(19)
(11)EP 3 387 189 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
13.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/20

(21)Application number: 16873760.9

(22)Date of filing:  07.12.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
E01C 19/00  (2006.01)
E01C 23/07  (2006.01)
G06Q 50/08  (2012.01)
E01C 19/48  (2006.01)
E01C 23/06  (2006.01)
G06Q 10/06  (2012.01)
G05D 1/02  (2020.01)
E01C 23/088  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2016/065364
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/100312 (15.06.2017 Gazette  2017/24)

(54)

SYSTEM FOR COORDINATING MILLING AND PAVING MACHINES

SYSTEM ZUR KOORDINIERUNG VON FRÄS- UND PFLASTERMASCHINEN

SYSTÈME POUR COORDONNER DES MACHINES DE FRAISAGE ET DE PAVAGE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 10.12.2015 US 201514965618

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.10.2018 Bulletin 2018/42

(60)Divisional application:
20168525.2

(73)Proprietor: Caterpillar Paving Products Inc.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • MARSOLEK, John Lee
    Watertown, MN 55388 (US)

(74)Representative: Kramer Barske Schmidtchen Patentanwälte PartG mbB 
European Patent Attorneys Landsberger Strasse 300
80687 München
80687 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 834 620
US-A1- 2007 150 148
US-A1- 2010 215 433
US-A1- 2013 076 101
WO-A1-2013/096144
US-A1- 2009 142 133
US-A1- 2010 296 867
US-A1- 2014 097 665
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to a control system and, more particularly, to a control system for coordinating milling and paving machines.

    Background



    [0002] Asphalt-surfaced roadways are built to facilitate vehicular travel. Depending upon usage density, base conditions, temperature variation, moisture levels, and/or physical age, the surfaces of the roadways eventually become misshapen and unable to support wheel loads. In order to rehabilitate the roadways for continued vehicular use, spent asphalt is removed in preparation for resurfacing.

    [0003] Cold planers, sometimes also called road mills or scarifiers, are used to break up and remove layers of an asphalt roadway during a resurfacing operation. A cold planer typically includes a frame propelled by tracked or wheeled drive units. The frame supports an engine, an operator's station, a milling drum, and conveyors. The milling drum, fitted with cutting bits, is rotated through a suitable interface with the engine to break up the surface of the roadway. The broken up roadway material is deposited by the milling drum onto the conveyors, which transfer the broken up material into haul trucks for removal from the worksite. A paving machine follows behind the cold planer at a desired distance and covers the milled surface with fresh asphalt. Haul trucks carrying fresh, hot asphalt from a plant periodically pass between the paving machine and the cold planer to deliver additional asphalt to the paving machine. This process repeats until the resurfacing operation is finished.

    [0004] After its production, fresh asphalt gradually cools until it is eventually laid onto the milled roadway surface. If too much time passes between its production and its use on the roadway, the fresh asphalt can cool to temperatures at which it becomes brittle and unworkable. Thus, supervisors of a resurfacing operation may wish to coordinate deliveries of fresh asphalt with actual rates of asphalt usage by the paving machine to minimize cooling time and wasted asphalt. However, when the cold planer ahead of the paving machine stops during operation, such as to wait for an empty haul truck or when cutting bits on its milling drum need replaced, the paving machine may be required to slow or stop its operations, during which time the fresh asphalt may fall below its usable temperature.

    [0005] One attempt to coordinate milling and paving operations is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 7,549,821 B2 that issued to Hall et al. on June 23, 2009 ("the '821 patent"). In particular, the '821 patent discloses a pavement recycling machine for breaking up used pavement from a surface, mixing the broken-up pavement with other materials, and reapplying the mixture to the surface. The machine includes a frame that supports an engine for powering a hydraulic system. The hydraulic system drives traction devices for moving the machine and rotary mill heads for breaking up pavement on the surface of a roadway. The broken-up pavement may be mixed with rejuvenation materials and/or supplementary aggregate materials before being dispensed via an outlet onto the surface of the roadway, leveled, and tamped. A closed loop control system having a number of sensors monitors and controls operating parameters of the machine based on parameter set points and feedback signals from the sensors. The sensors generate signals indicative of the machine position, machine speed, position and rotational speed of the rotary mill heads, pavement temperature, rejuvenation material temperature, and screed settings.

    [0006] While the system of the '821 patent may allow for some coordination of milling and paving processes, it may not be applicable to resurfacing operations having separate milling and paving machines and where fresh asphalt is prepared at a location away from the jobsite.

    [0007] An optical guidance system for a laying engine for producing a concrete or asphalt top layer is disclosed in US 2010/215433 A1. Here an optical guidance system for a laying engine for producing a concrete or asphalt top layer along a given path is disclosed, wherein the laying engine comprises a first unit, such as a distributor for distributing the material and a second unit, such as a finisher for smoothing the material. The first and second unit are driven independently of each other and may be driven in formation. According to the invention, the optical guidance system comprises at least one transmitter component, one receiver component and one computer component for providing control instructions, relating for example to the direction of travel of the first or second unit. The transmitter component is to be provided on the second unit ad designed to emit optical reference beams. The receiver component is to be provided on the first unit and comprises several photosensitive receiver regions for detecting the reference beams and is designed to determine at least one incidence point for the reference beams on the receiver components. The computer component calculates control instructions for the first and/or second unit using the at last one incident point and provides the same, for example to an operator, by means of a display or direct to a control unit.

    [0008] A paving system and method is disclosed in US 2009/142133 A1. Here a method of operating a paving system is disclosed which includes establishing a plan for paving a work area which is based on a positional temperature model. The method further includes receiving temperature data for paving material and comparing the temperature data with data predicted by the positional temperature model. Operation of the paving system is adjusted where actual data differs from model predicted data. A paving system and control system are provided having an electronic control unit configured to compare electronic temperature data with a positional temperature model for paving material. The electronic control unit can control machines of the paving system based on comparing actual data with model predicted data, and can further update either or both of a plan for paving a work area and the positional temperature model itself based on differences between actual data and model predicted data. A complete temperature profile of a paving work area, including a comparison with the model may be recorded in computer readable memory for forensic and predictive analysis.

    [0009] A paving train is disclosed in EP 0 834 620 A1. Here a paving train for producing a covering layer of bituminous or concrete material on a traffic surface is disclosed, comprising at least two independently driven, mobile units, in particular several paver finishers or a feeder and at least one paver, characterized in that at least one of the units in the train is designed as a guide unit for remotely controlling each further unit or remotely controls each further unit.

    [0010] The control system of the present disclosure solves one or more of the problems set forth above and/or other problems in the art.

