Intelligent Compaction is a process that helps to reduce the amount of time and money spent on construction projects. It is much more efficient than traditional methods, such as brute force compaction (via heavy machinery), as it utilizes more advanced technologies, such as GPS mapping.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at how intelligent compaction works and how it can benefit your project.

Understanding Intelligent Compaction

One of the most efficient ways to build on top of sand and gravel is via intelligent compaction. Intelligent compaction uses advanced software and modern sensors that guide a heavy roller over the plane, compacting and creating a solid foundation.

The process starts by using GPS mapping or other surveying equipment, such as laser levels or aerial mapping via drone, which are used to map out where each layer will be placed. This helps ensure an even distribution while also allowing workers more time for other tasks (without having to measure from scratch).

The software then determines how many passes need to be made before reaching target density based on soil type and moisture levels. Sensors in the roller tell operators when they have reached that level of compaction.

This process is much more efficient and productive than traditional methods like brute force or traditional vibratory compaction, which require additional labor or machinery to compact soil. Intelligent compaction requires less time and resources, as it uses advanced software, sensors, and a single operator instead of multiple employees doing the job by hand with shovels or tampers.

What Makes Asphalt Compactors Intelligent? 

  • High-precision GPS for machine location
  • Infrared sensors format surface temperature
  • Accelerometers for collecting vibration data
  • An onboard computer and software system
  • A color monitor to display real-time information for the operator

The break-down roller is generally referred to when authorities include IC rollers in construction standards. Specific rules, however, require it to be placed on all roller-train equipment. 

The accelerometer is installed within the machine’s vibration isolators to collect raw vibration data. The operator can compare the provided information to the project goals by sending raw data to the computer for processing. It uses thermal sensors to detect the temperature of the pavement surface. Finally, looking at a color pass map allows the operator to double-check coverage uniformity.

How Does Intelligent Compaction Work? 

Intelligent Compaction rollers are enhanced vibratory rollers with mechanisms that cater to a documentation and feedback control system. Its essential features work together by processing compaction data for the roller operator in real-time.


The use of GPS technology  or a comparable system to track the roller’s precise location, speed, and several passes over a specific site is vital. Utilizing these mapping systems to measure grades and regulate different machine components are constant.

The user may monitor the surface temperature of the asphalt pavement material using additional temperature instrumentation for asphalt intelligent compaction rollers. This is crucial, because vibratory compaction under specific temperature ranges can have negative consequences.

Intelligent Compactors Essential Features

One of the essential aspects of IC rollers is collecting, processing, and evaluating measurements in real-time. It allows the roller operator to view a color-coded map in real-time that depicts the connection between roller location, number of passes, cumulative compaction effort, and material reaction. Optional feedback controls can use this information to modify the drum’s force, and to amend the frequency in real-time. These accommodations allow for improved performance and power.

Furthermore, the IC roller’s display alerts the operator when it achieves the required compaction level. With this, it will avoid needless passes. If the system detects trouble zones, it will signal the operator when additional roller passes would not achieve the target compaction. It will then document the matters for further investigation.

Few IC rollers, particularly dual drum rollers for asphalt pavement materials, don’t have accelerometer-based measuring devices. There are, however, numerous advantages to documenting IC roller pass data and asphalt mat temperatures.

What Are the Advantages of Intelligent Compactors?

  • Operator Awareness – IC improves operator awareness of real-time compaction (soils), temperature (asphalt), pass count data, and early detection of trouble areas, and more. 
  • Asphalt Rolling Pattern – It improves and optimizes the pass coverage. More straightforward night-time operation is among its benefits too.
  • Density and Smoothness (asphalt) – IC enhances density and smoothness in asphalt. It provides better insight into mat conditions. 
  • Lower Operating Costs – It maximizes machine efficiency and utilization.
  • Documentation – Intelligent Compaction provides complete onsite documentation. It reduces in-field quality control measurement and provides potential real-time data analysis.

Achieve Growth Through Technology

At Construction Technology Partners, we specialize in helping you effectively understand how new and emerging construction technology can drive productivity and grow your business. We work with all brands, so you can get the most out of your technology investment. Think of us as your one-stop shop for machine systems, site setup, training and data solutions.

As our industry rapidly grows, the skilled labor shortage increases too. But schedules stay just as tight, and there’s still an expectation of the same quality. The sad truth is, if you don’t keep up, you’re going to be left behind. Construction Technology Partners will help you get the most out of your technology investment, so you can reduce your risk of onsite problems, increase the likelihood of your projects being completed on time and stay competitive. Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can help you stay ahead of the game.