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Sensitive sensors for steel giants

Rosenberger Telematics - Telematics keeps an eye on LogServ's large machines.

Tyre repair took up a quarter of the maintenance costs / Fine sensor technology helps to early detection of maintenance requirements.

Huge machines with massive power, such as those used by Logistik Service GmbH in its vehicle fleet, often particularly inspire the male sex and were already in childhood a dream. A nightmare, on the other hand, can be the maintenance of these machines, which of course are unequally more expensive and time-consuming than it is the case with normal fleets of trucks. In order to better analyze the LogServ's special fleet and to be able to recognize possible maintenance requirements early, it was decided to install a telematics system which keeps "eyes and ears" open at all times.

Österreichische Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ) was founded in 2001 as a subsidiary of voestalpine Stahl GmbH and employs 850 people.

LogServ manages the internal logistics at the voestalpine site in Linz and operates a fleet of vehicles for land, road, rails and water. In total, the company owns over 2,000 vehicles. Beginning with normal passenger cars over forklifts up to two bowboats the LogServ fleet is highly diverse. The largest machines in it have now become part of a new project in the company.

The shadow side of the steel giants

However, the vehicle fleet is not only visually and functionally impressive, its maintenance is also extremely cost-intensive. This is particularly the case with the largest machines.
And tuhus the company was looking for solutions to counteract this. In the interview Markus Jaksch, Head of investment planning and technology development at LogServ, tells us about the project "Condition Monitoring". There has already been a technology partner in this area, but the development never went beyond theory and it was decided to find a new partner.

Fresh solutions for old problems
The first talks were therefore held in 2011 - also with Rosenberger Telematics GmbH.
The phase of defining the exact requirements was particularly intensive, and the company
was looking for appropriate solutions. From the beginning it was clear that common fleet
sensors would not be sufficient in this case. "The tyres in particular had to be better
monitored. Until now, they had caused up to a quarter of the complete maintenance costs.


Start of the extensive installations
In 2013, the developments were in a state in which the installation of the telematics systems,

including sensors, could begin and gradually, for example, slag and slab
transporters, special tractors, special semi-trailers and track excavators were equipped
with the solution. The installation went so well that Rosenberger Telematics only had to
make the first installations and LogServ took over this work itself after a short time.
The calibration of the sensors was also the responsibility of the user. "Here we had to
collect and compare new practice data. This is a work that we had to address ourselves in
LogServ”, explains Markus Jaksch.

Of the advantage of not being a group
The settings and installation of the Rosenberger Telematics solution are so easy to do
yourself, which is an indication of the system's user-friendliness. But even if questions
arise or errors are reported, the handling is uncomplicated: "Rosenberger Telematics is
luckily not a huge group, so you basically enjoy a very personal and fast support. At
Rosenberger Telematics, we have a permanent contact person, who can also be reached
at any time," praises Jaksch.


The matter with the expensive tires
How does the system actually work? The solution running under the name "Condition
Monitoring" has several functions. Thus, the new system automatically records the
operating hours. "These values alone can be used to calculate a regular maintenance",
Jaksch explains. Of course, the vehicles' position is determined so that the current position
can be viewed at any time. And from now on it goes into detail. The system registers starts
and deceleration as well as potholes in the service road and also monitors, for example,
the tire pressure per individual tire in real time. On the basis of all these data, which are
evaluated directly in the head office, an early recognition of the need for repair is made
possible. The specially developed Rosenberger Telematics "Crash Sensors", for example,
send a notification via SMS when crossing said potholes to immediately gain knowledge of
critical situations and to be able to examine them.

 

Expansion of the system in the vehicle fleet
Approximately 50 vehicles are currently equipped with the Rosenberger Telematics solution and LogServ is already playing with the idea of expanding its deployment. Thus in the future, probably 130 heavy-duty trailers and pallets will be equipped with the solution to also be able to receive clear information at all times. The same applies to the locomotives of the fleet and which will perhaps be kept in sight in the future possibly also with telematics. There was only one function of the system, which is not pursued further: "Rosenberger Telematics offers also tank monitoring, but this is relatively complex for our very special machines in terms of the implementation. But since fuel theft is not an issue with these vehicles either, we decided together that we will not pursue this any further in the future," says Markus Jaksch.