Paver operators face more demands than ever: Production goals and safety guidelines. Smoothness targets and specification requirements.
Manufacturers developed technologies as tools to help overtaxed operators. It was a good theory, but too often the technologies didn't work quietly behind the scenes. Instead they demanded attention, at best adding to the operator's worries and at worst leading to potentially costly mistakes.
Now good news has arrived: the Advisor Display, a key feature on Cat® asphalt pavers. Manufacturers typically offer at least some computerization on their pavers. What separates the Cat Advisor Display is a refined interface that is intuitive and easy to use. It enables the paver to "talk" to the operator, and that communication leads to a successful—and profitable—jobsite.
The Advisor Display is standard equipment on Cat 8- and 10-foot pavers. It is located on the left side operator's station—or, on some models, the single sliding operator's console. Its location puts it directly in front of the operator, within easy fingertip access.
All in One Place
Operators occasionally lose focus on the most important tasks as they manage multiple inputs, outputs and processes. The Advisor Display:
Provides the operator with fingertip access to machine processes and information
Allows operators to put their full attention on placing the mat, rather than managing the details
Increases efficiency, helps ensure consistency and optimizes performance
Alerts the operator to machine performance issues that require attention
Features an interface that can be customiszed for each operator who uses the machine
Enables customiszation of machine settings, such as the friction steering tension
Relays a wide range of information, from gauge clusters to systems information
Operators can choose from multiple languages: English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese
The Advisor Display provides a single interface from which the operator can reference processes and conduct certain process tasks. For example, the operator can access a start-up checklist, which provides the steps to ensure that the machine is properly maintained.
The operator can also reference "Paving by the Numbers," techniques for properly executing a transverse joint. By accessing these processes, the operator can ensure consistent technique and performance, making the outcome more predictable and efficient.
Operators can also access the Paving Calculator, a job planning tool that helps coordinate the trucks, paver and compactors for maximum efficiency, which leads to higher mat quality. The Paving Calculator is most useful when used during the planning phase of the project, but can help increase efficiency during operation when properly applied.
In the case of recalibration, the Advisor Display can help operators avoid extremely costly miscues that can result from poor recalibration.
The recalibration process is provided in an easy to follow step-by-step format. The system then helps avoid the really big mistakes by defaulting to previous settings if recalibration is not done properly. This prevents the paver from utilizing utilizing bad data when going to work.
This bad data could lead to quality problems that require costly re-work.
Helps Reduce Fuel Burn
There is money to be found in efficiencies as well. The Advisor Display provides a means for reducing fuel burn, which can substantially lower operating costs.
Operators can set parameters for automatic engine control. This function reduces engine speed, from high idle to low idle, at a predetermined interval when the machine is stopped.
The feature can be customized, enabling operators to set the length of the interval. For example, an operator could use the Advisor Display to set the automatic engine control to idle down after 30 seconds. The automatic engine control will wait the predetermined 30 seconds when the operator de-strokes the propel lever to stop the machine. The engine then will switch from high idle to low idle. It will continue at that idle until the operator again strokes the propel lever. At that point it will switch back to high idle and resume operation.
Such a seemingly simple step—made possible by technology working quietly behind the scenes—can lead to dramatic fuel savings.
More Fuel Savings
The new AP1055E and AP1000E pavers have an additional fuel saving feature that is controlled via the Advisor Display: Eco-mode. This feature enables the operator to reduce the engine speed from the default 2,200 rpm to 1,650 rpm.
This is possible because the engine is designed to provide more power than needed for normal operation; a rate of 1,650 rpmrpm typically is more than adequate. The result is delivery of the required power while burning considerably less fuel.
The Advisor Display also provides valuable service information. It communicates with the electronic control modules that monitor system functions.
When the system senses abnormal operation, it alerts the operator.
It also delivers diagnostics in the form of service codes, which help diagnose problems and streamline service.
The Advisor Display often provides advanced warning— before larger, more costly problems occur.
The most important word used in association with Advisor Display is likely "intuitive." Caterpillar engineers understand that technology has to be accessible, not overwhelming. When it is, operators become more productive and efficient, and jobsites become more profitable.
The Cat equipment product line, consists of more than 300 products for the construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and has a wide offering of related services.