Why you should invest in Machine Control for your excavator
By Joel Seddon
Machine control for excavators has been available for years and 3D GPS excavator systems are useful in eliminating errors by reducing over excavation, the need to re-work and the costs associated with this. If you haven’t invested in machine control now is the time to add it to your business! Topcon have released a system that is specifically designed for excavator use – the Topcon X-63i Solution.
Unlike other 3D GPS systems available on the market, which are designed primarily to connect to the machine’s hydraulics and automate the blade movement for dozers, graders and the like, Topcon’s X-63i solution is built for excavators only.
What does this mean for your business?
Well, a significant price shift for a start. You can expect to save some $20,000 with the X-63i solution because you are not paying for sophisticated hydraulic technology that is unnecessary on an excavator that uses indicate-only mode anyway.
It means you are purchasing a full 3D GPS solution that has all the benefits of precision machine control, including:
- More control, because operators have an accurate, real-time knowledge of cut/fill levels
- Greater accuracy, enabling you to eliminate overcut and get to grade faster
- Consistent results due to working accurately to a design model
- Increased productivity, with optimised machine use, lower material costs and reduced manpower
- Enhanced safety, without the need for surveyors to work near active plant
- Quality finish – a combination of all of the above that results in a job well done, first time!
Where’s the catch?
The only catch to the new X-63i is the inability to switch the system from an excavator to another type of machine, such as a dozer or grader. As the solution has a different GPS receiver board inside the machine that is unable to connect to a machine’s hydraulic components, you cannot switch it to a grader or dozer and get 3D GPS automation.
If you intend do swap the system between different types of plant, you are better off opting for the X-63 system. This comes with the more sophisticated MC-R3 receiver that will connect to the hydraulics of a grader or dozer.
However, if you plan to only move the system between excavators, the solution is ideal for your needs.