Predictive Maintenance: The Untapped Advantages of Telematics for Construction

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There has been a lot of talk about how analytics will deliver value to the world of construction equipment. We believe that 2019 is the year analytics will deliver on that promise, leveraging telematics data to deliver results. But beyond telematics data, there’s an opportunity to use other business data to really make a difference to the bottom line in the industry.

Telematics solutions commonly provide detailed machine data, including parameters like engine oil, transmission and brake temperature, engine RPM, speed, tire pressure, fuel consumption and emission levels to name a few. This data can be analyzed and combined with historical data and deep industry knowledge to predict an upcoming failure so that planned maintenance can be performed. This avoids the cost and delays associated with a random failure.

Predictive Maintenance can be a Gamechanger

Predictive maintenance, based on predictive analytics, detects possible failures ahead of time to take corrective action at the right time, to avoid unscheduled maintenance and unplanned downtime, mitigating project risks and reducing costs.  While this is a significant improvement over traditional maintenance approaches, there is more that can be done.  Other sources of data can improve analysis and add additional dimensions to decision making.

Operational data describes how an organization functions daily. For a construction company, this might include machine operator scheduling and history, technician maintenance assignments, or to which project part of the fleet is assigned. Analyzing this data provides insight into how, when, and by whom a machine is being used and maintained. Another source of data—business data—might include capital costs and depreciation, machine warranty, machine maintenance history, and spare parts inventory.

Combining, storing, and analyzing all this data is the kind of ‘deep learning’ required to take the next step in improving business processes. Combining telematics data with logistics data could allow for greater insight into drivers who are particularly tough on their machines, flagging the need for driver coaching. It could flag a technician whose machines have fewer problems in the field, providing an opportunity to share best practices. For heavy equipment OEMs, this data could facilitate better design and performance of their machines. Bringing business data into the analysis could result in a decision not to spend excess dollars just on parts when a machine is coming towards the end of its useful life.

Driving Better Insights

Fleet telematics application

The technology for aggregating and analyzing this big data exists today. Applying analytics to this aggregated data is where new and important insights can be found and where business outcomes can be improved. The challenge for organizations is to share the data between departmental silos and, perhaps more importantly, between organizations.

From better maintenance outcomes to improved asset lifecycle management to better machine design, the insights gained when data is shared benefit the entire ecosystem, from OEMs to construction companies to equipment users. Businesses that adopt solutions that enable predictive maintenance have an opportunity to improve businesses processes, reduce costs and increase competitiveness.

ORBCOMM’s heavy equipment solution is analytics-ready and we’ll be enhancing our portfolio in 2019 with new and upgraded devices, enhancing the user experience and standards support in our management application and adding connectivity options.  Talk to the ORBCOMM team at Bauma Stand C4.639-G, US Pavillion.

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment Tagged with: , , ,

Canadian ELD Mandate Update: What We Know So Far 

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canadian e-log solutionThe Canadian ELD implementation process is expected to start this year. While final confirmation is not yet available, Canadian Transportation Authorities have indicated that it will closely follow the ELD implementation process used in the U.S. This is good news for Canadian carriers who already run cross-border businesses. Canadian ELD rules will apply to motor carriers, commercial truck and bus drivers.   

Why Canadian ELDs? 

Transport Canada shares generally the same reasons for introducing ELDs as the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA.) It has outlined its plans via the Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Devices and Other Amendments).  

ELDs help to bring about safer roads and prevent fatigue amongst drivers—a consistent danger to fleets. The government says “commercial motor vehicle drivers are particularly at risk because of the monotonous nature of their work, extended work days, irregular schedules and poor sleep hygiene. The regulations are intended to help normalize the driver’s natural sleep rhythms and to provide opportunities for daily rest to help drivers recover from the effects of fatigue while accommodating the efficient and economic movement of goods and passengers.” Canadian ELD are being implemented to increase driver safety and well being. 

ELD device

Other benefits outlined in the document include fairer competition for carriers, better cross-border relations with U.S. regulatory requirements, proper compliance with HOS rules and better quality of life for drivers.  

Canadian vs. U.S. ELD: What’s the difference?  

