Summer 2019

Smart new technology for road and rail

A suite of new launches brings the safe operation of excavators up to date

After significant research and development, the team at JF Prolec has launched an exciting new product for the construction industry, which has been showcased on the M1 and M6 smart motorway projects.

PMX is a combination of two tried and widely accepted technologies – machine control (PME 500) and GPS - which allows any number of excavators on a site to operate within a safe, yet flexible, working envelope. 

Significantly this means for the first time, work can be safely carried out on smart motorway projects alongside open lanes of traffic.

‘Modern construction sites can be highly hazardous places,’ 

Says JF Prolec managing director, Simon Everett,

‘and ensuring safety, particularly when a site is close to live infrastructure or moving traffic, can be complex and potentially expensive.’

But PMX works by using information input from a hand-held GPS rover or pre site surveys to create a site-specific hazard map for any job. This map can be continually updated as hazards change (as lane priorities shift, new fixed hazards are added to the site, or boundaries extended), and this new information is transmitted (via USB) to any number of excavators fitted with a receiver.

This allows the map of hazard locations to be continually updated over long distances as work progresses and keeps each excavator in a safe working envelope as it moves around the site.

Network Rail approval for off-track use

PMX is also the first of its kind to be approved by Network Rail for off-track use (reducing the need for night work or line closures) because it delivers transformative benefits in terms of site safety, improved operational efficiency and reduced costs.

The key to its success is the fact that PMX does away with the need for operators to manually input a machine’s height, reach and slew restrictions at each work location to limit its movement, and then repeat the process each time an excavator moves.

Instead, PMX accurately tracks machine location and automatically updates limit settings to control the safe working envelope, continuously monitoring a machine’s proximity to any hazard and calculating the necessary restriction in movement.

‘In cleverly combining the well established technologies of hazard mitigation and geolocation, PMX helps prevent plant equipment from striking pre-defined hazards, increasing machine efficiency by up to 30% compared to existing systems,’ 

Adds Simon. 

‘This system is a significant technological step towards our vision of creating one connected site. It marks the transition from a machine-centric industry standard, to a site-wide solution of enhanced safety and productivity; from a hardware-oriented past to a data-driven future.’

Watch an introduction to PMX

TrackPilot™

The JF Prolec team has also launched TrackPilot which delivers next generation hazard mitigation for on-track rail operations.

TrackPilot has been specifically designed for excavator rail-road vehicles, setting new standards in reliability, productivity and servicability. It combines the latest rated capacity limiter and movement limiting device technologies in one hazard mitigation solution.

  • Compact: The JF Prolec team has worked hard to shrink the necessary hardware required, reducing TrackPilot footprint to the size of a small laptop which sits in the engine bay
  • Fast: It boasts ten times faster processing and functionality speeds than existing systems, delivering real time response
  • Easy to use: A minimalistic and intuitive graphic user interface shows only operational critical information as and when needed
  • Simple to service: 50% fewer system parts from comparable systems, as well as 'plug and play' design

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