Minster Surfacing is trialling new technology for measuring and laying new road surfaces which makes the processes safer, less disruptive, more efficient and of and even higher quality than ever before.Topcon SmoothRide technology 1

SmoothRide technology, developed by TopCon is a state of the art system which is already delivering excellent results for Minster.

The technology used 3D scanning equipment which is fitted to our vehicles to quickly and accurately scan a road to create detailed maps showing the depth and width of the material that’s to be used at every section of the road. The technology uses software to process the data to create precise instructions which can then be automatically followed by the road paving machinery when the road is being laid.

See how the 3D scanning technology works in this video:

Normally, teams have to measure roads manually. This can involve lots of measuring tape being stretched over roads or with tripod mounted measuring lasers which have to be operated from the roadside. The measurements are then marked out along the road using steel pins which line the roadside.

Unfortunately, these pins blow over or they can sometimes get knocked down by delivery drivers, meaning that the roads have to be remeasured and marked out again, delaying the work and wasting time and resources.

Another problem with the traditional methods is that it often means that a road has to be closed while measurement takes place or, if the road can’t be closed, an unlucky worker has to walk the roadsides with a fluorescent jacket while traffic rushes past. Needless to say, neither of these options are ideal.

Latest road surfacing technology

SmoothRide technology uses GPS so that measurements can easily be followed when the road is being laid and it can eliminate the risks and the potential disruption caused by the traditional tape or laser measuring techniques by enabling teams to measure a road from a vehicle travelling at up to 50mph in normal traffic conditions. This means that all the measurements and mapping work can be completed quickly, without any disruption for road users and without any workers being put at risk on the roadsides.

TopCon SmoothRide technology scans road surface

The benefits of SmoothRide become even more clear when the construction of the road begins. The instructions can be given directly to the machines we use to lay road surfaces and, with the aid of GPS, the operators can be assured that at every part of the road, their machines are laying the road correctly.

While fully automated machinery is becoming all the more possible thanks to modern technology, operators are still required to guide the machines, but whereas previously there was room for estimation, human error and inconsistencies, the SmoothRide system is accurate to within just 1.5mm, whereas traditional methods are accurate to within 10mm.

Find out more about TopCon SmoothRide in this video:

Minster Surfacing will be using this technology more and more as it repairs roads across Lincolnshire and the UK and while the technology is new, we’re confident that it will continue delivering major improvements in the way we work.

Find out more about SmoothRide by visiting the TopCon website here.

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