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Machine intelligence

Machine intelligence

Komatsu has released a significant update to its intelligent Machine Control (iMC) technology, known as iMC 2.0. It delivers major productivity, efficiency and cost saving advantages to latest model “intelligent” dozers and excavators.

The new intelligent Machine Control (iMC) 2.0 technology is available on the just-released D71EXi/PXi-24 and D61EXi/PXi-24 dozers and PC210LCi-11, PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 excavators, further advancing their automation capabilities.

iMC 2.0 significantly enhances iMC dozer operations on slopes and features all-new “intelligent” high-resolution, touchscreen monitors, purpose designed for each machine type to provide accurate displays of operating conditions and the job site design.

Operators can customise split-screen views to provide optimum views of what they want to focus on, while an easy-to-use, multi-touch navigation system provides real-time information on bulk earthmoving, grading, digging, and finishing.

All these combine to ensure greater accuracy and increased response speeds, according to Aaron Marsh, Komatsu’s National Product and Solution Manager with its Smart Construction and Integrated Machine Control Division.

“Our new iMC 2.0 products, services and digital solutions incorporate a host of advanced machine technologies – some exclusive to Komatsu – allowing users to integrate sophisticated productivity-enhancing automation and cutting-edge job site design into their operations,” Aaron says. “By applying Komatsu dantotsu (unique and unrivalled) principles, this latest technology delivers distinct benefits with automated and semi-automated dozer and excavator operations.”


Available initially on Komatsu’s new D71EXi/PXi-24 and D61EXi/PXi-24 dozers, iMC 2.0 automatically controls the blade so that it closely follows the target surface, controlling cut depth while avoiding track shoe-slip.

Exclusive features of iMC 2.0 on dozers include Lift Layer Control and Tilt Steering Control.

With Lift Layer Control, the dozer automatically spreads fill material from existing areas of the work site with the press of a button, then measures the terrain it’s tracking over – and uses that data to plan the next pass.

“This feature allows the design surface to be created from as-built data, and can cover lift work,” Aaron says.

“Compared with conventional dozing practices, production rates are doubled, plus – because it’s 100 per cent automatic while automatics are engaged – each layer is completely consistent and accurate.”

The one-touch Tilt Steering Control feature frees the operator from having to steer the dozer to maintain a straight heading, by continuously and automatically tilting the blade as required to maintain straight-line travel.

“This results in greatly reduced operator fatigue and increased comfort. Operator input is reduced by up to 80 per cent compared with a conventional dozer,” Aaron says. “And straight-line travel guarantees a cleaner cut, along with increased productivity.”

Lift Layer Control and Tilt Steering Control are both exclusive features of Komatsu’s iMC 2.0 technology.
Lift Layer Control and Tilt Steering Control are both exclusive features of Komatsu’s iMC 2.0 technology.

Other features of iMC 2.0 on Komatsu’s latest dozers include quick surface creation, allowing the machine to begin spreading or stripping using automatic modes while awaiting finish-grade designs.

Proactive dozing control, manual co-ordination control and faster blade response on grade breaks lets the operator temporarily increase blade reactivity in transitions between different grade angles, to avoid over or under digging, and maintain high levels of accuracy.

“In addition to these new features, our iMC 2.0 dozers include two integrated GNSS antennas, which are able to receive location signals from GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDoun and QZSS satellites,” Aaron says.

“These all combine to ensure higher positioning accuracy due to greatly increased satellite availability, and the ability to work continuously and accurately regardless of how remote the site is, or where there’s vegetation or in hilly or mountainous terrain.

“This assists customers to achieve superior production rates and lower construction costs compared with traditional aftermarket machine control systems,” he says.

Increasing capabilities

Komatsu’s new PC210LCi-11, PC290LCi-11 and PC360LCi-11 now include iMC 2.0 to ensure even greater productivity gains for end-users.

“The renowned accuracy and automatic grading capabilities of our existing iMC machines has been enhanced with new features that increase ease of operation and finish quality, while significantly reducing cycle times,” Aaron says.

“New automatic features, such as Auto Grade Assist, and Auto Tilt Control let the operator relax and focus on productivity, without having to worry about over digging. These two new features keep the bucket edge precisely on-grade.”

iMC 2.0’s Auto Tilt automatically tilts the bucket to design, then returns it to horizontal to unload, so that achieving final grade is significantly quicker and easier.

“This greatly increases ease of operation on slope and ditch work, automatically limiting under-digging and increasing bucket fill – making delivering final grade quicker and easier,” Aaron says.

“It’s ideal to use with tilting buckets, particularly when working on slopes, ditches and complex designs.”

The Auto Grade Assist function includes a bucket angle hold feature, which lets the operator select the desired bucket angle, then the system automatically holds this angle through the grading pass.

“This makes final grading and trimming work much easier, while allowing the operator to manually intervene at any time just by operating the bucket lever function,” Aaron says.

He says this feature is ideal for final grading, trimming multi-plane surfaces and detailed sealing applications.

“When the bucket hits the target surface, the control function automatically limits and maintains grade with real-time bucket edge positioning, ensuring precise and accurate surfaces that exactly match the design, first time, every time.

“This latest excavator dantotsu technology from Komatsu lets us deliver increased productivity, efficiency and finished quality across a wide range of earthmoving, construction and production applications.”

For more information, visit: www.komatsu.com.au

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