Cat Industrial Engines to offer whole-machine telematics solution

By Chad Elmore30 June 2021

Available to OEMs, system designed to help users see machine health, improve performance.

Caterpillar said it is now offering a whole-machine telematic solution that helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) provide machine owners and operators with the ability to view critical data output in real-time and better understand — and make use of — their equipment’s operation. Leveraging the company’s experience with asset health monitoring, customers using this technology can locate, track and manage all of their connected assets independently.

telematics When the COVID-19 pandemic put the world on lockdown in March 2020, Paling had been working on an order of transporters bound for a local steel mill for 14 months. It was in the home stretch, so to speak, when it ran into a fan controller issue that would shut the machine down. A Caterpillar engineer, working from a home office in Illinois, was able to remotely log into the transporters as they sat on the Paling factory floor in Ontario to perform a software update that was required for the engine to work with the machines.

Able to be integrated with existing telematics regardless of brand, the engine-ready solution can help provide a clear picture of a machine’s health by collecting all the machine data and displaying the results through an easy-to-read online dashboard.

“Cat powered equipment operators have been using Cat telematics technology for years,” said Tom Nankervis, Connected Services Strategy manager, Caterpillar.

“But it’s always been offered as an aftermarket solution until now. Regardless of whether a machine manufacturer is using their own telematics solution or is looking to introduce a new one, our factory-fit telematics solution can give OEMs and their customers access to powerful information about their machine operation and other parameters.

“We want anyone who is using our solution to be able to take the right actions that will help them improve efficiency, prolong the life of the engine and lower operating costs.”

Deciphering details

Users of the offering can keep track of equipment location, uptime, fuel use, maintenance alerts and more, said the company, all in one convenient online dashboard. They can also customize what data they want to see and schedule reports to share with teams.

“It’s like having inside access and understanding of the inner workings of machines, and even entire fleets,” Senior Digital Manager Jamaal Crayton explained. “Users can see in real-time if connected assets are underperforming. They can also compare uptime between machines, helping fleet owners understand which ones are crucial versus supplemental to their operation. And services can scale as needed so customers can choose the features they want to use.”

Back in a flash

Equipped with remote services capabilities, the engine-integrated telematics solution can help minimize downtime via remote troubleshooting that can run diagnostic testing and pinpoint potential issues while the machine is in operation. If a repair is required, an OEM or dealer technician would be alerted and be able to complete the repair correctly in a single visit.

“The remote capabilities are great for late-night operators like a customer of ours in Canada. They run their machines during the middle of the night and are able to make repairs by analyzing data provided from our connectivity solution and perform any software updates at times it’s convenient, like when a shift is over or a machine is done for the day,” Nankervis said.

“At the end of the day,” Crayton said. “We’re reducing the guesswork used in understanding the most complex component of any machine — the engine and everything it powers. Because once you’ve done that, the rest seems to fall into place.”

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