    Summary



    [0011] In one aspect, the present disclosure is related to a system for coordinating a cold planer and a paver. The system includes a first sensor configured to generate a first signal indicative of a position of the cold planer, a production monitoring system associated with the cold planer and configured to determine a milling rate of the cold planer, a communication device configured to exchange information between the cold planer and the paver, and a controller in electronic communication with the first sensor, the production monitoring system, and the communication device. The controller is configured to receive, via the communication device, a second signal indicative of a position of the paver and a third signal indicative of a paving rate of the paver. The controller also is configured to determine a current distance between the cold planer and the paver based on the first and second signals, determine a target distance between the cold planer and the paver based on the current distance and a comparison of the milling rate and the paving rate, and determine a difference between the target distance and the current distance.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0012] 

    Fig. 1 is a pictorial illustration of an exemplary jobsite of a resurfacing operation having an exemplary disclosed cold planer and a paving machine;

    Fig. 2 is a cutaway view illustration of the cold planer of Fig. 1; and

    Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of an exemplary disclosed system that may be used to coordinate operations of the cold planer and paving machine of Fig. 1.


    Detailed Description



    [0013] For the purpose of this disclosure, the term "asphalt" is defined as a mixture of aggregate and asphalt cement. Asphalt cement is a brownish-black solid or semi-solid mixture of bitumens obtained as a byproduct of petroleum distillation. The asphalt cement can be heated and mixed with the aggregate for use in paving roadway surfaces, where the mixture hardens upon cooling. A "cold planer" is defined as a machine used to remove layers of hardened asphalt from an existing roadway. It is contemplated that the disclosed cold planer may also or alternatively be used to remove cement and other roadway surfaces, or to remove non-roadway surface material such as in a mining operation.

    [0014] Fig. 1 shows a cold planer 10 employed at a worksite 12, such as, for example, a roadway resurfacing operation. As part of the resurfacing operation, cold planer 10 may mill a surface 14 of the roadway and transfer milled material into one or more first haul trucks 16 (only one shown). When full, haul trucks 16 may depart from cold planer 10 to deliver the milled material to a storage site (not shown), and an empty haul truck 16 may approach cold planer 10 to replace a full haul truck 16 to allow for a continuous milling process.

    [0015] A paving machine ("paver") 18 may follow behind cold planer 10 and deposit a layer of paving material, such as fresh asphalt, onto surface 14 after it has been milled by cold planer 10. One or more second haul trucks 20 (only one shown) may periodically pass between paver 18 and cold planer 10 to deliver additional fresh asphalt to paver 18 to allow for a continuous paving process. Additional haul trucks 20 containing fresh asphalt may be summoned from an asphalt plant (not shown) or dispatch facility when it is determined that additional asphalt is needed.

    [0016] Fig. 2 illustrates an exemplary cold planer 10 having a frame 22 supported by one or more traction devices 24, a milling drum 26 rotationally supported under a belly of frame 22, and an engine 28 mounted to frame 22 and configured to drive milling drum 26 and traction devices 24. Traction devices 24 may include either wheels or tracks connected to actuators 30 that are adapted to controllably raise and lower frame 22 relative to surface 14. It should be noted that, in the disclosed embodiment, raising and lowering of frame 22 may also function to vary a milling depth of milling drum 26 into surface 14. In some embodiments, the same or different actuators 30 may also be used to steer cold planer 10 and or to adjust a travel speed of traction devices 24 (e.g., to speed up or brake traction devices 24), if desired. A conveyor system 32 may be pivotally connected at a leading end to frame 22 and configured to transport material away from milling drum 26 and into a receptacle, such as a haul truck 16 (referring to Fig. 1). Other types of receptacles may be used, if desired.

    [0017] Frame 22 may also support an operator station 34. Operator station 34 may house any number of interface devices 36 used to control cold planer 10. In the disclosed example, interface devices 36 may include, among other things, a display 38, a warning device 40, and an input device 42 (38-42 shown only in Fig. 3). In other embodiments, operator station 34 may be off-board cold planer 10. For example, operator station 34 may embody a remote control, such as a handheld controller, a cellular phone, a tablet, a laptop computer, or any other type of mobile device that an operator may use to control cold planer 10 from anywhere on or away from worksite 12. Operator station 34 may alternatively embody a software program and a user interface for a computer, and may include a combination of hardware and software. In other embodiments, cold planer 10 may be autonomous and may not include operator station 34.

    [0018] Referring to Fig. 3, display 38 may be configured to render the location of cold planer 10 (e.g., of milling drum 26) relative to features of the jobsite (e.g., milled and/or unmilled parts of surface 14), and to display data and/or other information to the operator. Warning device 40 may be configured to audibly and/or visually alert the operator of cold planer 10 as to a proximity of milling drum 26 to the worksite features, and/or when certain pieces of data exceed an associated threshold. Input device 42 may be configured to receive data and/or control instructions from the operator of cold planer 10. Other interface devices (e.g., control devices) may also be possible, and one or more of the interface devices described above could be combined into a single interface device, if desired.

    [0019] Input device 42 may be, for example, an analog input device that receives control instructions via one or more buttons, switches, dials, levers, etc. Input device 42 may also or alternatively include digital components, such as one or more soft keys, touch screens, and/or visual displays. Input device 42 may be configured to generate one or more signals indicative of various parameters associated with cold planer 10 and/or its surrounding environment based on input received from the operator.

    [0020] Referring again to Fig. 2, conveyor system 32 may include a first conveyor 46 adjacent milling drum 26 that is configured to transfer milled material to a second conveyor 48. Conveyor 48 may be pivotally attached to frame 22 so that the height at which milled material leaves conveyor 48 can be adjusted. That is, a pivotal orientation of conveyor 48 in the vertical direction may be adjusted to raise and lower conveyor 48. Conveyor 48 may also be pivotally attached to frame 22 so that the lateral location at which milled material leaves conveyor 48 may be adjusted. That is, a pivotal orientation of conveyor 48 in the horizontal direction may be adjusted to move conveyor 48 from side to side.

    [0021] Conveyors 46 and 48 may each include a belt 50 that is supported on a plurality of roller assemblies 52 and driven by a motor 54. Motor 54 may embody, for example, a hydraulic motor 54 powered by a hydraulic system (not shown). In other embodiments, motor 54 may be an electric motor or another type of motor. Motor 54 may be powered by engine 28 or by another power source.

    [0022] As illustrated in Fig. 3, a control system 56 may be associated with cold planer 10 and include elements that cooperate to monitor and analyze the transfer of milled material into haul truck 16 and facilitate communication between cold planer 10 and paver 18 and/or between cold planer 10 and haul trucks 16, 20. For example, elements of control system 56 may cooperate to determine a milling rate of cold planer 10. The milling rate of cold planer 10 may be a mass flow rate and/or a volume flow rate of milled material being discharged by cold planer 10 into haul truck 16. The milling rate may be determined with respect to time, distance, or another reference parameter, as desired. Control system 56 may also be configured to determine a total amount (e.g., a total weight W or total volume V) of material that has been milled and/or transferred over a period of milling time, a fill level ∑ of haul truck 16, an amount of remaining time TF until haul truck 16 is full, and/or other statistical information.

