Komatsu Application Engineering Focus

The letters 'AE' refer to, two related aspects of Komatsu DNA philosophy; that is Application Engineering (i.e. the holistic process) or Application Engineer (i.e. the person who solely carries out such functions).

Application-Engineering-4-(1).jpgTheletters 'AE' refer to, two related aspects ofKomatsu DNA philosophy; that is ApplicationEngineering (i.e. the holistic process) orApplication Engineer (i.e. the person whosolely carries out such functions).

Essentially the AE, be it the process or the person is intrinsically linked to customers and their respective job sites or tasks, or it may well be the planning of a potential future endeavour or change in directiondue to market demand or company / sole traderre-alignment. The AE sphere is whilst ever-present,it may not be required on all occasions at one end of the scale; however, on occasion theremay be frequent points of entry depending on the complexity of a task, project or site as required.

So just what is the 'AE' process? This involvesgetting 'on the ground' or site to listen, learn gather information, data and pictures to visuallyunderstand the task or requirement. It is likely to belinked to the customer's vision and future planning (that may be now, short and long term) as directed within the initial information gathering stage.

The visualisation is integral to the process as the task may be a lone segment or multiple segments of their business; information and data gatheringis crucial so that an inform analysis can beundertaken. This then leads to a parallel path with the projected end state.

The 'on ground' activity this may be a number of aspects such as (and not limited to):Observation, simple measurement of siteequipmentand any respective limiting structures, dedicatedtime and motion studies via observation or video and then breaking down the cycle in to segmentsas required, calculation of task efficiency, compound measurement for a fleet holistic routine e.g. loadingand hauling, and haul route alignment or profileto determine the effective production change etc. There are many facets that present themselveson any number of varying sites! Each site has its own uniqueness.

Example study for a single unit:

A time and motion study was conducted on a 30 tonne class excavator for Western DownsRegional Council prior torecommending a potential new replacement excavator. In addition to this study, all respective stakeholders were involved to ensure thatthe unit and its attachment specificationwould be suited to the units intended application.

Once a site visit is conducted and the gather information is compiled, you need to ask thequestion of "is this data valid?" In simple termsis the information relevant or typical of the dayto day operation. The information and subsequent visualisation must represent an accurate record of operation.

If not; similar to a Continuous Improvement 'PDCA', the information needs to be retaken.On the agreement that the collected and collatedinformation has practical representation, theAE process can continue through to an informedrecommendation or production simulations asthe case necessitates.

In the case of conducting production targetsimulations; there are a number of related productswithin the adjoining industries. Komatsu has itsown well established and proven software program called 'Optimum Fleet Recommendation' or OFR forshort. Again, as each site has its own intricacies; an OFR may not be needed for full prediction, itmight be utilised to check or refine existing unitsover the site or task.

Over the past years the following question has been asked "is there a specific profile for the customer,site or task that needs to have an AE visit?" Inessence, the answer is no! There is no limitationto who, what and when in regards to a liaisonwith an AE.

Customers that have successfully utilised the Komatsu AE service include small, medium andlarge entities. They cover private and public companies and extend across many variousgovernment groups at all levels.

Do you need an established site where existing plant and vehicles are busily working away?

Not at all! You might simply need a projection or simulation; once the defining parameters areagreed upon, you have calculated output that may be the starting point to establishing yournext project and journey.

There have been many highly successfulsimulation only recommendations on many prominent projects right across the country and within many industrygroups.

Example simulation for a new project:

A site liaison was conducted with Wagners staff for a high profile private project. At the time the project was a paddock; this is now a fully functional runway / airportwhich is located on the Toowoombaoutskirts. This was a multiple simulationprojection utilising the Komatsu OFR program and agreed load and haulunit operating parameters.

Mr Jack Lynch (pictured right of screen), this area is now 'Wellcamp Business Park'.

Additional to the above in this day and age of electronic media, some site liaisons have been conducted with customers via office to office connections as required to meet key milestone dates as required.

Komatsu Australia Limited (KAL) has AE's located on both the eastern and western seaboards in strategically placed locations to accommodate AE activity as the need arises. The KAL AE staff is frequently facilitating recommendations for civil construction, government, quarry and extractive groups; and small to very large mining houses.

Follow-up loading tool measurement with Wagners by Craig 'Shine' Summerfield.