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2010 Volume 1 Issue 3
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Technology is changing the way the construction industry works.

Construction sites today are much different to those of 25 years ago, when computer technology was in relative infancy, the Internet was yet to be born as we know it today, WiFi and cellular phones was something people dreamed about. What a different a few years makes.

Today few business can exist without computers, mobile phones, the Internet and all that this technology has enabled. Leading the way in advanced technology in the construction and related industries are the traditional instrument providers such as Topcon, Trimble, Sokkia - companies who first established a reputation for manual theodolites and similar tools of yesteryear. How things have changed, and Bauma 2010 will see some interesting advances.

Topcon make major advances

First introduced at the World of Concrete earlier this year, Topcon will demonstrating just where technology is taking us with several advanced innovations.

Mark Contino, Vice President of Product Marketing told Contractors World

“The recession will bring about changes in the way people do business. Construction will be a more technology driven industry as we recover from the recession. "

Topcon Europe Positioning (TEP) will feature a new machine control system - 3DMC² - which can increase dozer speed for grading up to 200%, or even more, while providing unprecedented smoothness. More technology to increase efficiency and productivity. “ However, he issued a caveat to technology development

“The technology exists - the challenge is to make it affordable.”
Mark Contino, Vice President of Product Marketing

Topcon Europe Positioning (TEP) will feature a new machine control system - 3DMC² - which can increase dozer speed for grading up to 200%, or even more, while providing unprecedented smoothness.

Video of Topco 3DMC²Watch video - increase dozer speed for grading up to 200%, or even more, while providing unprecedented smoothness.

Ray O’Connor, Topcon president and CEO, called the 3DMC² breakthrough “as tearing down the last barrier in regard to increasing job site productivity - speed.”

O’Connor said, “There’s never been anything like this in construction machine automation. Topcon’s 3DMC² technology speeds up the position calculation by a factor of 10 from today’s systems. This allows for faster positioning in real time, which means the machine can be controlled to design grade at much faster speeds than any other system.

“With Topcon’s GPS+GLONASS technology, productivity was dramatically increased due to precise positioning and accuracy. With 3DMC² increasing a dozer’s operating speed, there’s yet additional savings in time and money on every job.

“This is not a technology that just any company can do. Any company can use sensors and think of the concept of getting a dozer to go faster with increased accuracy. What’s different here is that Topcon used the proper algorithms, satellite signal filters, the proper arithmetic formulas and the scientists and engineers at the company’s global technology centres, all working together, to accomplish yet another world’s first construction development.”

“Topcon was the first company offering contractors the option of going stakeless at every phase of the job with 3D GPS machine control systems.”

“This new addition to the Topcon family of machine control products will drastically change the role of dozer operation on a typical job site. Of course, as the speed increases, we can do more work in less time. That means less operating time, less fuel, less wear on a machine and most importantly, more time that can be spent on other work in other areas.”

Tangible Construction Site Management

Visitors to Bauma will be able to see a live demonstration of their Topcon construction site management capability.

Strategic partners RIB and TOPCON will be showing a construction machine linked wireless via TOPCON’s SiteLink server to RIB’s STRATIS software booth.

Visitors will be able to look at the office/machine interaction outside the building as well as at the TOPCON booth.

“The presentation in Munich is intended to introduce the benefits of the system by highlighting the effects of changes and the prompt reaction potential on the construction site enabled by the integrated solution,” explains Achiel Sturm, Construction Business Unit Manager of Topcon Europe

Andreas Dieterle, Product Manager Sales at RIB, adds: “Cross-section data is directly transmitted from the fair booth to the machine working outside.

As soon as the machine has done its job, the information is sent back on-line to our software system via SiteLink. Exact actual-target comparisons are possible at any time. Whenever there is a change of plan, the machine is given the necessary data direct and can initiate its new working processes immediately.”

Topcon IP-S2, a vehicle-mounted, mobile 3D precision mapping and survey systemAnother example of just how advanced technology has gone is the company’s Ip-S2 highspeed total mapping system. How simple can it get? IP-S2, a vehicle-mounted, mobile 3D precision mapping and survey system.

Topcon IP-S2, a vehicle-mounted, mobile 3D precision mapping and survey systemTopcon IP-S2, a vehicle-mounted, mobile 3D precision mapping and survey system

The IP-S2 combines dual-frequency GNSS signal tracking and positioning and inertial measurement to integrate laser scanning and digital imaging.

Using 3D laser scanners, LIDAR, and/or cameras, the data collected is integrated, time-stamped and geo-referenced.

The customer can then quickly and accurately combine LIDAR “point cloud” and digital imaging data to build 3D models of the areas driven.

Industry-leading sensor integration creates unlimited applications for the technology in GIS, construction, agriculture, mapping, and machine control — all areas where Topcon has market leadership.

Ray O’Connor, TPS president and CEO, said, Topcon’s Inertial Positioning System (IPS) “makes it possible to track motion through 3D space, creating an instant solution to myriad asset management and data collection applications.”

With its high accuracy scanning and inertial measurement capabilities, its ability to support a variety of sensors and its 360-degree hemispherical digital video camera system, O’Connor said, “The IP-S2 can gather accurate measurement data in extremely difficult conditions, such as tunnels, under bridges, in heavily wooded areas or urban canyons.

“The applications for the IP-S2 are limitless,” he said. “Whatever you can conceive of in the areas of asset management, data collection on precise location of virtually any subject, using digital photography capabilities, as well as laser scanning options, with its on-board tools the IP-S2 can do the job.”

Collecting field data for GIS applications has always been a time-consuming task, usually taking several years to fully accomplish. As a result, many databases are incomplete, preventing managers from utilizing their full potential. Safety has also been an issue, requiring personnel to stand in highly travelled road corridors where most assets are located.

Eduardo Falcon, senior vice president and general manager of Topcon’s Emerging Business Unit, said, “The IP-S2 revolutionizes the way in which GIS field data can be collected. One pass of an area at normal vehicular travel speeds provides a complete dataset of highly accurate position information and high resolution imagery.”

He added “Using new software tools, GIS operators can easily identify features, assign attributes, and then export them to geospatial applications. The reduction in cost and improvement in safety are exponential compared to traditional ground survey methods.”




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