    [0023] Elements of control system 56 may include interface devices 36, a speed sensor 58, a depth sensor 59, one or more material measurement sensors 60a-c ("sensors"), a locating device 62, a bit wear sensor 64, a communication device 66, and a controller 44 electronically connected with each of the other elements. Elements of control system 56 may be configured to generate signals indicative of operating parameters associated with cold planer 10 that may be used by controller 44 for further processing. Information, including the mass flow rate , volume flow rate , total weight W, total volume V, fill level , and remaining time TF may be shown to the operator of cold planer 10 via display 38 and used by the operator and/or controller 44 to regulate operating parameters of cold planer 10 (e.g., travel speed, drum rotational speed, milling depth, milling rate, etc.) and/or to dispatch haul trucks 16, 20. This information and/or other data may be sent off-board cold planer 10 via communication device 66 for use by operators of paver 18 or haul trucks 16, 20, jobsite management, and/or for back office analysis.

    [0024] Controller 44 may be configured to determine the fill level of haul truck 16 based on the mass flow rate , volume flow rate , and/or the total weight W or volume V of the milled material in conjunction with known features of haul truck 16 (e.g., geometry, volumetric capacity, shape, tare weight, weight limit, etc.). Using this information and the signals from one or more of sensors 60a-c, controller 44 may be configured to determine the remaining time TF until haul truck 16 is full (i.e., reaches a threshold, reaches a desired fill level, etc.). For example, controller 44 may compare the mass flow rate , volume flow rate , total weight W, and/or fill level to a weight limit, volumetric capacity, and/or target fill level of haul truck 16 over a period of conveying time, and determine how much time remains until transport vehicle will become full. This information may be used to determine when to dispatch empty haul trucks 16 to cold planer 10 or full haul trucks 20 carrying fresh paving material to paver 18.

    [0025] Speed sensor 58 may be configured to generate a signal indicative of a linear belt speed of belt 50. For example, speed sensor 58 may be a shaft-driven sensor that is attached to a pulley 68 of conveyor system 32. Pulley 68 may be in contact with belt 50 and may be driven by motor 54 (referring to Fig. 2). Pulley 68 may alternatively be a free-wheeling pulley, such as an idler, tensioner, or other type of pulley. Speed sensor 58 may alternatively be attached directly to a shaft of motor 54, and its signal may also be indicative of the speed of motor 54. In some embodiments, multiple speed sensors 58 may be utilized and their outputs processed by controller 44 in order to reduce inaccuracies caused by slipping of belt 50. Speed sensor 58 may detect the speed of a shaft or wheel using magnetic, optical, pulsating, or other type of sensing element. Signals generated by speed sensor 58 may be communicated to controller 44 and used for further processing.

    [0026] Depth sensor 59 may be configured to generate a signal indicative of a depth D of milling drum 26 below surface 14. That is, depth sensor 59 may generate a signal indicative of the cutting depth of cold planer 10. In some embodiments, depth sensor 59 may be associated with actuators 30 and configured to generate a signal that may be used by controller 44 to determine the depth D based on the position of actuators 30 in conjunction with known information (e.g., known offsets between frame 22 and milling drum 26). In other embodiments, depth sensor 59 may be configured to generate a signal indicative of a relative position of milling drum 26 with respect to frame 22 or another reference component of cold planer 10.

    [0027] Sensors 60a-c may include one or more sensors and/or systems of sensors configured to generate signals indicative of an amount of material being milled and/or transferred into haul truck 16 via conveyor 48. For example, sensor 60a may be a belt scale. That is, sensor 60a may include a force transducer that is configured to measure a normal force applied to belt 50 by the weight of material on conveyor 48. The signal generated by sensor 60a may be utilized by controller 44 in conjunction with the signal generated by speed sensor 58 and/or other sensors (e.g., an inclinometer) to determine the mass flow rate and/or a volume flow rate of milled material being transferred into haul truck 16.

    [0028] Sensor 60b may be configured to generate a signal indicative of an operating parameter that can be used to determine how much power is used to drive conveyor 48. For example, sensor 60b may be configured to measure a hydraulic pressure differential, an electrical voltage, or another parameter of motor 54. The signal generated by sensor 60b may be utilized by controller 44 in conjunction with other parameters (e.g., hydraulic fluid flow rate, motor speed, motor displacement, electrical resistance, electrical current, etc.) to determine the power used to drive conveyor 48. The power used to drive conveyor 48, along with other parameters (e.g., the size and speed of pulley 68, angle of inclination of conveyor 48, etc.) may be utilized by controller 44 to determine the milling rate (e.g., mass flow rate and/or a volume flow rate ) of cold planer 10.

    [0029] Sensor 60c may embody a sensor or system that is configured to determine the amount of material being transferred by conveyor 48 without contacting any moving parts of conveyor 48. For example, sensor 60c may include a radioactive detection system, a laser scanning system, an optical scanner, a camera, an ultrasonic sensor, or another type of sensor that is configured to generate a signal indicative of a length (e.g., a width, a height, a depth, etc.), an area, or a volume of material milled by milling drum 26. Other types of sensors or sensing systems may be used, if desired. Signals generated by sensors 60a-c may be utilized by controller 44 in conjunction with other parameters (e.g., belt speed) to determine the milling rate of cold planer 10 (e.g., mass flow rate and/or a volume flow rate of milled material).

    [0030] Locating device 62 may be configured to generate a signal indicative of a geographical position of the cold planer 10 relative to a local reference point, a coordinate system associated with the work area, a coordinate system associated with Earth, or any other type of 2-D or 3-D coordinate system. For example, locating device 62 may embody an electronic receiver configured to communicate with one or more satellites, or a local radio or laser transmitting system used to determine a relative geographical location of itself. Locating device 62 may receive and analyze high-frequency, low-power radio or laser signals from multiple locations to triangulate a relative 3-D geographical position. A signal indicative of this geographical position may then be communicated from locating device 62 to controller 44.

    [0031] Bit wear sensor 64 may be configured to detect when one or more cutting bits 65 attached to milling drum 26 exceed a wear threshold. Cutting bits 65 may be configured to emit at least one signal via one or more transmitters 67 disposed within each cutting bit 65. Transmitters 67 may be sacrificial components disposed within cutting bit 65 at a depth below an outer surface such that transmitters 67 remain intact and emit a signal until cutting bit 65 becomes worn (i.e., wears beyond the threshold). When cutting bit 65 exceeds the wear threshold, transmitters 67 may become exposed. Once exposed, transmitters 67 may be destroyed and stop emitting signals or fall out of cutting bit 65. Each transmitter 67 may be, for example, a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that emits a signal indicative of an ID. Bit wear sensor 64 may be configured to detect the signal emitted by each transmitter and communicate the signals to controller 44. Transmitter 67 may be another type of transmitter capable of generating a signal from within cutting bit 65, if desired.

    [0032] Communication device 66 may include hardware and/or software that enables sending and receiving of data messages between controller 44 and an off-board entity. The data messages may be sent and received via a direct data link and/or a wireless communication link, as desired. The direct data link may include an Ethernet connection, a connected area network (CAN), or another data link known in the art. The wireless communications may include one or more of satellite, cellular, Bluetooth, WiFi, infrared, and any other type of wireless communications that enables communication device 66 to exchange information.

