A fatigue-monitoring analyst examines incoming data at Cat’s around-the-clock monitoring center.
Caterpillar has launched an around-the-clock equipment operator monitoring service offering customers the ability to monitor what it describes as the “primary variable” impacting their operations―the human factor. Through in-cab and wearable safety technologies, Caterpillar said it now can provide customers with visibility to both machine and operator information. Inside Caterpillar’s 24/7 Monitoring Center, analysts correlate data about the health and productivity of operators and equipment to reveal the level of conditions such as fatigue and distraction and their impact on operations.
“Our customers want better visibility to the interaction between operators and machines, and how behavior impacts safety and productivity,” said Tim Crane, Caterpillar safety services manager.
Caterpillar’s solution taps into several technologies: The Driver Safety System (DSS), developed by Seeing Machines, an alliance partner of Caterpillar, includes an in-cab camera and alert system to notify the operator the moment a fatigue or distraction event occurs. Events are tracked by analysts who also capture operator sleep quantity and quality information provided through the wrist-worn Cat Smartband, an actigraphy (method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles) solution powered by Fatigue Science. The enhanced visibility to risks extends beyond front-line employees to expose improvement opportunities throughout the organization, including education and training, shift scheduling, leadership coaching, and other cultural elements.
Cat said DSS and Cat Smartband are part of a growing suite of tools that assist customers in improving safety by recognizing that some risks are natural, inevitable and fully manageable, if made visible. Combined with Cat machine data available through EMSolutions, Cat MineStar System and Cat Vital Information Management System (VIMS), operator performance data from the DSS, and Smartband paints a picture of fatigue and distraction risk and its impact on productivity and profitability. Property damage, increased fuel burn, and tire abuse have all been tied to fatigued or distracted operators.
“Technology alone is not the silver bullet for a safer or more productive operation,” said George Taylor, vice president of the Caterpillar Customer Services Support Division. “In fact, most technologies fail without proper consideration of the organizational culture and a plan to manage change. Caterpillar’s safety solutions bring management and employees together to achieve excellence, providing customers the greatest opportunity for successful implementation.”