The Topcon Technology Roadshow rolled into Denver, Colorado for three days of technology-driven infrastructure demonstrations and hands-on operations. Co-hosted by GeoShack and Honnen Equipment Company at the Honnen Equipment facility in Commerce City, the event brought together more than 140 owners, project managers and operators from transportation agencies, contractor firms and surveying companies throughout the Denver metropolitan area.
The highly interactive show provided a unique opportunity for attendees to sit in the driver’s seat of an excavator, dozer or grader with today’s most advanced positioning and navigation solutions and have one-on-one conversations with experts about costs, implementation and integration, training and return on investment for a wide variety of construction solutions from GPS survey instruments to advanced 3D machine control systems.
Here’s a few highlights from the show:
Figure 1: 3D machine-controlled excavator
GPS-guided and 3D machine-controlled dozers, motor graders and excavators dominated the Honnen Equipment Company’s site with an emphasis on demonstrating improved workflows and productivity. One of the most popular sessions was the simple and effective implementation of a base station and rover.
Brian Sykes, Regional Sales Manager with Topcon, said, “It’s common for owners/operators to start with a base station and rover to stake out a job, complete topographic surveys or produce accurate volumes of earth movement. The flexible rover/base station on machines is one of the easiest ways for contractors to dip their toes in the machine-controlled waters.”
Attendees got a first-hand look at the compact and highly versatile HiPer VR and HR receivers that can be used in static, kinematic and network RTK rover applications, all within Topcon’s patented Hybrid Positioning workflow in action on poles and machines.
Low profile, easily attachable/detachable machine control systems were one of the highlights of the Colorado-based show. Specifically, the 3D-MCMAX mastless dozer solution was demoed by experts and attendees alike. The mastless antenna eliminates worries about snags or twists from trees, high wires, etc., and blade bouncing as the machine moves through a site.
Sykes adds, “Mastless systems are increasingly popular because of the low-profile positioning on the equipment and the ability to achieve the high accuracy x, y, z blade positioning.”
Topcon’s 3D-MCMAXmastless dozer solution incorporates two inertial measurement units (IMU) and single or dual antennas for six-way blade control that enables faster and smarter blade movement, tighter turns and smoother grades. Operators reported immediate improvement in response time when moving piles, which kept the dozer on grade and accurate to the defined path.
Those attendees looking for improved fine grade solutions in restricted site environments looked closely at the mmGPS PZS and/or the LPS tracking robotic instrument.
While most quality GNSS-based 3D machine systems will provide a horizontal accuracy that is adequate for any earthmoving and grading task, these systems struggle with precise vertical positioning. In response, the Roadshow folks demonstrated the mmGPS solution, which is a combined GNSS/laser solution. The mmGPS solution relies on the GNSS signal to position the grader horizontally and the fanned-beam laser signal for very accurate (millimeter) vertical positioning. TheIMU sensors process blade movement information in every axis 100 times per second—many times faster than traditional GNSS control.
With high accuracy vertical positioning, mmGPS is ideal for high accuracy jobs such as fine grading, milling and paving jobs.
The Roadshow crew further demonstrated the value of fully integrated field-to-office workflow with Sitelink3D, an office-to-machine, machine-to office and machine-to-machine communication solution. With Sitelink 3D, operators can interact with operators in real-time to resolve issues, deliver new data and manage equipment activities across an entire jobsite.
The final day of the Roadshow in Colorado brought 40+ industry professionals together with Topcon and Bentley Institute personnel for a comprehensive educational workshop focused on best practices in constructioneering or automating the construction process and data to streamline construction workflows and improve project delivery.
The two, five-hour sessions focused on ways to minimize data compartmentalization and simplify workflows in the office and the field with specific examples of geopositioning technology, drones, earthmoving machinery, and integrated software demonstrations.
The End of the Road
The Topcon Technology Roadshow only continues across North America through October 2018. All events are free and include lunch!
The last of Topcon’s North American Roadshow stops include: Lumberton, New Jersey (October 15-16), Sparrows Point, Maryland (October 23-25); and Richmond, Virginia (October 30-31).