From March 10-14, manufacturers and construction professionals gathered at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 to learn about the latest in equipment. Multiple construction and construction materials industry segments were represented. Here’s what you might have missed.

Product Updates
There were a number of product updates to come out of CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 aimed at improving machine control, stringless paving, semi-automatic functionality, safety, and so much more.

Machine Control
One big announcement comes from Leica Geosystems, a Hexagon company, which announced it is further developing its one-for-all Leica MC1 3D machine control platform with the new Leica iCON grade solutions for dozers and motor graders. Constructech has reported on the Leica MC1, and the announcements surrounding it just keep on coming. This recent announcement will safely control dozers and motor graders automatically and assist operators to meet the exact grade on any surface. A big value here is the ability to reduce operator fatigue.

Stringless Paving
Leica Geosystems says 3D stringless paving was invented more than 20 years ago to increase safety on site. Two-decades of experience and continuous innovation led to the Leica iCON pave machine control solution to make paving work easier for asphalt operators and contractors. Now, Leica Geosystems releases the update of the latest Leica iCON asphalt paving solution for the one-for-all Leica MC1 software platform. The move to stringless paving is also a big trend to keep an eye on.

Semi-Automatic Functionality
Semi-automatic functionality enables equipment operators to execute complex tasks, reduce manual controls, and increase the speed and accuracy of the work. To enable this, Leica Geosystems announced the release of the new semi-automated excavator functionality for the Leica iXE3 3D excavator machine control solution, including tilt and tilt rotator bucket automation. The solution automatically controls boom, bucket, tilt, and tilt rotator bucket functions to dig faster and more accurate to the target design surface and cross slope.

Safety
Personal alert systems can create warnings when vehicles and pedestrians on construction and mining sites come into close contact in an effort to avoid potential accidents. One big announcement to address this came from Leica Geosystems, which announced the Leica iCON PA10 and PA80 personal alert systems. The iCON PA10 is a standalone personal alert device that creates multiple zones with up to 50 meters ranges with configurable warnings around any vehicle. The iCON PA80 is a personal alert interface integration into the Leica MC1 one-for-all software solution platform that guides and automates any and all heavy construction machinery.

OEM Updates and Partnerships
Perhaps one of the biggest trends coming out of the show is the amount of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that are entering into new partnerships with technology companies to offer new technology and tools on equipment.

Excavators
Excavators are getting an infusion of technology. A number of manufacturers made big announcements. One example is Liebherr and Leica Geosystems announced they are cooperating to integrate 2D and 3D machine control solutions for excavators. The relationship begins with supporting the Liebherr Wheeled and Crawler Excavators Generations 6 and 8 with the Leica iXE2 2D and iXE3 3D machine control solutions for excavator guidance. Mono boom and two-piece booms versions are supported in this integration as well as hydraulic tilt buckets and tiltrotators.

As another case, Leica Geosystems announced the JCB generation X Excavator 131X, 140X, 150X, and 220X will now be supported with a new cable kit for the Leica iCON iXE1D, iXE2D, and iXE3D machine control solutions for excavator guidance. The kits have been designed for factory installation with cables developed between JCB and Leica Geosystems.

As one other example, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd., and Leica Geosystems announced a working relationship to develop integrated 3D machine control and guidance systems. The relationship will begin with supporting the Zoomlion Badger 215G excavator with Leica Geosystems machine control solutions for excavator guidance.

From this announcement, we see greater digitization of machines, which enables the excavators to interface within a 2D or 3D environment.

Dozers
Dozers are also seeing a number of advancements, which will open new dimensions in earthmoving and grading and result in more accurate and efficient operations for contractors. For instance, Leica Geosystems announced its Leica Ready machine control kits will now be available for a new generation of Liebherr dozers. The Liebherr Dozer PR736 Generation 8 will now be supported with a new cable kit for the Leica iCON iGD4SP, iGD2, and iGD3 machine control solutions for bulldozer grading.

As another example, the John Deere Crawler Dozer Series 700-750-850 L Series will now be supported with a new cable kit for the Leica iCON iGD4SP, iGD2, and iGD3 machine control solutions for bulldozer grading. The Leica iCON dozer systems brings the design surfaces and alignments inside the cab, meaning there is no longer a need for stringlines, stakes, or hubs.

Motor Graders
One new integration means no hydraulic kit is needed on motor graders, which will improve the working efficiency and productivity of grader operators. Leica Geosystems announced its Leica Ready machine control kits will now be offered on Hidromek motor graders. The Hidromek Grader HMK600MG will now be supported with a new cable kit for the Leica iCON iGG2iGG3, and iGG4 machine control solutions for motor grader guidance.

The system regulates the elevation and cross slope with sensors and is ideal for contractors working in highway construction, site preparation, road maintenance and other public works, and housing and subdivision development. The result? Improved productivity and saved material costs.

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