    [0033] Communication device 66 may be configured to communicate with paver 18 via a communication device 70 electronically connected to a controller 72 of paver 18. In this way, controller 44 of cold planer 10 may be configured to receive inputs and other information from controller 72 of paver 18. Such inputs may include, for example, one or more signals indicative of a position of paver 18, a paving rate of paver 18, an amount of available paving material for use by paver 18, an amount of available paving time, and or other information relating to the paving process being carried out by paver 18. For instance, paver 18 may include a locating device 74 configured to generate a signal indicative of the position of paver 18. The signal generated by locating device 74 may be indicative of an absolute position (e.g., a GPS coordinate location) or a relative distance (e.g., based on a laser-, an ultrasonic-, or a radio-based measurement system) between cold planer 10 and paver 18.

    [0034] Paver 18 may also include one or more sensors 76 configured to generate signals indicative of parameters that may be used to determine the paving rate of paver 18. Sensors 76 may include, for example, position sensors associated with components of a screed 78 attached to paver 18. The signals generated by sensors 76 may be indicative of or used to determine the height of screed 78 above surface 14, the width of screed 78, and/or the angle of one or more screed plates with respect to surface 14. Based on these signals and in conjunction with other information (e.g., the groundspeed of paver 18, the density of the paving material, etc.), controller 72 or controller 44 may be configured to determine the paving rate (e.g., volumetric flow rate, mass flow rate, etc.) of paver 18. The paving rate of paver 18 may be an amount of paving material (e.g., a weight, a mass, a volume, etc.) laid down on surface 14 with respect to a reference parameter, such as time or distance.

    [0035] The amount of available paving material may be an amount of paving material available within a hopper 80 of paver 18, material available within haul truck 20 (referring to Fig. 1), or material available from a paving material plant for a given period, such as a particular day, shift, or project. In some cases, the amount of available material may be transmitted to paver 18 from a communication device at the plant, which may then be transmitted to cold planer 10. In other cases, the amount of available paving material may be transmitted directly to cold planer 10.

    [0036] The amount of available paving time may be determined by worksite personnel or dictated by job constraints, such as an amount of time allotted by a customer or regulatory body. For example, paving time may be limited to time between morning and evening rush hours, off-peak usage times, daylight or nighttime hours, etc. The amount of available paving time may be entered via an interface device 82 associated with paver 18, via interface device 36 of cold planer, or provided by an off-board entity, such as an off-board computer 84. Other operating parameters of paver 18, such as a ground speed, a heading, an operational status (e.g., running, stopped, malfunctioning, etc.), or other information may also be communicated from paver 18 to cold planer 10.

    [0037] It is noted that any information provided to cold planer 10 via communication device 66 may alternatively be provided by off-board computer 84. For instance, any information generate by paver 18, such as the position, paving rate, and speed of paver 18, may be communicated from paver 18 to off-board computer 84, and then from off-board computer 84 to cold planer 10. Other information relating to the paving process, such as the amount of available paving time and material, the density of the paving material, jobsite plans, etc., may also or alternatively be provided to cold planer 10 directly from off-board computer 84. Off-board computer 84 may be any type of back office computer, laptop computer, cellular phone, personal digital assistant, tablet, dedicated hardware device, or other type of stationary or mobile computing device configured to communicate information via a wired or wireless connection.

    [0038] Controller 44 may embody a single microprocessor or multiple microprocessors that include a means for monitoring operator and sensor input, and responsively adjusting operational characteristics of cold planer 10 based on the input. For example, controller 44 may include a memory, a secondary storage device, a clock, and a processor, such as a central processing unit or any other means for accomplishing a task consistent with the present disclosure. Numerous commercially available microprocessors can be configured to perform the functions of controller 44. It should be appreciated that controller 44 could readily embody a general machine controller capable of controlling numerous other machine functions. Various other known circuits may be associated with controller 44, including signal-conditioning circuitry, communication circuitry, and other appropriate circuitry. Controller 44 may be further communicatively coupled with an external computer system, instead of or in addition to including a computer system, as desired.

    [0039] Controller 44 may be configured to help ensure that any portions of surface 14 that are milled by cold planer 10 can be paved by paver 18 within the constraints of the resurfacing operation. For instance, controller 44 may be configured to help ensure that cold planer 10 operates at a far enough distance ahead of paver 18 to allow paver 18 to operate at its desired paving rate without interruption, while also ensuring that cold planer 10 does not mill more of surface 14 than can be repaved with the time and material available for that day or that job. For example, personnel may wish to operate paver 18 at a generally constant paving rate, which may require that enough space between paver 18 and cold planer 10 be available to allow cold planer 10 to operate and perform maintenance functions, such as periodically changing worn out cutting bits 65, without slowing down paver 18. But if too great of a distance is maintained, paver 18 may not have enough paving material or time available to pave the space between it and cold planer 10.

    [0040] To help control the distance between paver 18 and cold planer 10 during the resurfacing operation, controller 44 may be configured to first determine a current distance Dc between cold planer 10 and paver 18. Controller 44 may determine the current distance Dc based on the signals from locating devices 62 and 74. For instance, controller 44 may be configured to compute a distance between cold planer 10 and paver 18 based on their respective GPS locations. In other embodiments, cold planer 10 and paver 18 may begin the operation at a known distance apart, and controller 44 may be configured to track a difference in groundspeed between cold planer 10 and paver 18 over a period of operating time. Based on the difference, controller 44 may be configured to compute a relative distance between cold planer 10 and paver 18 as the current distance Dc.

    [0041] Controller 44 may be configured to then determine a target distance DT between cold planer 10 and paver 18 based on the current distance Dc and a comparison of the milling rate and the paving rate. For instance, when paver 18 is paving at a known rate, for example, of 200 tons per hour, while cold planer 10 is milling at a rate of 200 tons per hour, the production rates of col d planer 10 and paver 18 may be the same. But when cold planer stops to wait for an empty haul truck 16 or to undergo a maintenance procedure (e.g., cutting bit replacement, refueling, oiling, etc.), paver 18 may continue paving and reduce the distance between it and cold planer 10. The rate at which the distance between cold planer 10 and paver 18 increases or decreases may change based on the difference between the paving rate and the milling rate. That is, when the milling rate is greater than the paving rate, the distance between cold planer 10 and paver 18 may increase when both machines are operating. Conversely, when the milling rate is less than the paving rate, the distance between cold planer 10 and paver 18 may decrease when both machines are operating..

    [0042] Controller 44 may track the position of cold planer 10 and paver 18 in conjunction with the milling rate and the paving rate, respectively, to determine the rate at which the current distance Dc changes with respect to the difference between the milling rate and the paving rate. In this way, controller 44 may be configured to determine changes in the current distance Dc when both machines are running, as well as when the operation of either cold planer 10 or paver 18 has been paused. Based on the rate of change of the current distance Dc between cold planer 10 and paver 18 and on other known information, controller 44 may determine the target distance DT. Other known information that may affect the determination of the target distance DT may include, for example, a desired minimum distance or minimum time gap, an amount of time required to perform a maintenance operation, an amount of time until a next empty haul truck 16 will arrive, and/or other information.

