MAX Productivity

29 March 2017

Sydney-based sportsground and golf course specialists Flemming Golf are realising maximum productivity with Topcon’s latest dozer machine control.

Flemming Golf is a family owned company that works throughout Australia and overseas, constructing sports fields and golf courses. Having worked with Topcon laser and machine control technology for many years, manager Heath Flemming said they were keen to try out the latest addition to Topcon’s solutions, 3D-MCMAX, when they took delivery of their new CAT D6N dozer.

“We run a number of dual grade lasers, survey rovers, 3D dozer and excavator systems and a 2D tractor system, to eliminate pegs on site,” Mr Flemming said. “Once we’d ordered the dozer, we asked Position Partners [Topcon’s Australian distributors] what machine control system they’d recommend for it.”

The company recently bought a new CAT D6N dozer, which features a six-way blade ideal for the new 3D-MCMAX system.

“We find a 6-way blade more versatile than an SU blade for the work we do,” Mr Flemming said.

Topcon’s 3D-MCMAX is a fully integrated, mastless 3D dozer solution that utilises Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) in place of GNSS receivers and cables connected to the blade via a mast.

With one IMU mounted to the back of the dozer blade and another on the undercarriage of the machine, Topcon’s dozer system processes positioning information up to 100 times per second. In contrast, a standard 3D system with only one positioning sensor updates position information only 10 times per second.

“We’ve had great success with the 3D-MC2 solution, which offers similar processing speed and responsiveness to the newer MAX option,” Mr Flemming said.

Although the machine has yet to be used full time on a project as its installation is still recent, Mr Flemming said it has some key differences to the older Topcon solutions they use.

“The responsiveness and reliability is still the same high standard you’d expect from Topcon, but not having the mast certainly makes visibility easier, especially when you’re grading tricky landscapes such as golf courses,” he said.

“The new Topcon screen with the integrated lightbars is also a great update, still very easy to use like the older style but just a bit faster and more modern. We’ve had no problems upgrading, even the old man who’s 68 has operated it and just picked it up without any additional training,” he added.

When asked why they opt for Topcon, Mr Flemming said: “We have tried other systems but they couldn’t keep up, so Topcon is a clear winner in our view.

“Grading a golf course is not like other applications where you could be working to the same level for quite a distance,” he added. “With the constant twists and turns and change of contours, we’ve found Topcon much more responsive technology.”

Another key reason for always choosing Topcon, is Flemming Golf’s relationship with Position Partners.

“As the first installation in Australia, there were bound to be a few teething problems with this new system,” Mr Flemming said. “But because we have a great relationship with Position Partners and have full confidence in the capabilities of their technical team, we knew we’d be up and running very quickly.”

Flemming Golf utilises Position Partners remote control and support technology, Tokara, to assist with sending design files to machines and getting technical help when required. “Tokara is a fantastic solution because it gives you peace of mind that no matter where the job is, the technical team can login to your machine and help with a software upgrade or to explain a new feature on the system, for example,” Mr Flemming added.

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