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If you’ve ever felt like a total station is more tool than you need or understand, Topcon has come up with the solution.
The LN-100, introduced yesterday at the World of Concrete is the world’s first 3D positioning solution designed specifically for BIM and construction layout.
What Topcon did was take the basic functionality of a total station and removed the complexity, says Mark Contino, Vice President of global marketing. The LN-100 is auto leveling and acts like a rotating laser. Simply measure two known points on the site, communicate those wirelessly to the control panel, and the unit knows where it is and can tell you where everything in the plans or CAD drawings needs to be.
Setting up a traditional total station over a control point is more of surveyeyor’s skill and can put the unit in the way of traffic or other jobsite hazards, Contino says. The LN-100 offers complete flexibility as to where you can set it up.
With its wireless connectivity the LN-100 can communicate data from within the cloud and sync instantly with any changes from the office or the field. It can also synchronize with all the data for the project including machine control, construction applications, and GIS mapping. “From the moment the ground is measured, all that data flows together,” Contino says.
The LN-100 is also considerably less expensive than a total station and expected to retail for about $15,000.
One of the reasons contractors have been slow to adopt to GPS based machine control is that the technology doesn’t come into play until the final finish or grade, the last five or ten percent of a project.
To remedy that situation Topcon has developed a new line of “indicate only” GPS systems for bulk earthmoving. Indicate-only means the machine uses GPS satellite signals to show you where you are on a cut or fill, but does not automatically guide the blade.
These systems allow contractors to use machine control all the way through the job, says Murray Lodge, senior Vice President in charge of construction.
The new units from Topcon include the I-33 3D indicate control system for dozers, scrapers and bulk earthmoving, and the X-63i system for excavators.
In addition to bringing GPS speed and productivity to the entire job, the new indicate only systems cost less than full machine control, typically $25,000 instead of $50, 000 to $60,000 for automatic machine control.