Komatsu to roll out Smart Construction in Japan

By Chris Sleight20 January 2015

With the intelligent machine control PC210LCi-10, the bucket is automatically limited from digging b

With the intelligent machine control PC210LCi-10, the bucket is automatically limited from digging beyond the target surface

Komatsu is to launch a new cloud-based software service through its Japanese rental network which is designed to improve safety, productivity and operational efficiency on construction sites. Smart Construction is designed to bring together all the information related to a project, connecting people and machines, and providing them up-to-date information.

The company has established its new Smart Construction Promotion Division to market the service, and said it will initially offer it through Komatsu Rental in Japan. It added that the system ties in with its intelligent machine control dozers and excavators, which were launched in 2013.

Komatsu said the there were six phases to the Smart Construction process. First was a high-precision survey the site, using an unmanned air vehicle (drone), 3-D laser scanning and cameras mounted on construction machines.

This data would then be combined with drawings provided by the customer to create a 3-D computer model of the site. Komatsu said this would help provide an accurate picture of the area, shape and volume of earth to be moved. A third stage in the process involves adding-in data on factors such as ground conditions and buried objects.

This is followed by the development of construction plans and uploading them to the company’s Kom Connect cloud computing platform. This includes a simulation of the construction work, and allows customers to experiment with different ‘virtual’ processes. Once work begins, real-time progress can be checked-off against the simulation.

In the construction phase itself, the data from the construction model is transmitted from Kom Connect to Komatsu’s intelligent machine control equipment on site. The intelligent machine control system automatically controls the position of the blade or bucket, which means inexperienced operators are more able to carry out high-precision work, and progress on the project can be monitored and fed into the Kom Connect system.

As a final stage in the process, this stored data can be used to provide as-built information to the client and be a resource for future maintenance of infrastructure.

Komatsu said it would shortly open a Smart Construction support centre, staffed with experts in the relevant fields. From February 1 it will roll out the service to its 123 Komatsu Rental branches in Japan.

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