Topcon Positioning Systems

To the concrete paving contractor, nothing is more beautiful than a stretch of freshly paved concrete. For them, nothing feels better than leaving a durable, quality-finished concrete pavement for others to experience. A major advantage of concrete pavement is that it is stronger and more durable than other pavements. A disadvantage is that it often is more time-consuming and expensive to construct. Thus, concrete contractors have turned to technology for production-enhancing efficiencies and improved results.

“We’re seeing progressive contractors … early adopters embracing technology today, and the others realizing they will have to follow or settle for not being competitive,” says Brian Lingobardo, systems manager for 3D road construction at Topcon Positioning Systems, in Livermore, Calif. “We have the technology to provide contractors with millimeter paving accuracy, which is astounding.”

Slipform pavers are indispensable in concrete paving because of their efficiency. The track-mounted monster-size machines are masters in the production of a countless range of cast-in-place profiles. Controlling their performance to ensure the desired results is where machine control developers step in.

Topcon Positioning Systems offers 3D paving capability through its Millimeter GPS Paving system. According to the company, the product is the world’s first GPS-based millimeter-accurate control for pavers. The system uses satellite positioning together with a zone laser. Mounted on the paver is a control box designed to send control to the hydraulics independently. The graphical screen displays the machine position on the job, and the sensors being used to control the left and right side of the pan, as well as the current elevation and slope.

Topcon Positioning Systems

The paver system features a laser that, unlike a standard rotating laser that only works in a flat plane, transmits a Lazer Zone signal that creates a measuring area 33 feet high. Positioned anywhere within the Lazer Zone, the Millimeter GPS Paving system’s machine control sensor computes the precise vertical position. There is no need for a movable mast, the technology determines elevation automatically. Even if the site has an elevation variance of 33 feet, there is no need to reposition the instrument or receivers. For sites with significant elevations or large areas, up to four LZ-T5 Lazer Zone transmitters can be linked to cover a larger area and an elevation change of more than 130 feet.

A contractor no longer needs to pay workers to set stringlines and doesn’t need surveyors on-site during paving. You can achieve better paving alignment and rideability because you are able to use actual radius data for horizontal and vertical curves instead of short tangent stringline sections. The Topcon Millimeter GPS Paving system also provides accuracy in material usage, so a contractor can determine the exact amount of material required, which saves on material costs and eliminates rework.

“With all the technology change and improvements occurring in the industry, the concrete paving contractor now has, more than ever, a greater opportunity to achieve better production results,” Lingobardo says.

Clearly, one could expect that the technologies being adopted by concrete paving companies are directly contributing to the high-quality traveling experience users expect driving down the highway.

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