In the heavy equipment world there is a need for continued innovation in order to stay ahead of the competition. From new product introduction to mergers and acquisitions, here are three examples of how heavy equipment manufacturers are building and strengthening their product offering.
Merger: Terex Corporation, a crane and heavy equipment manufacturer (and a new ORBCOMM customer), recently announced that it was merging with its Finnish competitor, Konecranes. Under the all-share deal, the new combined company will be called Konecranes Terex and is expected to bring in $10 billion in revenues and create a more competitive global lifting and material handling company.
The merger is the most recent move by the company to innovate its product offering. Earlier in the year, the company announced the availability of a new telematics system for all Terex Fuchs E- or F-Series material handlers. Leveraging the CAN Bus system in the machines and the ORBCOMM satellite network to deliver the data, the Terex Fuchs Telematics system provides critical machine operating data, such as operating hours, fuel level and consumption, handler location, service events, and maintenance notifications to the right people.
Acquisitions: Caterpillar is serious about leveraging Big Data to help grow its business. In April, Caterpillar Marine acquired ESRG Technologies Group, a company whose telematics software covers more than 65 on-board systems. ESRG is also the data analytics provider for thousands of ships as well as the U.S. Navy. The acquisition expands Caterpillar’s marine telematics offerings from engine-only diagnostics to whole-ship monitoring.
On the construction equipment side, Caterpillar has made a minority investment in an analytics firm called Uptake. As part of the partnership, the two companies will improve diagnostics technology for both Cat- and non-Cat-branded products. The new capabilities are expected to be released in the coming months.
New Product: Volvo has released a new crawler excavator that features a 5 percent increase in engine power and a 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. The increase in engine power translates into higher responsiveness and travel speeds, as well as faster cycle times.
Equipped with a comfy cab, climate control and a Tier IV Final engine, this new excavator displays real-time service alerts on the color monitor to enable diagnostic checks. It also comes with Volvo CareTrack telematics for remote machine diagnostics, as well as location information in real time.
Bonus! A recent article in Engineering News-Record reported that the Members of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) are working on a certification program for their telematics code for construction machinery. According to the group, once available, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, owners and end-users will be able to verify that a machine’s wireless application program interface complies with the standard’s data-stream protocols. The program is expected to be out by the end of the year.
Tell us what you think: How important is the quality of the telematics data to you?