September 2015

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  • Topcon Introduces YieldTrakk yield Monitor System
    Topcon Introduces YieldTrakk yield Monitor System

    Posted: 9/23/2015
    LIVERMORE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Topcon Precision Agriculture announces the expansion of its precision agriculture line of solutions to include a new yield monitoring system- YieldTrakk.

    YieldTrakk is an optical sensing, volumetric solution designed to provide operators with the real-time data collection needed to make intelligent business decisions in the combine cab and afterward. It includes monitoring and mapping of yield (in bushels or tonnes), moisture and cut rate, as well as the total weight of crop during harvest.

    "YieldTrakk provides an excellent solution for data collection, mapping and analysis that ultimately allows operators to reduce input costs and operate more efficiently," said Brian Sorbe, Topcon Precision Agriculture director of sales, Americas. "The addition of yield monitoring expands the scope of Topcon precision agriculture solutions to meet the full-season productivity demands of modern farming."

    YieldTrakk works by using non-contact optical sensors installed in the clean grain elevator to calculate accurate live yield data. The ECU (electronic control unit) converts the measurement into a weight for the crop harvested. When the crop travels up to the bubble up auger, a second set of sensors measure crop moisture level and incorporates that into the data along with the yield output. To help optimize accuracy, the ECU also measures slope variations and corrects the signal for any fluctuation in machine angle.

    The system is a universal solution designed to fit nearly every brand of combine on today's market. It includes retrofit solutions for most combines, a plug-and-play application for CLAAS combines, and a connection using ISO in AGCO® Fieldstar II-ready combines.

    The new yield monitor system is integrated with the Topcon "easy-to-use" Horizon software on the Topcon X30 touchscreen console- displaying the yield and moisture levels in separate sets of data to provide the operator a more complete understanding of field and crop conditions.

    YieldTrakk is compatible with most software packages in the industry for further analysis by utilizing industry standard ISOXML and shape file format for data export instead of the proprietary data formats used by most competitors. This information can be used to trace inputs and outputs by precise location and ultimately allows the user to vary seed, fertilizer, chemical or other inputs as-applied.

    "This is a great example of how we're able to leverage synergies with our recent acquisition of Wachnendorff Elektronik, Digi-Star, RDS Technologies and NORAC to further provide combine owners and our OEMs with the high accuracy precision tools they need," said Michael Gomes, Topcon Precision Agriculture vice president of business development.

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  • The Hole That Saved a City
    The Hole That Saved a City

    Posted: 9/18/2015
    Laser scanner adds precision to rainwater diversion structure

    By Jeff Winke

    In Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is taking steps to reduce the destruction caused by future strong weather systems in our region, aka, flooding. MWRD will be undertaking an expansion project at the wastewater treatment facility located in nearby Lemont, Ill. According to MWRD, the Lemont plant will benefit from a new $30 million Wet Weather Treatment Facility to help improve storm water management at the facility. The project has begun and will be completed by summer of 2015.

    The Lemont project includes a new pump station, a diversion structure for emergency high level overflow, separator and disinfection, and yard piping and tie-ins to an existing electrical and controls distribution system.

    Additionally, a significant component of the project is the construction of a diversion structure for emergency high-level overflow. The new wet weather reservoir and wet well is a large in-ground concrete structure that measures 215 x 165 x 30-feet deep. The concrete walls are 2½ to three-feet thick and the base measures four-feet thick. It is expected to be solid, leak-proof, and capable of handling overflow from the biggest storms.

    "We won the contract for the construction of the overflow reservoir structure," stated Sam Henderson with Joseph J. Henderson & Son, Inc., based in Gurnee, Ill.

    J.J. Henderson is a family-owned, design-build general contractor that was established in 1928. Water and wastewater treatment plant construction continues to be its largest division. Since 1983, when the company first entered this specialty niche, it has completed more than $750 million in work constructing water and wastewater treatment plants.

    The site for the new storm water management reservoir in Lemont is predominately rock's mixture of aged dolomite, limestone, and slurry.

    J.J. Henderson first used a robotic total station to set control points throughout the site as a basis for registering their 3D laser scanner point cloud data.

    For the blasting operations J.J. Henderson contracted Ludwig Explosives, Inc., Lemont, Ill, and assisted them with layout of the blasting limits to match the final excavation configuration. Approximately 55,000 cubic yards of rock and soil was removed from the site in eight-foot lifts.

    "Ludwig Explosives was very accurate in following the excavation plan," said Henderson. "To provide a safe work environment in the excavation, rock anchors and a chain-link fence was draped over each wall to catch and hold back any falling rock."

    According to Henderson, the GLS-1500 laser scanner has been critical to the company's effectiveness and productivity on the Lemont plant wastewater treatment facility diversion structure.

    The management at J.J. Henderson has said that without the laser scanner, they would have needed a different monitoring plan, requiring a crew of surveyors.

    "The GLS-1500 laser scanner gives a high degree of accuracy, we're talking within hundredths of an inch accuracy," said Henderson. "I can't think of another construction tool on earth with that kind of accuracy."
  • Topcon Increases 3D Scanning Integration with Autodesk
    Topcon Increases 3D Scanning Integration with Autodesk

    Improved GLS-2000 Laser Scanner, ScanMaster Compatibility

    Posted: 9/10/2015

    As a result of its strategic business relationship with Autodesk, Topcon Positioning Group has improved workflow compatibility for the GLS-2000 3D laser scanner and ScanMaster software with Autodesk solutions via the latest version of Autodesk ReCap.

    "File conversion is no longer necessary. Exporting can be done straight out of scan position," says Ray Kerwin, director of global surveying products. "Users ultimately get a more streamlined workflow, more data detail and increased access to the point cloud. With individual scan positions it is possible to generate 'RealViews' that offer a web viewing output."

    The GLS-2000 pairs with Topcon ScanMaster software to collect, process, edit and deliver 3D point cloud data from a laser scanner for a variety of applications. Autodesk ReCap allows users to perform tasks such as scan conversion, editing, and viewing point cloud data- and provides integration with Autodesk's broader portfolio of design software.

    Autodesk ReCap and ReCap 360 have the new capability to read the Topcon CL3 format as a scan file in addition to a standard point cloud. The scan file allows for the use of individual scan positions for additional options in registration workflows.

    The integration is available for versions including Autodesk ReCap, ReCap 360 and ReCap 360 Ultimate software.

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