Volvo Construction Equipment is launching three exciting new tools that – alone or in combination – can help to dramatically lower customers’ total cost of ownership.
As more and more machines are connected across the EMEA region, terabytes of data are racking up on servers. But what are customers actually doing with this data to improve the efficiency, productivity and profitability of their operations?
“Customers expect to gather data on their machines these days but it’s not always easy to make sense of it and use it in a meaningful way,” says Stefan Pettersson, application engineer at Volvo CE Sales Region EMEA. “At Volvo CE, we have come up with a range of tools that can help customers to use data to their advantage.”
First among these tools are the new Volvo Insight Reports. Fuel Efficiency Reports have been available since Bauma 2016 but the new Summary Reports and Health Reports – along with the Insight Reports portfolio name – were launched at Intermat in April this year. The reports remove the need for customers to interpret complex data themselves and can be compiled based on an individual machines or an entire fleet.
“If a report shows that a customer has a high idling or waiting time, then it’s immediately obvious that they don’t have the right machines or set up, which can waste a huge amount of money,” Pettersson says.
“Insight reports enable customers to see at a glance the actual payback they are getting from their fleet and provide a starting point for further analysis and tangible improvements, using Volvo SiteSim and or simulator-based operator training,” he continues.
Volvo launched an updated version of SiteSim in January this year with some impressive new features and benefits. Chief among them is the use of drones to input 3D photos of the customer’s site into the programme. The other main improvement is that the programme can now run several different jobs at the site in the same simulation. Previously it could only handle one at a time.
SiteSim calculates the optimum set-up for an entire site to give the lowest possible total cost of ownership. By inputting the type of material, distance from the loading to dumping points, and topography of the site, a Volvo consultant can recommend the ideal number and capacity of machines, as well as the optimum routes operators should drive, based on the tonnes per hour and the cost per tonnes. The programme can run simulations for up to a year of operation.
Site studies such as this are regularly carried out in the mining industry, but Volvo CE is unique in its ability to offer comprehensive simulations for small and medium-sized sites too.
“The fact that we can now input 3D images of a customer’s site into the programme and simulate multiple jobs is very exciting. We can demonstrate with confidence and accuracy what a few tweaks to the set-up of the site and machine fleet can make to their bottom line,” Pettersson enthuses.
Since 2018, Volvo CE is also able to input 3D images of a customer’s site into a machine simulator.
“It sounds like a fantasy thing but it’s real! Operators can practice the exact tasks and routes they will take on the jobsite so that they can finetune their skills and become more efficient in real life. It’s also a very cost-efficient way of training operators,” Pettersson says.
First launched in 2011, Volvo CE offers machine simulators for wheel loaders, articulated haulers and excavators and is the only supplier on the market to include high-reach demolition and pipelayer software. The simulators are designed to incorporate the same software and data used by Volvo CE’s Technology function for R&D purposes, making them as close to the real thing as possible. They are currently used at dealer and customer facilities all round the world. Volvo can even transport the simulators to offer training directly at a customers’ site, minimising the time taken out of operators’ working day.
“Through all of these tools, the customer is able to see where the money is going and know where to focus time and resources to fix issues and reduce cost. If a customer has 637 hours of idling time, for example, divided by 40 hours per week that equals 16 weeks. That’s a lot of production time to lose – and time is money!” Pettersson concludes.