Many fleets already have experience with ELD compliance. With nearly 80 Canada-U.S. truck crossing points, fleets have adjusted to the cross-border process. The Canadian ELD will help to ensure this cross-border consistency continues. When drivers can seamlessly move across the borders, goods can do the same.  

canadian eld devicesHowever, there will be some differences between the Canadian and U.S. ELDs, in part due to the different regulations already in place for Canadian carriers. Some of the differences between Canadian and U.S. ELDs include: 

  • The Canadian mandate is set to apply to trucks manufactured in 1995 or after. The U.S. rule applies to trucks from 2000 or newer. 
  • Law enforcement sharing will differ. In Canada drivers must display driving information to officials, but not at the same level of detail as is required in the U.S. This is because Canada measures in a different way, through Cycles.  
  • Canadian ELD mandate will require a change in status in personal conveyance if a driver goes beyond a 75km measurement within a 24-hour period. The U.S. ELD has different requirements.  

A timeline for Canadian ELD 

It is expected that the introduction of ELD in Canada will mirror the timeline of the process in the U.S. There, the FMCSA published the rule in 2015, with a phase-in compliance from December 2017. The phase-in process sees the mandatory use of ELDs with existing AOBRDs grandfathered for two years. ELDs will be mandatory by December 2019. 

In Canada, motor carriers and drivers will have two years to prepare for the implementation of ELDs. This gives carriers the time to select and install ELDs and train their drivers in how to use them.  

Within those two years of transition, drivers and carriers will be exempt from compliance with the new ELD provisions. After the two-year transition period, full compliance will be required.  

According to the Government of Canada Gazette: “For those drivers who would be using an Electronic Recording Device (ERD) immediately before the ELD amendments come into force, an additional two-year transitional period has been included in the Regulations.”  

Chat with usThe precise timeline for the introduction of the Canadian ELD is still under review. It is expected that the timeline will be like that of the introduction of ELDs in the U.S., with a public comment period, publication, compliance date and end of a grandfather clause. 

We anticipate updates in the coming weeks. Until then, talk to ORBCOMM about our ELD products and find out how they can help your fleet be prepared for Canadian ELD.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

2018’s Top IoT, Telematics and Monitoring Stories

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aobrd to eld telematics solutionsIn 2018, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology and the evolution of telematics continued their rapid advances into all our markets, across land and maritime transportation, supply chain, heavy equipment, and other key industrial and government sectors.

IoT permeates so many parts of our lives now and fleet owners, shipping operators, and port managers are all benefiting from advances in this technology. The intersection of big data, hardware, software, and analytics are evident in every element of the supply and cold chain.

As the global leader in industrial IoT, M2M and fleet telematics, ORBCOMM keeps a very close eye on which IIoT applications are surfacing in different industries. Here we take another look at the different use cases we wrote about this year, a deeper dive to learn how IIoT, telematics and remote monitoring is reshaping the world we live in.

Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , ,

A Look Back at 2018: ORBCOMM’s Year of Growth, Insight and Innovation

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fleet telematics webinarAs we look forward to another eventful year, ORBCOMM would like to wish every success in 2019 to all our customers, channel partners, suppliers and business colleagues around the world. As usual, we are taking a moment to look back over the last 12 months and forward at the year to come. We hope you’ll enjoy the round-up below, which also includes links to various knowledge resources.  

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology remains on a rapid adoption curve as part of the accelerating global trend to digitalization and automation within the Fourth Industrial Revolution

This trend is reflected this year in our subscriber base growth across land and maritime transportation, supply chain, heavy equipment and other key industrial and government sectors. As recently reported, we hit 2.3 million subscribers this September and expect to have added 350-400,000 new subscribers by the time we usher in the New Year.

Integrating data across transportation modes and assets

Transportation and supply chain are among our largest markets and earlier this year, IoT analyst Berg Insight again named ORBCOMM as the largest global provider of cargo unit tracking solutions. Berg estimates that the installed base of tracking devices across road trailers, containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 3.7 million in 2017 and will mushroom to 8.9 million by 2022, with the intermodal container market playing a key role in the next phase of growth.  

A big focus for our transportation team in 2018 has been to integrate truck connectivity alongside our established OTR trailer and intermodal container solutions, following our 2017 acquisition of inthinc, Inc and Blue Tree Systems Ltd. Mid-year we announced the launch of our next generation FleetManager cloud-based software, which allows users to manage data from multiple asset types on a single digital platform, including trucks, trailers, reefers and containers.

 While clients often come on-board for a specific application to start with, once the data starts to flow we are seeing many opting to expand their solution to other equipment classes, as well as wanting to integrate data from and with other systems for a truly unified, comprehensive view. Aggregating ever-larger amounts of data on a single platform is helping our clients to unlock new business insights and reach new levels of process automation. Automation and streamlining of Pre-Trip Inspections (PTIs) for reefer containers is just one case in point.

