Volvo Trucks Command Center Preventing Downtime

The new centralized Volvo Trucks Uptime Center in Bangalore is rendering end-to-end services for ensuring higher availability of its trucks by reducing incidences of breakdowns. NBM Media visits the state-of-the-art facility to see firsthand the company’s digitalized service program.

With operating margins continuing to remain under pressure, ensuring higher productivity and availability of equipment is an all-time challenge for manufacturers – a challenge that Volvo has taken up by opening a Centralized Uptime Center. Set up in January 2019 in Bangalore, the ‘Command Center’ offers an extensive, end-to-end, real time product service program, based on analysis through telematics, for remote diagnostics of Volvo trucks to enable their timely maintenance and repair. It is currently monitoring a fleet of 5800 Volvo trucks (tippers and rigid haulers). It identifies causes for their downtime and suggests measures to curtail breakdowns. Only the trucks sold by Volvo since 2014 have been integrated into the Center’s digitized monitoring system.

V Venkateswarlu, Vice President, Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India
Explains V Venkateswarlu, Vice President, Aftermarket, Volvo Trucks India, “Our higher capacity tipper trucks work in mines and Construction sites, where they carry overburden materials - and even move coal - through difficult terrains. The trucks work three shifts a day and sometimes over 20 hours, with little chances of returning to the workshop for an overhaul or even a check-up. This increases incidence of malfunctioning, with even the operators sometimes not becoming aware of an impending breakdown. A poorly performing machine is likely to escalate the cost of operation, and if not overhauled in time, lead to its breakdown and ultimately downtime for the customer. Excessive fuel consumption is another cause for concern since fuel cost constitutes almost 50 percent of the operating costs.”

The Center gathers real time information on various operational mechanisms at site. The information is then analyzed, and measures suggested to rectify the problem. Monitoring is done of the driving pattern of the operators; whether advanced features in the trucks (such as I-shift transmission) are being utilized to optimize performance; and of the braking frequency as frequent braking can bring pressure on the axle; and so on.

Says Venkateswarlu, “Since our trucks are engineered to deliver faster cycle times, the Center monitors their unloading time and number of trips made. In case of reduced cycle time, possible reasons are considered; it could even be due to an unwarranted operating behavior. A dedicated cross functional team at the Center analyzes the probable causes of breakdown and work out a solution. Based on a record of the vehicle’s rate of utilization, the Centre will send back communication to the vehicle on preventive or predictive maintenance, along with an advisory on parts replacement. At mines especially, the terrains undergo drastic surface changes due to the large-scale mining activities, more so in the monsoon months, that alter the topography of the mines and impact drivers’ operating behavior. Gathering data to arrest this cannot be done randomly but must be monitored accurately.”

Currently there are 12 Volvo Trucks Uptime Centers across the country, which are extending knowledge support to their customers & dealers. The centralized Command Center in Bangalore aggregates information from these Centers to provide various service modules, which include ‘proactive and reactive services’, and a comprehensive Volvo Service Program that sends monthly alerts on vehicle performance to the dealers, owners and operators. Timely alerts enable the dealers to arrange for parts and prevent unexpected downtime of the vehicles.

Volvo Trucks Uptime Center

Trucks without telematics are covered under ‘Volvo Action Services’, which constitute a mobile app through which the truck owner or operator can reach out to any of the 36 Volvo service vans located closest to them. Though the digital platform is an effective means of ensuring higher productivity of the trucks, Venkateswarlu, concedes that the human interface must be considered equally necessary to optimize the digital services. “We try to approach this through a proactive initiative between us and the stakeholders for the larger and long-term benefit of all,” he says.

The customers know that there is no time for Downtime. Every second of saved uptime means increased revenue, maximized efficiency, and new opportunities. That’s why they need a transport solutions partner that supports their business with innovative uptime services to help keep their trucks on the road and money in their pocket.

Volvo Understands Uptime.

NBM&CW September 2019

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