Sakai Rollers Employ Auto Brake Technology

Feb. 9, 2024
SW844G compactors with Guardman have met proof-of-concept in Japan.

Sakai’s new Guardman compactor roller auto brake assist system technology is making stopping its first priority–and perhaps setting a new standard for safer asphalt paving construction.

Proximity warning systems for paving construction sites do not consider whether workers are already aware of hazards prior to issuing warnings. Although the alarms are well intentioned, repeated audio notifications can become distracting and cause alarm fatigue. Workers may ignore or simply disable the warnings, increasing their risk of injury.

Simply put, Sakai’s Guardman auto brake assist system’s smart technology takes human response time out of the stopping equation. Even an incursion as small as a golf ball triggers the Guardman system technology to STOP the roller immediately upon detecting an obstacle, no matter if the roller’s operator notices the object or not.

A first for the asphalt paving roller industry, Guardman detects personnel, equipment, or objects behind the compactor–fore and aft–and automatically brakes when a collision is imminent. The operator does not need to intervene. 

Daniel Margrave, Sakai America’s product training and marketing manager, says the SW884G roller is the first one with front and rear detection/braking in production and available for sale. (The larger SW994G is soon to follow.) Other compaction machines in the market carry rear-incursion detection only, in part because smaller rollers offer minimally acceptable front visibility. Sakai’s Guardman smart detection system means that the SW884G will brake in an emergency while moving forward, say before hitting the back of a paver. The braking system does not shut down the machine, however, so the operator can resume working with no additional start-up procedures.

Guardman uses millimeter radar and Lidar radar fully integrated with the machine’s hydraulic drive and spring-applied, hydraulically released braking system. The Guardman smart technology detects obstacle parameters such as distance, bearing, altitude, speed, attitude, and even shape. The controller then instantly processes the information to instigate the appropriate stopping procedures fitting the roller’s realtime operating environment. For this reason, the Guardman brake system is not available to be retrofitted on a contractor’s currently in-service rollers.

Margrave says Sakai required new machine components, including the engine and speed controls, to work with a sophisticated intelligent controller. Operators will notice the redesigned controls which provide more information than on previous models. For close quarters work, the SW884G in wall mode detects multiple obstacles for paving tight quarters without triggering false alarms. If the motor fails to brake, SAHR e-brake is applied.

Sakai’s highway-sized SW844G compactors fitted with Guardman detection have met proof-of-concept on paving job sites in Japan for over three years.