Hastings Deering has created a platform to extract critical data from its machinery, to improve availability and productivity. Ross Meyer, Manager Hastings Deering, explains how this works on road construction projects.
In 2017 the Economist published an article titled “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. The article states some of the most valuable listed firms in the world are digital giants with many free services, requiring only an exchange of data.
The smart use of data is constantly growing, and it’s becoming easier for the average person to understand and interpret. Most of us for instance, rely on the data our phone collects to understand how long it’s going to take us to walk to a certain destination, or what the traffic looks like driving into work.
The same concept applies to machinery and the technology embedded within it. As a machine is working on a major highway project, its operating system is gathering mass amounts of data. Whether that be on fuel usage, the machine’s location, the distance its travelled and so much more the data collected simply depends on the application.
In recognising the benefits this data can have for project operations and machine handling, the exclusive Cat dealer for Queensland & the Northern Territory, Hastings Deering has created a platform to measure and present machine information.
HDAdvantage is the availability and productivity program created by Hastings Deering to maximise the reliability of Cat machines through proactive engagement.
Ross Meyer, Manager at Hastings Deering explains how HDAdvantage gathers an array of data from each machine and analyses it to identify concerns and recommend solutions to customers when it comes to servicing or fault events.
“Our trained Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Condition Monitoring Analysts are assigned to HDAdvantage users, and they have expansive use of Cat monitoring systems and algorithms to analyse the data and provide definitive recommendations to the users, to keep machines available,” Meyer says.
The Hastings Deering team of analysts will proactively monitor machine health to ensure it is running at optimal performance and can remain reliable.
Information provided through HDAdvantage can be tailored to each company and machine.
“For example, some users like our monitoring analysts to get in contact only when there is an issue, but some like more regular content, updates and long-term planning. When a user has a particular project, they might want to focus on that specific site, section or a single machine and we can provide further information for that as well,” Meyer says.
“This means when running a road project, the team are informed of the reliability of each Cat machine. When you have definitive hours of work, the last thing you want is to have a machine go down for a preventable problem.”
Through HDAdvantage the trained OEM Condition Monitoring Analysts can advise maintenance crews of trends in the health machines, to try and avoid machine failure.
“If there was an issue with a machine, we would notify them. Whether it’s an immediate severe requirement or a long or short term consideration, they are advised on steps to ensure that machine is running at perfection,” Meyer says.
“In terms of a job, before the works start the team is given a full scan of the machines to make sure they are ready for work. They can also contact us to do a remote analysis to make sure they haven’t missed anything.”
Hastings Deering’s analysts can also facilitate replacement parts and machinery repairs when such work is flagged by the data and recommended.
Customers also have access to their own account dashboards online, which will present machine data such as average daily utilisations, urgent alerts, fuel usage, fuel burn, location mapping and more. This can all be presented in machine-specific dashboards or fleet overviews.
“This gives the users immediate access to machine intelligence to see fuel usage across their machines and the location of where those machines are operating. Insights like this can be a significant help when making business decisions,” Meyer says.
As of December 2020, there are almost 3,000 users of the HDAdvantage platform as is standard on all new Construction Cat Machinery. Most of the connected machines have a cellular connection. In some remote locations, customers may need additional receivers or satellite.
HDAdvantage is also continuously evolving to provide more business solutions for its customers. Meyer says Hastings Deering is looking to work with users to expand the platform to provide productivity insights.
“For road construction, we are looking into specific machinery, like pavers and how we can optimise the way those machines perform in the field, for example; work and idle hour ratios, payloads and distribution, tonnes or cubic metres moved and cycle times” he says.
“Event codes are operator-induced, and we also see demand in that area as safety becomes paramount on-site, for the safe operation of a machine. So, if a machine is being used in an unsafe way, the company can make the operator aware and increase training or knowledge to reduce those practices.”
Hastings Deering works closely with the users of HDAdvantage to provide further benefits from the platform.
“HDAdvantage is about providing a simple portal where users can access the information around the clock but also have a trained analyst to review the data and provide solutions. That’s the advantage of when you buy a machine from Hastings Deering,” Meyer says.
“The exciting aspect going forward is looking at how to enhance this program for segment-specific requirements and finding out what unique solutions they need from the program not just in reliability but also productivity and site compliance. That is the journey we are on now.”