Caterpillar’s GRADE with ASSIST for excellent excavator grade control
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Caterpillar’s Cat GRADE with ASSIST is said by the US giant to deliver breakthrough gains in customer efficiency and productivity, elevating grade control on excavators to a new standard. This claimed ground-breaking new technology is the first operator ASSIST feature with semi-autonomous grade control available on Cat excavators, and it begins with the 323E L. GRADE with ASSIST automated grade adjustments that are typically done by the operator using manual controls. Operators at all experience levels are said to be able to reach target grade up to 45% faster than traditional grading, and up to 30% faster than using indicate-only grade control systems.
Intelligently designed for Cat excavators, this new technology is also said to be easy to use. Integration with the familiar Cat GRADE system, display, and joysticks enables the operator to easily create simple 2D designs in the cab, press the auto button, and get to work. Operators can take advantage of the guidance features built into the base system, like grade indication and audible alerts, while using ASSIST technology to perform the precision work – without needing additional hardware. Integration with the machine and hydraulics delivers full power to the cutting edge with precise control throughout the cut, enabling the operator to create fast, accurate grades with less effort. System flexibility enables customers who work with complex grade plans to add Cat AccuGrade for additional 3D capability.
ASSIST technology assists the operator when the cutting edge gets within 10cm of target by locking onto grade and automatically adjusting boom up/down and bucket in/out movements. The operator simply controls stick speed using a single lever – significantly reducing manual inputs and fatigue. The system also automates bucket movements to maintain a constant bucket angle, which is operator adjustable to match the cutting angle to digging conditions and can be automatically recalled for the next pass. To eliminate the chance of overcutting, a grade protection feature prevents the cutting edge from penetrating below grade – saving contractors the time and cost of rework, additional fuel, grade checking, labour, and fill material.
In addition to helping customers speed grading, PROTECT features are said by Cat to safeguard the operator and machine when working near obstacles and around utility hazards.