It wasn’t long ago telematics – the use of diagnostic, monitoring and GPS technologies to log, track and transmit machine data real-time to smartphones, tablets or desktops – was primarily only found on large-scale and highly priced construction equipment. However, some rental houses are increasingly realizing the benefits of telematics and viewing the technology as a necessity across their entire fleets, including small portable air compressors.
In 2017, Sullair began offering AirLinx® compressor remote monitoring as standard in its large portable air compressors: 900XHH/1150XH, 1550 OFD and 1600H. The remote monitoring system allows customers to record the parameters of the air compressor on the job site, in real time, and observe the performance of the machine through a simple and easy to read dashboard on their smartphone or computer. Telematics alert customers as to:
Fuel consumption and level
Compressor health monitoring
Real-time alerting (for faults)
As customers and fleet operators have increasingly grown accustomed to the features and benefits of telematics, there has been expanded interest in integrating the technology into small portable compressors, a feature Sullair will soon make optional on new small portable equipment.
Is telematics right for your small portable compressor fleet?
While the use of telematics provides many upsides, some users and rental houses may find it more beneficial than others. Five key questions and considerations to consider before incorporating telematics into your small portable compressor fleet include:
1. Is your fleet geographically disbursed?
Using telematics and GPS technology, fleet managers can track and locate their equipment at job sites around the globe, in the palm of their hand. Also, should equipment get stolen, telematics can also help fleet managers assist authorities in recovery efforts.
2. How close is the nearest service center?
In some areas of the United States, the nearest service center may be hours away. Should something go wrong, using telematics, the nearest service center can look on their smartphone or computer to better guide the user at the job site as to what the problem may be. In addition, it helps prepare the technician to know what tools they may need to bring to the job site.
3. Could it help attract talent and benefit your future workforce?
With any technology comes change, including training personnel. However, by 2020, nearly half – 46 percent – of all U.S. workers will be millennials. By adopting the technology, it may help attract a younger workforce and reduce the learning curve for new technicians, as millennials grew up using the technology.
4. Will it help you improve performance and cost savings?
Do you know how effectively your compressor is performing? Or do you know when the next service is due? If the compressor breaks down, the likelihood of a loss of production is high. Incorporating telematics into your small portable fleet may help with cost savings and reduced downtime.
If a fault occurs, a service report is generated instantaneously, generating and emailing users a detailed report. A service advisor can remotely troubleshoot the unit from a mobile phone before sending out a technician. This decreases downtime – a situation no business can afford.
5. Are you looking to maximize resale value?
Rental houses understand the importance of maintaining documentation and logs on equipment—particularly when looking to resell. Having well-documented maintenance and repair data – via the use of telematics – will likely increase the resale value of the equipment, as potential buyers can have confidence that the machine was well cared for. In addition, it will ease the burden on what used to be manual recordkeeping and equipment documentation by keeping all information in one spot, in the cloud—no paper needed.
Nav Sharma is a senior product manager, portables, at Sullair.