Minimising environmental footprint by saving time and rework using machine control

Case study

Author: Karina Lumholt

Tucked between Iceland, Scotland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, a group of 18 volcanic islands is the home of around 50,000 people and many sheep. Tórshavn, the world’s smallest, and some would say cosiest, capital in the world, hosts almost half of the country’s predominantly young population.

The Faroe Islands have a highly-developed infrastructure connecting the archipelago with bridges, roads, tunnels and subsea tunnels. The population growth, rise in tourism and large public transportation investments are causing the construction industry to boom.

Plan Sp/f is a 40-year-old construction company founded by Johannes Hellisdal. Today, father and son, Johannes and Dan Hellisdal, are working side by side in the company that employs approximately seven people, but this number can vary according to the season and the number of projects. Plan Sp/f has worked on road projects, roundabouts, site preparation, land development and parking lots in every part of the Faroe Islands and mainly in Tórshavn. The company is specialised in earthmoving activities and owns seven excavators whereof one is equipped with Leica iXE3 machine control solution as well as a Leica iCON gps 70 T for stake-outs.

Our ambition is to work efficiently while minimising our environmental footprint,” explains Johannes Hellisdal. “Machine control is a very targeted part of that strategy because we save a lot of costs, time and fuel by getting the job done right the first time.

Improving the workflow with machine control

Father and son working side by side preparing for new housings in Tórshavn.

Using machine control is fairly new on the Faroe Islands, and both father and son acknowledge the many advantages. Plan Sp/f is right now working on a construction project in Tórshavn, preparing a site for the construction of 12 buildings that will host a total of 38 housings.

The underground, consisting of bedrock, must be either blasted or broken by a hydraulic hammer mounted on an excavator. Using machine control makes a difference on a project like this.

Dan Hellisdal explains the workflow, “We now work in a much more precise and faster way. I am using the Komatsu PC360 LC to dig down to the where the bedrock starts. My dad is sitting in the other excavator with the hammer, and we communicate with walkie-talkies. I can see directly on my machine control panel how much of the rock he must remove to get to the correct grade. Before we introduced machine control to our machine park, we spent a lot of time removing a lot of the bedrock, now we only remove what is necessary and that saves time, fuel and costs.

As an added benefit Johannes Hellisdal explains there are still not so many heavy construction machines equipped with machine control on the Faroe Islands, hence, it is easy to rent out machines with machine control.

Special climatic conditions on the Faroe Islands

The Faroese climate poses special challenges. The climate is mild yet unpredictable and everchanging with a great deal of rainfall and fog. With relatively mild winters, Plan Sp/f is normally able to work all year round.

We have water everywhere and the building grounds must be prepared with good drainage to keep the houses dry. We often have to pump the water away in order to continue working but we are so used to it that we do not even consider it to be a problem,” explains Dan Hellisdal.

Machine control installer Kim Højland from Leica Geosystem installs and calibrates the iXE3 solution on the machine and explains the special preparations when installing machine control on a machine working in harsh weather.

I need to install the iCG82 GNSS receiver inside the cabin in order to protect it from the weather, and the entire machine will receive a foam coating so that it is prepared for the Faroese conditions,” says Kim Højland as he finishes the calibration and loads the Faroese coordinate system into the Leica MC1 machine control software.

The machine is then ready to be shipped and find its new owners in the Faroese capital of Tórshavn.

Kim Højland calibrating the Leica iXE3 solution on the new hybrid excavator before shipment to the Faroe Islands.

Expanding the machine park with the latest and greenest technology

Improving the workflow with machine control

Johannes Hellisdal in his new hybrid excavator equipped with iXE3 solution.

Plan Sp/f’s ambition to work in a green and efficient way drove Dan and Johannes to order a new Komatsu 365 H Hybrid excavator, that reduces fuel consumption and consequently lower CO2 emissions. To get the job done efficiently without rework, thus fully minimise environmental footprint, the Hybrid excavator was pre-installed with Leica Geosystem’s iXE3 machine control solution directly from the dealer Scantruck in Denmark.


Reporter subscription

Receive the latest updates about Reporter magazine.
Receive the latest updates about Reporter magazine.