Yenra : Manufacturing : Predictive Asset Monitoring : Early Warning of Developing Equipment Problems for Aerospace and Defense, Energy, Transportation and Automotive Industries

SmartSignal today announced it will offer its predictive asset monitoring solution in tandem with IBM's field force automation solution, providing customers in the aerospace and defense, energy, transportation and automotive industries with technologies that will provide early warning of potential equipment problems in aircraft, commercial vehicles, locomotives, and energy equipment.

The solution will provide advanced warning of equipment failures and help companies shift unplanned maintenance to planned, predictive maintenance and improve operations in a number of ways, including:

"As heavy asset OEMs, particularly transportation companies, move more toward operations and outsourced services, predictive tools such as SmartSignal eCM play an important role for the OEM and the operator. The OEM is able to create a stronger link in its service supply chain planning through more usage-based information. The information also provides a stronger set of data to analyze for future contract pricing," said Marc McCluskey of AMR Research in the November 2002 brief Planes Trains and Automobiles: SmartSignal creates a Service Advantage for Customers. "OEMs that are taking advantage of Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) need to examine condition monitoring and predictive planning as a cornerstone of their offering."

In this solution, customers can utilize IBM WebSphere MQ Series to input sensor data from fleets of remote and mobile assets directly into SmartSignal eCM. With this real-time connectivity to any type of sensor information, SmartSignal eCM can provide early warning of abnormal equipment performance across fleets of assets comprised of any manufacturer types and in any operating mode.

In addition, the combined offering utilizes SmartSignal's early warning of impending equipment failures, to allow users sufficient time to take proactive action within IBM's Wireless Enterprise Delivery Environment. IBM's Wireless Enterprise Delivery Environment creates a framework for the interconnection of wireless networks and enterprise systems and defines the horizontal infrastructure required to provide a common development and deployment platform that helps companies to cost-effectively and rapidly support new applications -- such as mobile sales and field force automation, e-mail access, asset monitoring, supply chain management and mobile commerce -- as well as new devices and networks.

Using a wireless hand held device or laptop, with the new version of WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager, (WECM), mobile service employees can move from location to location enjoying secure, high speed access to information across Wi-Fi, cellular, GPRS, CDMA, and PWLAN hot spots, without interrupting web connections or losing an existing session. IBM WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager software was recently awarded the Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS 140-2 level of certification on AIX 5.2, Trusted Solaris and all Windows clients, widely viewed as the most stringent security standard internationally.

Through the real-time monitoring and prediction capabilities provided by SmartSignal eCM, operators of over-the-road trucks, and off-road heavy equipment, can gain advance warning of abnormal engine performance leading to excessive maintenance, undue fuel consumption or catastrophic failure. With this early warning, owners/operators can implement proactive maintenance strategies that avoid unnecessary maintenance costs and delivery delays, as well as resulting in cost savings and improved customer service. And, through IBM's Wireless Enterprise Delivery Environment, operators can transform the way they manages worldwide logistical support for the repair, replacement and maintenance of thousands of components across their fleet.

"We are very excited to work closely with IBM in providing a complete asset management and field service solution to the marketplace," said Gary Conkright SmartSignal President and CEO. "Companies are beginning to recognize the competitive advantage that predictive technology like ours gives them. By teaming with IBM, we help them accelerate that advantage by integrating our predictive technology into a complete wireless asset management solution".

SmartSignal (now with GE) provides predictive technology as an enterprise software solution or as a predictive platform for OEMs that helps companies gain insight into the health of critical business assets. Through real-time monitoring and prediction, companies are able to avoid catastrophic failures, increase capacity and improve overall return-on assets.