“Brand agnostic” system takes real-time production data from loading and hauling machines
Quarries and large civil construction projects are always looking for opportunities to increase production, and reduce operating costs.
One way to do this is by quickly identifying issues and bottlenecks, or areas where there may be a need to divert resources.
A complete fleet management solution that focuses on five key areas: site management, production, machine health, maintenance, and safety for quarry operations and large civil construction projects is now available through Komatsu.
Its iSite Version 1.1 offering provides site and project management personnel at-a-glance production visualisation of any quarry or major civil construction site, giving a real-time animated overview of every movement of production machines – and the material they are extracting, shifting or placing.
Developed by Komatsu in Australia, iSite has been designed from the ground up as a “brand-agnostic” holistic visualisation solution that allows all levels of site management to have an ongoing real-time overview of every machine movement – and machine condition.
It uses cloud technology to allow users to monitor an entire site – or multiple sites – whether on premises or remotely.
And because iSite is a fully “OEM-agnostic” solution, it is able to work with multiple machine brands and models – so it’s not restricted to Komatsu-only fleets and operations.
According to Aaron Marsh, Komatsu’s National Product and Solutions Manager, iSite uses data provided by a site’s mobile equipment to give site management a complete view of all machines on a site –their payloads and production rates.
It predominantly applies to the following equipment types:
• Graders and dozers
Data from a machine’s standard equipment monitoring system – for example, Komtrax or Komtrax plus in the case of Komatsu equipment – is captured using a “plug in” onboard dashboard device that then transmits the data to a centralised cloud, giving complete site visualisation to the operator and management.
Data captured includes payload, payload opportunity and bucketload information, as well as operating parameters such as machine travel speed and fuel consumption, along with any potential machine health issues like overheating or excessive oil or fuel consumption.
Up to 50 machine operating parameters can be captured by the iSite dashboard device.
For machine brands that don’t have Komtrax-level monitoring capabilities, the iSite dashboard device can capture required data via a CANbus connection.
“All the data captured by iSite is centralised, so it can be viewed by all key site and management personnel – from operators through to site managers to senior management – through real time visualisation and reporting,” said Marsh.
In addition to being uploaded to the cloud, data can be shared between machines using peer-to-peer connected mesh network. This means that if a machine is in an area without connectivity, data shared on the mesh network is automatically uploaded when one of the mobile machines is back in range.
“This mesh network facility allows iSite to measure load and dump production on a constant 24/7 basis,” said Marsh.
“It includes automatic truck payload capture, automatic truck-to-loader pairing, and true vehicle ground speeds.
“In our current Version 1.1, iSite determines payload from the truck’s payload measuring system.
“In Version 1.2, due for release in 2022, it will integrate to payload systems fitted on loading tools, such as loaders and excavators, for instances where production trucks don’t have their own telematic payload measuring system,” he said.
“Material types can also be set up automatically – for example in stockpile operations – or selected and changed by operators as they move to different areas of the site.
“And so long as iSite is installed on both trucks and loading tools, and the trucks are fitted with payload measuring systems, loader production can be linked to each truck.”
According to Marsh, production visualisation is a major step forward in quarry and project management.
“iSite makes use of industry-leading dashboards, so easy access to real-time data is now a reality,” he said.
“This allows site supervisors and managers to make real-time decisions across all aspects of a quarry or project.”
“As a result, key stakeholders can see immediately at a glance just what’s happening across their site, and have the option of immediately diving deeper if they need to.
“This gives an unrivalled opportunity to increase production, and reduce operating costs, by quickly identifying issues and bottlenecks, or where there may be a need to divert resources.”
iSite Version 1.1 also provides integrated machine health and maintenance reporting across an entire fleet, no matter how many different brands it may include. Features of this include:
• Daily electronic prestart, linked to operator IDs, and including auto reporting functions
• Fault events linked to OEM controllers
• Fuel consumption on your fleet and individual machines
• Automatic SMRs (Service Meter Readings)
• Automatic machine utilisation measuring
• Idle analysis
• Access through the myKomatsu online customer parts portal for parts and service kits, as well as oil analysis kits and reports.
Marsh said iSite’s inclusion of operator prestart ensured that all machine prestarts are completed, with easy reporting and reviewing.
“Because it’s tied to operator ID, it ensures that prestarts are correctly carried out, every day,” he said.
“In addition, iSite prestart’s auto reporting capability – specific to each machine – alerts key site personnel by email and SMS if an unserviceable item is detected, allowing for immediate action on any shift – and it’s based on severity”
This reporting function also allows for auditing and maintenance review at any time.
iSite can also be a significant contributor to improved site and operator safety, Marsh said.
“For example, it can provide in-cab alerts to operators on overspeed and overload events.”
This information is also provided to site supervisors to help monitor and maintain site safety procedures.
“And if an incident occurs, iSite can replay all machine movements leading up to the incident, allowing site management to cycle back and review and audit events, and the potential causes leading up to it.”
“iSite has applications in any quarry site that uses more than two or three production units, as well as any fairly large civil construction project with significant production components,” said Marsh.
“It’s been specifically designed as a fleet management system for quarry operations and large civil construction projects where there’s a lot of production work going on – and it’s been developed in Australia to meet the needs of these industry sectors,” he said.
“We’ll be fully releasing iSite Version 1.1 in September 2021, ready for commercial applications in October. And we’ll be targeting every quarry operation – large or small – across Australia and New Zealand with this product.
“We believe it has the potential to make a huge contribution to any quarry’s bottom line, production rates and cost reductions.”
Once iSite has been rolled out in Australia and New Zealand, Komatsu will be looking to offer it to quarry operations around the world.
“Ultimately, we’ll be offering iSite as a package with Komatsu machines going into quarry and other production applications. It’ll be available as a selectable first-fit for new production machines, as well as an aftermarket option,” Marsh said.
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