Topcon Technology Roadshow Kicks Off in Gilbert, AZ

Topcon Technology Roadshow Report

On the Road

Welcome to the first Topcon Technology Roadshow newsletter, highlighting the local happenings from tour stops all along Topcon’s 25+ multi-city adventure.

The 2018 Topcon Technology Roadshow features a 53-foot expandable traveling truck, which includes a theater and showcase room, packed with the latest technologies—all with a focus on the Intersection of Infrastructure and Technology theme.

We all know that in today’s environment, it takes more than business as usual to win and build today’s smart infrastructure. Those companies that are investing in technology and connected workflows are winning more bids, meeting and beating federal/state requirements and generating higher returns. That’s why every roadshow stop includes a demonstration of the latest construction, survey, civil engineering, architecture and design technologies designed to improve workflows and maximize productivity. These solutions include 3D machine control systems, UAVs, and Topcon’s Elite Survey suite.

But the roadshow is much more than a show-and-tell; it’s an interactive, hands-on event designed to engage industry professionals. Test the positioning and mapping systems or jump in a 3D-equipped dozer to learn how technology can help improve your business, drive profitability and build better infrastructure. In just a few hours, attendees see and, in some cases, operate:

• The latest tools and technologies available for the job site and office.
• The most accurate machine control systems in the industry.
• The latest BIM layout and 3D solutions.
• The latest in precision agriculture technology.
• High accuracy aerial mapping solutions.

Read on to see how the roadshow team helped industry professionals evaluate field computer technology and geo-positioning solutions to deliver smarter infrastructure in Arizona.

Desert Discovery

The Topcon Technology Roadshow heated up in Gilbert, Arizona. Temperatures in the high 90s didn’t stop area contractors, surveyors and engineers from stopping in to see the Topcon traveling technology truck at rental leader and Topcon authorized dealer Branco Machinery April 17/18.

Topcon experts gave attendees an inside look at what’s new with 3D machine control systems, UAVs, survey equipment and even some cross-over solutions—with a focus on building infrastructure. For instance, Topcon’s SmoothRide Modern Road Resurfacing System took center stage in the trailer demonstrating a complete integrated technology solution with the RD-M1 Road Resurfacing Scanner (data gathering), Mobile Master Office software (surface design), MAGNET Office Site (smoothness/thickness) and GNSS-guided paving and milling machines.

The highlight of the show was the demonstrations and hands-on, interactive opportunities to operate 3D-equipped machines in the Branco Machinery lot.

Inside the Cab

Roadshow attendees got an up-close look at the Caterpillar 140-M3 motor grader machine equipped with Topcon Positioning System (TPS) 3D Machine Control GPS solution—a combination that is faster, cheaper and easier than ever before.

Rob Binder at Branco noted that his company is taking advantage of the fact that today’s machines are smarter and more interoperable to reduce sensor redundancy when connecting positioning systems. He adds, “It used to take us a full day to equip a motor grader with complete GPS antennas and associated sensors. Now, it takes two hours or less—and costs around $20,000 less.”

Mark Jones, Western Regional Sales Manager for Topcon, further noted that many contractors don’t realize that the greatest 3D machine control ROI can be found in excavators. He added, “Too often, contractors over excavate because it’s safer—nobody wants to come back and rework. But, if you add up how much money/time is lost on over excavation, most find that they pay for a machine very quickly.”

He 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, companies can see all equipment on jobsites in real-time, provide remote machine support to solve operator problems instantly, transfer job files and deliver real-time project management information.

Flying High

The rotary-wing Falcon 8 UAS equipped with flight planning software and an AscTec high-performance GPS (GNSS) also went for a test flight at the Gilbert roadshow. Ideal for surveying and mapping applications, the Falcon 8 can fly for 12-22 minutes and map up to 35 hectares in a single flight with max payload of 800g. The octocopter is ideal for creating DEMs, ortho-photos, basic measurements, overlays, 3D models, cut/fill analysis and as-built design comparisons.

Brian Griffin, Topcon/Sokkia Central Regional Sales Manager, demonstrated the systems capabilities at the show and noted, “Contractors without a UAS in the next five years, will likely be out of business.”

Look for the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ Drone with its simple setup, fly, capture, transfer and analyze functionality at a future roadshow.

A Smooth Finish

The Gilbert roadshow also offered concrete professionals a chance at technology intersections beyond the big machines. The mobile, low cost, robotic laser-guided ScreedsaverMax Pro from Ligchine equipped with Topcon millimeter LPS was one such system.

The manufacturer notes that the machine with its 18-ft boom can screed up to 7000-sq-ft per hour. The automatic tracking robotic total station registers and maintains screed position from a machine mounted prism and sonic tracker. Height adjustments are transmitted to and from the screed at a rate of 20 times per second via radio signal to maintain accurate specifications on the defined jobsite plan. As the LPS system does not require a GPS signal, it operates without limitations whether it is indoors, outdoors, or in areas with obstructed GPS satellite reception.

Better yet, the ScreedsaverMax Pro costs less and more mobile than comparable systems. It can be hauled with a 3/4-ton pickup truck.

A Roadshow Near You

The Topcon Technology Roadshow continues across North America through October 2018. All events are free and include lunch!

A few of the near-term Roadshow stops in North America include: Pleasanton, California (May 8-11), Portland, Oregon (May 22-23), Kent, Washington (June 5-6), Regina, Saskatchewan (June 26-27); Bismarck, North Dakota (July 10-11) and Denver, Colorado (July 17-18).