As more departments start to consume IIoT data – from the C-suite down – it’s vital that users get to see just the data they want, in the format and frequency that they want. That’s why we have made FleetManager open, scalable and intuitive, with highly configurable dashboards and widgets, an array of customizable live and historical reports and intelligent search functionality. API integrations also help ensure interoperability with other platforms and enterprise systems.

We’ve also been busy adding new functionality to our truck connectivity solutions, including TachoVision software – the industry’s most advanced, one-stop tachograph management – which is now available on the FleetManager platform along with fuel management, driver scoring, vehicle inspection and reporting, GPS tracking, in-cab messaging and jobs.  

The vital importance of trucking and truck drivers to the global economy and world trade has been in the spotlight in 2018, not least due to the new ELD legislation in the USA which caused some shocks to import and export supply chains early this year and an endemic shortage of truck drivers on an international basis.

Governments and industry alike are increasingly looking at how new technology can play a role in improving truck driver safety, health and productivity, and as a recruitment and retention tool. We’ve published a variety of articles and guides on key trucking trends during the year including technology adoption in the oil and gas segment, how to tackle distracted driving, key elements of a fleet safety program and getting drivers on-board with fuel economy programs. 

You may also be interested in our recent webinar with Inmarsat and Verizon that explores how embedded IoT and M2M are helping manage supply chain complexity across land, sea, and air modes. 

Adding intelligence to data with analytics

In one of our other major developments for the year, ORBCOMM is now offering cloud-based data analytics to customers in our core transportation and logistics, supply chain and heavy equipment markets.

Launched in August our analytics service responds to customer demand for more sophisticated business intelligence tools. Use cases already identified include refrigerated transport operational performance, operational cycle and dwell time management, condition delivery management, fleet driver performance, predictive machine breakdown and shutdown, preventative maintenance planning, and business optimization.

Analytics will be a major focus of development for 2019 and, as we work internally and with key customers to explore the technology, we fully expect to see more use cases and applications emerging. This really is just the start.  

Taking cold chain telematics to the next level

While open software, cloud platforms, and advanced BI tools are a major focus of development, we certainly aren’t neglecting telematics devices and sensors. This November saw the launch of our new CT 3000 series of cold chain telematics devices for refrigerated containers, including a reusable, ‘trip-based’ solution that gives all types of companies the ability to monitor containers whether they own them or not. The new devices were officially launched at the Intermodal Europe expo and as we reported in our post-show blog are smaller, lighter and quicker to install – around 10 minutes per device.

As we discussed in this interview with The Loadstar magazine during Intermodal Europe the trip-based device is a timely addition in today’s maritime container world dominated by shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements, where boxes from many different shipping lines can be loaded onto a single vessel.

Looking forward, we anticipate further advances in mesh technology, sensors and short-range communications like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to continue opening up new tracking possibilities for our clients. That includes being able to track pallet-level sensors ‘through the box’ by using container and trailer telematics as a ‘gateway’ for cargo to talk to the world while goods are in-transit. This latter capability is expected to be of particular interest for cold chain applications, one of the hottest markets for IIoT solutions. We joined fellow cold chain professionals at the Cool Logistics conference this October to explore key trends in the reefer sector and you can read our five key takeaways here.

Satellite services and solutions – expanding into China

Of course, satellite is at the heart of our business, both as an integral component enabling many IIoT solutions – especially for industries and geographies where cellular connectivity is limited – and also to provide AIS and other data for mission-critical maritime operations across shipping, fishing and more.

We were excited to announce this October that we have received regulatory approval to provide satellite services and solutions in China, the world’s 2nd largest economy China is investing hugely in advanced technologies across nearly every walk of life and business and there are great opportunities to be part of this expansion.

We will be building our first China Gateway Earth Station (GES), with more in the pipeline, and working with local partner Asia Pacific Navigation Telecommunications Satellite (APNTS) to develop new business across the heavy equipment, transportation and logistics, and maritime industries.

In another satellite innovation, we provided advanced satellite technology as part of a ground-breaking initiative by UK company Clearwater Tracking that aims to revolutionize the business of marine insurance. 

