Komatsu unveils new dozer at Cartersville HQ
by Neil McGahee
Jun 19, 2013 | 2892 views | 0 0 comments | 110 110 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jason Anetsberger with Komatsu America demonstrates the company's new dozer with fully automatic blade control at the Norlth American training and demonstration facility in Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Jason Anetsberger with Komatsu America demonstrates the company's new dozer with fully automatic blade control at the Norlth American training and demonstration facility in Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
slideshow
Industry journalists and distribution representatives came to Komatsu’s North American headquarters in Cartersville Tuesday to try out the company’s first intelligent machine-controlled bulldozer.

“We are excited to bring to market the next generation of machine control technology with our ‘intelligent Machine Control D61i-23,’” said Peter Robson, director of Intelligent Machine Controls. “The ease with which the D61i-23 transitions from rough dozing to finish grading is so seamless that both experienced and inexperienced operators will notice benefits.”

The D61i-23 features a cab-mounted Global Navigation Satellite System that sends machine operating information — hours, location, cautions, load ratio, fuel consumption and maintenance alerts — to a website and also allows communication between the operator and company.

When the dozer travels around the job site, the GNSS antenna collects surface data by measuring actual elevations, while an angle cylinder measures the actual angle of the blade for high precision grading accuracy. The monitoring system also reduces the risk of theft, allows for remote diagnosis and provides other information necessary to improve efficiency and productivity.

Bulldozers have previously been fitted with add-on machine control systems but they required a lot of manual operator input before the computers would kick in toward the end of the project. The new Komatsu can perform rough dozing duties as well as finish grading thanks to its fully automatic blade control. When rough dozing, the automatic blade control monitors the load and adjusts blade elevation to minimize track slip. As work moves closer to the finish, the blade control adjusts accordingly to provide finish grade performance with high-level precision.

Inside the cab, the operator may select dozing modes tailored to the current job. Similarly, blade load settings are adjustable to match actual conditions. On each pass, the IMC system allows the automatic blade control to lower the blade at the start of a pass and raise it at the end.

“The innovation is not only that Komatsu can provide the customer with fully automatic blade control for automatic rough dozing and efficiency improvement,” Robson said, ”but also that we are able to offer this technology on the D61, which is one of the most popular size class dozers for machine control usage. These added intelligence features really drive up the value proposition, for both existing machine control users and new machine control users.”