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As demand rises for social infrastructure development and mine development to support sustainable lifestyles, a shortage of site engineers has become a worldwide issue. The HCM Group is working to address various challenges faced by the front lines by harnessing its remote support and unmanned work automation technologies.
ConSite is an information service provided by Hitachi Construction Machinery that supports the daily business of customers using the latest ICT solutions. In addition to Monthly Reports sent by email monthly detailing the operating status of customers’ machines, Alarm Reports are also sent to the computer or mobile device of operators and owners whenever a highly urgent change occurs that could result in a sudden machine breakdown. This enables customers to quickly address issues on site and the details of reports can be shared with our service staff, ensuring we can provide the most suitable advice to the customers.
Also, Monthly Reports display operating time and fuel consumption of machines on a calendar so as to check the efficiency of work at a glance. Furthermore, ConSite helps to visualize information that impacts machine service life such as hours in operation as well as information related to durability, such as tendency in pressure and temperature. This ensures customers carry out maintenance at appropriate intervals, which in turn lowers Life-cycle Costs and the environmental impact of the machine.
ConSite’s data reports are sent out by email after the operating data of more than 56,000 machines around the world representing 32 languages are aggregated regularly. Looking forward, we plan on further expanding ConSite services by harnessing the Artificial Intelligence and data analysis technologies of the Hitachi Group.
AISWARYA GRANITES (India)
AISWARYA GRANITES is an excavating company based in Kerala State, India that has introduced ConSite for its two ZX220-GI. On one occasion, service staff of Tata-Hitachi Construction Machinery Company Private Limited noticed an issue with the machines’ rotating function and fuel consumed during idle based on a Monthly Report showing the operating status for the month prior to the report. In turn, they proposed improvements. The effects of these improvements were quite evident in the numbers found in the next month’s regular report. Loading work that had conventionally required a 180 degree swing-operation and took 143 seconds was changed to a 60 degree swing-operation that took 113 seconds, improving work efficiency by 21%.
Service staff in charge of AISWARYA GRANITES noted that, “ConSite Monthly Reports provided impetus for them to talk together with operators about swing-operations and reducing fuel loss from idling. We were able to improve work efficiency when loading dump trucks, not only reducing fuel consumption and improving productivity, but also boosting the motivation of operators.”
Service staff proposing an improvement to the customer based on data shown in the Monthly Report
Hitachi Construction Machinery delivers various solutions that support information-oriented construction on site at civil engineering projects in response to the i-Construction initiative being advocated by the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Information-oriented construction represents a new approach to construction work that effectively utilizes ICT to achieve more efficient and accurate machine operations. With the construction and civil engineering industry facing a shortage of skilled workers and a graying of its workforce, growing attention has been placed on methods for increasing work efficiencies, shortening project durations, reducing manpower, as well as realizing greater accuracy and safety at work.
As a machine compliant with i-Construction, Hitachi Construction Machinery developed the ZX200X-5B ICT hydraulic excavator. We began offering rentals of this machine from June 2016 and sales from November 2016. The ZX200X-5B features Hitachi Construction Machinery’s proprietary machine control function and machine guidance function that assists operators navigate controls. The three dimensional information for a machine’s location and position computed from the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), such as GPS, as well as angle sensors from the front and body is reconciled with three dimensional design data for the work site and then used to semi-autonomously operate front end processes. This ensures that digging does not go beyond the targeted area and soil is excavated in an efficient manner. As a result, the finishing stake* at typical construction sites is no longer needed and the workload of measurement work is also reduced. This results in significantly shorter work period as well as improves safety and productivity at construction sites. A two dimensional specification is also available, which greatly increases productivity at work sites through two dimensional machine control and machine guidance, even for small-scale work or at construction sites where positioning satellites cannot be used.
In addition to this ICT hydraulic excavator, the HCM Group is working on tie-ups for open innovation together with various business partners, including surveying companies. Specifically, Hitachi Construction Machinery and surveying companies work together on initial surveying and finished product management using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to provide necessary support and proposals for customers’ information-oriented construction processes. Also, we work with software companies to deliver customized software in terms of customers’ needs and challenges that supports construction and civil engineering work sites.
