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Leveling system

Asphalt paving with a digital controller

Leveling technology in asphalt pavers is a must for many projects. The Moba-matic leveling system and digital encoder helped level and pave a stretch of road in the north of Germany.

Asphalt paving of Potsdamer Weg with the Volvo paver (Photo: Moba)

ABOUT 90 % OF ALL ASPHALT PAVERS IN GERMANY are equipped with leveling technology. Leveling systems provide advantages even in smaller projects. A case in point is the renovation of the Potsdamer Weg in Emkendorf-Bokelholm in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. For this project, a Volvo ABG P6820C paver was used, equipped with the Moba-matic leveling system and the Moba-matic II digital controller.

The Potsdamer Weg road leads to a large agricultural facility. The traffic on the road increased dramatically after the farmer began operating a biogas plant. The machines that drive in and out every day weigh 50 t to 60 t. That places an enormous burden on the asphalt, which is why the entire road had to be renewed and strengthened.
The farmer had already reinforced part of the stretch with concrete; the next step was the asphalt paving of the second part of the road. This entailed having the road widened and bolstered along the edges. Subsequently, a 6-cm base layer and a 3-cm surface layer were applied over a width of 4 ½ m.

Asphalt paving of Potsdamer Weg with the Volvo paver (Photo: Moba)

The renovation of this road was part of a larger order of a total of 25 smaller asphalt paving jobs in the district. All in all, they comprised a length of some 10 km and a cost of €1,5 million. "We always work with a surveyor's level, irrespective of whether it is stipulated in the bid solicitation or not. The reason being that this way we can always maintain the required planarity or inclination without any problems. And, of course, we also save material if we don't lay it on too thick", said site manager Jan Tessensohn. "The Moba system is uncomplicated. You have the different sensors and can just decide at the construction site what you would like to use. For example, for small-scale projects such as this one we use an individual ultrasonic sensor on each side; at major construction sites with a milled-off surface where the substrate is very uneven, we like to employ the Big Sonic-Ski with three or four ultrasonic sensors. This way we can practically 'iron out' the irregularities of the substrate and the road becomes very level. We begin with the leveling as early as possible, starting with the base layer. Consequently, we can avoid mistakes right from the start".

Thanks to Moba-matic’s backlighting and brightness adjustability of the LEDs, it is possible to work in the dark. What is also new is that a sensor value is shown continuously in the display, so that the most important value is always within view of the operator. The symbolic representation and the easy operation of the main functions by means of just four buttons have been retained. "For me, there is no major adjustment; the operation is easy and understandable, as was the case with previous control panel too. The simpler a unit is designed, the better. Because the more complicated something is, the more likely it is that errors will occur," surmised grader operator Günter Baier.

Asphalt paving of Potsdamer Weg with the Volvo paver (Photo: Moba)

Sensors communicate via CAN

The system communicates by means of CAN, which means that outlays for cabling on the machine are reduced as all sensors can be connected through one cable via the network system. "Old and new CAN sensors can be combined, thus all of them do not have to be replaced when a new control panel is used. That is also an important aspect", emphasized Udo Morgenstern, who is responsible for the sale of road construction machines at the Volvo construction machinery dealer Swecon. He added: "The new Moba-matic II has been requested by a lot of customers, such as for this project. Therefore, we have decided to equip all pavers with the new generation of the Moba-matic in future. In particular, the 3,5-inch large display and the innovation that, with a single control panel, both sides of the screed can be controlled from one screen makes it work substantially easier for the user."

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