Clearwater is one of the many value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, solution providers, system integrators and developers that use ORBCOMM’s IIoT and satellite technology as part of their solutions. These are crucial partners for ORBCOMM and our recent webinar explores in more detail how VARs can make the most of their IIoT technology investment.

Over the coming few years, digitalization, automation and other smart technologies will transform just about every business on the planet as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Connected, visible assets are a critical piece of the equation, helping users remotely track and control not just equipment, but equally operational flows, across the globe in real-time and generating huge amounts of data to feed advanced analytics and other emerging technologies like blockchain. 

At ORBCOMM, we will continue to develop our capabilities, offering expertise to support our clients in the journey to the future.  We look forward to working with you in 2019 and beyond.

PS. You can view and download all case studies, webinars and white papers from our website Knowledge Centre or just get in touch and we’ll be happy to email them to you.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , , ,

One-Year Itch: 9 Reasons to Switch from Your Current ELD Solution

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aobrd to eld telematics solutionsWe are one year in with one year to go in the ELD phase-in process. There are 365 days to go until the mandatory use of ELDs will be introduced on December 16, 2019, the final date for full ELD mandate compliance.

While the path has not always been smooth, ELDs have broadly been good news for the trucking industry. According to Clem Driscoll of C.J. Driscoll & Associates, total revenue, largely driven by the mandate, has doubled since 2015, to $1.1 billion.

While it is estimated that 96% of fleets are ELD compliant, many carriers and drivers who are subject to the rule chose to comply with existing AOBRDs which were grandfathered for two years. The big switch is yet to take place. Operators have until December 2019 to move their existing AOBRDs to ELDs and so 2019 will be the vital period for fleets still using AOBRDs.

ELDs have been seen to be good news, but how much good news for your business depends directly on your choice of vendor. CEO of TransSafe Consulting, Annette Sandberg says poor quality ELDs are a reason behind a lot of fleet problems. She told the FTR Transportation Conference:

“We’ve seen a number of vendors struggle to meet requirements and some of that struggle is born on behalf of the carrier. So if you’re a small carrier – say, five to 10 trucks – and didn’t have a lot of money to do initial due-diligence testing on a device and you went with something based solely on cost, and you bought a cheap system, that’s probably exactly what you have: a cheap system.”

To try to remove the pain, it may be time to reconsider your original ELD vendor choice or to review your current AOBRD provider. Here are 9 reasons why you should consider switching from your current ELD solution. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , ,

Container Industry Doubles Down on Digitalization

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container tracking deviceThousands of container industry executives descended on Rotterdam this November for the annual Intermodal Europe show. Attended by container shipping lines, leasing companies, equipment manufacturers, technology suppliers and container service providers, this year’s edition was the busiest we have seen in the last three years, with a stronger focus than ever before on digital technologies both on the show floor and in the seminar sessions.

ORBCOMM used Intermodal Europe as the launchpad for the new CT 3000 Series, our latest generation of refrigerated container telematics devices, available for permanent or temporary ‘trip-based’ installation. The new devices are smaller and quicker to install – around 10 minutes per unit – and the CT 3100 temporary device gives ocean carriers, inland barge operators, ports, depots, 3PLs and other members of the container transport chain the ability to monitor containers and shipments that they do not directly own or control.

In fact, as we discussed with The Loadstar during Intermodal Europe the genesis of the CT 3100 design was a request from one of our shipping line clients that wanted a way to remotely monitor non-telematics-equipped third party reefer containers on-board its vessels, rather than having to send crew to perform hazardous manual checks.

In today’s world of container shipping alliances and vessel sharing agreements (VSAs), having containers owned by multiple carriers on a single ship is an increasingly common phenomenon. And as industry players digitise at different paces, solutions such as trip-based monitoring are clearly needed to bridge the adoption gap.

connected containersWhat’s also needed are open standards, interfaces and interoperability, agreed speakers in the Smart Shipping Forum that we joined during Intermodal. Just as we heard and discussed at the Cool Logistics conference in October, the conversation around digitalization in container shipping and the intermodal supply chains is moving from ‘if and why’ to ‘when and how’. IoT, blockchain, platforms, analytics and AI are the top technologies on the digital radar, along with automation and autonomous vehicles in cargo handling and transport.

Accepting that “Industry 4.0” is now an unstoppable force, key issues for the maritime and intermodal industries include how to ensure that companies along the chain get appropriate benefits in exchange for sharing their valuable data and how to avoid simply creating a whole new generation of competing, siloed data platforms and ecosystems. This latter would limit user choice and flexibility, create barriers to investment, prevent true end-to-end supply chain data flow and hamper the ability to future-proof systems as technology continues to move fast.

