FAQ about MachineControlOnline.com

Editors’ Note - 18 April 2009
Over the last couple of months, we have received a lot of interest and questions about the direction of MachineControlOnline.com. Paul and I wanted to take this opportunity to field some of these questions.

“I love the site and find myself checking it frequently. What are your plans for the future?”
Randy: “As we plan for future articles and content we constantly ask ourselves how we can best serve our readership. We can clearly see more than one audience that must be addressed if we are to bring value.”
“The current user of 2D & 3D machine guidance and automation needs a neutral source to keep up with these new technologies, applications and the tips to get the most from their investment. These early adopters already have realized significant gains in accuracy, productivity and profitability. For them, we are preaching to the choir, but we can bring value by staying ahead of the curve, keeping them informed about what’s around the corner. Positioning & Machine Control technology will continue to evolve rapidly and we are committed to building a premiere reference hub for all things positioning.”

“Will you have information for those of us who aren’t using machine control yet?"
Paul: “At the same time we are communicating to the existing user community, we must also serve the non-user and help them understand the advantages of automating their operations. For these later adopters, we will provide a fair and balanced environment in which to learn. We have many plans to provide content that will be educational and informative. We are planning a glossary of terms, case studies, machine control basics, (see “Anatomy of a 3D dozer video” at http://machinecontrolonline.com/content/view/5569/) data preparation issues, classification of technology entry-points, applications-based solutions, etc. We will work with users and manufacturers to pull out real-world success stories as well as the bumps in the road that you can anticipate. We will take a step-by-step approach to lead you to a better understanding of how the technology could benefit your organization”.

“What role do you see Machine Control Online playing?”
Randy: “We are evangelists! We believe in the technology and all its collateral benefits. And at less than 10% global market penetration, we have a large audience to reach as we grow the slice of the automated heavy equipment pie. MCo will serve as a destination for education.”

“We see advertisements for manufacturers on the site, how does this affect your objectivity?”
Paul: “Yes, you will see advertisements, case studies and customer testimonials on our site and in our newsletters, but all advertisers are treated equally and we will not promote one solution over another. The presence of these advertisers should not put you off. Their information is very valuable. It comes from real-world customers’ projects and has been substantiated over and over again. Protecting their credibility is a very high priority for all manufacturers and service providers. In our experience, their claims tend to be on the conservative side, so don’t be afraid to let them inform you. In particular, the customer testimonials can be of great value. They are application-specific and from working professionals in your own industry. You don’t need to be skeptical of their stories, as they are not compensated for their statements. You can find ones that mention different brands, but as a whole, they provide a broad view of benefits that can be realized by adopting the technology. It’s also a good way to find out what some of your competitors are up to and what advantages they may have on their side.”

“How will you interact with people visiting the site? How can they participate in the site’s direction?”
Randy: “First, we listen. We have created areas on the site (blogs, email addresses) for the readers to voice their questions and areas of interest. We have also become quite the hub for case study submissions. Really we are building this site together with the readers and industry experts.”

“What makes Machine Control Online different from other sites?”
Paul: “We will tightly focus on machine control for construction, agriculture and mining. This will be our main focus not just a sidebar. This is an emerging technology that needs to be presented in an impartial environment. Many people still don’t understand the technology, entry-points, scalability data requirements, etc. They can use us as a knowledge base and source for greater understanding.”

“Where can one go on the site to learn more about machine control?”
Randy: “There are several areas on the site with more coming. Check for current news postings. We scour the web constantly for new developments. Also read the exclusive columns from our expert authors. Column titles addressed regularly are The Bottom Line, Its All About the Data, Machine Control and the Land Surveyor with more to come. Another area is our video library. This is growing constantly and a popular area. And also I urge visitors to interact with our authors via our blogs.”

“Will you address application-specific topics?”
Paul: “Absolutely. Seeing the benefits of using machine control on a big transportation project may have little meaning to a site preparation contractor. Dozer or grader automation may mean nothing to an excavation contractor. Over time we will build our library of application-specific topics, realized and anticipated productivity gains, return on investment analysis and other tools to better understand the automation process and the associated features and benefits.”
Randy: “Everyone is always welcome, anytime. Visit often to see the content we are gathering. And don’t be shy. Ask questions and let us know what your interests are. We are committed to the advancement of positioning and machine control technology. With the current growth rate, this industry will be changing and evolving at a fast pace and it will pay to keep up with these changes.”

“Please email Randy and Paul if you have questions of your own or comments”
Randy Noland – Managing Editor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Paul Hahn – Associate Editor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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