Intelligent control systems

Advances in automation systems for the asphalt paving process are helping contractors achieve significant efficiency gains.

The latest control systems for asphalt paving technology allow you to achieve amazing performance. Using these systems saves on expensive materials while providing better surface finishes and longer lasting pavements.

New tools from Topcon improve the efficiency of the asphalt paving process

Intelligent systems designed to improve asphalt paving efficiency can be found in the portfolio of all three major machine control system providers, Leica Geosystems, a Swiss manufacturer of equipment and engineering solutions for surveying tasks, and Topcon, a US provider of precision measurement solutions and automated control systems. Positioning and the American surveyor company Trimble.

With the Leica ConX Cloud Control System, users can monitor, view and sync paving process and equipment parameters. When paving long distances, the Auto Leapfrog feature ensures a continuous paving process and helps improve paving quality.

The company claims that its equipment can be used with all major brands of asphalt pavers. A feature of the top version is the ability to control the paving width and the movement of the machine along a given line.

The key features of this automation suite are that the paver is ready to go as soon as the digital model of the design surface is loaded. This eliminates the inaccuracies associated with traditional methods and ensures consistent paving quality. In addition, the system helps to reduce road maintenance costs by avoiding surface irregularities that lead to premature wear over time.

Topcon is constantly working to improve existing and develop new automation equipment for road construction equipment. To optimize the quality of asphalt paving, the company offers a modern Thermal Mapper system.

This automation suite is designed to control temperature segregation, measure paving parameters and prevent future problems. In addition, the system provides the function of automatic generation of reports on compliance with established requirements. The system provides accurate determination of the coordinates of controlled areas using RTK technology.

The system captures fresh mix temperature readings behind the paver and presents the measurements visually in real time. Operators can clearly see if the spreading mix temperature is within the specified operating range and if the temperature segregation is out of range.

“In the event of extensive and severe temperature segregation, serious problems will subsequently arise on the roads. The Thermal Mapper system tells operators if the mixture is stable or if there is a moderate or severe temperature deviation.

If unacceptable temperature deviations occur, operators can take appropriate action to achieve more efficient and accurate project results,” explains Murray Lodge, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Business Construction Division, Topcon

This system is also equipped with a GPS positioning function. The RTK technology used for this provides more accurate results than previous generation technologies.

Effective means of automating the process of paving

Trimble can also offer road builders efficient tools to automate the paving process. The company offers a cloud-based Roadworks 2D Paving Control Platform designed for asphalt pavers. An automated screed control system will help improve paving accuracy and increase productivity.

According to the company, the new Trimble Roadworks product will enable road builders to minimize the waste of expensive asphalt material, achieve optimal pavement performance and complete projects on time and within agreed budgets.

According to the company, the new platform’s software is based on the Android operating system and is intuitive and easy to learn. The system enables the operator to get the job done faster and more productively, regardless of skill level.

For fixed thickness paving, Trimble Roadworks can use a 2D reference base, making it a less expensive option where planning or milling is done with 3D controlled machines. The platform can be used in the construction of highways, interstate roads of the highway network, runways of airfields and for the installation of large-area asphalt concrete pavements in commercial facilities.

By using the same interface as the Trimble Earthworks Grade Control Platform and because most of the sensors are similar to those of the Trimble PCS400 2D Paving Control System, a user of existing Trimble technology can quickly get up to speed with the Trimble Roadworks system to get started with it.

The Trimble Roadworks application uses the Trimble TD510 touch display. With two external keypads, the operator can easily change sensor settings and enter data on site.

Through the use of the Android operating system, operators can download other applications that provide additional useful tools at the operator’s workplace, such as a weather application or a data application.

Trimble Roadworks can be installed on any new or existing pavers, regardless of the make or manufacturer of the machine. Flexible design allows the system to be equipped with any combination of ultrasonic tracking sensors, slope sensors, screed sensors and direct action sensors, with the ability to easily and quickly turn on or off these or other sensors using the application.