Paving Machine Automation

Client

Q&D Construction LLC

Industry

Transportation, Public sector, State of California

Location

Sparks NV

Job

Automation

Caltrans – the California Department of Transportation – has justifiably high standards for pavement on the state’s highways. Q&D Construction LLC, a Sparks NV – based contractor, needed to do better on projects resurfacing California bridges and overpasses. To do this work, Q&D depended on a one-of-a-kind automated paving machine spanning a traffic lane, which takes in aggregate, resins and other agents, to resurface the roadway. Q&D was unable to determine why the machine was having difficulty meeting Caltrans standards. Another of the machine’s mysteries was how the recorded volume of aggregate fed into the machine didn’t match the amount of produced pavement it recorded. Q&D could bill Caltrans only for the amounts on the receipt generated by the control system, so projects were not as profitable as they needed to be. Unable to access the machine’s custom software, Q&D asked VERUS to, in effect, “jailbreak” their paving machine.

VERUS was able to access the code and rewrite it, inserting an algorithm that helped the inputs and outputs to match. Another aspect of Verus’ work was setting up remote tablet access, so that operators could check the machine’s vital signs not just from the machine’s control panel, but while walking around it.

While the State allows for error rates of 2% on pavement projects, inspections on Q&D’s projects now return error rates of more like 0.1% and 0.01%.

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