    [0043] For example, controller 44 may be configured to determine the target distance DT based on one or more operating parameters of cold planer 10 that change over time and require cold planer 10 to periodically stop for maintenance, inspection, repair, or other procedures. Controller 44 may then determine an amount of remaining time TT until the operating parameters reach a threshold and determine the target distance DT based on the amount of remaining time TT. For instance, as described above, cutting bits 65 may be periodically inspected and/or replaced by personnel, which requires cold planer 10 to stop milling for a period of time. To ensure that a sufficient distance between paver 18 and cold planer 10 is maintained while cold planer 10 is stopped, controller 44 may determine the target distance DT based on how much time remains until maintenance is expected to be needed and an amount of time required to inspect and/or replace cutting bits 65.

    [0044] Controller 44 may be configured to determine how much time remains until maintenance is needed by tracking the signals generated by transmitters 67 that are detected by bit wear sensor 64 over time. For instance, signals detected by bit wear sensor 64 may be indicative of wear levels of cutting bits 65 that change over time, from which controller 44 can extrapolate the amount of time TT until the cutting bits 65 will be fully worn. The amount of time required to inspect and/or replace the worn cutting bits 65 may be a predetermined or estimated amount of time stored in the memory of controller 44, which may also be increased or decreased based on a number of cutting bits 65 that require inspection or replacement, as determined by the signals received from bit wear sensor 64.

    [0045] Controller 44 may also or alternatively consider other operating parameters when determining the target distance DT, if desired. For example, controller 44 may receive signals from other sensors associated with cold planer 10, such as a fuel level sensor, an oil level sensor, an oil pressure sensor, a coolant temperature sensor, and/or other sensors. Controller 44 may track the signals generated by one or more of these other sensors over time and extrapolate the amount of time remaining TT until those parameters reach a threshold at which maintenance procedures associated with the detected parameters are required. Such procedures may include, for example, a refueling procedure, an oiling procedure, a repair procedure, or another maintenance task. Controller 44 may also account for the required time to carry out these procedures based on known time values stored within its memory or entered by personnel via interface device 36.

    [0046] After determining the current distance Dc and the target distance DT, controller 44 may determine a difference between the current distance Dc and the target distance DT and generate a control signal based on the difference. The control signal may be configured to convey information to an operator, initiate an automated control process, or perform another type of operation. For example, in response to the control signal, controller 44 may be configured to generate a graphical user interface 86 having graphical objects that are indicative of the difference between the current distance DC and the target distance DT and show graphical user interface 86 to an operator via display 38. In this way, controller 44 may allow the operator to visualize the extent to which cold planer 10 should slow down or speed up in order to achieve the target distance DT. The operator may then be able to manually adjust the speed, and thus the milling rate, of cold planer 10 as needed in order to achieve the target distance DT. In some embodiments, the control signal may be directed to one or more actuators (e.g., actuators 30) to cause automatic adjustments of the speed and/or milling rate of cold planer 10 to achieve the target distance DT.

    [0047] Controller 44 may also be configured to determine the target distance DT and/or other information based on an amount of space on surface 14 that has been milled but is yet to be paved by paver 18. Such information may be used by controller 44 to determine how much fresh paving material and how much time (i.e., in conjunction with the known paving rate of paver 18) is needed to replace the material removed from surface 14 by cold planer 10. Controller 44 may use this information to determine and/or control the target distance DT by setting threshold distances based on how much paving work can be accomplished using the material and time allotted to the resurfacing project.

    [0048] For example, controller 44 may be configured to generate a model of the space to be filled by paver 18 based on the depth D of milling drum 26, a width of the milling drum, and the position of cold planer 10 over a period of milling time. That is, controller 44 may continually track the depth D of milling drum 26 and multiply the depth D by the width of milling drum 26, which may be a known value stored within memory, to continually determine a cut area of milling drum 26. The cut area may be multiplied by a change in travel distance of cold planer 10, as determined by the difference between a first and a subsequent location signal generated by locating device 62, in order to determine a cut volume. Iterative calculations of the cut volume may be performed over a period of milling time and compiled with respect to the location of cold planer 10 to generate a volumetric model of the space milled by cold planer 10, which is to be filled by paver 18. The model may be indicative of the total volume of space to be paved and include detailed depth and width data along the length of the modeled space.

    [0049] Based on the model, controller 44 may be configured to determine an amount of paving material required to fill the space to be paved by paver 18 as well as an amount of time required to do so. For instance, by multiplying the total volume of the modeled space by a known paving material density, controller 44 may be configured to determine the amount of material (e.g., by weight) required to pave the space milled by cold planer 10. Controller 44 may also be configured to divide the total amount of material required to pave the space by the paving rate of paver 18 to determine the amount of time required to pave the space milled by cold planer 10. Other ways of determining the required amount of paving material and paving time may be possible.

    [0050] As discussed above, controller 44 may also receive signals via communication device 66 that are indicative of an amount of available paving material and an amount of available paving time. The amount of available paving material and available paving time may be actual or imposed limitations on material and time for a given period, such as a particular shift, day, or job. Using this information, controller 44 may be configured to then determine a difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material, as well as a difference between the required paving time and the available paving time. Controller 44 may then generate a control signal based on one or more of these differences to ensure the target distance DT is maintained and/or to ensure that surface 14 is milled only to the extent that it can be repaved in the time available.

    [0051] For example, controller 44 may track the total amount of material milled by cold planer 10 over a period of milling time using the model, as described above. Controller 44 may also extrapolate the rate at which the total volume of milled material has accumulated to determine when the total amount of milled material will reach or exceed the amount of available paving material. Based on the amount and/or rate of accumulation of milled material, controller 44 may be configured to generate a control signal for adjusting the milling rate of cold planer 10. In some embodiments, the control signal may be directed to one or more actuators (e.g., actuators 30) to cause automatic adjustments of the speed and/or milling rate of cold planer 10. For instance, when the total amount of milled material (e.g., as determined by the model) is equal to or has exceeded the amount of available paving material, the control signal may be generated by controller 44 to automatically reduce the milling rate (e.g., to zero) to prevent further milling of surface 14. Alternatively, when controller 44 determines when the amount of milled material will reach the amount of available paving material, controller 44 may generate the control signal to automatically adjust the paving rate of cold planer 10 to maintain the target distance DT until that time.

    [0052] In other embodiments, controller 44 may generate the control signal in order to generate a graphical object on a display 38 that is indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material. The graphical object may include any type of graphical features configured to convey the difference between the amounts of required and available paving material in a quantitative or qualitative fashion, such as numbers, bars, dials, color scales, etc. In this way, the operator may be allowed to manually control the paving rate of cold planer 10 while visualizing how any adjustments made to cold planer 10 affect the amount and/or rate of material accumulation with respect to the amount of available paving material. The graphical object may also or alternatively be configured to convey the difference between the current distance Dc and the target distance DT based on the amount and/or rate of accumulation of milled material to allow the operator to manually control the current distance Dc so as not to exceed a point at which paver 18 will not be able to repave all of the space milled by cold planer 10.

