Volvo Launches Dig Assist in North America

At CONEXPO 2017, Volvo introduced Dig Assist which provides real-time guidance for operators to ensure job parameters are met quickly, accurately and safely.

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Volvo Dig Assist unlocks the full potential of an excavator’s productivity. Utilizing Volvo Co-Pilot — the award-winning in-cab interface with a 10-in. high-resolution touchscreen — Dig Assist allows operators to easily input job specifications and track progress along the way to ensure the job is done right the first time, every time.

“We’ve designed Dig Assist in a way that is very easy to learn and very intuitive to use — requiring as little as 10 minutes of upfront training and only a few touches to get started with a new job,” says Matt McLean, Product Manager, GPE Products at Volvo Construction Equipment. “Once you’re up and running, there’s no more guesswork. You can design and track progress in real time — thereby reducing the need for on-site engineers, surveyors, and manual grade and depth checks. It’s very simple to use, but can make an enormous impact to productivity and job profitability.”

Visualize the target

Getting started with Dig Assist is easy. The operator begins by opening the application and setting a reference point using a tooth on the bucket to tell the system where the earth begins. The operator then inputs the target depth and grade before beginning work. From there, the operator can visualize the bucket and the machine’s position in real time, alongside indicator guide lines that provide a “follow the line” reference point for trenching. Additionally, an on-screen light bar display notifies the operator when target grade has been reached. With Volvo Smart View, the operator can toggle to a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the machine and its surroundings — further improving jobsite safety. 

Design from the cab

With the optional In-Field Design functionality, operators can use the Co-Pilot touchscreen to draw custom digging profiles directly from the cab, without the need for an engineer or surveyor. The In-Field Design function also enables the operator to place 3D profiles directly into the interface, which saves the hassle of cross-referencing office-generated terrain models. Dig Assist also comes standard with Quick Measure functionality, empowering the operator to easily measure distances and determine angles between points, such as along trenches, across foundations or down slopes. Using the standard Material Layers function, the operator can more easily backfill the trench by pre-setting depth layers for backfill materials, and viewing progress in real time.

Empower the operator

Dig Assist allows operators to work more independently, requiring less staff on site for manual depth and grade checks, and less on-site assistance from surveyors or engineers. The project manager can have peace of mind knowing the information displayed via Dig Assist, when properly calibrated, is accurate to within 3/4 in. (2 cm). With multiple views of the machine — up to four views simultaneously — including side, front, top and 3D views, plus Volvo Smart View, the operator is acutely aware of the machine’s position in relation to the job at all times — ensuring excellent work quality and safety. 

Grow with us

Built on the Android operating system, Volvo Co-Pilot is designed in a way that makes it easily scalable as future software updates, additional functionality and new applications are developed. The system is 3G-compatible when equipped with a SIM card, allowing for the system to automatically and wirelessly receive software updates without any required action from the owner or operator. In addition to Dig Assist, Co-Pilot also serves as the interface for several already-launched applications, including Load Assist, a complete load weighing management system for Volvo wheel loaders, as well as the Volvo Intelligent Compaction system, Compact Assist for Asphalt with Density Direct, which offers the industry’s first and only real-time density mapping tool, available exclusively for Volvo asphalt compactors.

Additional applications launching in the near future include Haul Assist, a payload management system for Volvo articulated haulers, and Compact Assist for Soil — a system offering real-time pass mapping and CMV mapping data on Volvo soil compactors.