As discussed at Intermodal Europe, achieving the full value from IoT and other digital technologies therefore requires open platforms and compatibility with third party equipment and systems. Suppliers of technology can’t work in isolation and will need to integrate with other service providers to successfully meet customer and supply chain needs. This is absolutely what we are seeing at ORBCOMM as clients ask us to integrate and amass data from multiple sources, not least as the basis for more advanced descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Technology users are equally recognizing that they will play a crucial role in creating the industry’s new digital foundations. Hard on the heels of the Intermodal show came the announcement that five of the world’s largest container shipping lines – AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Ocean Network Express – will collaborate on open industry standards to facilitate the take-up of digital technology across the maritime supply chain.  This follows the news earlier this year that an open group of international container terminal operators will collaborate on standards to support automation and digitalization in port operations.

Maersk container shipping

AP Moller-Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Ocean Network Express will collaborate on open industry standards to facilitate the take-up of digital technology across the supply chain. Photo: Maersk Media Library

The idea of the proposed non-profit association established by the five carriers — which aims to start up early next year, subject to regulatory approval — is not to endorse or launch any particular technological solutions but to provide standards that allow for easier information sharing through the supply chain, reported the UK Financial Times.

container fleet tracking webinarTalking to World Maritime News, group spokesperson André Simha, Global Chief Information Officer at MSC, said that the key driver is to create something for shippers and other members of the transport chain that is common and open. “The container shipping industry is at a fairly low start of digitalization if we compare it with other sectors like the aviation industry. Hence, the future association aims to accelerate and shape digitalization of the industry to help achieve higher level of standardized processes. The idea is to deliver better technological changes to our customers and more quickly compared to working alone,” said Simha. “Today, implementation of digital technology happens by working in closed silos. It leads to frustration and more bureaucracy for customers and other collaboration partners… We believe all stakeholders in the industry can benefit from digitalization and standardization leading to increased interoperability.”

As reported in The Loadstar, Adam Banks, Maersk’s Chief Technology Officer, added that “a joint set of technical standards will ensure interoperability and enable all parties to concentrate on value adding differentiation … [benefiting] all parties in our customers’ supply chains”.

Interoperability and ‘agnostic’ data solutions are at the core of ORBCOMM’s philosophy and we welcome and endorse these initiatives to foster more effective implementation of digital connectivity across the maritime supply chain.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

Brexit, Smart Tachographs, and Earned Recognition: FTA Transport Manager Conference 2018 Recap

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Fleet Fuel EconomyIt’s hard to contemplate a time when the UK freight industry faces more or deeper challenges.  

That was the key message at the UK’s Freight Transport Association’s final Transport Manager Conference for 2018. For example, the FTA is facing Brexit head-on in the UK. According to Director of Policy at the FTA, Elizabeth De Jong, the organisation is preparing for all eventualities in the lead-up to the March deadline. Although there is still uncertainty around Brexit and exactly what to expect, the FTA is doing everything it can to be ready for it. 

The ORBCOMM team joined hundreds of industry professionals on November 28 to hear more on Brexit and the most pressing matters facing transportation in the coming months. With representatives from customers like GreggsAF Blakemore & Son LtdJames Hall and Co. Ltd and Faccenda Foods, it was a packed house in Birmingham in the UK. The day featured topics that ran the gamut of transportation concerns from Brexit to urban deliveries and Clean Air Zones (CAZs).  

FTA Transport Manager Conference

The ORBCOMM team joined hundreds of industry professionals at the UK FTA’s Transport Manager Conference 2018

Earning Recognition with DVSA  

One of the biggest topics on the agenda was the DVSA’s Earned Recognition scheme. 

The scheme is defined as a new standard for UK operators for fleets to minimise roadside inspections. Keith Gray, General Manager – Training, Audits and Standards, FTA – said the programme is already underway with approximately 80 operators. It monitors and rewards operators that proactively check maintenance and drivers’ hours and submit the data to the DVSA. 

Gray outlined the benefits and challenges and urged operators to sign-up. In speaking to members on the pilot scheme, he discovered some worried that there weren’t enough benefits. However, he was quick to reassure of the benefits of membership to the scheme including an increased reputation for safety and reliability.  

