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Daily Archives: September 29, 2021

Skycatch Releases Flight1x Cloud-Based Drone Solution

Using photogrammetry, drones can collect enormous amounts of information on earthmoving, industrial and mining sites. But when it comes to downloading all that data … put on a fresh pot of coffee, there’s lots of time involved.

That’s why many in the industry may be interested to hear that Skycatch, a data automation and analytics provider for drone mapping, has announced the release of Flight1x, a cloud-based solution for the DJI M300 drone platform.

Built on technology adopted by large mining companies and suppliers such as Komatsu and AngloAmerican, Flight1x is proprietary software developed specifically for the M300 that, according to the company, offers the most complete end-to-end high precision industrial drone capabilities available today.

Compared to off-the-shelf photogrammetry tools and laser sensors, Skycatch’s drone software reduces the time required to obtain high-accuracy 3D data by 60% and delivers results in 10 to 15 minutes compared to the more typical three hours. Flight1x takes these capabilities to the next level on the M300, delivering sub-3-centimeter accuracy for tailings management and inspection.

This reduces surveying costs, improves production planning and minimizes the risk of human error in hazardous mining sites. Skycatch’s analytics platform, Datahub, delivers added value for specific industrial workflows such as pit survey, highwall mining and repeatable tailings inspections.

Skycatch specializes in bridging data from the physical world to the digital. The new Flight1x solution delivers data and network security via Skycatch servers in the United States coupled with advanced automation features like a 3D first-mission planner, mining-focused workflows and deep integration into Datahub.

Additional functions and features when using the Flight1x software and M300 include:

Automated capture, extraction and processing of high-precision 3D point clouds.>Specialized mission planning automation to extract data from complex terrains such as high walls.>Complete industrial data capture and processing for repeatable and automated spot inspection.>Consistent data retrieval analysis of thousands of terrain spots in a single location by an automated industrial drone. >Automated aerial robot technology built on Skycatch’s platform that eliminates need for manual pilots and reduces risk of human error.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.tortowheaton.com/?p=360

Task Force Racing to Develop Tech Guidance for Electric Trucks

Editor’s note: Trucking industry efforts to develop recommended practices for training techs on electric trucks may offer a glimpse of what the construction industry will go through as more electric machines reach the marketplace. Here’s what’s happening on the trucking side.

Electric vehicle (EV) research and development has become a major business unit for North American truck OEMs (and new industry players), but those efforts still represent a focus on the future rather than a necessity for today. 

An American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) study group intends to develop a recommended practice (RP) for Electric Vehicle Technician Training. Most of the discussion has focused on how fundamentally different EV operation is from conventional diesel engines, and how all service shops (fleets, dealers, independent service providers, etc.) will need to invest heavily in training to ensure their employees can correctly and safely perform EV service.

Kevin Otto, formerly with Cummins, led the discussion during a recent TMC meeting.

In opening the task force meeting, Otto said he estimates nearly every diesel technician working in trucking today will require substantial education on electrical systems to even approach working on EVs, let alone become an expert. Because today’s Class 8 trucks run almost entirely on 12-volt DC power — alternators use AC power within a closed system — most technicians have no experience working on or around higher voltage equipment.

Otto said obviously that will need to change. The electrical power running through a conventional Class 8 truck is dangerous enough. But in a vehicle fully run by batteries? Otto said untrained technicians attempting to service an EV tractor could put themselves in serious danger.

“These battery packs will pack a big wallop,” he said. ‘[Electric trucks] will be foreign for folks who haven’t worked on these systems before.”

That’s where TMC wants to help. Otto said TMC hopes to encourage participation from heavy-duty OEMs to leverage the EV training programs they are already developing for their dealer partners to put together top-level guidance that can be applied across the industry. Once developed, Otto said TMC’s RP won’t attempt to provide granular details on how to complete every EV repair, but it will hopefully offer clear and detailed descriptions of what training a technician needs before being allowed to start an EV service event.

The study group also intends for the RP to address battery testing, charging, shipping and handling, tool requirements and more. Meeting attendees spoke to the importance of each step, noting how dangerous battery packs for heavy trucks could be for an untrained professional.

With electric trucks now available to order but still mostly in development, it’s likely the study group has some time before its RP must be completed. Nevertheless, Otto said the group intends to work quickly once task force leadership is established so the RP beats the Class 8 EVs to the mainstream.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.tortowheaton.com/?p=357

Ritchie Acquires SmartEquip, Makes Parts Play

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is acquiring SmartEquip for $175 million, a deal that will give Ritchie “asset-specific full-lifecycle parts and service support” to dealers, OEM partners and buyers, says Ritchie CEO Ann Fandozzi. 

The acquisition, says Fandozzi, “furthers our goal of providing the best experience for our customers as we continue our transition from a traditional auctioneer to a marketplace for insights, services and transaction solutions for commercial assets.”

A multi-manufacturer platform, SmartEquip provides real-time service and diagnostic support that is customized via serial number to each asset on a customer’s fleet. It also enables online parts buying from OEMs and dealers. In the announcement Ritchie says SmartEquip supports about $1 billion in annual transaction volume with more than 600 OEM brands, on behalf of fleet locations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. 

For the foreseeable future, SmartEquip will continue to operate as a standalone business headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. 

The move will “accelerate SmartEquip’s ability to support its rapidly growing footprint across our joint global marketplaces,” says Bryan Rich, SmartEquip executive chairman. The firm has 60 employees, who will transition to Ritchie.

Ritchie says this acquisition will accelerate parts and service sales on behalf of its dealers and OEM partners by “providing a seamless experience for users.” It also will deepen its inventory management system connectivity, enabling solutions around inspections and ancillary services and enable optimization of search and advertising revenue streams, Ritchie says.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.tortowheaton.com/?p=354