    [0053] Similarly, based on the difference between the amount of required paving time and the amount of available paving time, controller 44 may be configured to generate a control signal to cause automatic adjustments of the milling rate of cold planer 10. For example, when controller 44 determines that the required paving time is equal to or has exceeded the amount of available paving time, the command signal generated by controller 44 may automatically reduce the milling rate of the cold planer (e.g., to zero) to prevent further milling of surface 14. Alternatively, when controller 44 determines when the amount of required paving time will not exceed the amount of available paving time, controller 44 may generate the control signal to automatically adjust the paving rate of cold planer 10 to maintain the target distance DT until the desired amount of material has been milled.

    [0054] In other embodiments, controller 44 may generate the control signal in order to generate a graphical object on a display 38 that is indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving time and the amount of available paving time. The graphical object may include any type of graphical features configured to convey the difference between the amounts of required and available paving time in a quantitative or qualitative fashion, such as numbers, bars, dials, color scales, etc. In this way, the operator may be allowed to manually control the paving rate of cold planer 10 while visualizing how any adjustments made to cold planer 10 affect the amount of required paving time with respect to the amount of available paving time. The graphical object may also or alternatively be configured to convey the difference between the current distance Dc and the target distance DT based on the difference between required and available paving time to allow the operator to manually control the current distance Dc so as not to exceed a point at which paver 18 will not be able to repave all of the space milled by cold planer 10 in the time available.

    Industrial Applicability



    [0055] The disclosed control system may be used with any cold planer where maintaining a desired or optimum distance ahead of a paving machine during a resurfacing operation is important. A controller within the system may receive signals indicative of the positions and production rates of the cold planer and the paving machine and determine a target distance to be maintained based on comparisons of the their locations and their production rates. The controller may also determine the amount of paving material and paving time required to pave the space milled by cold planer 10 based on the production rates of the cold planer and the paver. Using this information, the controller may generate a model of the space milled by the cold planer, and generate control signals for controlling the milling rate of cold planer 10 and the distance between the paver and cold planer based on the model. The control signals may cause automatic adjustments of the milling rate of the cold planer and/or the creation of graphical objects on graphical user interface 86 configured to convey visual indications of a difference between the current distance and the target distance, or respective differences between the required and available amounts of paving time and material. An exemplary operation of control system 56 will now be explained.

    [0056] At the beginning of a resurfacing operation, cold planer 10 may start by milling a stretch of surface 14 at a desired milling rate before paver 18 begins repaving the milled surface. Once cold planer 10 is a desired distance ahead of paver 18, paver 18 may being paving at a desired paving rate. The milling and paving rates of cold planer 10 and paver 18, respectively, may be measured in an amount of material per unit of time, such as in tons of per hour. Other production rates based on weight or volume per unit of time or distance may alternatively be used, as desired.

    [0057] While cold planer 10 and paver 18 are operating at their respective production rates, controller 44 may receive signals from locating devices 62, 74 that are indicative of the locations of cold planer 10 and paver 18, respectively. Controller 44 may compare the signals from locating devices 62, 74 and determine the current distance Dc between cold planer 10 and paver 18. Controller 44 may store the current distance Dc within its memory for further processing.

    [0058] Controller 44 may then determine the milling rate of cold planer 10 based on signals from sensors 58 and one or more of sensors 60a-c, and receive a signal indicative of the paving rate of paver 18 from controller 72 via communication device 66. After comparing the milling rate and the paving rate, controller 44 may determine how quickly paver 18 and cold planer 10 are nearing each other or diverging at the current distance DC in terms of the space between them and/or a difference in their total production (i.e., the total amount of material milled versus the total amount of fresh paving material deposited). Controller 44 may simultaneously receive maintenance signals from other sensors, such as bit wear sensor 64, and determine how much time remains until cold planer 10 may need to be stopped to receive maintenance based on the signals. These maintenance signals may also include information, such an amount of time cold planer 10 is expected to wait for an empty haul truck 16 to reach worksite 12 before cold planer 10 can continue milling surface 14.

    [0059] Based on the current distance Dc, the difference between the milling and paving rates, and/or the expected future delays of cold planer 10, controller 44 may then determine the target distance DT that should separate cold planer 10 and paver 18 to ensure that paver 18 will not catch up to cold planer 10 during the resurfacing operation. After determining the target distance DT, controller 44 may compare the current distance Dc to the target distance DT and then generate command signals based on the difference. For example, when the current distance Dc and target distance DT are not equal, controller 44 may send command signals to one or more actuators associated with cold planer 10 based on the difference to automatically adjust the milling rate of cold planer 10 to bring the current distance Dc nearer to or equal to the target distance DT. In this way, the target distance DT between cold planer 10 and paver 18 may be easily achieved and/or maintained.

    [0060] Alternatively, controller 44 may generate control signals that cause graphical objects to be displayed on display 38 that are indicative of the difference between the current distance Dc and the target distance DT. The graphical objects may allow the operator of cold planer 10 to quickly and easily visualize how adjustments to the operation of cold planer 10, such as groundspeed adjustments, affect the difference between the current distance Dc and the target distance DT. This may allow operators to control cold planer 10 with greater accuracy and with independence from spotters, surveyors, and/or other personnel.

    [0061] As cold planer 10 mills surface 14, controller 44 may also constantly track the depth D and width of milling drum 26 and generate a model of the milled space over the distance traveled by cold planer 10 during the milling operation. The model may be a 3-D model that accurately accounts for the volume of space to be filled in by paver 18. In this way, surveyors may be relieved of the duty of constantly determining the progress of cold planer 10 during the resurfacing operation.

    [0062] Controller 44 may also use the model of the milled space in conjunction with other known information (e.g., the density of the fresh paving material) to determine whether the amount of paving material required to fill in the milled space exceeds the amount of available paving material. For example, controller 44 may receive a signal indicative of the amount of available paving material from a material production plant, off-board computer 84, or paver 18 via communication device 66, and determine whether the amount of available paving material is sufficient to fill in the volume of space milled by cold planer 10. When the amount of available paving material is insufficient, controller may automatically reduce the milling rate of cold planer 10, or generate graphical objects on display 38 that are indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material. In this way, controller 44 may automatically or the operator may be assisted to manually prevent more material from being milled than can be replaced.

    [0063] Controller 44 may also use the model of the milled space in conjunction with other known information (e.g., the paving rate of paver 18) to determine whether the amount of time required to fill in the milled space exceeds the amount of available paving time. For example, controller 44 may receive a signal indicative of the amount of available paving time from a worksite supervisor, off-board computer 84, or paver 18 via communication device 66, and determine whether the amount of available paving time is sufficient to fill in the volume of space milled by cold planer 10. When the amount of available paving time is insufficient, controller may automatically reduce the milling rate cold planer 10, or generate graphical objects on display 38 that are indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving time and the amount of available paving time. In this way, controller 44 may automatically or the operator may be assisted to manually prevent more material from being milled than can be replaced in the time available.

