Trimble’s Precise Positioning Services Bring Automation to Pile Driving
Founded in 2011, NASKU GmbH provides a system that modifies existing pile driver machines for automation by autonomously bringing the machine to its precise location, and then driving the post to its correct height and orientation. Pile driving for solar projects can be both physically taxing and mentally intensive work as it requires the utmost precision in placing posts in the field relative to each other. Operators traverse across vast open fields, and must ensure precise location and depth for each steel pile driven into the ground. Finding skilled labor is both challenging and costly for these projects. Advancements in automated pile driving mean an increase in overall productivity.
Maintaining Accuracy for Both Location and Depth of Steel Posts
NASKU is on a mission to transform the way solar panels are installed, especially in remote or challenging geographies. With an increasing shortage of available surveyors and skilled operators, NASKU aims to reduce the necessary manpower, and can more efficiently drive posts across a vast field. Terrain can pose an additional challenge as many areas are rocky and uneven, and reliable, highly accurate positioning and orientation data is imperative.
Project sites can range from 16 square miles to 100 square miles, and there’s no margin for error.
“The most important positioning in pile driving for solar fields is the position of the poles in relation to
according to Knud Ussling, CEO of NASKU GmbH. In order to automate some of the pile driving process, accurate positioning within 2 cm and a relevant height accuracy to the adjacent posts below 1 cm is of the highest priority.
Consistent Centimeter-Level Accuracy in Challenging Environments.
As a global company, NASKU systems are integrated into more than 200 pile drivers across Africa, the United States, Europe and Australia. In order to meet their operational goals, NASKU turned to Trimble to ensure the highest level of positioning and orientation accuracy. With reliable data from Trimble BX992 GNSS receiver, NASKU is able to deliver on its goal to automate pile driving, drive efficiencies with reduced labor needs and decrease completion time for solar panel projects, thereby transforming the installation process end-to-end. Trimble’s global presence also ensures NASKU has access to quality customer service and product experts in remote locations around the world. The Trimble BX992 rapidly integrates centimeter-level positioning and precise heading information into NASKU’s application. The ruggedized and compact unit can withstand difficult environments, an important feature when working in solar fields. With reliable and accurate GNSS positioning and orientation, NASKU has greater visibility of data across the job site. “The Trimble BX992 is easy to integrate into the NASKU equipment. Trimble is recognized as the leader across the globe, and I’m always able to find a Trimble dealer, no matter the location of the job site,” shared Knud Ussling, CEO NASKU GmbH.
Improved Efficiency, Reduced Labor Costs, Faster Project Execution
By automating site mapping, and the location and measurement for each post, solar fields can eliminate the need and expense for a full surveying crew. With the Trimble BX992 receiver’s centimeter level accuracy, NASKU can deliver a system that only requires two operators to oversee the pile driver’s automation of measuring, drilling and placing the posts in the ground, eliminating the need for additional surveyors or skilled pile driving operators. Optimizing the number of workers on site enables NASKU and their customers to meet the needs of an evolving workforce. With automated pile driving functionality delivering consistent centimeter level accuracy, the NASKU system can place up to 50 posts per hour, with only two operators which results in significant labor savings up to 75% when compared to traditional methods.