3D Automatic Grade Control System
||Currently most of the methods
to control grading equipment to achieve the required production accuracy are based on
conventional surveying, such as grade stakes and stringlines. Some methods using automatic
measurement sensors were also developed to guide and/or control construction equipment
efficiently. The use of laser transmitters and sonic tracers has greatly reduced the cost
of construction projects. Yet, many existing systems do not work well with more complex
grading applications such as vertical curves, transitions and super-elevated curves.
BladePro: Motorgrader Control System
||BladePro System, developed by
Spectra Precision in 1998, is a dual automatic blade control system that uses advance
computer technology and user friendly operator controls. This system provides contractors
a three dimensional machine control system for roads, railway beds and airport runway
construction. BladePro allows motorgrader operators to grade complex designs such as
vertical curves, transitions, super-elevated curves and complex site designs without
stakes or stringlines.
System combines a digital terrain model (DTM) design software, Geodimeter robotic total
stations, and motorgrader control system to automatically control elevation and cross
slope of the motorgrader blade. This flexibility is built into the BladePro system by
using the Tracer Ultra Sonic Grade Controller or the Laserplane Transmitter and Receiver
with Electric Mast. A graphical operator interface accepts digital design using a data
card. BladePro uses a robotic total station to track and communicate the motorgrader's
position and blade elevation anywhere on the job site by transmitting the real-time
positioning data and by comparing it to the design stored on the data card. When a
correction is needed signals will be sent to the machines hydraulics to maintain the
design elevation and cross slope.
A digital terain model design
Blade-Pro control system
- BladePro reduces surveying and engineering
costs by eliminating stakes, hubs and stringlines.
- It increases productivity up to 50% by
allowing the operator to grade in fewer passes and to control grade in real time.
- It saves materials by placing the planned
amount of materials within a 1/4 inch without additional time and labor.
||Applications for BladePro
include highway, residential roads, railway beds, airport runway, commercial and
residential developments. Generally, the BladePro System can be used for any machine that
requires dual automatic controls such as motorgraders, dozers, mills and trimmers.
||The limited distance between
the robotic total station and the machine being controled may be the main shortcoming of
Points of Contact
- Jack A. Patton, Spectra Precision, Inc., 5475 Kellenburger Rd., Dayton, OH 45424, Phone:
800-543-7800, (937) 233-8921, Fax: (937) 233-9004, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- "Blade Pro 3D", Spectra Precision.
- "BladePro Motorgrader Control System", Spectra
- "Control System Works in 3-D",
Engineering News Record, T-29, June 28, 1999
- Kris Maas, "Spectra Precision
Introduced the Third Dimension in Machine Control", Surveying Briefing Sheets and
Articles, Machine Control Systems - Half Day Meeting, Joint Engineering Survey Board, 8
- Spectra Precision Home Page, http://www.splp.com
||Neither the Construction
Industry Institute nor Purdue University in any way endorses this
technology or represents
that the information presented can be relied upon without further investigation.