maximatecc, the company formed through the merger of CrossControl, Maxima Technologies and Turotest, now extends its software platform from equipment to the smartphone.
For remote condition monitoring, diagnostics and related aftermarket services, vehicle OEMs have historically equipped equipment with a GSM/GPRS device to achieve wireless connectivity. There is a cost for this device hardware, as well as a cost and complexity of managing telecommunications subscriptions. Such a priori decisions and lock-in with tele-operators may no longer be necessary, since the machine operator carries the key to more flexible connectivity in his pocket. With an app, more diagnostics data can be transferred, and more frequently, and to a lower cost.
Clearly, for the repairman who occasionally has to visit the equipment in the field, there is no need for many of todays’ specialized and expensive diagnostics equipment. A tablet PC or surf pad with an app connecting to the diagnostics in the equipment will do the job.
There are some obvious features to expect of an app. The operator would be able to lock and unlock the cabin and other access points to the equipment, monitor the fuel level and battery charge, and remotely control the cabin climate and engine heating. More advanced features include streaming of video from on-board cameras, as well as video documentation when someone triggers the theft alarm. As sensors and on-board intelligence increase in the equipment the smartphone app can offer the same information that the operator has access to in the cab.
The equipment fleet owner wants to keep track of all kind of work-related data, from generic data like fuel usage, position, equipment utilization to specific information for the application like weight of handled material, video documentation, geographical operating routes, etc., and assign work orders to operators optimally. Today, fleet management solutions are expensive and complex, and depend on specialized electronics based on the locked-in connectivity as outlined earlier. If viewing the operator’s smartphone as the connectivity hub, part of these costs and complexity can be removed, allowing the developers of fleet management solutions to focus on the needs of the fleet owner rather than on the thick technology and connectivity layer. The cost of equipping each operator with the needed connectivity in the form of a smartphone and a subscription is almost negligible.
With the maximatecc Software Application Platform now extending into the smartphone world and seamlessly communicating with the software in the maximatecc electronics on the equipment, all stakeholders benefit from the new technology: the operator, the equipment fleet owner, and the equipment OEM with dealers and service organization. And all are – each in their own way – connected to, and in full control of the equipment.