Smart hydraulics integral to automated dozing

Komatsu America, Rolling Meadows, Ill., recently introduced its Proactive Dozing Control logic, a fully-integrated dozing control system that lets operators perform auto-stripping, auto-spreading and high production dozing, as well as finish grading. Available on several units, Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic is built on the company’s existing intelligent machine control.

Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control system communicates with a dozer’s hydraulic controllers and calculates blade position based on data from integrated cylinder sensors.
The system uses the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning in conjunction with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to calculate precise position. The two sensors work together to calculate exactly where the tracks are on the ground.

The machine control system communicates with the dozer’s hydraulic controllers, engine controllers and the machine controller. Hydraulic cylinders with integrated sensors calculate the position of the blade in relation to the machine body. The Proactive Dozing Control logic measures the surrounding ground and determines what has been done on the area being graded, then stores that data and information. When the dozer prepares to cut or work that area again, the system understands conditions from its previous track and therefore, follows the existing terrain — the very terrain that was just created.

Proactive Dozing Control logic provides the real-time position of the machine on the job site to create a highly accurate elevation for the system to drive the blade to the precise grade needed. Using real-time conditions, the system understands what the terrain around the machine looks like and makes calculated decisions — whether it should cut and carry material, whether it should spread or fill that material, or whether it should be finish grading.

“Proactive Dozing Control logic opens up a world of application possibilities for machine control technology,” said Derek Morris, product marketing manager for Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control and Smart Construction group. “Traditionally, GPS machine control focused on finish grade, which meant operators only used the technology approximately 10 to 20% of the time. Proactive Dozing Control logic is a game-changer because the integrated system now lets operators use automation any time, whether for general site clean-up, backfilling trenches and more.

“A key differentiator is that our system collects data at the tracks, while aftermarket solutions collect data at the blade,” Morris noted. “Because data is collected at the track, the system provides a real-time picture of the ground around the machine, allowing the system to make calculated decisions based on the current terrain. By collecting data at the track level, we’ve created machine control that is far more advanced, offering an entirely new level of efficiency, whether you’re an operator who has 20 years’ experience or someone new to the job.”

With Komatsu’s Proactive Dozing Control logic, operators can use the dozer to its full capacity, leading to increased production and better ROI. Automation also lowers owning and operating costs because of less wear and tear on the machine. Minimizing track slip during operation, for instance, significantly reduces undercarriage wear.

The system is offered on Komatsu D51EXi-24, D51PXi-24, D61EXi-24 and D61PXi-24 dozers. The D61PXi-24, for example, runs with a closed-centre load sensing hydraulic system designed for precise and responsive control, and for efficient simultaneous operation. All spool control valves are externally mounted remote to the hydraulic tank. A piston-type hydraulic pump provides 45 gpm flow at rated engine rpm. System pressure is about 4,000 psi.

Double-acting cylinders with 4 or 5-in. bore power the blade lift, tilt and angle actions. Robust stroke-sensing hydraulic cylinders let the machine control system know the angle of the blade to ensure accurate finish grade performance. A dual-path, hydrostatic transmission provides infinite speed changes up to 5.6 mph. The variable capacity travel motors allow the operator to select the optimum speed to match specific jobs.

Komatsu America


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