Komatsu Ltd. unveiled the D61EXi/PXi-23 medium-sized bulldozer which features the world’s first* fully auto blade control at bauma 2013, an international trade fair for construction equipment in Munich, Germany on April 16. D61EXi/PXi-23 was jointly developed with TOPCON Corporation with a world proven performance of GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) surveying technology and its applications to machinery. Komatsu has been working to automate construction work, and the D61EXi/PXi-23 is Komatsu’s first “intelligent Machine Control” model. Komatsu plans to launch sales of this next-generation bulldozer initially in North America in June and then steadily in other regions of the world.
Thanks to the world’s first fully automatic blade control, the medium-sized D61EXi/PXi-23 model, designed for urban civil engineering application, can perform not only finish grading, which has also been possible with conventional Machine Control, but also rough dozing. As a result, it achieves outstanding improvement in productivity.
The D61EXi/PXi-23 also features the integration of Komatsu’s proprietary KOMTRAX (Komatsu Machine Tracking System) and TOPCON’s construction management system. In the near future, it will enable high-efficiency, unified management of construction work through access to real-time machine data and work progress including the amount of dozed soil at jobsites, via its web service.
At bauma 2013, Komatsu is displaying our ICT-intensive hydraulic excavator with machine guidance and control functions as prototypes. This model has also been developed jointly with TOPCON, and Komatsu is planning to launch sales in Europe within this year. With these intelligent Machine Control models, Komatsu is accelerating the shift of its business model from the conventional sales business of construction equipment to a total solution provider of ICT-intensive construction. Komatsu will continue to look into innovation for novel value.
* Based on Komatsu’s research concerning seven major products, i.e., crawler-type hydraulic excavator, wheel-type hydraulic excavator, wheel loader, bulldozer, motor grader, rigid dump truck and articulated dump truck
Main features of the D61EXi/PXi-23
1. Outstanding improvement of productivity
While it has been possible for the standard bulldozer to perform high-precision finish grading after installing an add-on Machine Control kit, the D61EXi/PXi-23 can start with rough dozing and proceed to all subsequent processes, thanks to the world’s first fully automatic blade control. With Automatic Rough Dozing Blade Control, the operator only needs to operate the traction control lever as this bulldozer performs high-efficiency dozing and, as work progresses, the dozing mode automatically changes to Automatic Finish Grading Blade Control. As a result, this bulldozer offers seamless operation from rough dozing to finish grading at high levels of precision and productivity.
2. Built-in Machine Control components
Machine Control components, such as a GNSS antenna, IMU+ (inertial measurement unit), stroke sensing cylinder and control box, are installed when the bulldozer is assembled at Komatsu’s plant, ensuring high reliability of the machine and achieving real-time high-precision measurement of ground location and height. This is very difficult for bulldozers with conventional Machine Control because the measurement is hindered by both upward and downward movements of the blade.