Industry First Asset Management System Launches at Intermat 2009
Manitowoc introduced CraneSTAR, the most extensive OEM-produced asset management system in the crane industry, at Intermat 2009. The innovative new product was one of the highlights of the Manitowoc stand at the show, and it launches a new era of fleet management and data tracking for crane owners.
John Bittner, director of global marketing at Manitowoc Crane Care, said the new product will help end users get better productivity and profitability from their cranes.
“CraneSTAR gives customers up-to-date information on their crane fleet, no matter where they, or their cranes, are in the world,” he said. “It is the most comprehensive system our industry has ever seen and will help end users get more out of their cranes. By monitoring working conditions and locations, customers can plan maintenance and lifting schedules to get maximum efficiency from their operations.”
With CraneSTAR, each crane is equipped with a Manitowoc-engineered telematics control unit which monitors major crane functions and provides operational data taken from the proprietary CANbus network or RS232. Equally important, it is able to provide information from the load moment indicator. Once gathered, the information is transmitted via GSM or satellite communication to a secure database linked to a Web server, allowing the crane owner to access the information online from any Web-connected computer or handheld device.
CraneSTAR offers significantly better coverage than other systems through its ability to transmit data over both GSM and satellite networks across countries and regions. For systems without this dual-band approach, coverage can be limited. This is not a problem for Manitowoc customers using CraneSTAR whose cranes often work in remote locations or very congested city environments. CraneSTAR is also unique in design as it uses a global SIM card to allow full functionality on cellular networks across the globe, a feature no other system in the construction equipment industry currently offers.
For its satellite communications, Manitowoc has teamed up with Orbcomm, a leading global satellite communications company that focuses on machine-to-machine communications. CraneSTAR will use Orbcomm’s network of global low earth orbit satellites and the accompanying ground infrastructure to provide extensive data communication on cranes in the field. Orbcomm’s technology is already utilized by companies such as General Electric, Caterpillar Inc. and Volvo Group.
Scott Blair, director of global telematics at Manitowoc, said the company is bringing all of its expertise in design and innovation to the new product.
“CraneSTAR is designed by crane professionals for crane professionals. It allows customers to monitor how effective and efficient their crane fleet is so they can make better decisions about crane replacement, routine maintenance and new crane purchases. The Website is very user-friendly, and the system complies with all laws and regulations governing wireless transmission and Internet use,” he said. “CraneSTAR is the best asset management product for mobile, crawler and tower cranes on the market today and will revolutionize the way our customers monitor and track each crane or their entire fleet. This is truly the dawn of a new age in asset management for our industry.”
The system has no impact on crane operations and requires no intervention by the crane operator. Users can customize their reports to receive the most relevant information to them.
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