Several companies launched or showcased their machine guidance systems.
Swiss surveying instrument manufacturer Leica demonstrated its guidance systems for motor graders, slip form pavers, rollers milling machnines, road pavers and road headers. The Leica system, which uses either GPS or total survey station, has been developed in conjunction with German plant manufacturer Bomag. Initial packages are expected to be launched worldwide within the next year.
US plant manufacturer Caterpillar and satellite guidance specialist Trimble Navigation launched their jointly developed Computer Aided Earthmoving System. Improved accuracy in the system, which was introduced into the mining and quarrying sector last year, means that it is now available for all types of earthmoving plant. Caterpillar claims the system is accurate to within 30mm horizontally and 50mm vertically and that opencast mines using the system have seen up to 30% improvement in productivity. It also claims that a typical five machine installation, costing around £300,000, can pay for itself in less than 12 months.