Enhanced fleet management
Issue: 
To effectively operate a fleet management system that supports real time heavy vehicle reporting in isolated and environmentally demanding locations.
Solution: 

Install a robust wireless M2M device that provides an undisrupted 3G connection between remote vehicles and a central office from virtually any location.

Benefits:

  • Collect data from remote vehicles in real time over 3G
  • Expand fleet management systems into isolated locations
  • Withstand high temperatures and extreme environmental conditions
  • SMA connector to support extended wireless reach
  • Large project cost savings and improved efficiency
  • No fixed line requirements
  • Fast and simple setup
  • Vehicle data accessible from any location on virtually any enabled device

Macmahon (ASX: MAH) is a leading Australian construction and mining company with major projects throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Mongolia and Africa. For over 48 years, Macmahon has supported some of the world's largest resources companies with its remote location, logistics, infrastructure and resourcing expertise.

Macmahon runs an advanced fleet management system as part of its comprehensive range of specialised mining and construction services. The challenge was to optimise the efficiency of its loading and hauling resources while keeping project exponential expenses to a minimum by extending its fleet management system into remote and environmentally hostile locations using technology capable of providing real time asset tracking and reporting in virtually any location.

Justin Dean from Macmahons Mining approached NetComm Wireless for a robust 3G M2M router with the capacity to collect automatic heavy vehicle reports in the toughest of conditions.

"We have been using NetComm products through Telstra for several years now and have found them reliable and feature full to support the varied configurations we use at our remote mining and construction sites. Our latest deployment was the new model M2M series router which operates in extreme temperatures reaching 70˚for 18 hours a day, but is economically efficient because of its low bandwidth requirements," said Justin.

A key requirement was to create a reliable wide-area-network from an open field location with no cooling and zero ventilation inside a sealed case.

"The device has been installed in a remote field approximately 80kms away from the tower with no line of sight. It allows the fleet management system to collect reports from heavy vehicles as they pass on a road about 200m away from the AP location. Its inclusion of an SMA connector for an external Yagi antenna appealed to us; and it operates in tough environmental conditions in Northern WA, Pilbara back country where other similar products would be sure to suffer from heat and dust."

"It uses a standard Telstra Data SIM card to connect to the nearest Telstra 3G Mobile tower that is over the horizon, and has had 99% uptime. Importantly, it doesn't show any signs of wear and tear, so it has required no maintenance for the 3 months it has been in use."

For Macmahon, another requirement critical to achieving efficient remote communications is the ability to power the M2M device without the need for a transformer.

"The 3G M2M router has a direct DC power connector for the solar system which proved to be valuable as the 240v transformer was not required. The device is working off solar panels which is not possible with other high 'power draw' devices, and we found that competing products were more expensive and less readily available," said Justin.

NetComm Wireless' industrial-grade 3G M2M devices create reliable wide-area-networks for real time point-to-point, or point-to-multi-point, communications; and support a large number of communication interfaces and protocols to meet the demands of modern telemetry, M2M communications and legacy serial applications.

Developed for demanding environments, NetComm Wireless' 3G M2M routers are housed within a rugged enclosure and utilise industrial strength components to operate effectively in temperatures ranging from -30˚C to 70˚C. The wall mount allows for easy installation, and the wide input voltage range (8-28DC) makes the router suitable for diverse applications and environmental conditions.