Hitachi Construction & Mining Division, an operating division of John Deere Construction & Forestry Company, in April rolled out options for its grade control technology, on select excavators, including 2D Grade Control and Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control, which allow an operator to set a grade and hold it. The new factory-integrated technology increases efficiency while also lowering daily operating costs by enabling operators to spend less time getting the grade right the first time.
“We gave a sneak peek of Hitachi’s grade control technology at CONEXPO-CON/AGG last year,” said Justin Steger, solutions marketing manager, site development & underground, Hitachi Construction & Mining Division. “It’s thrilling to share this solution with our customers for increased efficiency. We know grade management technology is the future of the excavator industry, and we’re glad to provide a variety of options for our customers.”
With Hitachi’s grade control technology, the machine controls the boom and bucket as the operator handles the arm. This is especially useful as it reduces the need for multiple passes to achieve the correct grade. Likewise, less experienced operators are able to achieve the correct grade more efficiently while a crew member who previously had to check for the grade can now be assigned elsewhere on the worksite.
Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) controls position and elevation with respect to a global reference while the 2D Grade Control manages the elevation of the cutting edge in relation to a benchmark. The 2D Grade Control technology can also be upgraded to 3D Grade Control, through Hitachi excavator dealers.
“Our 2D Grade Control and Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control unite advanced grade technology with the smooth hydraulics and fast cycle times of Hitachi excavators,” Steger said. “It saves time and helps make good operators great.”
With an over-dig protection feature, the new grade control technology also lowers the likelihood of over-excavation by preventing the machine from digging past a defined surface or depth. With the prevention of over digging, operators can finish jobs more quickly, reduce material cost and save fuel costs, too. The Virtual Front feature hydraulically limits and automatically stops the bucket cutting edge from contacting the front of the machine at a selectable distance. Additionally, operators can set virtual boundaries helping prevent damage when working around jobsite obstacles. Virtual Ceiling, Virtual Floor, Virtual Swing and Virtual Wall features provide visual and audible alerts to the operator as the machine approaches an adjustable set point, allowing operators to focus on productivity.
Hitachi offers customers four options for grade management technology: 2D grade guidance, 3D grade guidance, 2D grade control and Solution Linkage 3D grade control. Hitachi’s integrated grade management technology arrives ready to work thanks to factory installation and calibration. The systems are also fully supported by Hitachi excavator dealers. Machine integration helps ensure that key components such as sensors and harnesses are protected – increasing uptime. System data from all options works with ZXLink for analysis, so the machine’s health can be monitored to keep projects on track.
Hitachi grade management technology is available on the ZX210-6, ZX210LC-6 and ZX350LC-6 in the United States and Canada.