AutoSet Plus – and the paver thinks for itself

Widening of a trans-European motorway: AutoSet Plus, the automatic functions of the SUPER pavers, made it a lot easier for the paving team to move between the many small job-site sections.

A construction project with many small, scattered sections: for the paving team from contractor Johann Bunte Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG, the widening of the A10 motorway around Berlin was fraught with challenges. After all, if the work cannot be done all in one go, important machine settings have to be constantly re-entered. That takes time, and is also a potential source of errors. And this is why the motorway job site impressively highlighted the benefits of the AutoSet Plus paving programs: the automatic functions for SUPER pavers ensure paving quality at the press of a button.

This is AutoSet Plus

The innovation for the SUPER pavers of the “Dash 3” generation allows procedures to be automated and make the paving process more efficient – and all at the press of a button on the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. It is important to distinguish between two basic functions:

1. The Repositioning function
Automatic repositioning accelerates the resumption of work after the paver has been moved on the job site or when there is a change of work shifts, for instance. Paving-related paver settings are stored for later retrieval.

2. The paving programs
When paving programs are created, all the settings and paving parameters of relevance for a particular job site are saved. This ensures that the data will be available for comparable projects in the future and can be called up at the press of a button.

The construction project: Widening of the main traffic artery towards eastern Europe

At 196km, the A10 motorway – known as the Berlin ring road – is the longest motorway orbiting a European metropolis. A large proportion of the heavy goods and passenger traffic to and from Poland and other eastern European countries uses it to bypass Berlin, and it is additionally used by many commuters. One of the most heavily used sections lies between the Potsdam and Nuthetal junctions southwest of the German capital. It is predicted that the volume of traffic on this 9km stretch will rise from 90,000 to 126,000 vehicles a day by 2025, around a quarter of them lorries, which is why the A10 is being widened to eight lanes over this stretch. Until the project is completed in 2020, traffic around the job site will continue to run on six lanes. The work will proceed as follows: the first phase of the process is the complete removal of the three existing westbound lanes. Next, four new lanes will be built from scratch. The same procedure will then be applied for the eastbound carriageway. The width of the carriageway will increase to 18.5m in each direction.

The challenge: Frequent changes between short sections

The main challenge in the project was that, to ensure adherence to the schedule, the carriageways had to be widened with interruptions, because the bridges and underpasses had to be widened or likewise built from scratch simultaneously with the construction of the road. That meant that the paving team of the contractor Johann Bunte Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG frequently had to move from one strip to the next or between the sections while also paving a variety of mixes – sometimes within the same work shift.

The solution: AutoSet Plus paving programs

AutoSet Plus is tailor-made for such jobs. On the job site before the gates of Berlin it not only took a great deal of strain off the Bunte workers, but also played a key role in ensuring quality. AutoSet Plus is easily and intuitively operated from the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. The Paving Programs function enables AutoSet Plus to automate the work processes – not only saving time, but also improving the paving quality. The function was used on the Berlin ring road because it allows all settings and paving parameters to be saved and then retrieved as required. This made the processes on the job site, with its numerous separate sections, significantly more efficient and convenient.

Paving scheme for maximum precision

Many small sections, one identical paving scheme: work began with the paving of one strip, with the other two strips then being laid by two pavers in parallel. The details of the procedure are as follows:

Strip 1: the first strip of the base courses was laid by the SUPER 2100-3i – true to line and level thanks to Navitronic Plus from VÖGELE.

Strips 2 and 3: after repositioning, the SUPER 2100-3i also laid the outer strip with Navitronic Plus, working in a team with the SUPER 1900-3i – in a “hot to hot” process. The SUPER 1900-3i used multi-cell sonic sensors from VÖGELE for grade and slope control, as the precisely paved strips on the right and left of this paver could be used as a reference.

