Aclagro in Belgium is a company specialised in infrastructure projects and currently employs 350 people in Belgium and France. Aclagro decided to automate their concrete slipform paving machine and chose Leica Geosystems solutions as the company has been trusting Leica Geosystems for many years.
“We were a bit concerned if our workers could learn to work with the new system,” explains Yves De Backer, foreman at Aclagro. “But, after a few weeks, our people were quite familiar with the new system. The machine is now so easy to set up and operate, and the possibilities are almost unlimited.”
The company’s Wirtgen SP15 curb and gutter machine was equipped with the Leica iCON pave solution with the new innovative 1UP configuration for a road ramp building project in a suburban area in Aalter located between Bruges and Ghent in Belgium. The workflow from earthworks to curb and gutter paving went seamlessly. The paving machine came into work just after the excavator had finished the earthworks, and, after data upload, it was ready for the job. This was particularly important because the street residents had no access to their houses during the construction works, and the 3D paving solution from Leica Geosystems helped to reduce project time.
The 1UP configuration combines the dual GNSS system with a total station and prism system. The GNSS system controls the heading of the machine whereas the prism/total station system controls the slope and elevation of the machine’s mould with millimetre precision. This configuration, combining the high precision of the total station and the prism configuration, is paramount for paving jobs with GNSS controlling the direction of the machine and allowed the customer to:
- Simplify the installation
- Reduce the setup time
- Save costs because fewer total stations are needed, and the RTK corrections of the GNSS system are not required.
“The most important question for us was: ‘How flexible is the system?’”, says De Backer. “Because of this, we decided to go for a GPS and TPS combination. When working in a tunnel, we use two total stations, but when we are just driving in the open field, we use GPS for the direction and total station for the height.”
3D stringless paving was invented more than 20 years ago by Leica Geosystems. Avoiding the physical stringlines increases safety on site because people are no longer stumbling over stringlines and fewer workers are required on site.
Designed for even the harshest of environments
The solution included the new rugged MCP80 panel certified with IP66 and IP67 ratings, meaning it is protected against dust and water penetration. This is especially important for a solution for curb and gutter machines that does not have a cabin and where the panel is mounted on the machine, subject to the elements like the dusty environment that is typical for paving jobs. The large colour touch-screen is designed for easy navigation and can be used even in direct sunlight.
Leica MC1 for paving solutions
The machine control solution for Aclagro’s curb and gutter machine was delivered with the new Leica MC1 software, the new generation on-machine control platform from Leica Geosystems. MC1 is the one-for-all software solution to guide and automate all iCON solutions leading to a simplified workflow. MC1 software has now been released for the entire iCON road segment, including soil compactors, concrete pavers, asphalt pavers and milling machines. The new software has an uncluttered and user-friendly interface with the most important functions put forward.
For the curb and gutter machine, the quick access keys in the panel allow the operator to change height offset easily with the touch of a finger and without leaving the run screen that has been set up with the exact preference for the operator.
The integration with Leica ConX, the cloud-based data sharing tool, allows for easy data transfer to and from the machine in real time and gives the customer the opportunity of remote support.
“The machine can be checked remotely, which is for us a big benefit for us. We won’t have to lose a lot of time when we have problems on a job site,” concludes Yves.