Going forward, we will continue to provide solutions based on customer needs while also providing integrated support spanning all processes of work utilizing ICT, from initial survey to delivery.
* Finishing stake: Measurement of correct positioning of the object to be worked on prior to the start of construction.
Requirements for autonomous driving technologies continue to grow more sophisticated each passing year. Given this situation, Hitachi Construction Machinery has been developing an autonomous haulage system (AHS) for mining dump trucks. AHS combines Hitachi Construction Machinery’s advanced vehicle stability control technology, the expertise in mining operation management systems of Wenco (Canada) of the HCM Group, as well as the railway operation management system, car navigation system and other long-standing technologies of the Hitachi Group.
People with advanced driving skills and experience are essential for safety operating the massive dump trucks used in mining pits and efficiently. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly more difficult to secure the labor force needed based on various business conditions, such as geographic location, among others. AHS helps solve the issue of shortages in skilled technicians in the field, greatly contributing to improve customers’ safety and productivity.
Validation testing currently underway aimed at commercialization
At the same time as developing AHS for large dump trucks, we are working to support the safe driving of operators by providing two other solutions. First is Aerial Angle, a proprietary full periphery safety confirmation support device with an alert function developed through collaboration with the Hitachi Group that helps operators driving manned dump trucks avoid dangers. Second is Fleet Awareness V2X, a safe driving support system that utilizes vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology developed by Wenco and Hitachi, Ltd.
Many of the fatal accidents that occur at mines are caused when vehicles, such as mining machinery and service cars, collide with one another. Operation can be made much safer with such technologies from autonomous dump trucks and excavators, but costs and work environment sometimes mean that the cutting edge technologies cannot be deployed by all customers and mining sites. Hitachi Construction Machinery believes it is important to provide the right solutions tailored to each site based on the customer environment and scale of operations. This is why we are focused on providing solutions derived from the latest technologies.
An alarm is issued if the dump truck comes close to another dump truck or mining machinery. Fleet Awareness V2X is useful for preventing rear-end and other collisions in poor visibility caused by hilly intersections or at night.
Hitachi Construction Machinery has a super long front excavator with long arm that can excavate places far from the machine itself. These machines are now available in a series consisting of models with long arms and models with large capacity buckets, in response to customers’ varying uses, including river dredging, embankment work forming slopes for levees, urban civil engineering work such as subways, and the handling of materials loaded onto ships, among others. These machines play an important role at sites involving slope finishing work, scooping sand from deep in the ground, feed and other materials.
Hitachi Construction Machinery has established its own rigorous quality and performance standards and only products that meet these standards are brought to market. Our designs take into account not only the differing needs of each country, but also transport conditions, such as load limitations.
Going forward, we will continue to increase our safe and secure products that are environmentally friendly in order to respond to the various range of needs both inside and outside Japan.
The model with extended reach makes river dredging work even more efficient. Pictured is the ZX240LC (18-meter front) operated in Australia.
Scooping up underground earth and sand from an above ground position. Pictured is the ZX210LC-5G (18-meter front) operated in Indonesia.
Hitachi Construction Machinery provides the optimal products and services for stable machine availabilities and high productivity even at harsh work sites at high elevation or in cold regions.
For example, Aappaluttoq Ruby and Pink Sapphire mine located 130km south of Greenlands’ capital, Nuuk. Currently, six Hitachi machines, including Wheel Loaders and Hydraulic Excavators, are being operated there. This area is subject to harsh winters with temperatures reaching as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius in the winter. Such a climate requires machines to be maintained appropriately to ensure high durability and minimize the time machines are not in use. Hitachi Construction Machinery’s construction machines offer excellent fuel economy and are designed for care-free maintenance, making it simple to maintain and replace parts. Furthermore, by using ConSite to remotely manage data and prevent machine breakdowns, the customers are able to prevent machines from machine Downtime and make maintenance more effective, whereby lowering Life-cycle Costs and improving productivity.
The ZW220-5 Wheel Loader capable of operating stably in harsh environments, including transporting pipes used at the job sites.