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SITE TECHNOLOGY: Get the bigger picture

There are other GPS-enabled systems out there that can enhance your technology investment.
February 22, 2012

Johan Smet is Director of Technology Consulting and Services for Trimble’s Heavy Civil Construction Division. He joined Trimble in 2004 as Director for the Construction Division. Johan holds an Engineering degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. 

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In the world of construction technology, it’s usually 3D machine control that gets all the recognition as the major productivity booster. But there are other GPS-enabled systems out there that can enhance your technology investment and have just as much impact on your bottom line.

An example is site productivity monitoring, which allows you to remotely and continuously monitor and record your machine’s blade or bucket, creating a production model over time. While machine control let’s you get the grading and site work done faster, it’s site productivity monitoring that helps you make sure those machines are working as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

During earthmoving and grading, the system creates a comprehensive production model that includes position, elevation and time. The model is used to create near real-time 3D surface elevations, cut and fill maps and earthworks volumes throughout the project. The entire earthmoving operation can be tracked and recorded, including over-excavation and backfill, or overfill/surcharge, and cutback operations, which can easily be overlooked when using traditional methods of progress volume reporting.

These productivity monitoring systems can also be extremely valuable in asphalt compaction operations. A compactor’s position can be continuously recorded and tracked to create a 3D surface model with accurate compaction pass count and temperature mapping. Continuous monitoring of compaction operations ensures uniformity in surface construction and rapid identification of problematic areas. Final surface quality and the operational life of the constructed surface can be improved, while the need for manual spot inspections is minimized.

When combined with asset and fleet management capabilities, project monitoring provides key information that can give you a more holistic view of the total site productivity... all from a PC in your remote office or headquarters. It’s the bigger big picture, and it can significantly improve your bottom line. You can get more detail on these and other productivity systems by talking to your construction technology dealer.

You can read many stories about why and how customers made the decision to implement technology, and what their experience has been, at trimble-productivity.com.

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