Crown presents a new version of their fleet management solution
As a fleet manager, certain questions never go away but become even more important under intense competitive pressure. How do you increase the productivity of your lift truck fleet? How do you organise the flow of materials more efficiently while cutting material handling costs? How do you collect clear reliable information to achieve this? Crown’s fleet management system InfoLink® 3.0 is the answer to these issues. InfoLink monitors and analyses the dynamic performance characteristics of a lift truck fleet across multiple sites in real time. A single glance is enough to give decision makers access to an array of operator and fleet information such as battery usage, impact history and truck utilisation through their laptop or other mobile device.
Productivity tool for fleet managers
When you first open InfoLink on your computer, you can identify all potential disruptive factors immediately thanks to the clear, colour-coded status indicators. The colours – green, yellow, or red – indicate when and where action might be required. This user-friendly interface means fleet managers can monitor fleet performance across multiple sites at a glance. They no longer need to pore over analytical reports, although they can call up in-depth reports whenever they need to. Better still, they can tailor each report according to their individual preferences, by including relevant performance indicators, multiple sites and specific time periods.
Since no two fleets are the same a fleet management system only makes sense if it can be tailored to a company’s individual requirements. Here, InfoLink offers a significant advantage. Parameters such as escalation levels and reporting functions, as well as upper and lower tolerance limits, can be defined in a single step.
As soon as setup is complete, InfoLink consults built-in truck sensors and uses wireless communication to analyse actual performance parameters in real time, collate them on the manager’s PC and then compare them with the company’s target values. If a given parameter falls outside a specified range of tolerances, the system automatically warns fleet managers by e-mail.
Identifying optimisation opportunities while cutting costs
Nowadays, warehouse operations depend more than ever on efficient use of energy. InfoLink makes a fleet’s energy profile transparent. For example, the system uncovers the energy consumption and energy costs by analysing battery discharge levels and charging cycles. It also indicates whether batteries are being charged more often than required, helping fleet managers avoid unnecessary charging cycles and significantly improving battery life. The resulting cost savings can be substantial, especially when projected over time for an entire fleet.
Make sure you have the right fleet
A lift truck fleet that is not working to full capacity or does not include the right selection of trucks will have a negative impact on the overall cost of a warehouse operation. InfoLink 3.0 offers a range of advanced fleet utilisation functions, so managers can be absolutely sure that material handling operations are running efficiently at all times. Intuitive graphical displays show whether each type of truck is being used for the correct application and scheduled periods of time. If a reach truck, for example, shows a significantly higher ratio of “driving” as opposed to “lifting”, the truck may not be used appropriately – or else the fleet may have too many reach trucks, or too few pallet trucks for transporting goods within the warehouse. Fleet managers only have to glance at the diagrams tracking fleet utilisation to see the answer and find a starting point for optimising their warehouse operations.
Predictive maintenance management
InfoLink also offers unique maintenance functions. Not only can managers see which trucks are being serviced, they can also call up detailed information on the reason for and duration of downtime. For fleets made up of Crown lift trucks, the system offers an extra benefit. InfoLink records all event code data from the unique Access 1 2 3® system control and can transmit this data directly to the service provider. If a problem occurs, the necessary diagnosis can begin without delay and repairs made as swiftly as possible.
But InfoLink does more than merely indicate a truck’s maintenance status – it also provides information on collisions and other warehouse incidents. If an impact exceeds a set value, fleet managers are automatically alerted. False alarms are minimised by the implementation of state-of-the-art Crown Impulse technology.
InfoLink also provides a simple, direct way to monitor compliance with a company’s safety guidelines.
When a lift truck is first keyed up, a checklist appears on the display, requesting confirmation by the operator of the truck’s condition. If the latter is found to be unsatisfactory, the truck can be automatically locked out and the service department informed. Access codes provide an additional security check by preventing unauthorised use of equipment.
The InfoLink paging system also represents a significant time-saving device for fleet managers, by enabling direct, multi-site communications with truck drivers. If a manager wants to contact a specific operator or group of operators, he can send a short message directly to the display of the truck on which they are currently working.
More savings, every day.
However, the bottom line is that customers who use InfoLink and its’ full capabilities report continuous process improvement and enterprise-wide savings.
InfoLink is part of the Crown Insite™ suite, a productivity optimisation system that records and analyses all data relating to trucks, fleets and applications. The suite modules cover every aspect of fleet management, enabling and supporting a more productive, smoother-running lift truck fleet.
The Crown Insite™ productivity suite:
an overview of the modules
- SureSpec™: works out which vehicle is most suitable for the proposed location and application.
- Access 123®: provides comprehensive system management and diagnostics, thereby guaranteeing optimum performance, fast fault location and maximum uptime.
- InfoLink®: the all-inclusive fleet management system that captures and analyses all your lift truck fleet’s dynamic performance characteristics and acts as a productivity tool for your entire fleet.
- FleetStats™: analyses all your operational data and operating costs over the entire lifetime of your lift trucks and manages them through a centralised reporting system.
Each module can be used individually or as part of an integrated solution.
Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric lift trucks. Since the company first started building materials handling equipment in the 1950s, Crown products have won numerous industry accolades. From the smallest pallet trucks through to the largest VNA trucks, Crown uses leading-edge design, innovative engineering and high-quality manufacturing techniques to respond to the full range of customer needs, achieving exceptional standards of reliability and productivity.
Crown has a unique corporate structure, characterised by the highest levels of vertical integration in the industry. This enables the company to keep tight control of development, production and customer support. Up to 85 percent of the components used in Crown products are developed and manufactured by Crown in custom-built facilities. Crown is committed to offering customers superior value that reduces TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
Crown Equipment Corporation is a family-owned business with head offices in the USA, Australia and Germany. Crown now operates a global distribution and service network with more than 70 fully-owned subsidiaries and over 300 independent dealerships.