The FTA says that the programme offers inherit and explicit benefits. The main ones include a reduction in roadside inspections and site visits from DVSA. Fleets can also use the DVSA marque when bidding for contracts and industry recognition. The DVSA also offers a dedicated earned-recognition team to participants.  

To participate in Earned Recognition, fleets need to include digital monitoring for vehicle monitoring and drivers’ hours. To sign up to the scheme, visit the DfT website here 

What Next, with Brexit Looming?  

Brexit is obviously, a cause for concern across every industry. For transportation and those involved in it, this is no different. Director of Policy at the FTA, Elizabeth de Jong, opened her discussion on the impact of Brexit, by confirming what we already know: it is difficult to plan around something we don’t have any concrete facts about.  

What is clear though, is that the FTA is pushing forward with its plans to protect UK businesses as much as possible. The FTA will continue to prepare and be ready as soon as any solid decision is made. In the meantime, it will continue publishing Brexit notes and getting the industry as prepared as possible for all Brexit-related eventualities.  

The FTA will continue to update the logistics industry with its next meeting in London on December 15 Getting Logistics Ready for Brexit 

Smart Tachographs Coming Soon 

live tachograph data“Smart Tachographs”, the next-generation of tachographs, are on the way in the UK.  They will make use of satellite positioning, short range communications and integration with telematics through an Intelligent Transport System interface. GNSS will allow recording of the vehicle location at the start and end of a journey, while short range radio will mean enforcement personnel can check a signal from the roadside while the vehicle is moving. These are being introduced in a bid to avoid manipulation of tachograph data. This change into effect on June 15, 2019.  

We heard at the FTA Conference that Brexit won’t make any difference to the rules around Smart Tachographs; they’ll be arriving regardless of how Brexit pans out, so operators need to be ready.  

There is no retrofit required to existing vehicles, but all new registered vehicles will need to include them. An important point to stress is that drivers won’t see any difference. The menu interface, card handling, and card login will be similar. The important part for fleets is that they must tell drivers if a smart tachograph is in use as drivers need to give consent for GDPR reasons. However, there is no driver data submitted through smart tachographs.  

Other topics covered on the day included other major issues facing transportation organisations today like tyre safety, urban restrictions, emissions, managing maintenance providers. There was even a mock trial at a public inquiry conducted by Nick Denton, Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands. Featuring a driver who went above his hours, it examined his reason and handed over judgement, in the same way a real trial would occur. 

We would certainly recommend a visit to the next FTA Transport Conference and we look forward to the next one for a deep-dive into the major issues the industry is facing.  

Read more about ORBCOMM’s Tachograph Management Solution here.

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

Industrial IoT: 6 Things to Look for in a Technology Partner

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IoT and M2M solution webinarThe world of the Internet of Things (IoT) knows no bounds. In fact, according to McKinsey, by 2025, IoT will have a potential total economic impact of as much as $11.1 trillion per year globally! We’ve seen consumer IoT technology get a lot of press, but in reality, more than two thirds of the business value of IoT will be in B2B applications. IoT will be the biggest source of value of all disruptive technologies, ahead of mobile internet, knowledge-work automation, cloud computing, and advanced robotics.

There are many markets where the industrial IoT has already made an impact. Here are five examples:


The transportation market is incredibly diverse across the globe. Each market has specific requirements of how they need to track, control, and protect fleets whether across the road, over the rails, or on the sea.

Natural Resources

As the way we produce and consume energy continues to evolve, the need for smart solutions for the energy industry that remotely monitor, manage, and control this critical infrastructure continues to increase.

Heavy Equipment

With machines that can cost over $1M, leasing and construction companies need effectively manage heavy equipment to increase efficiency, lower operational costs and increase equipment life.


Combining the need for safety in the open ocean and for government regulation of the fishing industry, there is increasing demand for custom solutions for the maritime market.


There is significant growth in smart agriculture where farmers and agribusiness seek to maximize their productivity, increase sustainability, all while controlling costs.
Connecting with the IoT
To take advantage of this huge opportunity presented by the industrial IoT, it is critical to have the right technology partner.

Here are 6 things to look for in an industrial IoT partner:

IoT support1. Customer Care (with Real Live People!)

