Putting the Latest Machine Technology to the Ultimate Test

Putting the Latest Machine Technology to the Ultimate Test

Conventional Methods vs MDP Compaction Technology


Most contractors have heard about Intelligent Compaction, but the choice of whether to use it is often put off until specifications require its use. Some may even question whether it provides the benefits that justify its purchase cost, convinced that an experienced operator can compensate.That’s why we recently conducted a simple demonstration of the benefits of using Machine Drive Power (MDP), an exclusive Caterpillar compaction measurement technology, compared to conventional methods.

Conventional methods rely on operator experience, senses and intuition to determine when the compaction meets the specified target. Machine Drive Power uses sensors in the machine to measure the rolling resistance the machine experiences as it moves over the ground. The measurements are converted to a value that the operator can monitor to determine when it reaches the target. The system can also map the measurements to provide a real-time “compaction map” that shows coverage and the current state of compaction. The map can also show problem areas as they relate to compaction.

The Setup

Two identical areas were identified for compaction testing, roughly 30 meters long by 10 meters wide (33 yards by 11 yards). Both test areas used a Cat® CS56B vibratory soil compactor – one equipped with MDP, and one without. The first test area used traditional methods to compact the soil to a specified level. On the second test area, the operator was able to use MDP to determine when compaction met the specification.

The demonstration highlights how an operator with access to the information provided by MDP works more efficiently than an operator who is guided by experience and intuition.


The Results

The results produced an estimated 56% gain in productivity:

  • MDP showed the operator that the compaction target was met in 6 passes (the operator without MDP executed 12 passes before he determined that the target was met)
  • With fewer passes, the operator with MDP completed the test site in 9 minutes (he operator without MDP took 20 minutes)

The benefits are clear:

  •  Faster completion of work
  • Less fuel consumed
  • Better work quality due to the evidence of specified compaction provided by MDP

And there are other benefits:

  • The technology can reveal problem areas that can be addressed while the ground is open and the remedial costs are relatively low
  •  Longer lasting construction due to improvements in quality and uniformity
  •  Greater ROI due to a more productive machine

The benefits of MDP far outweigh the cost of implementing it.

MDP technology is an inexpensive addition to a Cat soil compactor. In return, the technology provides more production, lowered fuel costs, confidence in the quality of the work and greater ROI for your machine purchase.


Vibratory Soil Compactors

Vibratory Soil Compactors

Cat® Vibratory Soil Compactors combine world-class productivity with outstanding operator comfort while continuing the legacy of durability, reliability and ease-of-service that contractors worldwide have come to expect from Cat machines.

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