Technology is transforming paving operations, creating greater efficiencies, and having a real-time effect on the paving process. From telematics and software to thermal mapping and process monitoring systems, here are 8 technologies to consider integrating into your paving operation.
Telematics can help to access data on machine hours and location, plan for equipment repairs with scheduled maintenance, and order parts for just in time delivery. Telematics can also be linked with a range of Apps for site managers to view each cycle time of the truck, from waiting on-site, to what route they are taking to know if any delays are expected.
Compaction is one of the most important processes - the better the compaction the longer the road lasts. Compaction measurement technology for asphalt is accelerometer-based which means it can measure the stiffness of the different layers. It measures up to 2 feet deep on all layers to determine the overall stiffness of the surface and allows you to see data in real-time to make adjustments as needed. By controlling consistency and process improvements you gain greater quality and accuracy which leads to less re-work and lower costs.
Onboard temperature sensors
All asphalt mixes have a certain temperature zone for optimal compaction. Incorrect asphalt temperatures can lead to poor density, low pavement quality, and in some cases costly re-work. This can be avoided with the use of onboard real-time infrared temperature sensors. Asphalt temperature is taken from the front sensor if the machine is going forward and from the rear sensor if it is in reverse, ensuring the temperature remains consistent.
Thermally segregated pavement doesn’t just lead to bad results, it can also impact safety and surface durability. Thermal mapping monitors the surface temperature of the asphalt mat using an infrared sensor and/or camera along with a global navigation satellite system mounted directly on the machine for positioning. Contractors can manage every stage of the paving process, identify any variations, and fine-tune the work as they go.
Sharing information between machines helps ensure rolling patterns are coordinated and operators are properly informed during a project. Machine-to-machine communication can help operators feel confident that they have completed all their passes, corrected any areas of missed coverage, and made adjustments to ensure they are in the correct temperature zone for compacting.
New software tools
Technology has changed the paving industry and has revolutionized the way we communicate on job sites. We now have the tools to help us make better decisions; this includes access to a range of applications and software programs to support telematics and allow for greater connectivity.
Process monitoring solutions allow operators to deliver material exactly when and where it is needed. Deliveries from the plant to the paver can also be tracked in real-time and the system can be linked with an app so site managers can see each cycle time of the truck, from wait time to the route traveled and identify if any delays are expected so they can make adjustments as needed.
In the not-too-distant future, operators with little to no experience will be able to program the parameters of the job site into the machine, including speed and number of passes and it will control every aspect of the paving process, allowing for complete accuracy and efficiency. Combined with advancements in safety technology, this will also help to attract the skilled labour needed to address the shortage in the industry and pave the way for the next generation of workers.
Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting, and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry, and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK, and Ireland.