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The next generation of automatic excavator control is here


At Aptella, we’re massive fans of machine control technology because we’ve seen the changes in operator confidence and productivity first hand. We’ve witnessed construction projects finished before their scheduled end date thanks to machine control and know its importance on construction projects will only grow in the coming decade. Topcon, our number one construction positioning systems partner has always been an industry leader for machine control systems.

From the start, Topcon has been producing high-quality machine guidance and control systems. If you’ve worked on an excavator in the past 30 years, there’s a good chance that you’ve used Topcon technology. This is because almost all operators and fleet managers have embraced excavator guidance and control in some form and with the multitude of options available on the market, there’s no guessing why.

With a new decade often comes a new generation of technology. ‘Automation’ may be the term of the month, but automation in construction machinery is here to stay. Automation may look different to everyone, but to Topcon, it means making an operator’s life easier. It’s not about removing responsibilities for the operator but about making sure, when they get to the end of the day, they’re not extremely fatigued. Fatigue not only affects an operator’s excavation work but also their mental state and personal life. 

Topcon’s latest release, the X-53x automatic excavator control is specifically built to make an operators life easier. It’s the newest addition to a growing range of automated machine control, with more to come in the future. Below we go through the benefits of automated machine control. 

Benefits of automatic excavation control

With the large selection of excavation control and assistance technology on offer, making a decision on what to buy can be a difficult task. Topcon has an extensive range of entry-level, 2D and 3D systems to suit first-time buyers all the way through to 300 machine fleet managers. No matter if you need one 3D automatic excavator control system or 20 there are four key benefits you need to have included:

  • Comprehensive machine integration
  • Millimetre precision 
  • Elimination of re-work
  • Simple operation

Comprehensive machine integration

While all aftermarket machine control systems will say they can be fully integrated into an excavator system, automation is the final frontier when it comes to seamless integration with the machine. It’s only when you can see first hand the machine working perfectly to design without the operator manually controlling it that you can fully appreciate how far this technology has come as GPS and the machine hydraulics work in perfect harmony! 

Millimetre precision

These days it’s not just grader operators that have to worry about millimetre grade precision. From dozer operators to excavator operators millimetre precision is the new skill to master. Luckily Topcon has technology built into their X-53x auto excavator system allowing you to accurately position an excavators bucket in real-time. This has proven to improve accuracy up to 300% over standard GPS use.

Eliminating re-work

Re-work is not only time consuming, but it sets project timelines back, incurs extra costs and increases an excavator operator’s fatigue. Let’s leave re-work in the 2010s and start working smarter, not harder. While at first automatic excavator control like the X-53x  auto excavator may feel as if you’re not using the skills you honed over years of operating, what it really does is leverage your experience and lets you focus on excavation, not if you need to tilt your bucket an extra centimetre.

Having automatic excavator control provides you with repeatable, reliable precision, meaning you’re able to get more work done to a higher standard without the same level of fatigue. Think of automatic excavator control as the nail gun of the machine control world, no one was complaining when a solution to hammering every nail came about and for good reason. 

Simple operation

Nothing is worse than taking your new shiny tech out of the box, turning it on and realising it’s much more complicated to use than it was made out to be. This can often be the case for machine control technology and software as there’s a great deal of information the system has to process and oftentimes this can translate to complicated interfaces.

Topcon’s X-53x auto excavator is built with simplicity in mind. All Topcon technology has similar interfaces, to make moving between technology easy, but the additional joysticks that come with the X-53x auto excavator take fingertip operation to another level. While you may have only used machine guidance or 2D machine control before, don’t expect the interface of Topcon technology to suddenly get overly complicated when you upgrade, simplicity is key with this technology.

Automatic excavator systems with all the benefits

The Topcon X-53x auto excavator was only released recently but already there have been noticeable improvements on job sites across the globe. By minimising the risk of over digging, excavation projects are able to be completed on or ahead of schedule without overextending the excavator. Automatic changes to the depth and tilt of an excavator bucket mean that every pass is at optimal efficiency. 

The Topcon X-53x can be automatically programmed to excavate a flat, stepped, sloped or curved surface, reducing time wasted and operator fatigue. When you don’t have to worry about the microscopic changes you’re able to focus your excavation plan for the day and how it fits into the overall construction plan. Whether you’re excavating a pool hole or excavating for a road construction Topcon has the positioning systems you need to get the job done right the first time. Get in touch with the team at Aptella today to find out how Topcon technology can simplify your life.

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