New Telematics Solutions Provide Real-Time Operational Data

Telematics SolutionsBusiness solutions are becoming more and more important as contractors try to stay competitive in the age of data. The data provided by these solutions allow managers and owners to make better decisions and allow them to react much sooner.

Both wet processing equipment manufacturer, CDE, and industrial Internet of Things solutions provider, ORBCOMM, have telematics solutions with updates that will increase uptime and future-proof your business.

Improved Industry Standards

Most heavy equipment original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide telematics solutions with their equipment that deliver varying levels of data. Historically, the information was provided in proprietary formats and required the use of OEM websites or portals to access it. With mixed fleets, trying to pull all the data together to have a single cohesive view can be challenging.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) addressed the challenge of proprietary data formats and mixed fleets by introducing an updated telematics standard in 2014. The AEM/AEMP Draft Telematics Standard has evolved over time and the most recent version is now known as ISO 15143-3.

It creates a common data format that facilitates pulling mixed fleet data together on a single portal, website or enterprise business system. Almost 20 common parameters are part of the standard, including asset identification, location, operating hours or miles, fuel burn, engine temperatures, fuel level, idle time and average power percentage. 

More Data, Better Data

ORBCOMM has announced that its telematics solution for heavy equipment, called FleetEdge, supports the new standard. Powered by rugged devices and multi-network connectivity, the updated software now provides a lot more data and while still being able to be used with a variety of manufacturers.

“Fleet managers want a solution that can accommodate a multi-vendor environment,” says Brad Poulin, Director of Product Management, ORBCOMM, “Our solution allows us to integrate with a broad range of vendors.”

According to Poulin, large contractors appreciate not only the utilization data for the equipment, but also idle ratios to know how well a machine is being used versus sitting idle. Fuel consumption data allows them to more easily track the overall costs of using the equipment.

With the data, fleet managers and operations staff can identify more problems. “You can own two identical machines and, depending on how they are operated, can have very different fuel consumption,” says Poulin. “With this knowledge, you can then create a strategy to reduce fuel consumption. Perhaps by better training of operators.”

When this technology is applied to different kinds of machines over time, you begin entering the area of predictive maintenance. For example, when a machine fails in the field, it costs big money. If you can predict when a particular attribute of a machine is going to fail, you can schedule the repair prior to the failure to avoid an unplanned outage. This improves efficiency of the organization overall — all the way from operations through to maintenance.

Cellular Evolution

Cellular network technology is changing to allow for faster data, easier and more reliable network capabilities. ORBCOMM has integrated LTE 4G support into the company’s PT 7000, which is the company’s rugged monitoring and control device for heavy equipment in the construction, mining, rail and utility industries.

“We are seeing a global transition from 2G and 3G networks to LTE. In the United States, some providers are shutting down their 2G and 3G networks,” says Sue Rutherford, ORBCOMM’s VP Marketing. “So, in terms of continuity going forward it is important to have LTE to make sure that you have that connectivity for years in the future.”

The PT 7000 offers both cellular and satellite connectivity. This is especially useful when working in remote areas like mine sites. “The dual-mode capability is very attractive because, sometimes, you just don’t know when you might be out of cellular range. Having satellite as an option ensures connectivity so that there are no gaps in important operational data,” says Rutherford.

Complimentary Technologies

CDE has introduced CDE Core Smart technology. The new technology is designed to increase plant efficiency, automate processes, and lower operating costs via its three key features:

  • An easy-to-use monitoring system
  • A digital tool to manage and simplify operator workflows
  • A bespoke 3D catalog of parts which is tailored for each customer’s individual equipment

The monitoring system gives owners and senior managers updates in real time on the current status of the plant, such as hours of operation, tonnage processed, etc. It also gives a historical overview to provide context to the figures. All this data is available so managers can determine plant health.

“The ability to understand what is happening with the plant anywhere and at any time gives a sense of comfort to the owner and senior manager,” says Eoin Heron, VP & Business Development Director North America for CDE. “The predictive nature of the applications means the plant owner can maximize their investment and minimize unexpected downtime.”

In order to manage and simplify workflows, CDE developed CORE Workflow, which provides a bespoke work schedule for the operator of a plant. “Using an app, the operator is directed to inspect, grease or replace components all on a schedule agreed with the plant manager,” says Heron. “The operator is directed to take photos, measurements and reading, all of which are uploaded automatically to a system that both the CDE CustomCare and the customer have access to.”

CDE’s CORE Parts Assist takes the original designer drawings of the customer plant and turns them into a 3D parts identification and ordering system. The customer can rotate the plant in any direction, zoom in on key components and click on any component (right down to a single bolt) and receive the part number. They also have the option of adding the part to a basket and submitting to CDE for pricing.

All components of CORE are integrated with each other. For example, as the result of a reading from the sensors in CORE SmartTech, a dynamic inspection can be created by CDE’s CustomCare team. This inspection is pushed to the operator’s device and appears in CORE Workflow as another task to be completed that day.

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