Effectiveness of automated machine guidence technology in productivity improvement : case study Azar, Ehsan Rezazadeh; Agnew, Gabriel; Parker, Andrew
Automated machine guidance (AMG) systems are a relatively new solution to enhance the precision and improve the productivity of heavy civil operations. These systems process 3D computer models of the earthwork together with the spatial information of the end-effector of the machine, and display the relative location of the end-effector and design levels in real-time for the operator. This paper presents a case study of two large earthmoving projects to compare the performance of equipped bulldozers and excavators with non-equipped machines under similar conditions. The studied operations were summer reclamation and highway excavation for bulldozers and excavators, respectively. The results show that the automated machine guidance technology improved the productivity by 6% to 34% for bulldozers and 19% to 23% for excavators. The variation in improvement rates for bulldozers were due to different site conditions, because unstable soil conditions negatively affect the operation regardless of using automated machine guidance system. In addition to productivity improvement, application of automated machine guidance could reduce the need for surveying; the surveyor team was present 21% to 30% of the working hours for conventional operation of excavators whereas this figure was only 5% for the equipped machines.
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