Technology is great, but sometimes you just need to speak to someone to find out where your order is, answer a specific technical question, help debug an app, or just bounce ideas around. A comprehensive customer care infrastructure is critical. This should include a support portal that gives you access to administrative information, training, documentation and software and utilities for testing and troubleshooting your application.  Multi-tiered support services should be part of the mix with tier 1 support providing a reliable first point of contact. Tier 1 should include support for orders and billing, provisioning and commissioning, and basic trouble shooting. Tier 2 should provide more detailed technical services like terminal and application software support and backend development support. For complex technical challenges, a tier 3 team should be available to put you in touch with corporate engineering and development resources to resolve difficult problems.

IoT development kit2. Easy Onboarding

Partners should have an easy to order IoT development kit that includes all the hardware and software you need to develop a solution. The kit should include things like a development terminal, an I/O development board, software tools, airtime and a quick start guide.

A good development kit really speeds up your onboarding and quickly gets you productive.

IoT tools3. Tools and Apps that Minimize Programming Complexity

Programming IoT devices and terminals can be complex and time consuming. Look for partners that provide modifiable canned apps, that you can use to bring your hardware from programmable to configurable.

These apps are really the building blocks of your industrial IoT solution and should include things like a fleet management app, an interface to SCADA equipment app, and apps that help you integrate with prevalent third parties like Garmin.

IoT services4. Expert Professional Services

Professional Services are critical to the success of any partnership. Partners should be able to assist with things like documenting customer requirements, to doing high-level design right and coding the complete application.

This gives solution providers the flexibility to increase speed to market or easily augment internal skill sets.

IoT hardware5. Versatile, Rugged, Programmable Hardware Options

Hardware provides one of the foundations for any industrial IoT solution. A good partner should have a family of programmable IoT devices, terminals and modems that include options like battery backup and solar power.

This level of choice gives solution provides the flexibility to meet different customer needs.

IoT connectivity6. Multi-Network IoT Connectivity Options

Every solution needs to have IoT connectivity between an asset and the backend software. Partners should be able to provide flexible connectivity choices including satellite and cellular. Connectivity should be available in all geographic regions that the solution provider plans to do business.

Chat with usDid we miss any? Let us know in the comments below. Looking for the perfect industrial IoT partner? Contact us online, email of chat with us live.

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , , ,

Oil and Gas Fleet Safety: Is It Time to Stop Simply Checking the Box?

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deploying fleet safetyAnyone who spends time in the oilfield will see that with the upswing in business comes an increase in fatalities. It looks like this year is on track to set new records in oilfield driving fatalities. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t lie.  

Over the past year, oil and gas fleets have seen a dramatic increase in oilfield fatalities. If we focus on one particular area as an example, in the 22 Permian Area Counties (including two in New Mexico), there were 154 driving related deaths in 2017. In 2018 for the same region, the figure is already at 225. That’s a 46% increase at a time when the industry should be actively working to bring this number down.  

While oil and gas employees would agree that oilfield driving comes with some risks, reports show that 90% of these crashes can be attributed to driver behavior. The time has come to ask the question: Is it time to stop simply checking the box?  

Drivers on the Oilfield at Risk 

According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization, 823 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job between 2003 and 2010. The fatality rate is seven times greater than the average rate for all US industries. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the oil and gas industry with four of every 10 workers killed in a highway vehicle accident, according to OSHA. The problem has escalated in recent times as fleets look to “tick” the compliance box for ELDs, without looking beyond that. As the focus narrows on the administration of compliance, are we forgetting about the practical safety issues day-to-day.

Fatigue is an ongoing challenge within the oil and gas fleet safety industry and it’s never been more important as the driver shortage continues. Oil and gas driving is known for its risks and challenges. Drivers may think they can go without the required rest and just plow ahead. This is where driver training is key. Regular driver training, coaching and mentoring reinforces best practices for oilfield driving and continues to perpetuate a culture of safety in the minds of drivers. The National Institute for Safety and Health (NIOSH) has also published its guidelines for oil and gas employers on preventing fatigued driving at work.  

How Can we Address thOil & Gas Fleet Safety Problem?  

Fleets can work on these issues by addressing more than simply ticking the compliance box. A strong fleet safety program benefits fleets of all sizes, particularly in oil and gas. A written plan can help guide drivers to the best safe practices for their roles. Fostering a culture of safety can help organizations become proactive in their approach instead of waiting for disaster to strike.  

Fleets can also leverage technology to offer in-vehicle training for drivers to ensure they are implementing best practices when operating a vehicle. Complete Energy Services, an ORBCOMM customer, worked hard to increase its safety practices through training. They have significantly increased their safety by reducing speeding events by 49% and increasing seat belt compliance by 59%.  

