Leveraging its GPS technology and the low cost of accelerometers, Trimble’s Construction Division has developed a system that measures the quality of work done by compactors. The system is expected to help improve efficiency by spotting problems early in the development process.
Trimble, which provides GPS services to a number of off-highway equipment companies, is expanding its reach by adding control and monitoring capabilities. The complete system, the CCS900 compaction control system, includes a display with human machine interface (HMI), along with GPS hardware and an accelerometer.
The accelerometer is the heart of the CM310 compaction sensor system, which checks the density of sub-surface material by monitoring vibration of the compactor’s drum. The accelerometer measures the vibration as the vehicle goes over surfaces, providing feedback on material density.
“We can tell whether they have reached the desired degree of compaction and whether there are any soft spots,” said Arthur Taylor, Segment Manager at Trimble.
Finding soft spots at this early phase cuts costs because it is cheaper to fix them before further work is completed. Using the technology also increases machine and operator productivity while assuring consistent material compaction over the entire construction project, Taylor added.
Combining GPS data and the HMI can also improve coverage by creating a map of the area with suggested coverage patterns. The system will monitor progress as the compactor goes over these areas, improving efficiency.
“It’s very easy for operators to cover some segments of a job with more passes than what’s required, and come up short on others. We monitor the movements and color the areas that have been completed, so there’s chance of no mistake,” said Taylor.
The system can be added to any vehicle by mounting the accelerometer near the center of the compactor’s drum. Shipments should begin in the second quarter of this year.