    [0064] Several advantages may be associated with the disclosed control system. For example, because controller 44 may determine the target distance DT to be maintained based on comparisons of the locations and production rates of cold planer 10 and paver 18, paving delays caused by milling delays that lead to the cooling of fresh paving material below a suitable temperature may be reduced or eliminated. Further, because controller 44 may also generate a model of the space milled by the cold planer, control signals for controlling the milling rate of cold planer 10 and the distance between paver 18 and cold planer 10 at the target distance DT may be generated. In this way, the production rates of paver 18 and cold planer 10 and the distance between them may be maintained at optimum levels during the resurfacing operation without milling more of surface 14 than can be repaved with the available paving time and material.

    [0065] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the disclosed control system without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Other embodiments of the control system will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the control system disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope of the disclosure being indicated by the following claims and their equivalents.


    Claims

    1. A system for coordinating a cold planer (10) and a paver (18), comprising:

    a first sensor (62) configured to generate a first signal indicative of a position of the cold planer;

    a production monitoring system (56) associated with the cold planer and configured to determine a milling rate of the cold planer;

    a communication device (66) configured to exchange information between the cold planer and the paver; and

    a controller (44) in electronic communication with the first sensor, the production monitoring system, and the communication device, the controller being configured to:

    receive, via the communication device, a second signal indicative of a position of the paver and a third signal indicative of a paving rate of the paver;

    determine a current distance between the cold planer and the paver based on the first and second signals;

    determine a target distance between the cold planer and the paver based on the current distance and a comparison of the milling rate and the paving rate; and

    determine a difference between the target distance and the current distance.


     
    2. The system of claim 1, wherein:

    the system further includes at least one display device (38); and

    the controller is configured to generate a graphical user interface (86) on the display device, the graphical user interface being indicative of the difference between the target distance and the current distance between the cold planer and the paver.


     
    3. The system of claim 2, wherein display devices are located on the cold planer, the paver, and/or an off-board computer (84).
     
    4. The system of claim 1, wherein:

    the system further includes a second sensor associated with the cold planer and configured to generate a fourth signal indicative of an operating parameter associated with the cold planer; and

    the controller is configured to determine the target distance based further on the fourth signal.


     
    5. The system of claim 4, wherein the controller is configured to:

    determine an amount of remaining time until the operating parameter reaches a threshold based on the fourth signal; and

    determine the target distance based on the amount of remaining time.


     
    6. The system of claim 5, wherein the second sensor is a bit wear indicator (64) associated with a cutting bit on a milling drum of the cold planer.
     
    7. The system of claim 1, wherein:

    the production monitoring system includes a depth sensor (59) configured to generate a signal indicative of a depth of a milling drum associated with the cold planer below a surface (14) to be milled; and

    the controller is configured to generate a model of a space to be filled by the paver based on the depth of the milling drum, a width of the milling drum, and the position of the cold planer over a period of milling time.


     
    8. The system of claim 7, wherein the controller is configured to:

    determine an amount of paving material required to fill the space to be filled by the paver based on the model;

    receive a signal indicative of an amount of available paving material via the communication device; and

    determine a difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material.


     
    9. The system of claim 8, wherein the controller is configured to generate a control signal based on the difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material, the control signal being indicative of a command to:

    automatically reduce the milling rate of the cold planer; or

    generate a graphical object on a display device indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving material and the amount of available paving material.


     
    10. The system of claim 7, wherein the controller is configured to:

    determine an amount of required paving time to fill the space based on the model and the paving rate of the paver;

    receive a signal indicative of an amount of available paving time via the communication device;

    determine a difference between the amount of required paving time and the available paving time; and

    generate a control signal based on the difference between the amount of required paving time and the amount of available paving time, the control signal being indicative of a command to:
    automatically reduce the milling rate of the cold planer; or generate a graphical object on a display device indicative of the difference between the amount of required paving time and the amount of available paving time.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. System zur Koordinierung eines Kaltfräsers (10) und eines Fertigers (18), aufweisend:

    einen ersten Sensor (62), der dazu ausgebildet ist, ein erstes Signal, das eine Position des Kaltfräsers anzeigt, zu erzeugen,

    ein Produktionsüberwachungssystem (56), das dem Kaltfräser zugeordnet ist und dazu ausgebildet ist, eine Fräsrate des Kaltfräsers zu ermitteln,

    eine Kommunikationsvorrichtung (66), die dazu ausgebildet ist, Informationen zwischen dem Kaltfräser und dem Fertiger auszutauschen, und

    eine Steuerung (44), die mit dem ersten Sensor, dem Produktionsüberwachungssystem und der Kommunikationsvorrichtung in elektronischer Kommunikation steht und dazu ausgebildet ist:

    ein zweites Signal, das eine Position des Fertigers anzeigt, und ein drittes Signal, das eine Einbaurate des Fertigers anzeigt, über die Kommunikationsvorrichtung zu empfangen,

    einen Ist-Abstand zwischen dem Kaltfräser und dem Fertiger basierend auf dem ersten und dem zweiten Signal zu ermitteln,

    einen Soll-Abstand zwischen dem Kaltfräser und dem Fertiger basierend auf dem Ist-Abstand und eines Vergleichs der Fräsrate und der Einbaurate zu bestimmen und

    eine Differenz zwischen dem Soll-Abstand und dem Ist-Abstand zu bestimmen.


     
    2. System nach Anspruch 1, bei dem:

    das System ferner mindestens ein Anzeigegerät (38) aufweist und

    die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist, eine grafische Benutzeroberfläche (86) auf dem Anzeigegerät zu erzeugen, wobei die graphische Benutzeroberfläche die Differenz zwischen dem Soll-Abstand und dem Ist-Abstand zwischen dem Kaltfräser und dem Fertiger anzeigt.


     
    3. System nach Anspruch 2, bei dem sich Anzeigegeräte auf der Kaltfräse, dem Fertiger und/oder einem externen Computer (84) befinden.
     
    4. System nach Anspruch 1, bei dem:

    das System ferner einen zweiten Sensor aufweist, der dem Kaltfräser zugeordnet ist und dazu ausgebildet ist, ein viertes Signal zu erzeugen, das einen Betriebsparameter, der dem Kaltfräser zugeordnet ist, anzeigt und

    die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist, den Soll-Abstand ferner basierend auf dem vierten Signal zu ermitteln.


     
    5. System nach Anspruch 4, bei dem die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist:

    eine Restzeit bis der Betriebsparameter einen Schwellenwert erreicht basierend auf dem vierten Signal zu ermitteln und

    den Soll-Abstand basierend auf der Restzeit zu ermitteln.


     
    6. System nach Anspruch 5, bei dem der zweite Sensor ein Meißelverschleißanzeiger (64) ist, der einem Schneidmeißel auf einer Fräswalze des Kaltfräsers zugeordnet ist.
     
    7. System nach Anspruch 1, bei dem:

    das Produktionsüberwachungssystem einen Tiefensensor (59) aufweist, der dazu ausgebildet ist, ein Signal zu erzeugen, das eine Tiefe einer Fräswalze des Kaltfräsers unter einer zu fräsenden Oberfläche (14) anzeigt und

    die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist, ein Modell eines von dem Fertiger zu befüllenden Raumes basierend auf der Tiefe der Fräswalze, einer Breite der Fräswalze und der Position des Kaltfräsers über eine bestimmte Fräszeit zu erzeugen.


