JCB and Leica: a partnership for enhanced machine control

Just like JCB, Leica Geosystems is trusted by professionals the world over.

Their pioneering solutions help users everywhere measure the world around them by capturing, analysing and presenting vital spatial information.

We're very proud to have partnered with automation machine manufacturers Leica Geosystems in the latest development of our X Series tracked excavators, bringing you these advanced capabilities direct from the factory. Renowned for premium products and innovative solutions, Leica Geosystems have been revolutionising measurement and surveying for many years. This includes a strong heritage in construction, so you can trust their expertise as an automation machine manufacturer.

Read on to learn more about all the ways INTELLIGRADE machine control solutions will bring a new level of precision to your operation.

INTELLIGRADE 220X AUtomation Graphics

What is INTELLIGRADE machine automation?

Also known as auto machine control or machine operator automation, this reliable system automatically controls the boom and bucket position during operation to ensure it consistently hits grade.

No operator is the same, but sometimes, repeatability and accuracy is key, using machine control you will: 

  • Improve efficiency and lower costs: Low accuracy can result in over or under digging, leading to higher costs due to missed deadlines and re-work.
  • Achieve better results: Greater machine control also makes operators of all skills more consistent in how they perform tasks, whether that be on large scale projects or smaller construction sites.
  • Improve site safety: Machine Control reduces the need for additional checks and surveyance on site, resulting in a more organised, safer working environment for all with less people around operating machines.

How will INTELLIGRADE machine control maximise my ROI?

Our partnership with Leica creates a seamless customer experience, giving you Leica's technological prowess alongside the quality assurance of factory-fitted machine automation solutions.

Every tried-and-tested component is fully validated for the JCB 220X machines and the solution is fully installed on JCB production lines. 

Plus, you'll have the backing of JCB's global service and support network. Rest assured your machine is designed to be a future-proof investment. Both the 2D and 3D-ready systems boast semi-auto control works, and the 3D-ready option allows for simple upgrade to the full Leica 3D system with no modifications required.

What are the options for INTELLIGRADE machine control systems on the X Series?

There are two core options for auto machine control on the X Series: 2D and 2D with 3D-ready.

Both offer full 2D machine control capabilities, which is effective for tasks including grading, levelling and trenching.

However, if you're taking on more complex work like building embankments, complex slopes or creating multi-level surfaces, 3D machine control gives you all-round automation - and the 3D-ready option is primed for upgrade. 

Ideal for complex grading work like trenching, this is a flexible solution that allows you to switch between manual and semi automated modes for maximum safety and comfort. This helps to reduce fatigue and gets the job done faster with higher levels of accuracy - even with a less experienced operator.

Leica Geosystems capabilities allow users to easily enter target grade profiles onto the display using offsets from a known reference point - and further increase accuracy by automating boom and bucket movements as the dipper comes in or out.

    Key functions:
  • Digging
  • Grading
  • Trenching
  • Sloping
    Key features:
  • Easily switch between manual and auto control
  • Use offsets from a known reference point to create grade profiles in real time
  • Automatically adjusts dig-end position to consistently hit target grade
  • Create multiple target slopes and angles for more complex work
  • Laser catcher as standard for target reference

This option comes ready for 3D upgrade - but what is 3D machine control? As the name suggests, it gives operators control of a machine's position in all three dimensions, which allows for more precise shaping and modelling of the terrain using GPS technology.

The 2D with 3D ready solution can be upgraded to the full Leica 3D system at any time, and components can easily be moved between multiple 3D machine control models that are also ready for upgrade. This option is ideal for anyone who's already using 2D but is likely to move into more complex earthmoving jobs in the future - or users who already have 3D machine guidance but are looking for the accuracy and efficiency of semi auto machine control.

    Key functions: 
  • Embankment building
  • Complex slope construction
  • Multi-level surface creation

    3D benefits:
  • The capability to handle complex work where all three dimensions are important
  • A future-proof solution for upgrades across individual machines and entire fleets
  • Send 3D site plan data straight to the machine to keep operators up to date
  • No need for operators to calculate off reference points for target grades
  • Machine provides localisation and site design so there's less need for onsite surveyors 

Take a look at how to use the new INTELLIGRADE feature...

How To

Ready for enhanced INTELLIGRADE machine control?

If you're ready to take on 2D or upgrade to a 3D-ready solution, just contact your local Leica machine control dealers.

They'll support you with calibration and installation, either at the JCB dealership or onsite at your premises. 

And if you still need a little more information, take a look at the components and 2D/3D features overview above for all the essential technical details.