The term Asset Management refers to the ability to track the location and operation parameters of transportation equipment or plant machinery utilizing technology. It could be a stationary plant like a diesel engine driven generator set, mobile material handling equipment such as a forklift or a truck used for transportation.
The underlying technology is the use of the GPS antenna for location information and installation of appropriate sensors that communicate the information to the gateway installed on the asset. The gateway acts as the communication link between the field and the cloud. All the information from the asset is transferred to the cloud using cellular communication technology in the case of mobile equipment. In the case of stationary plants, the gateway to cloud communication could be achieved through the LAN. Once the information is in the cloud it is accessible through desktop PC or mobile device Applications for monitoring, report generation.
There are several advantages to the use of this technology for the user. The ability to keep track of the movements and monitor the location of assets is in itself a big advantage. It helps in improving operational efficiency, service quality level by cutting down waiting times, unauthorized route changes and stoppages. From a safety perspective, this system helps to monitor operator driving characteristics viz., excessive acceleration, hard braking, use of seat belts, adherence to speed limits, etc., Besides the system generates information on the operating hours, odometer readings which aid in planning and scheduling maintenance work. Besides, the information could serve as presentable proof of performance in case of disputes regarding service quality with clients.
Every industry employs assets for different purposes such as transporting personnel and goods, deploys equipment for mining materials and generator sets for power generation. Therefore this technology is beneficial and applicable to almost all types of industries. And deploying it does not need the employment of personnel with a very high level of specialization nor does it require high-level maintenance effort.
Several organizations around the world offer asset tracking solutions that include the hardware devices, the platform, the App and the support services. Sierra Wireless is one such that offers reliable devices, networks, expertise and an IoT platform that enterprises can integrate to create a comprehensive asset tracking solution. FleetManagement is an alternate offering by Orbcomm for different types of fleet equipment. Particularly their Trailer Tracking solution is quite unique and worth mentioning considering the solar-powered system with a battery back-up that can function even in remote locations.
We would like to have your feedback and comments about other organizations that offer similar solutions and your experiences