Construction Equipment Asia

Indian mine maximizes productivity with Volvo CareTrack telematics system

Contractor SS Chhatwal and Co. uses CareTrack to gain insights and data on the eight Volvo excavators working at the Gondegaon coal mine in India. Through CareTrack, the company has reduced machine idle time and downtime from repairs or breakdowns.

India is the world’s third-largest producer of electricity. Even then, 304 million Indians still do not have access to electricity, according to the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)’s Three-Year Action Agenda (2017 to 2019). 

In the government’s bid to bring electricity to every village and household, coal-powered plants, which already provide close to three quarters of all India’s energy needs, will continue to play a vital role. To fuel demand, increasing domestic coal production is vital, the NITI Aayog document added. 

“The Gondegaon mine has 29 million tonnes in coal reserves. Over the next four-and-a-half years, we’ll be on site extracting coal to support India’s growing energy demands,” said Divjot Chhatwal, head of operations for SS Chhatwal and Co. 

Operating an average of 20 hours per day, seven days a week, SS Chhatwal manages the eight excavators using Volvo’s CareTrack telematics system. The company’s fleet of Volvo excavators includes three EC480, two EC460, and an EC380. The excavators are mainly deployed to remove overburden and help with some coal excavation. 

“We subscribed to CareTrack because it provides us with an all-round understanding of our Volvo machines,” Chhatwal said. “CareTrack makes it simple for us to track performance indicators such as fuel consumption and idle time.” 

Under the CareTrack telematics system, SS Chhatwal also subscribed to Efficient Operation Services (EOS) and Proactive Machine Monitoring (PMM) — both services that provide actionable insights for finetuning machine performance and preventing breakdowns. 

CareTrack subscription is free of charge for the first three years of a Volvo machine’s lifetime. EOS and PMM are add-on tools that cost a combined €30 (INR 3150) per machine per month. 

EOS provides reports detailing machine fuel consumption, hours worked, idle time and carbon dioxide emissions. 

With PMM, machines send automatic alerts to a Volvo service center when it experiences an issue. The Volvo service center then contacts the local dealer to follow up with the customer. The dealer will either act immediately or schedule repairs for the next service appointment, depending on the severity of the issue. Remote diagnosis provides technicians insights to the problem before arriving. 

SS Chhatwal purchased the eight Volvo excavators and subscribed to the CareTrack telematics service for four of the units through local Volvo dealer Svenska Technology. Besides the Volvo excavators, there are 46 other machines operating at the Gondegaon mine. They include 40 tipper trucks, three bulldozers, two motor graders, and a drill machine. Coal from the site is expected to supply power plants around the country. 

“We chose Volvo machines because not only do they offer excellent performance, but they are also backed up by these value-added services and reliable aftermarket support offered through Svenska Technology,” said Chhatwal. “We are confident that these Volvo excavators will remain reliable throughout the 4.5-year mining project and help us maximize productivity while at it.”