Machine Control and GPS

Machine Control and GPS

As technology develops and timelines for construction projects become increasingly shorter, it has become imperative to make use of technology to increase efficiency and productivity on construction sites. Machine control systems are one of these developments that have increased precision as well as efficiency.

The development of machine control systems would have not been possible without the invention of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). GPS is a radio navigation and surveying system that is satellite-based and this is what provides increased accuracy to machine control systems.

In this article, we will discuss how machine control works, as well as how GPS affects machine control in surveying.

How Does Machine Control Work?

Machine control systems are integrated and installed into equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, and motor graders. Other than GPS and GNSS, some of the other technologies that it makes use of include sensors, lasers, geospatial beacons, and digital data. Some of the benefits experienced include:

  • Refined Levelling
  • Accurate Digging
  • Equipment Location-Awareness
  • Increase Predictability
  • Ease of Use
  • Decreased Operation Costs

How GPS Affects Machine Control in Surveying

As GPS and GNSS are at the heart of machine control, it determines and affects the entire operating process. Thus, the machine control process starts with a satellite in space. These satellites are able to view, calculate, and generate a digital map of the location where the construction site is situated. An on-site GPS base station is then installed at that location, to which the satellite sends broadcasted radio corrections. This allows for extreme accuracy in machines and surveying equipment in that location.

GNSS and GPS guiding also allow for the machines to be operated manually or via indication from the operator or an automatic mode can be utilised in which case, the machine’s hydraulics will make the adjustments required.

It is important for the surveying industry to consistently develop and evolve with technology as it will continue to increase the quality of the work done, as well as improve profitability and allow for shorter job timeframes. To find out more about the latest in surveying equipment and technology, contact the team at Afgen.

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