What is iDig 2D Machine Control and guidance systems
When it comes to machine guidance and control technologies, most people think of large site prep and road building projects – but it’s not just for large dirt-moving applications, it is for any groundworks that require accuracy at an affordable cost.
Whether it’s flatwork prep, trenching, foundation work, drainage, footings, general groundworks or underwater dredging, the iDig 2D machine control precision solution can have an immediate impact on your bottom line.
When thinking about 2D machine control, you may think of the complexity of setups and other operational considerations. With iDig set up is simple and a unit can be used on multiple equipment with a quick and easy transfer.
2D Grading systems:
Slope and grade control – A slope is controlled by sensors mounted on the boom, dipper and dog bone and is controlled by the panel in the cab.
Single laser with slope – A tripod-mounted laser works with a single machine mounted laser receiver to indicate or control elevation. The slope is controlled by the operator.
2D Excavation systems:
Laser benchmark – A tripod-mounted laser works with the iDig mounted laser receiver as a benchmark reference during operation. This is used to re-bench and indicate accuracy in cuts.
Physical benchmark – Whenever the machine is moved, an operator can use a physical landmark as a benchmark reference point during operation, like a curb or reference station. After the machine is moved, the operator simply re-benches on the closest position and begins digging.
Improved safety and cost-savings – iDig 2D machine control systems reduce the need for banks man, grade-checkers and surveyors on the ground near heavy equipment, which creates a safer job site environment. Often, when digging a trench, for example, it is required to have a grade-checker present on the ground to regularly check that the trench is being dug to spec. The iDig 2D machine control system can easily be benchmarked against ground level, so if a trench is specified at a certain depth below the grade of the land, the operator can easily set the depth of the cut and the system will notify them when the bucket reaches the assigned depth. Then, the machine can back up, benchmark again against the new surface, and the system will continue indicating to the operator when they’ve reached the target depth in the new spot. The operator can repeat this for the entire length of the trench.
Another important factor is the cost-savings associated with iDig 2D machine control systems. Getting the job done right the first time will reduce labour time, help reduce fuel costs, eliminate any kind of re-work, as well as help contractors more accurately predict material expenses. Also, while iDig 2D machine control systems require a small cash outlay, the cost of the system can be made up in as little as one job, when one considers all of the cost-savings. Lease plans are a consideration too as there are tax savings to be made.
Maximize machine utilization and ROI – Getting the right grade the first time not only eliminates the need for costly re-work, but it also reduces fuel consumption and machine wear. Consumables, such as bucket teeth, add up on a job – especially when having to go back and do re-work. Utilizing an iDig 2D machine control system will help contractors dig to the plan more accurately, allowing them to more easily predict fuel and consumable costs, maximizing machine utilization and ROI.
This level of accuracy also helps fleet managers who are tasked with managing equipment fleets across multiple concurrent and/or consecutive jobs.
Minimal training time – There is still a very real shortage of skilled and experienced operators in the construction industry. iDig 2D machine guidance and control systems lower the learning curve substantially and allow even inexperienced operators to produce quality work. The iDig 2D machine control system comes equipped with a variety of intuitive features such as in-cab colour LCD graphic displays, function keys for instant access to important functions, audio tone indicators and easy-to-use calibration functions that allow operators to learn the system and gain proficiency quickly. The iDig 2D systems include a display panel that easily snaps out of a cradle in the cab. This improves security and allows operators to carry it between jobs and equipment; allowing one control panel to operate in various pieces of equipment. The iDig system also allows users to store multiple bucket configurations for easy on-site calibration.
Eliminate under-cutting – Under-cutting, or over-digging, can be a financial sinkhole for a site prep operation. If dirt has been dug out below the specified grade, additional materials need to be purchased and hauled in, and the site needs to be re-graded and compacted. The material costs alone are often enough to decimate a contractor’s initial bid, let alone the additional salary, material and machine costs for the re-work. iDig 2D systems reduce the possibility of these costly occurrences, all while ensuring accurate work from the beginning.
Mass excavation – Contractors don’t often connect precision with mass excavation applications – they’re often focused on just moving as much dirt as quickly as possible, and then worrying about the finished grade at a later date. But an excavator equipped with an iDig 2D machine guidance system can allow that operator to dig with full speed and confidence, avoiding over-excavation. By getting the terrain as close to the final grade as possible, it’s going to eliminate having to haul in more material to reach the final specified grade.Accurate final grade work – iDig Machine control isn’t just for the big boys. If you think about final grading, especially as you get close to buildings and other obstacles, larger bulldozers and graders can’t often do that type of work. Compact track loaders particularly – which provide significantly lower ground pressure than other machines – can get next to buildings and operate over underground utilities, etc. without disturbing the ground. The agility of these more compact machines compared to their larger counterparts also offers significant productivity and accuracy benefits in tight spaces, especially when equipped with an iDig 2D machine guidance system.
Interchangeability – The iDig 2D system components are easily interchangeable from machine to machine. As an example, the iDig machine control systems allow operators to easily disconnect and carry the in-cab display panel between sites and separate pieces of equipment. This allows contractors to make a smaller initial investment in hardware, and still receive great results.
It should be noted that some new machines are coming directly with factory integrated machine control, which means the sensors are built into the existing cylinders and hardware. They essentially operate with 2D functionality. These integrated systems can cost a premium, while non-integrated systems are more economical, and currently, provide greater versatility as they can easily be moved from one machine to another with minimal work.
Machine guidance and control technologies are becoming easier to operate and integrate across fleets of all sizes, and with that comes the possibilities for greater productivity and increased ROI. While some still think of it as a technology that’s only suitable for large bulldozers and motor graders, many are starting to see it for what it is—a transformative technology for machines of all sizes that can help contractors, fleet managers and equipment owners get onto their next job site with greater efficiency and profitability than ever before.
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