5 different ways to use the semi-automatic excavator functionality

Author: Karina Lumholt

The new semi-automatic functionality for Leica iXE3 machine control solutions for excavators was launched in 2020. The semi-automatic functionality for Leica iXE3 machine control solutions for excavators increases productivity and accuracy by automating the movement of the boom, bucket, tilt and tilt rotator functions which simplifies the operator’s work and helps the operator to perform complex fine grading tasks easier and with higher working comfort.

The semi-automatic excavator is a flexible solution, and the operator can easily switch between manual and auto mode to ensure maximum safety. Operate by only manoeuvring the stick and let the solution do the work automatically according to the design model. The solution helps the operator to avoid mistakes and costly rework.

Below are five different ways that the semi-automatic excavator has been taken into use.

    1. You press once, and the semi-automatic remains on

      Excavator operator Johann Gottschalk from the company Max Bögl uses the semi-automatic function in MC1 to avoid over-excavating and mistakes by excavating more in one pull and to the correct grade.He can activate semi-automatics on the left joystick, by pressing a button and operate it by just using the left hand on the joystick. When he pulls the left joystick in, the bucket goes to the target height of the design model.“It is first of all very nice, that you don’t have to hold the button all the time, you press it once, and then the automatic remains on,”  says Max Bögl.

    2. What does an old village from the Roman Iron Age (500 B.C. to 400 A.D) have to do with a semi-automatic excavator?

      You can read more about how the semi-automatic functionality is used on an archaeological excavation site. Thomas Petersen uses the semi-automatic function in MC1 when filling back material after the archaeologists have documented all their finds and the excavation has been completed.“It makes it easier to fill back material in the correct heights using the one-hand-operation.I don’t risk not having enough material, I can create a smoother surface than I can manually, and I get it right the first time,” explains Petersen.

    3. The flexibility of the semi-automatic excavator

      Michael Madsen is working for the company Munck Gruppen. Michael uses the semi-automatic functionality the entire day doing fine grading before placing asphalt on top. The result of fine grading with the excavator is so good that a motor grader is not necessary to use. Michael benefits from the flexibility of the solution and drives with the boom and tilt rotator in auto mode while controlling the bucket manually for greater flexibility. Michael has used the Create Model functionality in MC1 and created the surface model himself so that he can go ahead with the fine grading straight away.


    4. Technology makes a machine operator’s life easier

      Experienced machine operator Chris Mitchell explains how he uses semi-automatic excavator solution on his brand new Kobelco 210 SK with SMP tilt rotator.“The extra element is obviously on the joystick, it will go out and then it will set up the level and then you drawback, and then you use the left joystick without interrupting the right joystick and the machine takes over. I am all for making my life easier by using technology,” Mitchell explains. Chris uses the height indicator chimes a lot so that he doesn’t have to focus on the panel all the time, which makes him a lot more aware of his surroundings and a safer machine operator.

    5. Semi-automatics help an experienced operator get consistent fine grading results

      Heine Vendelbo is an experienced excavator operator working on a road project and uses the semi-automatic functionality for fine grading. The advantage is a consistent quality of the work and a lot less fatigue by the end of the day thanks to the automation of height and angle of the bucket.


    Learn more about the semi-auto solution: Learn more Contact an expert



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