Source: Hexagon and Leica
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JCB, Leica Geosystems offer semi-automated excavator controls

June 4, 2024
2D and 3D controls automate functions such as boom, bucket and tilt rotator to reduce human error

JCB and Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon, announced March 20 that they’re collaborating to jointly offer Intelligrade factory-fitted, 2D and 3D, semi-automated excavator controls.

This solution will initially be available in the U.K. on the JCB 220X tracked excavator. It will be offered later in other regional and across the whole JCB X series.

Leica’s 2D and 3D machine controls are available with semi-automated configuration to enhance productivity, accuracy, and safety by automating functions such as boom, bucket and tilt rotator control to reduce human error in construction operations.

Working to predetermined site plans, the 2D machine control system provides real-time guidance and accuracy for tasks such as grading and levelling, ensuring the excavator's bucket or blade achieves the desired slope or elevation. This solution is ideal for projects that involve simple terrain or require basic grading.
Users seeking even greater accuracy, more precision and added semi-automated functions on earthmoving applications can choose the 3D-ready option to retain the flexibility of upgrading to 3D in the future. To upgrade the factory solution to a 3D version, customers can contact their local Leica Geosystems sales office or dealer, who will support them with calibration and installation at the JCB dealership or at the customer’s site.

“We’re committed to innovation with our X Series range, and this introduction will mean new levels of efficiency and reduced operating costs,” says Paul Swallow, business head for excavators at JCB. “In addition, it gives operators greater levels of accuracy when using X Series machines, delivering consistently high standards on construction sites. It also reduces the need for additional surveyors on site, leading to enhanced safety.

“Leica Geosystems is a leader in the field of 2D and 3D machine control, and by integrating these products at the factory, it ensures they’re perfectly set up and available to use from the outset. Customers can achieve all the benefits of semi-auto machine control without the disruption or complexity of retrofitting in the field.”

“By leveraging our respective strengths and expertise, we aim to create a seamless integration of easy-to-use machine control technology into JCB's excavators,” adds Tommi Kauppinen, VP of heavy construction, machine control and field solutions at Leica Geosystems. “This will empower customers to work more efficiently and safer, and to achieve optimal results.”

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.