The company Cifa records, analyzes, and transmits data from its concrete pumps via teleservice systems by Optimeas.
Cifa, manufacturer of concrete machinery, equips its truck-mounted concrete pumps with a concrete pump management system called Smartronic. On machines equipped with Smartronic, a remote diagnostics system or teleservice system can be installed. The current prototypes of the teleservice system are based on the Smart-Devices by Optimeas, specialists for web-based monitoring applications.
“In the concreting business, where end-customers pay per conveyed cubic meter of concrete, high availability is key for our customers,” explained Martin Worch, Head of R&D of Zoomlion Cifa Germany. With the assistance of data collected from the CAN network on the pump, which can be pre-analyzed on request, and are transmitted online: “We achieve a significantly faster and more accurate service coverage.” Due to the relatively low number of concrete pumps – in Germany the total market is about 100 units per year – a comprehensive service network, which are usual for cars, is uneconomical. Long distance call outs are therefore not unusual.
Due to the precise remote diagnosis, the service technician is often able to guide the operators through service procedures via phone. Alternatively, the service technician can access the control system directly. In future, there will be the possibility of updating the control system software “over the air”. If a visit to the machine is necessary, service technicians knows exactly what to expect and which spare parts they require. The truck-mounted concrete pump is ready for use faster and the costs are kept down meaning the operating efficiency increases significantly.
Not only does the customer profit, but so does the development process for concrete pump technology. Martin Worch continued, “Manufacturers are constantly striving to make the machines longer and lighter. To be able to realize such a development goal, we need to know the occurring loads and load collectives as accurately as possible.” The Smart-Logger by Optimeas collects and transmits these data as well.
The term ‘logger’ is no longer completely accurate as the devices are much more advanced than pure data collectors. Inside the Smart-Device is a fully-fledged computer, which provides all routines necessary for data analysis and data reduction. “Therefore we can implement customer specific requirements extremely fast,” elaborated Optimeas CEO Burkhard Schranz. For the Cifa application, the first running prototype was delivered only a couple of weeks after project start.
The devices are equipped with large data storage units. This allows data collection over a long period of time without any connection to the outside world, e.g. in tunnel construction sites. The robust devices, which fit in any control cabinet, can communicate with the outside world via all available communication channels. The modular design facilitates adaption to actual requirements. Schranz added, “We also obtain trends, which offer the possibility of pre-emptive service. Inspections and parts changes can be scheduled for idle periods, even an oil ageing analysis will be possible.”
In future, services can be offered to concrete pumping companies which provide individualized information for business processes, such as delivery planning, documentation of volume, time and type of concrete delivered, accounting or capacity utilization of the fleet. “Due to the modular design and the highly sophisticated cloud platform, we are in a position to fulfill virtually every wish” agreed Worch and Schranz.
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