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Komatsu releases retrofit kits to increase productivity of conventional excavators

Conventional excavators

Improving grading performance can pose as a challenge for excavator operators who lack experience and experienced excavator operators on hire are generally not only expensive, but also rare.  Komatsu has taken the issue of scarcity of experienced excavator operators to heart and developed an affordable Smart Construction Retro-fit Kit which allows older Komatsu excavator models to be with not just grading assist, but also 3-D guidance and as well as payload monitoring which enhances productivity significantly.

Komatsu’s cost-management tools and is easy to install

According to Komatsu, the retrofit kit allows even novice operators to manage tasks more efficiently and accurately. The design of the retrofit kit was initially developed to enhance grading performance as part of Komatsu’s cost-management tools and is easy to install and very affordable. In essence it is an upgrade system that brings older or conventional excavator models up to par with newer models.

The guidance kit basically fills the experience gap for excavator operators who are still on the road to gain experience. The system operators at project sites and managers from their desks in the office to access data related to 3D design and payload that enhances control load volumes and accuracy significantly. According to Ron Schwieters who is a senior manager under the customer solutions component for Komatsu the Smart Construction Retro fit kit is a basic or entry level solution that narrows the technological gaps of older models and enhances their productivity significantly. It is all a matter of integration and optimization of older fleets to keep the older models relevant and as productive as newer models.

Benefits of the Smart Construction

Among the primary benefits of the Smart Construction Retrofit includes access for operators to the latest design data and the ability for both managers and the operator to monitor and measure payload volume and load counts. Most conventional Komatsu models have the capacity to accommodate the Smart Construction Retrofit which means that the operator does not need to set up lasers or benches each time the excavator moves.

The GNSS system (global navigation satellite system) on top of that is able to pinpoint the exact location of the machine on job sites and will also be able to detect target grade. This basically means that the requirement for additional labour is minimised as the retro fit kit collects and sends data directly to operators meaning less people are needed on the ground. Production and progress with the kit allows managers to monitor from the office via the integration of Smart Construction applications (for progress tracking).

Support components of the construction Industry

This comes as a good thing for the support components of the construction industry such as heavy machine equipment rental companies who would be able to breathe new life into the older excavators for hire by fitting these systems in. Most construction outfits look for the latest models when hiring excavators and 3 D, payload, tracking and grade assist are elements that operators and project managers insist upon when renting excavators and the retrofit kit gives them exactly that and at a much more affordable price.

The retrofit systems may also be fitted into mini excavators for hire which is much more practical give the fact that mini excavators are most often taken on rental. Other new product enhancements by Komatsu include the PC4000-11 electric drive excavator and the WA475 – 10 wheel loader that boasts a new tool linkage boom which is a first in the industry. Another new product that made its debut in Japan is Komatsu’s micro excavator (battery powered) to be officially launched soon.

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