M2M Now: It’s fast becoming clear that huge commercial value can now start to be extracted from the thousands of connected devices proliferating around the world. How is HCM exploiting this new asset and what’s going to be your future direction in this area?
Fujio Matsuda: At the most basic level, there are essentially two types of data that we receive from the M2M modules and machinery. On one hand, we use data logging principles to collect information on components, usage, and the whole operating environment and this is regularly communicated back via Telenor Connexion and then to our own management systems. On top of this, we’re also able to collect alarm information when particular conditions – such as a component overheating or oil pressures falling dangerously low – and alert the operator and our local distributors accordingly to prevent serious damage and get repair teams on the road as quickly as possible.
The data we collect has an almost infinite multiplicity of possible uses – but all are ultimately focused on helping HCM make better, more reliable and more cost-effective products. We can quickly learn lessons about typical usage profiles amongst our many different types of customers and develop commercial relationships that suit their needs more elegantly andefficiently, helping them achieve their own business ambitions. Alternatively, information is fed back into our own design and manufacturing processes to make our products an even better fit for the different worlds that they’re going to end up operating in.
In terms of future plans, we’re also starting to look at the possible benefits of collecting some data in real time to develop a more dynamic and flexible response for our customers. We’re sharing information about machine performance with major customers and our all-important dealer network who often provide the front line support for customers out in the field. In more remote areas, the logistics and costs involved in getting maintenance teams to sites can be large and when an engineer arrives it’s vital that they have the tools, parts and skills already with them to resolve the precise problem. This sharing of information is beneficial to everyone, helping to prioritise decision making where maintenance scheduling is concerned and, once again, strengthening the bonds between HCM, our dealers and our end customers.
One final aspect enhances that support even further by helping owners and operators protect their own investments in our products. With the theft of heavy plant being a major issue these days, with equipment often being stolen for export to customers in developing countries, not only are we able to track the movement of assets through GPS technology, but we can also ‘kill’ equipment remotely, rendering it useless until the intervention of an HCM-approved engineer.
You can find more information regarding Telenor Connexion´s IoT offerings here.