Intelligent Machine Control – the future for excavators?

What is IMC?

Intelligent Machine Control is distinct from machine guidance systems because IMC actually controls some of the machine movement. For excavators, this means being able to prevent over digging and allowing easy creation of batters and slope works.


Komatsu is an example of one company already using the technology having recently introduced its first crawler excavator equipped with Intelligent Machine Control (IMC), following the successful launch in 2013 of a number of dozers using the technology.

Advantages of IMC

  1. Allows control of the machine’s bucket or blade
  2. provides companies with as-built data
  3. Reduces the need for engineers to constantly measure and assess site levels.
  4. Cuts machine operating costs because there is no requirement to fill in over-dig.

Dirk Legrand, Deputy General Manager at Komatsu, speaking at the Construction Plant Hire Association 2014 Conference warned hire companies that the machines are more expensive, but he said they are also more productive, making up for the premium and reducing whole life costs.
“Up to 20% of construction costs are due to errors in planning, qualities of materials, bad communications or repair due to over digging.

“The future is a linked environment, hardware, software, new ways of operation, new technologies and seamless integration. The UK market will go drastically in this direction in the coming years,” ended Mr Legrand.

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