In 2017, the Budorealizacja company from Myślenice started using the first Komatsu intelligent Machine Control (iMC) excavator in Poland. Three years on, the company now owns 10 Komatsu iMC machines across both excavators and dozers, and recently its fleet was further expanded as they became the first Polish customer to take delivery of an iMC 2.0 version of the PC210LCi-11.
Budorealizacja owner Jan Leńczowski, explained the reasons behind making the original decision to invest in Komatsu iMC technology: “I was convinced by the concept of a factory integrated 3D machine control system, the Komatsu intelligent excavator exactly matched our needs. After the purchase Komatsu Poland provided us with a ready-to-use excavator with the iMC system, which did not require any installation or calibration. In fact it was possible to start training the staff immediately, and the point is not to bother with complicated preparation of a machine at the construction site, but to use it to its full potential as quickly as possible.
Mateusz Łazarczyk was the first operator in Poland to work with the original PC210LCi-11, at the time he had very little experience as a professional operator, and had never worked with 3D technology on an excavator. Mr Leńczowski did not see this as a barrier. “I chose this young man because I realized that a new generation of operators, open to modern technologies are coming into the industry. So I thought the Komatsu iMC machine would be right for Mateusz, and I wasn't mistaken.”
Looking back, Mateusz Łazarczyk remembers his early days of operating the innovative excavator. “After uploading the 3D model and the training received from Komatsu engineers, I started making the first passes. The system controlled the hydraulics automatically and guided the bucket edge so that the target design surface was delivered. Looking at the accuracy of the slopes and ditches that I produced, it almost felt that I had been working with a GNSS equipped excavator for at least fifteen years! The Komatsu intelligent system has many advantages and greatly supports the operator in carrying out daily tasks. First of all it increases efficiency, and allows operator to work without the need for subsequent corrections or rework. I estimate that I can complete the tasks twice as fast as with a normal excavator, and also without requiring support from a surveyor/engineer. I can work quickly and accurately. Efficiency, safety and work comfort are in my opinion the most important advantages of the Komatsu iMC excavator.”
Mateusz goes onto say. “The vast majority of excavator operators say the Komatsu iMC system is intuitive to use. The system has many options, at the beginning we focused on the most important aspects, and with the following days we explored the advanced functions more and more.”
“In all matters, I could of course count on the support of Komatsu Poland. As I quickly moved from the learning phase to using the features easily in normal work, I stopped worrying about making a mistake. The iMC system has simply become a huge support for me at the construction site.”
Mateusz also emphasizes the importance of remote support by Komatsu Poland engineers. ”I remember when I found myself with the machine in an area where there was no coverage from the base station, and the work had to be done to a very tight schedule. A Komatsu specialist remotely reprogrammed my excavator to use Internet correction system, and I was able to quickly get back to work and complete the job.” He also praises the concept of full 3D system and machine integration. “This ensures efficient operation, and in the event of any problems it is also important that the service of both the machine and the 3D control system is provided by Komatsu Poland. Another advantage is the location of the GNSS antennas on the handrails. There are no protruding masts on the excavator which would limit the possibility of manoeuvring in tight spaces. In addition, there is no need to walk on unauthorized areas of the machine to reach the antennas, and so no risk of falling from height.”
It can be said that the iMC story with Mateusz has come “full circle.” Komatsu recently launched their iMC 2.0 excavators, and again Mateusz is now the first in Poland to sit in the cabin of the latest PC210LCi-11 with iMC 2.0. “Changes have been made to the new iMC system, increasing its functionality, for example, I can now use the Auto Tilt Control function on a tilt bucket. The iMC 2.0 system also includes a Bucket Angle Hold feature so that if I put the bucket to the slope and activate this feature, when I bring the arm in, the bucket adjusts itself so that the angle at which it cuts into the material is the same all the time. It's the same when I push the arm out, the bucket closes automatically to maintain the angle.”
The fact that Mateusz Łazarczyk has come full circle to iMC 2.0 is also very pleasing to Maciej Gremblewski, iMC Product Manager from Komatsu Poland. “I was really glad when I learned that Mateusz would be working on the first Komatsu iMC 2.0 excavator in Poland. I was sure that he would easily understand all the new features of the system, and start using them immediately. As it turned out, when I visited the construction site, I was right. At Komatsu Poland we attach great importance to the best training of operators. We are aware how important it is to transfer knowledge to the people operating the machine. The more an operator knows about iMC, the more effective they are. Thanks to the fact that Komatsu has a fully factory-installed and calibrated 3D system, our trainers do not waste time on the construction site and can spend it entirely on very good customer training.”