Komatsu has launched a project management technology that will benefit the construction phase of mining and enhance the growing use of drones in the industry.
The equipment manufacturer unveiled its Smartconstruction concept in Australia and New Zealand during August.
Komatsu describes the concept as a significant step forward in construction technology, offering integrated product, service and support solutions across all phases of a project.
The concept has been developed to allow Komatsu to integrate a host of technologies, creating what it describes as an end-to-end solution for operators in mining, construction and quarrying.
Smartconstruction covers critical project development steps, from initial site survey and design, through to machine control management, machine interconnectivity and review of project progress during the construction phase.
Finally, it develops detailed as-built information for future construction and infrastructure maintenance.
Komatsu Australia national technology solution expert manager Aaron Marsh told Australian Mining that Smart Construction would assist the mining industry during the construction phase, with the use of drones and during site rehabilitation.
“Smartconstruction complements the integration of Komatsu’s machine controls, as well as the evolution of those products,” Marsh explained.
“Technology these days is moving very quickly and there will continue to be equipment coming out that this technology will support during mine construction, including autonomous equipment, while also improving safety at sites.”
Smartconstruction covers four key areas, starting with the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drones. The technology monitors drone site surveys, including cut/fill and stockpile calculations, as well as ongoing progress tracking and site logistics.
Additionally, it covers 3D data services, including conversion of 2D and 3D data files to formats suitable for machine control applications, and 3D design consultancy, development and management over the life of a project.
Smartconstruction is supported by the Komconnect cloud-based service, which brings together all the project-related information required by operators.
Considered the brains of Smartconstruction, Komconnect combines initial surveys, design drawings and construction plans, through to machine control data files, project progress data generated by machines and survey equipment as the job progresses.
Smartconstruction also provides support services, covering remote monitoring, remote file transfer and operating training, iMC (intelligent Machine Control) advice, project integration and site set up, assistance and professional consultancy with 3D design file development, troubleshooting and servicing of machines and control systems.
To introduce Smartconstruction across Australia and New Zealand, Marsh said Komatsu established the Komatsu Smart Centre, which involves a team of company-trained technology solution experts and a national remote support team.
“Smartconstruction builds on our industry-leading expertise in machine management through our Insite fleet management centre, Komtrax remote monitoring service, along with our highly innovative iMC offerings, which are currently available in dozers and excavators,” Marsh said.
“We are building on these technologies with the introduction of our drone-based survey and site management technology and now our cloud-based Komconnect information management offering.”
Komatsu plans to deliver training and support for customers to ensure Smartconstruction is effectively implemented at operations and projects.
The company’s technology solution experts will provide training, support, assistance and advice across all aspects of the technology.
Additionally, Komatsu has established a national service and support agreement with the Australian Topcon distributor, Position Partners, to harness their experience in surveying and precision machine control.
Marsh said this integrated offering made Smartconstruction the next big step in construction management technology.
“It represents a huge advancement in how contractors, project owners, quarry operators and miners can design, plan, construct and manage their projects,” Marsh concluded.
This article also appears in the September edition of Australian Mining.