Australian contractor’s stringless slipforming switch
First publishedin World Highways
Set up times are shorter using the Topcon technology for stringless paving
An experienced contractor in Australia is benefiting from using stringless controls for slipforming work to boost efficiency.
Set up times are shorter using the Topcon technology for stringless paving.
An Australian contractor is now benefiting from using stringless controls for slipforming work on its Power Curbers machine.
Statewide Kerbing of Sydney, New South Wales, has been an innovator with different types of slipforming work in Australia. And the firm has taken that one step ahead by using the latest Topcon machine control technology on its Power Curbers 5700-C slipformer.
The firm carries out a wide array of kerb and gutter work, as well as concrete paving jobs and has a number of slipformers in its fleet. The company opted to install the sophisticated Topcon Millimetre GPS system to its latest.
5700-C. Run by the father and son team of Brian and Warren Scattergood, Statewide Kerbing uses its Power Curber machines with custom molds for an array of pours including standard kerb and gutter jobs, large barrier walls and variable slotted drain projects.
Father Brian Scattergood said, “This is our first venture into machine control, and so far I am very impressed with its performance and accuracy,” Brian explained. “I went out on site to see it in action and was amazed to see it produce 2-3mm accuracy on kerbs. They were shaped to perfection and it was like watching a CAD design come to life,” he added.
An Australian contractor is now benefiting from using stringless controls for slipforming work on its Power Curbers machine
Slipform machines require accurate tolerance for both grade and line and the Topcon system uses high-precision dual-grade laser levelling in addition to GPS positioning for paving applications. The combination of the stability of the Power Curber 5700-C and the Topcon Millimeter GPS system make for a perfect solution for accuracy, simplicity, and versatility.
Statewide Kerbing worked with the team at Aran Australia, the Power Curber dealer in Australia, and Position Partners, Topcon’s Australian distributor. “Like any new technology, it was daunting to begin with,” said son Warren Scattergood.
The Topcon system was said to be simple to set up and its resulting accuracy more than met performance requirements. Using the Topcon system eliminates the need to set out stringline, as the machine automatically runs to the job site model, loaded into the Topcon system and mounted next to the control panel on the 5700-C.
“You don’t get paid for setting out, managing, and packing up stringline,” said Warren Scattergood. “With this stringless system, if we’re aiming to complete 500m in a day, we get to pour concrete two hours earlier because we don’t need to spend time setting out pegs in the morning.”
In addition to saving time, stringless technology enables the crew to keep working when running ahead of schedule. “Without this system, we would be limited by the stringline,” Brian Scattergood said. “If you’re getting good concrete service and you complete the section you’d pegged out for the day, you’d traditionally stop there. With this new setup, we can keep going and make the most of those good days to stay ahead of schedule.”
Employee health and safety is also high on Statewide Kerbing’s priority list. “Staking pegs in the ground over a long period of time can result in Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs),” Brian Scattergood said. “By eliminating stringline with machine control, we can help keep our employees safe from injury.
Warren Scattergood believes Statewide is setting a new standard for slipforming with the 5700-C and the Topcon Millimeter system. “Now that the technology has been proved to us, it’s time to prove its capabilities to our clients,” he said. “We are looking forward to using it on major projects and barrier walls, where we think we’ll see significant time savings and cost benefits. On some of our recent barrier jobs, it has been a challenge to complete the work as the tight spaces left little room for stringlines.”
The Topcon-fitted Power Curber 5700-C is currently on its first job for the Sydney developer TRN, completing subdivision work at Oran Park in Sydney.