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Global positioning system for tilt-bucket excavators

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article image Tilt measurement of excavator tilt-bucket.

TRIMBLE has released a new version of its SiteVision global positioning system (GPS). It is designed for excavators with tilt-bucket attachments.

The system allows side-to-side tilt measurement of an excavator tilt-bucket attachment and offers additional features designed for roading applications. It uses dual GPS antennas to compute the position of the machine blade or bucket. An onboard computer determines the position of each tip of the blade or bucket and compares these positions to a design elevation. It then computes the cut or fill to grade. This information is displayed on a screen in the cab. The cut/fill data is used to drive the valves for automatic blade control or passed to the SiteVision lightbars which guide the operator up or down for grade and right or left of a defined alignment.

The GPS receiver measures 3D position of both bucket tips of a tilt-bucket. The tilt-bucket feature allows the contractor to use a tilt-bucket attachment on an excavator when working on jobs involving digging to a sloped plane perpendicular to the boom's axis, such as trenches with sloped walls. The AS300 solid state angle sensors are designed for easy installation on excavators. The sensors are mounted on the boom, stick and tilt bucket linkage. The output is used to calculate the relative position of the tilt bucket teeth. This is combined with the GPS positioning to calculate an accurate 3D position and orientation. Since the AS300 sensors have no moving parts, they are more reliable. They can survive being submerged in up to 20m of water.

Contractors can use encoders for high-accuracy applications or angle sensors for durable or underwater operations. This is suitable for dredging or other near-shore hydrographic applications.

The software is designed for use with all machine types. The layered lift feature lets users build up a large fill in layers. This is suitable for road construction where layers are parallel to the road surface but extend out to intersect the side slope.

Perpendicular offset allows the surface to be offset perpendicularly instead of vertically to ensure correct fill on sloped surfaces. The operator can choose perpendicular or vertical offset at any time.

User-configurable menus allow a supervisor to tailor the system to a specific job or operator. The 3D lines software feature provides machine guidance without the need to create a complete design surface.

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