Aggregate Industries complete connected Caterpillar Finning fleet deal
A Cat 966M wheeled loader at Aggregate Industries' Bardon Quarry
Aggregate Industries has completed the integration of 100 plus connected Caterpillar machines across its UK sites in a five-year deal with Finning Managed Solutions (FMS), a part of Finning UK and Ireland.
Including one of the first Cat 982M wheeled loaders in the UK, the new equipment is said to represent the largest deployment of new Caterpillar connected quarry industry machines ever seen in the UK. Distributed across 44 Aggregate Industries (AI) sites in the British Isles, including operations in Scotland, Wales and throughout England, the new fleet will join existing Caterpillar equipment already operating in the business.
In addition to supporting the equipment through the use of advanced monitoring, as part of the phased deal the FMS team are providing expertise to the AI procurement and operations teams across 44 sites, identifying cost savings and productivity benefits that can be achieved.
Formed in 2012, FMS brings together experts from across the Finning and Caterpillar businesses to provide consultative support for large plant users across the UK and Ireland. For the AI deal, Finning experts have worked alongside Caterpillar Jobsite Solutions, to match equipment with technologies and analytical tools, including the advanced Caterpillar MineStar Ridged Dump Truck production management system.
For AI, this approach led to the FMS team putting together a package that incorporated site optimisation planning, new equipment, service support and training. The collaborative approach to the deal will also see Finning monitoring the performance of each piece of equipment, proactively engaging with the sites to identify profit led improvements.
Commenting on the deal, Jon Gray, senior category manager at Aggregate Industries, said: “We are constantly looking at innovative ways to improve our operations in order to be able to react to the demands of our customers. The success of our business really depends on increasing uptime, reducing our cost per tonne per litre and, ultimately, reducing our carbon emissions.
“To manage our fleet more effectively, we therefore have to embrace technology and partner with the right suppliers who can support us with the data we need to better understand the performance of our equipment and processes. By phasing the introduction of our equipment with Finning, we have been able to look closely at our operations, using specific reports from our connected fleet and the FMS team to highlight efficiency gains and opportunities to make changes to our operations.
“This has led to a much wider understanding of how new best practice methodology can be developed, rolled out and monitored across the wider business, benefitting individual sites and AI as a whole.”
The FMS deal began at the end of March 2015, with an array of services being delivered across the UK. Finsight engineers have since been taking and analysing remote GPS data from Caterpillar Productlink, monitoring and reporting on a whole range of information from fuel efficiency, event codes, uptime and GPS location. In addition to real-time data analysis, the team also analyses regular fluid samples, looking at trending data to ensure the health of individual machines and the co-ordination of maintenance in support of increased uptime.
As part of the deal the EcoDriveTM operator training program has been provided across AI equipment, with the Finning Fuel Promise also applied to articulated dump trucks, medium wheel loaders and medium excavators. The fuel promise sets hourly fuel consumption levels for each individual piece of equipment, crediting AI if this level is exceeded.
By bringing in the Caterpillar MineStar system, AI will also be able to measure machine productivity and performance on its large rigid dump trucks, such as the Cat 775G. Finally, all of the machines are supported with a service and maintenance package, spanning the five years of the Finning managed solution.
Steve Platt, strategic account manager at Finning, said: “From the start of the tender process, we mobilised our national product support team to help us develop a managed service solution focused on the site specific needs of AI. In all we conducted over 100 site surveys, building a picture of the mobile plant business challenges and fleet mix across the UK.
This knowledge has since helped us to work with AI in the phased roll out of the project, with our team able to work closely with each site to introduce the new equipment training and benefits of advanced technology.”
The Aggregate Industries deal is an industry-leading multiple-site solution from Finning Managed Solutions, with the largest fleet of FMS managed equipment in the UK.