Better Roads Staff
Thus, it generated some raised eyebrows at the World of Asphalt show in Cincinnati, Ohio this past February, when a representative of roadbuilding equipment manufacturer Roadtec brought attention to a new MOBA product during his company’s press conference. In his unsolicited address, Roadtec marketing manager Eric Baker even encouraged those gathered to make their way to the MOBA booth elsewhere in the convention center to find out more about the Pave-IR system, “which could revolutionize pavement quality control.” The MOBA Pave-IR system, an example of which Roadtec did have mounted on the back of a highway-class RP-195 paver on display in its show booth, uses a sensor beam to produce a thermal profile of the paving project, allowing the operator to detect segregation in real time. In addition, the project files are stored and, using MOBA’s Pave Project Manager software, can be transferred back to the office for review. The standard screed-mounted beam has 12 infrared sensors; the product is scalable up to 24 sensors or a width of 24 feet.
Meanwhile, “as simple as connecting a cable to a manufacturer-provided interface” to engage, Topcon’s System Five allows users to select sonic elevation control and slope control on road paving jobs, laser and slope for airport runways and parking lots, and dual sonic trackers or laser receivers to match to existing surface on maintenance or widening projects. Comprised of two secure-access System Five control boxes, a slope sensor and two Sonic Tracker II non-contacting sensors (or laser receivers), the system is compatible with both previous-generation System Four and next-generation 3D machine control systems, the company says.
Also as part of its “advanced screed control for asphalt pavers,” Topcon offers the complementary Smoothtrac sonic mat averaging system, a lightweight aluminum ski using four Sonic Tracker II sensors for electronic averaging. Used optionally in conjunction with System Five, when it replaces the ski-side Sonic Tracker II sensor, Smoothtrac replaces traditional contacting or “drag” skis that average based on mechanical contact with the ground. And, when equipped with a Smoothtrac as opposed to a traditional ski, a paver can be backed up, turned around and worked around curves without the need to remove and reinstall the ski. When the job’s complete, the Smoothtrac breaks down into three eight-foot sections for easy stowing.
The Sonic Tracker II sensor central to both of the chronicled Topcon systems sends out a “packet” of sound pulses 39 times per second, producing an echo upon striking a reference that in turn travels back to the device. By calculating the time it takes for the sound cycle, the Sonic Tracker II calculates the distance to the object. To compensate for sound traveling faster through warmer air, a “bail” is used to create a distance constant.
As part of its growing suite of PaveSmart 3D products, Leica offers a system that eliminates the need to set stringline for any kind of asphalt paving application. Consistent with PaveSmart products for milling machines and for both concrete slipform and curb-and-gutter pavers, Leica PaveSmart 3D for Asphalt Pavers uses computerized project design files straight from the architect’s CAD system, storing at one time hundreds of designs ranging from simple to complex. With the crew able to view full 3D graphics available at a glance, automatic elevation and slope control provided via Leica’s 3D sensor technology help deliver continuous, high-quality pavement, the company says.
The PaveSmart 3D for Asphalt Pavers system directly supports the MOBA-Matic leveling control system, Vögele NaviTronic machine control system and Vögele Niveltronic automated grade and slope control system. Furthermore, when used on a Vögele tracked paver, it can also automatically regulate screed width and steer.
Leica was a pioneer in stringless concrete and asphalt paving, trimming and milling technology and, as eluded to above, offers as part of its product suite a number of systems aimed at specific customers. This is highly evident on the concrete side of the paving business, where Leica offers what it markets as the GOMACO Mainline Slipformer 3D System, GOMACO Fine Grade Trimmer 3D System and Wirtgen Slipformer 3D System.
When it comes to paving, there’s clearly plenty of smarts to go around, no matter who brought you to the dance.v
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