12 July 2022, 09:56
The Danish company Trackunit offers SaaS-based IoT solutions for the construction industry. Patrik Eder spoke to Soeren Brogaard, CEO Trackunit, about the company’s latest product, Trackunit Kin, about its main advantages and benefits for the users, including the newest update – the Asset Utilization feature that greatly improves rental potential by identifying under-utilized assets.
PE: It has been almost 1 year since Trackunit launched the Trackunit Kin asset tracking solution. What are its main advantages and how has it been perceived by customers so far?
SB: Trackunit Kin is an important extension of our vision to enable a connected construction equipment environment with data insights and analysis that brings major benefits to rental companies, contractors and operators. Specifically, Trackunit Kin has made visible a new layer of previously unconnected equipment, that were often and easily misplaced, or stolen. Using Kin, unpowered equipment from machine buckets, compactors and hand tools can be quickly and easily tagged and made visible via Bluetooth technology across the Trackunit network.
Built for ease and speed of use, each Kin tag is easy to attach to equipment and simple to connect to the network using an iOS or Android smartphone. Customers benefit from greatly reduced time spent locating misplaced equipment, increased utilization of the equipment and improved site productivity.
PE: At the ARA show in October, Trackunit introduced the Asset Utilization feature for the Trackunit Kin. What are its features?
SB: With Asset Utilization users can now monitor movement, vibration, and activity of tags connected to the Trackunit environment. That means that users, site managers and rental operators not only know where their equipment is located, but also gain visibility into how tagged equipment is being used. The system empowers them to identify under-utilized assets so that they can be relocated to other jobsites or customers, reducing customer costs, and improving rental utilization.
From the perspective of a site-manager or rental manager, Trackunit Kin provides a clearer overview of what types of equipment are being utilized the most. This ensures that new equipment purchases are based on the real value they bring to the business of construction, as well as helping to eliminate waste and downtime associated with historic buying cycles. Asset Utilization also offers the potential opportunity to de-hire unused equipment or sell-off under-utilized stock.
Additionally, since both the site manager and rental companies will have actual data on whether equipment is used, Kin can increase the positive communication between both parties and help reduce or resolve possible rental disputes.
PE: How does Trackunit Kin connect unpowered assets to the network?
SB: With over 1 million connected systems worldwide, Trackunit provides the construction industry’s largest telemetry network footprint. Installed Trackunit Raw units (TU600) and smartphones with Trackunit Go serve as gateways to Kin data and make up what is called a mesh network. Trackunit Kin is equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology so it can communicate with any Trackunit Raw TU600 unit or iOS and Android smartphone using the Trackunit Go app. The wireless-enabled devices create a mesh network that links the Kin device to the site and organization’s data network using a single app, which Trackunit users already know and are familiar with. A main advantage of using the mesh-network is that you are able to see your assets from anywhere in the world – you don’t need to be on site to have a full fleet overview.
PE: Who can see data from assets that are equipped with Trackunit Kin?
SB: Equipment data is held on a secure encrypted network and user access is authorized by a network administrator. The site assets equipped with Kin can be grouped together, allowing an administrator to select which users have access to selected assets, increasing security and offering a better overview of assets in your fleet. Assets are connected in the same app and fleet management system that they already know and use.
PE: How does the on-boarding work with Trackunit Kin?
SB: Tag it, track it – done. And it really is that simple. Trackunit Kin allows quick, no fuss installation to the target equipment. Positioning the device in a safe position on the equipment, it can then be glued, screwed or zip-tied to ensure it is not accidently removed during storage or use.
On-boarding takes less than 1-minute, to set-up and connect the device to the network, using screen-led GUI on an iOS or Android smartphone. Multiple and bulk setup of Kin can be achieved in less than 20-seconds per tag through our API. Once connected, the Trackunit Kin can transmit data over 400m free range, using the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard.