Modern excavator guidance systems are designed to give full control over the machine, making earthmoving operations easier and more efficient.
The Engcon Positioning System (ePS) is a solution for connecting a compatible excavator guidance system to one of the company’s Generation II tiltrotators – maximising precision and profitability on site in the process.
Now, a combination of a tiltrotator, ePS and a compatible excavator guidance system can enhance this control even further by enabling the operator to see the bucket’s tilt and rotation position on the display screen in the cab.
The technology behind this concept is based on signals from the ePS to the excavation guidance system used on the customer’s machine.
Owner/operators can specify ePS direct from the factory or have it retrofitted to any Generation II tiltrotator from the EC209 upwards, as well as the EC30.
Once the customer has selected the compatible excavator guidance system that meets his needs, Engcon will then adapt the tiltrotator to a rotation sensor, the cab harness and a cab module. The cab module is then docked to the selected machine control system.
Whilst ePS is optimised for the attachment manufacturer‘s smart DC2 control systems, where the cabling for the ePS is integrated with the cabling for DC2, it has been developed as an ‘open’ system. This means that ePS also works with the company‘s other control systems and those of other makes.
For example, this latest version is compatible with some of the most popular control systems from manufacturers such as Leica, Trimble, Topcon, Novatron and MOBA.
Advanced 3D control
As part of the Swedish tiltrotator expert‘s continuous product development programme, the new, improved ePS can communicate with a number of advanced 3D excavator guidance systems which utilise GPS.
Such systems have been used for roadwork projects for some time, but are now becoming increasingly common on small projects such as building foundations, water and drainage jobs.
The GPS signal provides information about the machine’s position while the bucket’s position is shown in the excavator guidance system.
These values are then matched to a digital drawing and the display shows how the bucket moves in relation to the drawing. At the same time, the display provides clear information about the digging depth.
Measurements are made without the need for the operator to leave the cab or wait for manual setting out. The operator is constantly able to see the depth of the cutting line regardless of bucket position, which reduces the need for laser measurement as the excavator guidance system provides all the information the operator needs.
Changes to settings can easily be made directly from the cab, saving time. In addition to these benefits, this level of control reduces material spill and the number of machine movements – saving fuel and increasing safety – as well as reducing machine and attachment wear.
It also saves time for other vehicles, such as trucks/dumpers that drive away the excavation material, and means less restoration work with reduced backfill volumes.
Improved productivity and precision
One of the first UK contractors to recognise the benefits of the Engcon Positioning System is JC Balls & Sons in Ambergate, Derbyshire which specialises in earthmoving and bulk excavations.
The family-run business has recently invested in a top-of-the-range JCB JS220 22-tonne tracked excavator, equipped with an Engcon E226 tiltrotator and ePS connected to a Trimble 3D excavator control system.
Contracts Manager, Dane Potts, says the new addition to the fleet will help them work faster and more accurately, especially on projects which require precision digging to different depths and slope angles, removing the need to level the machine up before digging.
The Engcon tiltrotator will provide the flexibility to tilt and rotate the bucket to virtually any angle, while the ePS means the operator can see the bucket position on the screen in the cab as well as on the ground.
T C Harrison JCB, which supplied the high-spec JS220 to JC Balls, reports growing demand for tiltrotators and control systems. According to Sales Engineer, Ed Page, they are proven to improve productivity and efficiency by making it easier to get the angle and positioning of tools just right.
Engcon continues to work closely with major excavator guidance system manufacturers to keep ePS at the forefront of machine control.
At Leica’s European R&D facility, for example, ePS is being integrated into its latest Icon 3D guidance system to provide a complete machine control solution.
Leica Product Specialist, Marcus Grevelshoej, says the combination is impressive, making it possible to follow the bucket’s precise movements on the large screen in the cab.
Topcon, a leading provider of machine control technology, is equally pleased to be able to offer Engcon’s tiltrotator and ePS with both its 2D and 3D guidance systems.
According to Topcon’s OEM development team, being able to see rotation of the bucket on its system’s display screen is one of the major benefits for operators, as is the ability to obtain the correct height of the bucket tip, regardless of rotation and angle.
An instructional information video to show the advantages and functions ePS provides machine owner/operators is available and you can view it at the Construction Plant News website.
For more information on the Engcon Positioning System (ePS) click here.