“We’ve delivered first-class work on the A10. We were greatly helped not only by AutoSet Plus, but also other cutting-edge technology from VÖGELE – especially RoadScan and Navitronic Plus.” Jürgen Schimang, Asphalt Coordinator Johann Bunte Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG

3D control with Navitronic Plus, temperature control with RoadScan

The use of AutoSet Plus was not the only innovative aspect of the paving work, though: to ensure the pavement was true to line and level exactly as specified in the planning data, the SUPER 2100-3i was equipped with Navitronic Plus from VÖGELE. The 3D control system takes over the grade and slope control – automatic control of the grade and crossfall – while also controlling the screed’s position. But that’s not all: Navitronic Plus handles the steering of VÖGELE tracked pavers as well – a benefit that only VÖGELE offer their customers. To provide a virtual reference, an mmGPS system from TopCon (3D zone laser and GPS) was used on the Berlin ring road. This ensured maximum precision in truth to line and level – likewise automatically. The documentation of the paving results, too, was cutting edge – both SUPER pavers were equipped with the VÖGELE temperature-measurement system, RoadScan.

Project broken up by construction of new bridges

The construction project was also a typical job for AutoSet Plus: the motorway section is being widened to 18.5m in each direction, but the existing bridges are not configured for this width and likewise have to be replaced and widened. As a result, the job site is split into many different sections of relatively short length over which the entire asphalt package has to be laid. The asphalt package consists of a mortar base on which the asphalt layers comprising base, binder and surface course are placed. For noise abatement purposes, this has to be largely porous asphalt.

AutoSet Plus eliminates manual input of paving parameters

“Normally we have to set all the paving parameters again every time we reposition the paver,” explains Henry Moser, Paving Foreman at Johann Bunte Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG. “The same applies for every new layer if a different mix is to be paved with a different thickness and paving speed.” In a construction project such as the widening of the A10, the settings for the 2 VÖGELE SUPER 1900-3i and SUPER 2100-3i pavers would have to be re-entered again and again. “And when there’s time pressure as well, it goes without saying that mistakes can arise,” Moser adds. “That’s why we were glad of the assistance AutoSet Plus provided on the job site.”

Error-free work at just the press of a button

The critical factor on the motorway job site was that each mix for the various asphalt layers had to be paved with identical parameters. To achieve this, both paver operators saved the settings after each layer as a paving program whenever this layer was laid for the first time. This was quick and easy to do, because most of the settings can be taken over automatically by AutoSet Plus.

After laying the asphalt pavement on one of the sections, Bunte transported the 2 VÖGELE Highway Class pavers to the next one – and the operators were able to continue working with identical settings at the press of a button. “That enables us to ensure that every asphalt layer is laid and precompacted in the same way on each section,” adds Jürgen Schimang, Asphalt Coordinator at Bunte. “So AutoSet Plus gives a high degree of security: to the paving team, because there is one less potential cause of errors; to us, because we have more process reliability; and to the client, because they can be sure that every metre of every layer is paved identically.”

The actual AutoSet Plus paving programs for the Berlin motorway job site, taking the base course as an example

Thinking for itself at the press of a button: when the first base course strip had been laid, the Bunte workers saved all the machine settings using AutoSet Plus. To do that, the paving team saved just six parameters manually in the “AC22T-10cm-06m” paving program, because AutoSet Plus automatically took over all the rest of the data from the machine settings.

The name of the paving program is generally composed of the parameters entered: in this case “AC” for the type of mix (Asphaltic Concrete), “22” for the maximum grain size in millimetres and “T” for base course (which is Tragschicht in German). The “10cm” addition denotes the layer thickness and “6m” the pave width.

Settings entered manually
1) Type of layer: base course
2) Layer thickness: 10cm
3) Tamper stroke: 4mm
4) Mix type: asphaltic concrete AC 22
5) Pave width: 6m
6) Screed profile: crown

Settings taken over automatically
7) Paver and screed type: SUPER 1900-3i and AB 600 TP1 Extending Screed
8) Pave speed: 2.9m/min
9) Tamper speed: 85%
10) Pressure for the pressure bars: 45%
11) Height of auger: 15cm
12) Screed Freeze: OFF
13) Conveying capacity: 43% on left, 39% on right
14) Height adjustment of the tow point rams: 16cm on left, 16cm on right
15) Screed Assist pressure: OFF/Balance right/left: OFF

The large number of parameters stored indicates just how much time can be saved using the AutoSet Plus paving programs: at the start of a work shift or another construction project, the paver operator or paving foreman can select the program from the memory and activate it by pressing a button. The Bunte paving team has also created paving programs for the binder and surface courses – allowing them to increase its productivity further.