares, it’s a vast area and the ditches, ponds, hydrological bunds and natural rolling features would have been highly complex for an engineer to set out using traditional methods. The RSPB provided us with a drawing (see picture) and from this we created a 3D design in Terramodel and the machine files were created from this in Trimble Business Center.

CRASH focuses on improving buildings that offer help and shelter to homeless people across the UK by providing professional expertise, supplying free materials and awarding cash grants. The charity encourages its industry leading patron companies to get directly involved matching their expertise to the needs of a particular homelessness project. This unique, practical approach means that vital renovations and developments of emergency night shelters, day centres and hostels can be carried out to a high standard. As a result safe, sustainable and welcoming places are created where vulnerable people can seek help. We’ll be using our newsletters and social media channels to let you know of any charitable events you can be part of and do hope that you will join us in raising money for this very worthwhile charity. View the CRASH video on our facebook page

Contact us: Please do get in touch for further information on any of the products or services mentioned in Down to Earth, a demonstration, support or just a chat about your requirements.

T: 0845 603 1214 E:

Hints and Tips Don’t Forget….Multi network SIM cards are now quite common and can be used with Trimble’s VRS Now service. Choose the type of SIM card you require, multi network or single network, when you purchase a new subscription or on renewal of an existing subscription. Customers report that these cards have allowed them to remain productive on site by selecting the best network to be used without the operator noticing a change.

KOREC Recruitment

We have several positions available. For full details, please visit our careers section at:

Down To Earth Spring 2013  

In this Issue - a look ahead to Plantworx 2013 and what's new from Trimble