Kobelco, Leica, Engcon team up to create tiltrotator full-auto machine control

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Updated May 15, 2019

Kobelco excavator

Starting next year, some Kobelco excavators will come equipped with the ability to automatically adjust bucket height and tilt through a new automatic tiltrotator function.

The technology, part of Kobelco’s new Information and Communication Technology system for machine control, is the result of a three-way partnership with the Japanese manufacturer and Sweden-based Engcon and Switzerland-based Leica Geosystems, according to Engcon.

Through the partnership, Engcon developed the tiltrotator, a quick-attach coupler that allows the excavator operator to rotate and tilt the bucket for more efficient, faster work. The new ICT system will automatically adjust the attachment’s height and tilt, in conjunction with an automatic stick, boom and bucket function, Engcon says. The operator just pushes a few buttons on a touchscreen to enact full tiltrotator machine control.

A Kobelco promotional video of the device shows an SK210 excavator operator making quick work of building a large mound to preset specifications:

The new ICT system will launch next spring in Kobelco’s home market in Japan, to be first integrated into its SK200 and SK210-10 excavators, Engcon says. The company plans to roll out the product worldwide after the initial release, according to Engcon.

“We are incredibly proud to have participated in this project with Kobelco and Leica Geosystems,” says Krister Blomgren, CEO of Engcon Holding. “I’m sure this is the beginning of something bigger in the industry.”