Unicontrol3D machine control - system overview

Unicontrol3D machine control - system overview

Posted by Philip Hanrahan B.E., B.A., M.I.E.I.; Brian Mangan B.E. (Agric. Eng.) on 10th Feb 2023

Machine control is fast becoming a must have in the construction industry, increasing uptime and productivity by up to 50%. Machine operators don’t have to read the stakes visually anymore, they have the plans uploaded to a tablet right in front of them. 3D machine control uses tracking sensors and a receiver to get signal from satellites for positioning, enabling operators to put the bucket within 20 mm accuracy.

Unicontrol's 3D excavator, wheel loader and dozer machine control systems are relatively new to the Irish market. That being said, on a global platform Unicontrol already has 79 distributors across 26 countries, and over 1500 systems in operation. They are rapidly gaining recognition in the industry thanks to the user friendly, reliable system created with the operator in mind. Read below about what Unicontrol offers.

Noteworthy features of Unicontrol3D

  • Four constellations as standard

While some competitors only use GPS and GLONASS, Unicontrol systems always have 35 to 45 correction satellites at their disposal. The system uses GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo, making it easier to get a fixed position in harsh environments.

  • Easy to use interface

Unicontrol3D with only 6 control buttons allows you to control your system without looking through drop down or hidden menus. every function is easily accessible and the software is highly intuitive, meaning that it can be used with only a minimal training. The software runs on a portable Samsung Android 8” rugged tablet, with a 10” also available.

  • Heavy duty sensors and cabling

Unicontrol heavy duty sensors and cabling are designed with military grade materials.

  • Fast acting IMU sensors

The sensors continuously track the machine’s movements in real time, ensuring highly accurate work each time. Unicontrol3D supports the articulated body, front arm and bucket sensors for wheel loaders as well as tilt rotator, swing- and dual boom for excavators.

  • DXF and LandXML data formats support

Drawing requirements of the system are DXF for linework and LandXML for 3D surfaces.

  • Can be used without GPS

Unicontrol3D will work if there’s no satellite signal available, making it a 2D system for simple excavations or grading. For example if working inside in a building like a warehouse where the roof is already on, the satellites could not see the machine. The system would work as 2D and allow the operator to grade out the area to the desired level.

  • Surfaces functionality

With Unicontrol3D you can create surfaces from the machine, which means that there is no need for expensive 3D CAD software. For example, if the machine is working on a housing scheme the operator can create a simple level/flat surface from the cab of the machine. All he/she needs to do is to simply input the elevation they desire to work to. Let’s say the FFL of the house is 11.45m (elevation above sea level) and the build-up is determined by the engineer to be 0.5m. The operator could create a surface for formation level by entering the elevation value of 10.95 (11.45 – 0.5 = 10.95). The level that the site needs to be reduced to is set in less than 1 minute, and without the need of a surveyor installing a bench mark.

  • Slope creation

A brilliant feature for pipelines, storm, foul, drainage etc. Most drawings for pipelines only show the centre of manholes as points, with Invert level shown on the drawing.The operator can use 2 of these points and enter the invert level of each. The system will calculate the grade between the 2 points and it will put a helpline in place so the operator will have a straight line between the manholes.

  • Map out/survey functionality

Unicontrol’s software offers a feature allowing an operator to create his own simple drawings. Helplines can be drawn as straight lines or curved, Circles can be drawn using 2 points or 3, Points can be logged.

  • Unicontrol Cloud

Unicontrol offers a simple system for transferring data between the tablet and the site office. Thanks to their cloud you can easily upload and share project data, assign machines and create projects. Also any logged points or surveys taken by the machine are saved here in the As-built.

  • Remote access

Unicontrol3D allows you to grant remote access to the system. This allows support engineers to view the interface of the system and control the screen, so they can troubleshoot any issues quickly. This can also be used for training purposes.

  • Warranty for your piece of mind

Unicontrol offers 2 year warranty on all hardware, and 2 year software updates with purchase.

Why choose Unicontrol?

Unicontrol3D will save time and money. It is an adaptable system that can be installed on excavators ranging from 2 tons to 120 tons. Can also be fitted to swing booms generally found on mini/midi excavators or knuckle/offset, or city booms found on larger excavators, and supports tilt rotator attachments.

In the next article we will be talking about creating surfaces in detail but before the article I will post some video content on how to create the different surfaces namely Flat/level surface, surface from points, or the surface of a foundation outline.

Unicontrol 3D distributed in Ireland by Hitechniques and in the UK by our friends Surveytech.


If you’d like to know more, schedule an obligation-free demo or avail of our 1 month free trial offer. Contact our Machine Control Expert - Brian - at 086 011 1460 or