Cat Launches New Entry-Level Automation and Grade Control (E-Fence and Indicate) for 6- to 9-Ton Mini Excavators
Last week at Equip Exposition, Caterpillar introduced two new mini hydraulic excavator (MHE) Ease of Use technologies — Indicate and E-Fence — for the Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR Next Generation Mini hydraulic excavators. New to Cat mini excavators, Ease of Use Indicate helps operators to reach grade faster, while Ease of Use E-Fence constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries. These technologies are ideal for digging footings, drainage and septic systems, irrigation, electric utilities, and applications near structures or obstacles operators need to avoid. They allow operators of all experience levels to work more efficiently and consistently.
Faster Grades with Indicate
An entry-level grade system, MHE Ease of Use Indicate provides visual and audible indications to bucket position compared to target grade to assist operators in cutting to exact specifications the first time. Regardless of skill level, operators reach target grade faster with improved precision and reduced need for on-the-ground grade checking to create a safer work environment.
With Indicate, the operator selects target depth and slope from the in-cab guidance system, and the monitor provides real-time work-in-progress and distance-to-grade feedback. The technology enables operators to reach grade faster without overcutting, saving time, manpower and saving cost overall.
Preset boundaries with E-Fence MHE Ease of Use E-Fence automatically constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries for ceiling, floor, wall and swing. Operators work confidently and efficiently by avoiding structures overhead, underground, in front, or to the left or right of the machine.
Add Boom Limits with E-Fence
Once the E-Fence range limits are established using the machine’s touchscreen monitor, no part of the boom, stick or bucket will pass the predefined limit(s). Setting height limits using E-Fence Ceiling helps operators avoid obstacles such as powerlines, ceilings or tree limbs. Fiber optic cables and underground utilities are protected by the defined depth limits established with E-Fence Floor. Structures in front of the machine are protected by E-Fence Wall, and where the mini excavator is working next to live traffic or walkways or loading trucks, E-Fence Swing is ideal to avoid these areas.
E-Fence is ideal for new operators to work within set boundaries and helps minimize job costs from repairs and downtime due to equipment damage and fines from damaging utilities or other structures. For experienced operators, E-Fence allows them to work more efficiently and safely with fewer ground personnel required around the work area.
Both MHE Ease of Use E-Fence and Indicate are packaged with Swing Assist and Bucket Assist features at no added cost. Swing Assist, also referred to as return to trench, automatically stops machine swing at one or two set points, ideal for truck loading and trenching applications. It helps operators hit more repetitive swing targets with less effort, reducing fuel use and improving cycle times. Bucket Assist maintains last known bucket angle and keeps the cut accurate in sloping, leveling, fine grading and trenching applications.
Current production Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR Next Gen Mini Hydraulic Excavators are shipped from the factory Ease-of-Use-ready to reduce installation time in the field. Ease of Use Indicate and E-Fence can be ordered bundled together or as separate feature packages, installed at the factory or through Cat dealers as an upgrade kit. These technologies are not currently available for Cat 308 CR Variable Angle Boom, 309 CR Variable Angle Boom, 308 CR Fixed Boom, or canopy models.
More information on MHE Ease of Use Indicate and E-Fence for Cat 6- to 9-ton mini hydraulic excavators can be found by contacting a Cat dealer or visiting: https://www.cat.com.