Hot on the heels of their D37-23 model, introduced just months ago, Komatsu has launched a new medium-sized D61EXi/PXi-23 crawler dozer factory-fitted with an innovative machine control system that works equally effectively in rough and fine dozing applications.

Marketed here by their distributors in Ireland, McHale Plant Sales of Birdhill, the D61EXi/PXi-23 is the first Komatsu dozer to come with a factory-fitted intelligent control system that gives fully automatic blade control and blade load control, whether doing rough dozing or finished grading, to deliver an outstanding improvement in productivity.
The system is one that Komatsu claims will enhance productivity, reduce costs and improve job site safety. It was first shown to the public in Munich last April. Unlike conventional add-on control mechanisms, the new Komatsu system allows the dozer to perform rough dozing and finish grading functions, all in automatic mode, through the use of a durable off-blade sensor package. 
During rough dozing, the system monitors blade load and adjusts blade elevation accordingly with the result that track slip is kept to a minimum in order to deliver more highly efficiency dozing. As work progresses closer to the target finish grade, the system adjusts the machine accordingly to provide finish grade performance with high-level precision – an outcome that Komatsu claims, will deliver a 13% increase in efficiency.
Factory-installed while the machine is being assembled, the D61-23 system includes an improved cab-top Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver, control box and antenna and an enhanced Inertial Measuring Unit (IMU+) with stroke sensing hydraulic cylinders. 
Robust and accurate, the integrated sensor package eliminates the daily hassle that is part and parcel of having to install and remove conventional GNSS antennae and cables from the blade, not to mention the wear associated with it. For reasons of safety and efficiency, the antenna, mast pole and cables are now fully integrated in the machine. Positioned on top of the cab, the antenna provides accurate data collection, regardless of the actual blade position.  
Antenna - Komatsu D61EXi-PXi-23_small
In operation, the system works by tailoring the machine’s responses to actual operations – constantly adjusting blade load settings to match actual work conditions. As it moves around the site, accurate surface data is collected by measuring elevations while the stroke-sensing cylinder measures the actual angle of the blade for high precision grading accuracy. From pass to pass, blade control can be left engaged to automate the precise lifting and lowering of the blade at the finish and beginning of each pass. 
Using TOPCON’s advanced construction management system, Sitelink3D, dozing progress can be communicated to the site office. From there, updated design data can be sent back to the dozer, quickly and efficiently without the need to dispatch personnel.
 New Komatsu D61EXi-PXi-23 Dozer_small
Other Komatsu features present in the D61-23 are longer track-on-ground (EX) and low ground pressure (PX) models that offer customers flotation and weight distribution options to best match applications. Operating weights range from 17740 kg to 18660 kg, depending on the configuration, with a net power output on tap of 125 kW / 168HP at 2200 rpm. For the first three years or 2,000 hours, the D37-23 will be supported by Komatsu’s CARE maintenance program. Part of the package also is Komatsu’s own KOMTRAX technology that uses wireless technology that monitors the machine remotely, protects against theft, records operating hours, fuel consumption and provides maintenance alerts.
Commenting, Sales Director at McHale Plant Sales, John O’Brien said “we regard this new model as an attractive proposition that links proven performance with leading edge technology in a way that delivers a more efficient and economical dozing solution.”
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