3D Machine control systems: More than just sensors

VÖGELE 3D control systems — grade and slope control and navigation with 3D sensors.
The use of 3D machine control systems in earthworks is already common practice, but now road pavers are also increasingly being equipped with this technology. For their SUPER pavers, VÖGELE offer the right solution to tackle every application.

This starts with the full package of Navitronic Plus, the unique non-contacting 3D control system which not only provides for grade and slope control, but also controls the screed's position and the paver's direction of motion fully automatically and with top precision. Another tried-and-tested solution is Navitronic Basic. It offers all the same performance features as Navitronic Plus with just one exception: the paver's direction of motion is manually controlled by the paver operator. Navitronic Basic is available for wheeled and tracked pavers.

And VÖGELE now also have a solution for the simplest cases, when a 3D sensor is only used for grade control: the new Niveltronic Plus 3D.

All VÖGELE 3D control systems have one common trait: they all feature an “open port” so that any common 3D positioning system used with other machines from a contractor’s machine pool, can be used for the road paver, too. The additional investment in 3D control for asphalt paving is thus significantly lower.

Niveltronic Plus 3D

Niveltronic Plus 3D takes the Niveltronic Plus System for Automated Grade and Slope Control into the third dimension.

Its 3D data interface allows the use, not only of conventional sensors such as sonic and mechanical sensors, but also of 3D sensors for grade control. To make this possible, Niveltronic Plus 3D must be connected with an external 3D control system. Thanks to the open port, a range of different positioning systems from renowned manufacturers such as Leica, TopCon and Trimble are compatible.

With Niveltronic Plus 3D, road pavers can now use 3D sensors for grade and slope control.

Navitronic Basic

Navitronic Basic represents the next dimension in 3D control.

Its capabilities go far beyond conventional grade and slope control – Navitronic Basic also controls the screed's position fully automatically.

Precise positioning of the screed by means of screed displacement sensors.

In order to achieve the highest level of paving accuracy, the screed’s position is precisely controlled through the intermediary of the screed’s extending units. For this purpose, screed displacement sensors on the extending units determine the current width of the screed. The user then has two options: he either defines the extreme left-hand or right-hand end of the screed as a specified reference so that the machine paves along this specified line, or he sets a fixed pave width, which is precisely adhered to over the full length of the section to be paved. Thanks to the precision control of the extending units, even deviations caused by the steering of the paver can easily be compensated for by the screed’s width control system.

With Navitronic Basic, the paver operator controls the paver's direction of motion manually. The specified route and the paver’s position are shown on the display of the 3D machine control system and the machine can thus be steered very precisely without an artificial reference.

Navitronic Plus

Navitronic Plus represents the highest configuration level in 3D control for road pavers.

It offers the same performance features as Navitronic Basic, meaning the grade and slope and the screed's position are controlled fully automatically. However, it additionally controls the steering of the VÖGELE tracked paver. This renders Navitronic Plus a true 3D machine control system, only offered by VÖGELE.

Automatic control of the paver‘s direction of motion.

Navitronic Plus controls the steering of the paver directly via the machine control system. This means that the road paver, whose position is currently picked up by the laser-based total station or GPS, is guided fully automatically along the route’s specified course. The paving team can monitor the position of the paver and detect deviations, if any, on the 3D control system’s display. The 3D machine control system is a registered patent of JOSEPH VÖGELE AG.

Economic advantages of the 3D control systems

The “open port” featured on all VÖGELE's 3D control systems delivers key economic advantages. 3D positioning systems that are already in use with a contractor's other machines can be used for the road pavers, too, greatly reducing the additional investment in 3D control for asphalt paving. And there is another cost-saving factor: existing survey data – for instance those collected for earthworks – can also be used for road surfacing, reducing the overall costs for survey work accruing to the contractor.

The 3D control systems can be connected to various positioning systems from numerous manufacturers via an open port. An example of a laser-based total station and prism: PaveSmart 3D from Leica.

An example of a satellitesupported system with GPS receiver in combination with a laser receiver: 3D-MC for asphalt paving from Topcon.

Dispensing with the time-consuming survey work also allows large areas, in particular, to be surfaced a great deal faster with the VÖGELE 3D control systems. This, in turn, also reduces the costs for the contractor.

Applications of the 3D control systems

With Niveltronic Plus 3D, Navitronic Basic and Navitronic Plus, material can be paved precisely without the need for tensioned wires. The VÖGELE systems are hence particularly suitable for the construction of roads where no surfaces or kerbs are available as a reference.

They are recommended for use in large-scale projects such as industrial areas, motorways, federal roads and airport runways or projects with a tight schedule. After all, non-contacting paving saves contractors the trouble of survey work and tensioned wires.

Other applications include winding as well as hilly roads with constantly varying slopes and the building of complex surface profiles. Particularly when paving banked curves or varying slopes, the automated millimetre-precision control of the screed ensures that the requirements on accuracy and evenness are precisely met.

In other words, the greater precision of the 3D technology delivers an immense improvement in pavement quality and working efficiency on many construction projects!

Construction of a new ballast bed, pave width 4.6m: Precise laying of 20cm-thick ballast bed by a paver operating at a speed of 1,200m/day using Niveltronic Plus 3D. This method is faster and more precise than the use of a grader.

Structural rehabilitation of a motorway with a pave width of 3.8m: Navitronic Basic ensures precise adherence to the pave width and grade and slope control accuracy of ± 2mm when paving a base course and a binder course.

Construction of a new rural road, pave width 7m: Fully automatic placing of an anti-freeze layer on a winding route with frequent changes in slope and without kerbs using Navitronic Plus.

The optimum control for every application

Highlights of the VÖGELE 3D control systems

  • Cost-effective, non-contacting 3D control systems for wheeled and tracked VÖGELE pavers.
  • The complete range of 3D control is covered, from simple grade control to fully automated control of the screed's position and the paver's direction of motion.
  • Open port for the connection of common 3D positioning systems supports the use of known and existing systems.
  • The possibility of using existing survey data drastically reduces the overall costs of survey work.
  • 3D control systems operate with a virtual reference. This eliminates the costly and time-consuming set-up of tensioned wires when preparing the job site.
  • The 3D control systems are fully integrated in the screed consoles.