Komatsu America Corp., a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earthmoving equipment, recently announced the expansion of its semi-automatic dozer line. The new intelligent Machine Control (iMC) dozer, a 264 horsepower D85EXi/PXi-18 crawler dozer model, increases Komatsu’s fleet options to seven semiautomatic dozers.
“From heavy dozing to finish grading, this wide-blade dozer is perfect for large earthmoving jobs where accuracy and efficiency are important,” said Sebastian Witkowski, Komatsu Product Marketing Manager.
The new automatic transmission model, placed in between the D65PXi-18 and D155AXi-8 models, eliminates the need to install and remove blade-mounted sensors with each use. This reduces operator fatigue, and converts downtime into more time spent using the machine.
From first to last pass and from rough to finish, the D85EXi/PXi-18 iMC crawler dozer extends production gains. Once engaged, the system automatically lowers the blade to grade in a typical dozing pass. When the system senses that the load has increased to a maximum, the blade is designed to automatically raise itself. This minimizes track slip, reduces excess fuel consumption, and keeps the dozer working productively.
“With the monthly production gains from starting sooner, finishing faster and using less fuel, the more owners of the D85EXi/PXi-18 run their machines, the more they save,” Witkowski said.
This new Komatsu dozer has both the power and capacity to be a production unit in addition to exhibiting the precise maneuverability needed to grade and shape. The main advantage offered on iMC dozers is the ability to sense and control the load on the blade while maneuvering. According to Komatsu, based on start to finish grade testing, this new integrated machine intelligence also achieves as much as eight percent greater efficiency in material moving when compared to typical aftermarket machine control systems.
The automatic control system is both wireless and fully integrated, so there is no need to mount components to the machine’s blade. This avoids damage to the hardware and eliminates time spent mounting and un-mounting components.
The new D85EXi/PXi-18 dozers are powered by 264-horsepower Komatsu SAA6D125E-7 engines that meet the most current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 Final emissions requirements effective in 2014. Komatsu achieved compliance through the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system while still maintaining durability and reliability in demanding operating conditions.
According to a 2014 Komatsu Technical Report, other key technologies incorporated into the new engines to ensure compliance include; “electronically controlled common rail system that operates at higher pressure, variable geometry turbocharger, more accurately controlled exhaust gas recirculation valve, larger exhaust gas recirculation cooler, and Komatsu Closed Crank-case Ventilation that sends blow-by gas back to the air intake system without releasing it out to the atmosphere.”
Due to these economical and efficient modifications to the original engines, when customers combine the SIGMADOZER blade’s efficiency with the D85EXi/PXi- 18 automatic transmission and Tier 4 Final engine, they can expect a 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency over a manual dozer with a semi-U blade.
from the factory with integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) machine control hardware, eliminating blade-mounted antennas, was introduced by Komatsu in 2013.
Komatsu is well known for its bulldozers. The company originally established itself in the world-wide construction and mining markets by building reliable and durable dozers for reconstruction efforts in Japan post WWII. It currently boasts manufacture of the largest bulldozer in the world, the D575A, primarily used by surface mine operators. Currently, the Komatsu full dozer line-up includes 45 of the most technologically advanced bulldozers available anywhere in the world.
As an innovative, design-oriented company, Komatsu won a prestigious International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in 2008, taking home the Silver for one of its safest and most efficient bulldozer designs.
The similarly efficient SIGMADOZER blade featured on the D85EXi/PXi-18 crawler dozer model, keeps units 15 percent more productive by enhancing fine grading by offering unmatched visibility. Komatsu says that its specially designed SIGMADOZER blade increases production compared to conventional semi-U blades by digging and rolling up material at the center of the blade.
Komatsu is the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction equipment and mining equipment after Caterpillar; however, in areas of Japan and China, Komatsu has beat out Caterpillar for a larger market share. With their constant innovations utilizing the best that today’s technology has to offer, it may not be long until Komatsu outpaces their competition and becomes the gold standard of construction equipment manufacturing.