A robotic paving slab cutting process developed by Eurovia UK is nearly ready to be used on site.
By Grant Prior
The Distributed Automated Cutting System (DACS) project is being led by the contractor in partnership with Loop Technology and The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
The current practice of cutting paving in town centers and other public places to fit within set boundaries or around street furniture is normally performed manually on site and is noisy, messy and disruptive.
The DACS process will automate the manufacture of bespoke paving units which are tailor-made to fit unique ground conditions.
The cutting robot can be housed in a factory or a compact container which can travel between sites.
Loop Technology has developed a working prototype that automatically identifies the area which contains pieces that need to be cut.
It then generates the cutting paths used to produce the finished slabs in the robotic cutting process.
Various scanners and technology solutions have been trialed and a demonstration of the final product will be ready to be demonstrated this Spring.
Philip Reid, Digital Construction Manager, at Eurovia said: “I’m blown away by the progress that has been made to date. When we started on this journey, we had high hopes but weren’t sure that what we were asking for would be sustainable and cost-effective.
“What Loop Technology and AMRC are showing us is impressive and there is every indication that we will be able to bring this to our site operations in the not-too-distant future.”