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Aptella: The next machine frontier

Position Partners has rebranded to Aptella to better reflect its full range of technology and services. Image: Aptella.

Australian businesses are typically more advanced in technology adoption than other developed nations. According to Josh Allan, Civil Business Executive Manager at Aptella (formerly Position Partners), new solutions are now hitting Australian shores that promise greater productivity and accuracy gains than ever. 

“We’re thrilled to introduce Topcon’s new machine control platform locally,” says Allan. “Next-frontier automation technology from Teleo is also getting a lot of interest and can be retrofitted to a wide range of heavy equipment.”

A fresh arrival on Australian shores since late 2023, Topcon’s new MC-X range of machine solutions is now available for excavators, dozers, and graders. MC-Mobile solutions target compact machines, supporting multiple job stages with a single system.

All-new Topcon technology has launched for excavators, dozers, graders, and skid steers. Image: Aptella.
All-new Topcon technology has launched for excavators, dozers, graders, and skid steers. Image: Aptella.

The MC-Mobile solution includes the Topcon LN-150 construction total station, machine sensors and a versatile Android tablet. The tablet can be used in the machine cab and on a rover pole to set out and check as-builts. It can also be used with Global Navigation Satellite System positioning technology.

“MC-Mobile has been designed with smaller owner-operators in mind,” Allan says. “With one solution, customers can easily design and set out a job. They can then check their progress to ensure it’s done right the first time. There is no rework and associated program blowouts.”

For larger plant, Topcon’s MC-Max technology is available for all makes and models of excavators and a wide range of graders and dozers. The range features all-new control units, updated 3D-MC software and flexible componentry that can be swapped and configured to suit the application.

Designed for the Australian market

Tried and tested in the local market, Allan explains that the MC-Max system uses advanced processing power. Even more responsive sensors enable greater speed, accuracy, and reliability. 

“Topcon is a market leader in easy-to-use software coupled with highly accurate positioning even at higher speeds and in challenging terrain,” Allan says. “This new platform is the latest evolution of this winning combination.”

Topcon has made further advances in its material management portfolio, having launched a new haul truck app that digitises how contractors and quarry operators can track material movement without paper-based methods. 

The new Haul Truck app provides productivity statistics for each haul, including the counts, average distances, and time to complete the process. It can also automatically detect when a truck enters or leaves defined pick-up and unloading zones to ensure accurate information.  

Drivers come onto the site, quickly enter basic information, and get to work. With 3D map imagery, operators can view where the load is picked up and the path to unload and return. This information is also automatically recorded for reporting purposes.


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The workflow provides full connectivity and automation between heavy machines and road trucks when used with Topcon’s excavator and loader scales. Aptella has designed a custom-developed reporting platform and is due for launch later in 2024. 

“Material management is such a critical aspect of any project,” says Allan. “To date, it has been under-resourced from a technology perspective with manual paper-based systems. Topcon’s loader and excavator scales, coupled with the haul app for trucks and enhanced with the Aptella reporting platform, gives managers complete visibility on material movement in near real-time.”

Remote control solutions

Also new to the Australian market is Teleo’s remote-controlled supervised autonomy solution for earthmoving equipment. According to Allan, having announced a distribution agreement in 2023, customers have been eager to road-test the solution. 

Aptella CEO, Martin Nix, explains that automation is critical in addressing labour gaps and making construction projects safer and more productive.

“With ongoing labour and skills shortages in the construction sector, there is more work to be done than there are people to do it,” says Nix. “Automation and remote-control solutions from Teleo will help our customers to increase productivity. One operator can operate multiple machines in a safer, more comfortable environment.” 

Teleo’s system can be retrofitted to several makes and models of machinery. It includes the company’s proprietary software and a remote command centre to operate the equipment. There is also a robust mesh network to enable two-way communication between the command centre and the machines. 

The kit incorporates state-of-the-art sensors, including high dynamic range cameras that deliver high-definition visibility and video footage day and night. 

Teleo autonomy enables operators to control several machines safely. Image: Aptella.
Teleo autonomy enables operators to control several machines safely. Image: Aptella.

Once a machine is retrofitted with Teleo’s technology, a skilled operator can control multiple machines at multiple sites from a single station. The technology brings the operator experience to the remote command centre. It brings the sound and feel of the machine into the room as if they were operating it in person.

“Autonomy has been talked about for many years, so it’s exciting to see a truly viable, tested option now available for the civil construction sector with Teleo,” Allan says. “Our early adopter customers are looking forward to seeing what it can do as we start to roll the solution out in our local market.”


Alongside an all-new technology range, the company itself has undergone a complete rebrand with the recent launch of Aptella. Marketing Manager Gina Velde explains that the change of name and brand better represents the full suite of technology and services the business now offers.

“Our customer’s needs have evolved beyond positioning into the next frontier of technology, including automation, robotics and augmented positioning solutions,” she says. 

“The time was right to launch a fresh identity that encapsulates the spirit of how we work with customers to seek and enable the latest innovations from around the world that deliver real value.”  

This article was originally published in the February edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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