Satellite-linked system maximises site life

Caterpillar's Computer Aided Earthmoving System (CAES), which has been used on mining and landfill sites in the United States, could soon be bringing a new dimension to landfill operations in the UK.

Based on GPS satellite technology, wireless mobile data communications, on-board computing and sensing and the management of computerised information in the office, it is designed to enable landfill operators to improve machine efficiency and maximise void space utilisation whilst offering a safer working environment.

The Caterpillar CAES solution to landfill management offers the following features:

  • Provides real-time in-cab displays for machine operators enabling them to make better decisions as they work and manage the operation more effectively
  • Higher in-situ compaction densities due to uniform passes and lift thickness with redundant passes being eliminated
  • Reduces the cost of daily cover by ensuring consistent cover material depths and the easy maintenance of proper slopes and drainage
  • Reduces surveying costs by eliminating the need for grade stakes and paper maps and offering accurate contour matching
  • Provides a short-term payback being easy to install to existing machines and to use
  • Ensures greater health and safety awareness by keeping operators in their cabs and engineers off the pile.

The CAES system has been tried and tested in the United States and will be trialled in the UK in the next few months. It will become an increasingly important landfill management tool as Scott Yates, Waste Industry Manager at Finning (UK) Ltd, Caterpillar's dealer, reports:

"As the Landfill Directive begins to take effect over the next five years limiting the amount of waste being deposited, even greater importance will be placed on increased compaction and the use of innovative and unique products, such as CAES, to further extend the useable life of current landfill sites. Airspace is a diminishing resource that requires careful and scientific management to obtain maximum benefits."

The graphic display in the cab displays a "bird's eye" view of the machine and its work area. For a compactor, this window shows the machine and its work area, using a colour coded system. The colour of each grid represents the number of passes the compactor has made across that area. Each time the compactor wheel passes over a surface, the CAES screen changes colour to acknowledge the compaction pass.



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