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Interviews

17 April 2013

 

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Topcon boss O’Connor announces release of new DC61 PXi Komatsu bulldozer

First publishedbauma
2013
Daily News
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Topcon President Ray O’Connor
Plenty of new developments from Topcon according to Ray O'Connor
Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Systems, has been a busy man at bauma.

As well announcing the release of the new DC61 PXi Komatsu bulldozer, the Topcon boss also found time to comment on world markets and talk up a number of the products on the company’s stand.

“Komatsu selected Topcon technology to deeply integrate inside its DC61 bulldozer,” O’Connor explained. “Komatsu has combined its technology with ours to control all dozing functions, which makes it the first deeply integrated 3D machine. As far as the operator is concerned, it’s probably going to increase productivity between 30% and 40%.”

Although Topcon and Komatsu entered into a strategic alliance some time ago, O’Connor was keen to highlight that this doesn’t impact on relationships with other OEMs.

“We have more than 30 OEM customers and the alliance with Komatsu is similar to the relationship with other OEMs,” he said. “We supply technology to them and they integrate it and make it theirs. So, when you look at the Komatsu bulldozer, it’s their system; sure it’s using Topcon technology to operate the machine, they’re using Topcon GPS and other elements such as our sensors but ultimately it’s their machine.”

However, he explained, “What Komatsu has done, uniquely, is deeply integrate it. They are the first big equipment manufacturer that has really integrated into the machine, fusing their technology with our technology to get the maximum benefit out of the machine. I expect all manufacturers will do this moving forward but it’s my view that Komatsu is in the lead at this time.”

Commenting on the performance of the major markets, O’Connor said, “There’s no doubt that the US has recovered very well. Business in America is quite strong, confidence is back and I think it is for the whole industry. Europe is still flat but we think its hit its bottom. Some areas in Europe are starting to recover.

“Japan is recovering quite nicely, China has had lull and it’s still a little bit down but beginning to recover.”

Discussing the Topcon stand, O’Connor was happy to talk about some of the products available. “We have a 3D indicate system, new total station products but, in my view, the most exciting development is the new Sitelink enterprise software,” he said.

“Sitelink connects every machine to the internet and allows communication between the machines and the office. Files can be sent to the machine in real time and the system enables all the productivity data to be managed – it’s a major development.

“People have spoken about communicating with the machines for many years. Sitelink now provides the ability to communicate via the internet and every mobile device that you have can manage the information that’s available from the machines.”

Looking at the next 10 years of development, O’Connor was in no doubt that machine control is going to play a big part and deep integration into machines will grow.

“We won’t only see fine grade machines featuring machine control, all machines will feature it,” he said.

“As the big equipment manufacturers deeply integrate, equipment will either have indicate or automated machine control with telematics. The big movement will be in the software; how you take the data from the job site, connect the machines to the internet and how you change the workflow of the contractors and enable them to use this knowledge. There’s going to be a big shift in this area and we believe our Sitelink enterprise is the cutting-edge of that technology.”

Stand: A3 233/332