Telematic technology for construction equipment gaining popularity, survey shows

A recent study on the use of telematic technology in construction equipment found that three out of four equipment manufacturers in North America offer products and services with the technology to their customers. Telematics, the wireless communication that has been used for years in automobiles, is a two-way communication system between vehicles or equipment and their external environment. The technology enables equipment tracking, positioning and online navigation.

According to Jim Wejman, associate partner in Industrial Equipment Practice for Accenture, new innovations in telematic technology allow users to measure the machine performance via sensors in the engine.

“Through telematics, dealers and manufacturers can have better insight into the performance of the machine,” Wejman said. “Dealers can contact a contractor and update him on any maintenance that is needed. Without having the equipment in reach, manufacturers can analyze the data from the engine and make engineering changes on the design of the equipment.”

Results from the study found that manufacturers anticipated extra benefits from telematic technology, including increased parts and services revenue and better customer relations. Predictive maintenance was indicated as the area with the highest interest for adopting equipment telematics.

In the survey, results showed that equipment users expected 20 to 30 percent of new equipment to include the technology in the next three years. That percentage decreased to 15 to 20 percent in the dealers’ responses. According to Wejman, the cost of the technology is coming down and the value to manufacturers and dealers is increasing, which will affect widespread use of the technology.

The study, funded by Accenture, was part of a telephone survey where 54 construction executives answered questions about the technology. The respondents varied across four industry segments, including equipment manufacturers, equipment dealers, equipment rental companies and construction companies.

While the results revealed expected benefits from telematics, they also included challenges the technology faces. A few adversities the field faces include better-educating sales personnel on the technology, adapting product maintenance to the technology’s detailed performance information and streamlining standards so the devices can be compatible to machines, regardless of make or model.

To find out more about results from the Accenture study, click on the link to the right.