As published in Heavy Equipment Guide magazine.
Because fire by nature is unpredictable, proactive companies choose to invest in fire suppression systems for their fleets of mobile heavy equipment. But at any given moment it is difficult to know if these systems in the field are fully functional, ready to protect your assets. Fortunately, that is about to change.
You can now have your fire suppression system’s status provided in real time on any computer, or on a smartphone for monitoring outside of the office.
At AFEX, we anticipated the opportunity to provide users with up-to-the-minute information about their fire suppression systems, an insight which led us to develop ours to interface with telematics. As a result, the same dispatch system used to monitor machine hours, downtime, and fuel economy can now also conveniently provide our customers with real time updates. Whether it is factory installed telematics, such as CAT® Product Link™, or a third party system used to unify mixed fleets, an AFEX fire suppression system can be tied in to provide vital information on its status. For example, if a system goes offline due to damage or tampering, alerts can be issued to key personnel instantaneously.
Once integrated, the dispatch system can notify the asset manager whenever a fire occurs without need of the operator’s involvement. The exact location of the machine at the time of the fire, the engine status and fire system response are all documented and subsequently relayed out within seconds as well. Additionally, if an operator manually activates the system, the event can be communicated and logged. In fact, when the system activates for any reason the manager and maintenance provider will know immediately. As an added benefit, connected fire systems can be configured for remote actuation. This feature in particular will become increasingly valuable as unmanned equipment becomes more popular.
With telematics, service providers can give regular maintenance alerts to operators, allowing for a more precise maintenance schedule and better service.
Knowing when and why maintenance needs to occur allows a fleet manager to manage resources more effectively. This is critical information when it comes to asset management, and with the help of telematics it can be provided at the same speed as today’s fast paced world of business. Providing accountability and a reliable event timeline also allows managers to properly evaluate the root cause and/or actions that led to the fire, as well as post-fire activity. And as anyone in the asset protection business knows, fast, pinpoint knowledge of a gap in protection can mean the difference between a few hours of maintenance and a total loss.
When maximizing productivity is the goal, equipment efficiency is the key.
As machines become more technologically advanced, AFEX continues to keep pace, capitalizing on the opportunity to increase the effectiveness of its fire suppression system’s communication capabilities. Our end users benefit since equipment service is done more promptly, which means the amount of time and money dedicated to upkeep is reduced. For more information, contact AFEX directly at 1-800-231-3436.