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Case Construction Equipment has introduced a machine control solution for dozers that the company says it is positioning as an affordable bridge between automatic and indicate-only systems.
SiteControl CoPilot is available as a retrofit or as a factory-installed option on select Case M Series dozers. The equipment associated with SiteControl CoPilot is an internal measurement unit, wiring harness and an in-cab display. The masts, base stations and lasers associated with 2D and 3D systems are not needed.
The system was developed by Leica, which sells it as a third-party add-on kit called iGD CoPilot available for other dozer brands. And though the iGD CoPilot system is already compatible with Case machines, Case project manager for dozers Max Winemiller says that the company’s engineers worked closely with Leica to develop this SiteControl version of the system and tailor it specifically for Case dozers.
“Leica and Case Construction strengthened our partnership by developing customer inputs and performance parameters together,” Winemiller says, noting that Case’s “easy-to-use interface” was combined with Leica’s technology “to develop the system operation and performance.”
Instead of using site plans or GPS, Case says the system automatically adjusts blade position based on slope and grade specifications set by the operator as part of a “set of environment, elevation and machine parameters.” CoPilot then holds that slope/grade regardless of underfoot conditions and provides real-time work data to the operator through the display.
Case says the system provides many of the benefits of 2D and 3D machine control systems at a much lower cost, adding that all operators, regardless of experience, will be able “to easily achieve and maintain a smooth surface, slope or grade.”
“The system will operate from rough-cut all the way to fine grading … and will let customers experience the quick benefits of machine control technology at a much lower investment,” Winemiller says.
Case says the system can eliminate the need for additional passes and re-work. Winemiller says it was brought about as a “response to customer requests for improved automation with a more affordable price point.”
SiteControl CoPilot can be installed on Case 1150M, 1650M and 2050M dozers and will be available through Case Certified Precision Solution Dealers.
Though the system is meant primarily as an alternative to 2D and 3D systems, Winemiller says it can also be implemented as a stepping stone toward these systems through Leica upgrades if an when a customer’s need change. Case notes that SiteControl CoPilot functionality “can also be added to existing 2D and 3D machine control systems and is compatible with existing 2D and 3D Leica displays.”