Good Data for Good Maintenance
POSTED on October 1st, 2016 by Reza Tavassoli
Intentions Aren’t Everything
When it comes to best practices, we all start with the best of intentions. We tell ourselves that we’ll make extra efforts for the greater good, regardless of inconveniences. However, as time passes, the initial motivation becomes foggier, and we start taking shortcuts. There is nothing wrong with shortcuts. After all, it is human nature to seek out the quickest and easiest way to reach a given objective. And why take a more complicated route, anyway? Problems arise when the shortcuts serve the purpose of convenience above that of the initial objective.
In a previous blog, I mentioned how some fuel management systems, such as Coencorp’s FuelZone system, allow users to input mileage and engine hours as part of the fueling sequence. Many organizations implement this option because they know the importance of such data for preventive maintenance purposes.
Here is the problem: in a lot of cases, these extra steps are too much of an inconvenience to the user at the pump, who wants to just fuel up and go. So what happens? A shortcut is taken: the operator simply inputs something like “999999” instead of the real data. The terminal displays a warning saying the input data makes no sense, and asks for confirmation, which the users provide. Convenience takes precedence over the greater good, and preventive maintenance plans are rendered practically void, as the data collected is useless.
Even if illogical data is flagged by the system software, a lot of time is taken by follow ups and corrections, which leads to an unnecessary increase in labor. Of course, convenience (remember, the primary motivation that started this chain of problems?) is decreased, as well. Let’s not even get into what happens when the system is configured to completely block the transaction if illogical data is provided!
Even if operators enter the actual vehicle data, time is spent reading and entering the data. Also, whatever is fed into the system comes has been captured by human eyes and entered by human hands. Errors do find their way into your preventive maintenance.
Enter Coencorp’s DataZone module.
As part of its integrated suite of fuel and fleet management system, Coencorp offers Vehicle Data Units, along with SiteManager’s DataZone module.
VDUs are plug-and-play equipment that, once plugged to the vehicle’s diagnostics port, take vehicle data (mileage, engine hours, fault codes, etc.) directly from the ECM, and send it wirelessly and automatically as vehicles fuel up or simply drive by. A VDU requires absolutely no programming or configuration. Simply install it and let it work its magic. Once sent, the data can be either automatically transferred to a third party maintenance system, or used by SM2’s own advanced Preventive Maintenance module (discussed in my next blog).
What can DataZone do for you?
There are many advantages to automatically capturing vehicle data and feeding it preventive maintenance in a timely manner:
- Reduce maintenance related labor and overtime
- Reduce fuel consumption by cutting down vehicle idling
- Achieve accurate tracking of equipment cost
- Reduce risks of accidents
- Improve fleet performance and reduce down time through accurate preventive maintenance
- Accurately plan preventive maintenance with SM2’s PM module or automatically transfer error free data to your existing preventive maintenance application
Relax and Enjoy the Ride!
Picture this: error free vehicular data is captured transparently as your vehicles drive by, and is automatically stored to a central database where either SM2’s PM module generates preventive maintenance planning and performance reports, or SM2 handles the automatic transfer of the data to a third party system. That’s what DataZone is about: vehicle data that updates itself.
Having covered the data capture portion of the overall preventive maintenance activities, I will go over the Preventive Maintenance module of Coencorp’s SM2 in my next blog. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss your fuel and fleet management needs.
Reza Tavassoli, MBA
(866) 263-6267 ext. 205
A VDU requires absolutely no programming or configuration. Simply install it and let it work its magic.