Komatsu has released a new version of its KOMTRAX remote monitoring system.
It is easier to use and more interactive for customers, allowing increased customisation, and collecting even more data from the latest Komatsu machines.
KOMTRAX uses satellite-based Information Communication Technology (ICT) to provide constant monitoring of every machine, including operational conditions and status to help increase machine safety, productivity, uptime and availability and reduce customers' costs per tonne and per hour.
An important element of this new version of KOMTRAX is the new website interface compatible with smartphones, tablets and computers that ensures users have access to information faster, and in a more easily understandable format.
KOMTRAX was rolled out in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia in September 2008, and earlier last year reached a milestone of 10,000 Komatsu machines covered by the system. By late 2017, more than 11,000 Komatsu machines were covered by KOMTRAX.
According to Todd Connolly, Komatsu's General Manager - Construction Solutions, this version of KOMTRAX is the latest development aimed at keeping the company at the forefront of implementing technology that better serves customers' needs.
"At Komatsu, we are leading the industry into the future with our use, application and understanding of telemetry technology, and how it can help our customers reduce their machine operating costs, and increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability," he said.
"It represents a significant step forward in our Information Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities and how they interface with our customers in an easier to use and more user-friendly way."
Todd said this next evolution of KOMTRAX was far more interactive and user-friendly for customers.
"It now has much quicker navigation no matter what device you a using, whether a smartphone, tablet or computer," he said.
"We built this latest version with our customers in mind, so it's much easier for them to track and assess the performance of their machine.
"Everything is much easier to use, and all the data relating to each customer's machine or fleet is right at their fingertips.
"It's also a lot more interactive and 'intelligent' so you can get to the data you want."
Jacques Le Roux, Komatsu's National Manager - ICT & Fleet Management, said that in developing the new KOMTRAX, Komatsu had sought feedback from customers from around the world, as well as in this region.
"We really listened to customers to clearly understand their needs in terms of making KOMTRAX better and enhancing the user experience," he said.
"Customers have complete access to machine detail at a glance, more importantly they can view forecasted service requirements, and exclude machines accordingly from a project or jobsite while they are scheduled for periodic maintenance.
"We believe this will support customers significantly with jobsite management, because they will know exactly when machines are scheduled for a service, allowing them to better plan around that."
The new KOMTRAX maintains its ability to monitor operator efficiency, measuring parameters such as how long a machine spends idling, what working mode it's in and whether that mode is the most appropriate for a particular task.
"Although this has been a longstanding key feature of KOMTRAX, the information is now easier to access and interpret allowing follow up action to be taken faster," said Jacques.
"In addition, we are now getting more data coming out of Komatsu machines than ever before and this latest upgrade has been designed to make the best use of all this extra data and accompanying capabilities.
"For example, with our new Tier 4 emissions-compliant engines, there's a lot more data coming off the engines, particularly in terms of monitoring the emissions control systems and elements.
"That ensures customers can stay on top of their engine emissions and equipment fuel consumption, gives them a lot more control over how they manage their machines, and also provides them with peace of mind that these critical engine management systems are working to their optimum," he said.
"The benefits of the new KOMTRAX, combined with our support capabilities in skilled people and tools such as our ICT-centric INSITE Fleet Management Centre, means that KOMTRAX remains at the forefront of machine monitoring systems for industries we serve."
Locating and getting to a machine has also been greatly simplified, with a switch to Google Maps with the updated system, said Mary Jo O'Donovan, Komatsu's KOMTRAX Systems Co-ordinator.
"Users will find our move to Google Maps makes KOMTRAX a lot easier and more convenient to use; it renders faster, and you can get directions to a machine with just a single click," she said.
"Plus everyone uses Google Maps, so it's a very familiar location system."
The new KOMTRAX continues to offer its trademark machine security capabilities, Night Lock and Calendar Lock.
These unique, unrivalled services whereby a machine can be automatically locked down with its engine disabled outside of working hours or during extended periods of time prevents machines being switched on and driven away, thus allowing for better asset management.
Night Lock and Calendar Lock further maximises productivity by ensuring machines are in operation only when they should be.
"Having said that, our main emphasis with KOMTRAX has always been monitoring the health and performance of Komatsu machines, not their location," said Mary Jo.
"We can also go beyond the standard KOMTRAX reporting parameters, and provide additional reports to customers to suit their specific needs.
"These can include capabilities such as automated reports at particular times, or triggered by certain events, tailor-made for their own management requirements."
And, unique among earthmoving equipment OEMs offering remote monitoring capabilities, KOMTRAX remains as a complimentary service to Komatsu owners for the life of the machine including to subsequent owners.
"We have now been providing KOMTRAX to Komatsu owners in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia free of charge for the past five years and we remain the only OEM to offer this service for a machine's entire life," said Mary Jo.