Smart system saves time and fuel
David Rylander, a Volvo Group engineer, is eager to help Volvo CE’s customers to save both time and money. He has designed a system that controls the flow on a construction site and ensures that it keeps moving without unnecessary waiting times.
David Rylander came up with the idea for the system when he visited a number of large gravel pits and saw just how many construction machines were involved in loading and unloading rocks and stones.
“I spent quite a long time studying the way they worked and saw how much time was wasted when the machines were waiting for one another,” says David Rylander, who works at the Transport Solutions & Services Department at Advanced Technology & Research, Volvo Group Trucks Technology.
At a gravel pit, large volumes of rock and stone are extracted for use in road building and similar projects. At the pit, a crushing machine crushes the material and construction machines load and transport the crushed material to production facilities of different kinds. Not only were the machines stationary at the stone crusher, waiting for one another, they also covered some of the distances much too quickly, according to David Rylander.
“The machines drove at the same speed the whole time and, as a result, they consumed more fuel than necessary,” he says.
David Rylander realised that a system that could help the drivers adapt their work to the flow would be really valuable for customers and save money.
Via Site Control, the driver of every machine has a display showing a map of the site. The stone crusher and the place where the gravel is loaded are both marked on it. The machines are connected to the system via an antenna on the roof. The system is updated 10 times a second and the driver can follow both him/herself, as a red dot on the map, and his/her colleagues at all times.
“I wanted to find a system which enabled every driver at the gravel pit to keep a check on the location of his/her machine in relation to the others. The drivers can then adapt their speed and arrive at the crusher at the precise time of loading, rather than driving unnecessarily fast and then having to stand and wait,” he explains.
The system has now been tested at VCE’s proving ground in Sweden and, a few months from now, the first pilot will be tested by a customer.
“We have received excellent feedback from the drivers who have tested the system. We expect it to produce fuel savings of between 10-20 per cent,” says David Rylander, who is extremely pleased with the results so far.
What is more, there is plenty of potential. In Europe alone, there are around 26,000 gravel pits with half a million machines in operation.
“Gravel pits are also an important segment for Volvo CE and account for more than 23 per cent of business,” he says, adding that the system could very well be suited to other operations.