“Knowing that the majority of our workday consists of being exposed to the highest risk documented in any US industry, motor vehicle travel, we have implemented a complex Safety Management System and training programs to give our team the best opportunity to achieve success,” explains Scott Mercer, Safety Director at Complete Energy. “One component of the SMS is the in-cab coaching. From classroom training to real-time coaching, these are two key components necessary for our team to achieve Target Zero.”

fleet safety with ivmsHow can ORBCOMM help? 

By delivering real-time verbal alerts, ORBCOMM’s oil and gas fleet safety solution helps drivers be proactive with their safety in the field, without any infraction. They can learn best practices for oilfield driving to help them become safer and better drivers.  

ORBCOMM’s solution automatically detects behavior that can compromise fleet safety, such as speeding, harsh accelerating and harsh braking. The driver receives a verbal alert to self-correct before things escalate. The results speak for themselves:  

  • 90% reduction in crashes
  • 89% reduction in aggressive driving 
  • 86% reduction in speeding and increased safety rates across the entire fleet.  

fleet safety simplified

For more on oil and gas fleet safety, schedule a demo or chat with us online anytime. 


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Posted in 1. Transportation, 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities Tagged with: ,

Trip-Based Telematics Adds New Possibilities to Reefer Container Management

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container fleet tracking webinarWhen Maersk deployed their Remote Container Management (RCM) initiative in 2016 by outfitting all 270,000 of its refrigerated containers with ORBCOMM telematics devices, it set off a chain of events that would begin the transformation of the entire reefer shipping market landscape.

At the time, Maersk Line CCO Vincent Clerc hailed smart containers as a ‘game-changer’. Containers that were formerly dumb, dark and disconnected had become visible, smart and connected. It was such a revolution, that in the first six months of 2017 alone, Maersk’s RCM system alerted the company to more than 4,500 incorrect temperature settings on customers’ reefers amounting to millions of dollars saved on refrigerated cargo that may have otherwise spoiled.

Maersk remote container management

Maersk has equipped 270,000+ refrigerated containers with ORBCOMM telematics devices, as well as outfitting its 400+ vessels with GSM capability to monitor reefer cargo and containers.

The industry has since continued its upward trend toward greater connectivity and IoT technology is fast evolving to accommodate the growing demands and challenges of the container supply chain. Transport assets that were previously ‘invisible’ as they moved cargo along complex supply chains are now being outfitted with increasingly sophisticated IoT devices, making it possible for companies to seamlessly connect business processes, such as shipping and receiving with people, data and things – pallets, containers, trailers, warehouses, distribution centers, terminals and yards – to run supply chain networks at higher efficiency.

Despite all these advancements, breakdowns in the supply chain are still having a significant impact on profitability. According to Clerc, more than 59% of claims stem from “malfunctioning reefer units, poor supplier handling of off-power periods and wrong temperature set points” – all issues that can be “partially avoided or mitigated proactively with live data” from refrigerated transport assets fitted with IoT telematics.

Trip-based telematics helps answer a market need

In the case of Maersk, installation of its remote container management system and devices shows how one major carrier responded to technological advances in GSM, satellite tracking and the IoT. But what about other types of shippers interested in trip-based telematics?

Trip-based telematics refers to the leasing of tracking units affixed to containers on a cost per-trip basis. Temporary, reusable asset tracking solutions allow trip-based monitoring of high-value cargo or third-party assets where permanent device installation isn’t viable.

According to Michael Dempsey, ORBCOMM’s Vice President of Container and Port Solutions, “There is a nexus of a whole bunch of forces coming together and increasing demand for low-cost, per-trip-basis coverage; rather than having to permanently fix an RCM unit on each container.”

ORBCOMM answered the call at Intermodal Europe 2018 with the announcement of its new CT 3000 Series of devices—the next-generation in remote container management across road, rail and sea. There are two devices. The first is the CT 3000 for permanent installations. The second is the CT 3100 for temporary installations used to monitor assets while on a trip, a vessel or at a terminal. Both combine with sensors and applications to help turn containers into smart, visible assets that consistently deliver critical information to help drive more efficient and profitable operations.

container tracking devices - CT 300 series

The new CT 3000 Series was also featured in a recent article published in The Loadstar’s Coolstar online editorial.

Schedule a demo or contact us to learn more about what ORBCOMM remote container management and trip-based telematics can do for you. Chat with us

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , ,

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