Houlmann Blake Excavations avoids challenges on site using iDig 2D machine control


Andrew Blake, owner of Houlmann Blake Excavations, specialises in general construction works in Melbourne and is currently working on a typical basement excavation for an apartment block. Mr Blake has found that by implementing the iDig 2D machine control system from Aptella he has been able to avoid the regular challenges he encounters on site.

“There’re no specific challenges we’re encountering on the site here, because we’re equipped with all the resources we need, and our team of operators also have all the latest technology available for them to carry out the works,” said Mr Blake.

“We find the iDig system is working really well with the machines, the integration is seamless and we’re getting some great efficiencies out of our equipment, and the guys love it!”

Why did Houlmann Blake Excavations choose the iDig 2D machine control system?
Mr Blake was looking for a laser indicate system for his machines and had been researching these systems for quite some time when he came across the iDig 2D machine control system from Aptella. He chose the iDig system because he was looking to improve both efficiencies and safety on site.

“We chose the iDig system because we were looking for greater efficiencies on site with our equipment and our people, and we’ve obtained that. We were also looking to minimise the risk for the workers on site and the clientele that we’re working for have seen that and they love it!” said Mr Blake.

Mr Blake has implemented this system across three of his excavators and is now running the iDig 2D machine control system on a 12t, 20t and 27t excavator.

“It’s quite amazing this technology, it just operates seamlessly with the machines,” said Mr Blake.

“This iDig system, we’ve gone for this one because it’s a very portable system, we can use it between machines. Although I now have three of them!”

“If at any stage we change our equipment over, the system is portable, and we can just take that off and take it with us. We also found that it was the most economical on the market.”


How has implementing the iDig 2D machine control system changed the way Houlmann Blake Excavations operates?

Prior to implementing the iDig 2D machine control system from Aptella, Houlmann Blake Excavations would have approached the basement excavation job they’re currently working on differently.

Mr Blake explained that previously they would have needed more personnel on site and would have needed to have a laser system set up. Now that Houlmann Blake Excavations has implemented the iDig 2D machine control system, the operator is just touching off a fixed point, can keep excavating to his level and doesn’t need additional personnel on site to assist.

“We’re now using the iDig system to assist the operators with knowing the depth of excavation that they’re working to and this has taken away the need for unsafe practices where we have other site personnel getting in the way of the equipment,” said Mr Blake.

Additional benefits Mr Blake has noticed since implementing the iDig 2D machine control system from Aptella includes: increased efficiencies with time on site; reduced instances of re-working areas; reduced ‘over-digging’ and ‘under-digging’; and reduced wastage.

“The benefits we’ve seen since we’ve implemented the system have been work efficiencies which I keep repeating but its true, the system is easy to learn, there haven’t been any hold ups with training, the guys have taken up the technology very quickly,” Mr Blake said.

“Since we’ve implemented this system, we’ve seen great benefits in time efficiency on the job: we’re executing the work a lot quicker, we’re finding we don’t waste as much time and we certainly not doing any re-work on our job sites now.”

The importance of service and support during purchasing and implementation
Service and support is an important part of Mr Blake’s decision-making process when deciding on new technology to use on site, he has found that you definitely need to have a local support network.

“I had looked at other systems previously when we started looking for these and they just didn’t have the back up and support that Aptella provide with the iDig system,” said Mr Blake.

“We’ve called on Aptella a couple of times since we installed the technology and the back up and support has been great, they’ve been there to take the call straight away and we’ve had the problem sorted out immediately and we’ve continued with our work.”

About Houlmann Blake Excavations

Houlmann Blake Excavations specialises in general construction works in Melbourne. 

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