Geolocating Machinery Parts to Save Time

Rail Maintenance Services Pty Ltd (RMS) delivers industrial projects in a number of key industries including mining, metals, oil, gas, water, waste water, infrastructure, and power generation. For that purpose, they have an extensive fleet of earthmoving machinery and road-rail vehicles for all types of rail works, from maintenance and renewal activities to construction. They also have a comprehensive catalogue of specialised rail attachments which are very hard to locate in the field and often stay idle or simply get lost or forgotten.

RMS was already monitoring their powered machineries & vehicles with standard 3G trackers connected to the vehicles’ battery and getting geolocation data in realtime to a monitoring dashboard. So they were interested to see if it would make sense to track those side parts too.

These parts, even though highly valuable, are the typical pieces of equipment that are not tracked. Why? It is just too hard. Too hard to affix bulky GPS trackers, too hard to power, too costly,… , until now.

For those attachments, the solution was in fact quite simple using new technology: GPS tracker connecting wirelessly via low power consuming Sigfox LPWAN network are less costly, much less power consuming and way smaller. On top of that, this new breed of trackers still connect and send data to the same Bigmate IoT Platform. The data -including equipment location and level of utilisation- is only sent few times a day to reduce battery consumption. Sufficient info to determine where the attachments are sitting idle, ready to be retrieved/used or if they need to be serviced (in case of over usage).

For RMS, the benefits became obvious:

  • Find quickly any valuable asset on site, potentially lost otherwise.
  • Optimise the time spent by the team members to access a piece of equipment for a specific job.
  • An overall cost of implementation recovered within the first project.

George De Domenico from RMS, added few more benefits: “Implementing controls and measures to ensure expenditures are applied to correct vehicles, obtaining reports to assist with preventive maintenance strategy.  Ascertaining real time in vehicle positioning, ensuring safety of personnel and protect company capital expenditure.”

On the technical side, The IoT solution deployed included:

  • The device (Oyster GPS tracker), a simple rugged (IP67 casing) GPS tracker with 5 years battery life. The most complex task was to find a good solution to affix with heavy duty rivets the small rugged devices in the right location (to avoid damaging them) to hard metal pieces of equipment.
  • The platform: Bigmate IoT platform can easily geolocate all pieces in the field with 10 meters accuracy
  • The wireless IoT network by Sigfox was installed by Thinxtra on the required sites within a week notice.

About Rail Maintenance Services (RMS)
Started as Axiom Plant Hire in 1971, RMS is now one of the largest road-rail fleets in Australia and the preferred partner for companies involved in rail construction and maintenance operations. RMS has an extensive fleet of earthmoving machinery and road-rail (hi rail) vehicles for all types of rail works, from maintenance and renewal activities to construction. They also have a comprehensive catalogue of specialised rail attachments for hire.

About Bigmate
Part of the 2SG Technology Group, Bigmate was established with a vision to be one of the leading innovators in the global field of Internet of Assets (GPS monitoring and asset management technology). Today, with over 15 years’ experience in the field, they are one of the brightest australian telematics and Internet of Assets (IoA) solution providers, offering cutting-edge GPS monitoring and productivity solutions to a broad range of industries and markets.
Bigmate’s solution can unlock the assets’ voice and allow them to speak, revealing information than can help monitor assets, save on operational expenses and providing information that can assist in greater business understanding – thus enabling better business decisions to be made.

About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full ecosystem of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

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