     
    8. System nach Anspruch 7, bei dem die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist:

    eine Menge an Einbaumaterial, das zum Befüllen des von dem Fertiger zu befüllenden Raumes erforderlich ist, basierend auf dem Modells zu ermitteln,

    ein Signal über die Kommunikationsvorrichtung zu erhalten, das eine Menge von verfügbarem Einbaumaterial anzeigt und

    eine Differenz zwischen der Menge von erforderlichem Einbaumaterial und der Menge von verfügbarem Einbaumaterial zu ermitteln.


     
    9. System nach Anspruch 8, bei dem die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist, ein Kontrollsignal basierend auf der Differenz zwischen der Menge von erforderlichem Einbaumaterial und der Menge von verfügbarem Einbaumaterial zu erzeugen, wobei das Kontrollsignal einen Befehl anzeigt,

    die Fräsrate des Kaltfräsers automatisch zu reduzieren

    oder

    ein grafisches Objekt auf einem Anzeigegerät zu erzeugen, das die Differenz zwischen der Menge des erforderlichen Einbaumaterials und der Menge des verfügbaren Einbaumaterials anzeigt.


     
    10. System nach Anspruch 7, bei dem die Steuerung dazu ausgebildet ist:

    eine erforderliche Einbauzeitdauer für die Befüllung des Raumes basierend auf dem Modell und der Einbaurate des Fertigers zu ermitteln,

    ein Signal über das Kommunikationsgerät zu erhalten, das eine verfügbare Einbauzeitdauer anzeigt,

    eine Differenz zwischen der erforderlichen Einbauzeitdauer und der verfügbaren Einbauzeitdauer zu ermitteln und

    ein Steuersignal basierend auf der Differenz zwischen der erforderlichen Einbauzeitdauer und der verfügbaren Einbauzeitdauer zu ermitteln, wobei das Steuersignal einen Befehl anzeigt,

    die Fräsgeschwindigkeit des Kaltfräsers automatisch zu reduzieren

    oder

    ein grafisches Objekt auf einem Anzeigegerät zu erzeugen, das die Differenz zwischen der erforderlichen Einbauzeitdauer und der verfügbaren Einbauzeitdauer anzeigt.


     


    Revendications

    1. Système pour coordonner une fraiseuse à froid (10) et un finisseur (18), comprenant :

    un premier capteur (62) configuré pour générer un premier signal indicatif d'une position de la fraiseuse à froid;

    un système de suivi de production (56) associé à la fraiseuse à froid et configuré pour déterminer une vitesse de fraisage de la fraiseuse à froid ;

    un dispositif de communication (66) configuré pour échanger des informations entre la fraiseuse à froid et le finisseur ; et

    un dispositif de commande (44) en communication électronique avec le premier capteur, le système de suivi de production et le dispositif de communication, le dispositif de commande étant configuré pour :

    recevoir, via le dispositif de communication, un deuxième signal indicatif d'une position du finisseur et un troisième signal indicatif d'une vitesse de pavage du finisseur ;

    déterminer une distance actuelle entre la fraiseuse à froid et le finisseur sur la base des premier et deuxième signaux ;

    déterminer une distance cible entre la fraiseuse à froid et le finisseur sur la base de la distance actuelle et d'une comparaison entre la vitesse de fraisage et la vitesse de pavage ; et

    déterminer une différence entre la distance cible et la distance actuelle.


     
    2. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :

    le système comprend en outre au moins un dispositif d'affichage (38) ; et

    le dispositif de commande est configuré pour générer une interface utilisateur graphique (86) sur le dispositif d'affichage, l'interface utilisateur graphique étant indicative de la différence entre la distance cible et la distance actuelle entre la fraiseuse à froid et le finisseur.


     
    3. Système selon la revendication 2, dans lequel les dispositifs d'affichage sont situés sur la fraiseuse à froid, le finisseur et/ou un ordinateur hors-bord (84).
     
    4. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :

    le système comprend en outre un deuxième capteur associé à la fraiseuse à froid et configuré pour générer un quatrième signal indicatif d'un paramètre de fonctionnement associé à la fraiseuse à froid ; et

    le dispositif de commande est configuré pour déterminer la distance cible sur la base du quatrième signal.


     
    5. Système selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le dispositif de commande est configuré pour :

    déterminer une quantité de temps restant jusqu'à ce que le paramètre de fonctionnement atteigne un seuil basé sur le quatrième signal ; et

    déterminer la distance cible sur la base de la quantité de temps restant.


     
    6. Système selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le deuxième capteur est un indicateur d'usure d'embout d'outil (64) associé à un embout d'outil tranchant sur un tambour de fraisage de la fraiseuse à froid.
     
    7. Système selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :

    le système de suivi de production comprend un capteur de profondeur (59) configuré pour générer un signal indicatif d'une profondeur d'un tambour de fraisage associé à la fraiseuse à froid sous une surface (14) à fraiser ; et

    le dispositif de commande est configuré pour générer un modèle d'un espace à remplir par le finisseur sur la base de la profondeur du tambour de fraisage, d'une largeur du tambour de fraisage et de la position de la fraiseuse à froid sur une période de fraisage.


     
    8. Système selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le dispositif de commande est configuré pour :

    déterminer une quantité de matériau de pavage requise pour remplir l'espace à remplir par le finisseur sur la base du modèle ;

    recevoir un signal indicatif d'une quantité de matériau de pavage disponible via le dispositif de communication ; et

    déterminer une différence entre la quantité de matériau de pavage requise et la quantité de matériau de pavage disponible.


     
    9. Système selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le dispositif de commande est configuré pour générer un signal de commande sur la base de la différence entre la quantité de matériau de pavage requise et la quantité de matériau de pavage disponible, le signal de commande étant indicatif d'une commande à :

    réduire automatiquement la vitesse de fraisage de la fraiseuse à froid ; ou

    générer un objet graphique sur un dispositif d'affichage indicatif de la différence entre la quantité de matériau de pavage requise et la quantité de matériau de pavage disponible.


     
    10. Système selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le dispositif de commande est configuré pour :

    déterminer une quantité de temps de pavage requise pour remplir l'espace sur la base du modèle et de la vitesse de pavage du finisseur ;

    recevoir un signal indicatif d'une quantité de temps de pavage disponible via le dispositif de communication ;

    déterminer une différence entre la quantité de temps de pavage requise et le temps de pavage disponible ; et

    générer un signal de commande sur la base de la différence entre la quantité de temps de pavage requise et la quantité de temps de pavage disponible, le signal de commande étant indicatif d'un ordre de :

    réduire automatiquement la vitesse de fraisage de la fraiseuse à froid ; ou

    générer un objet graphique sur un dispositif d'affichage indicatif de la différence entre la quantité de temps de pavage requise et la quantité de temps de pavage disponible.


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description