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AEMP Focus on Technology: Small 't' Telematics

Thursday, July 27, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: AEMP
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As you are no doubt aware, AEMP is a strong advocate for the use of telematics in fleet management and equipment maintenance and repair (M&R).

But, we also get that some of you may be holding back a bit from going full-bore into telematics integration, perhaps due to subscription costs, complex installation and training, Big Data concerns, or the time involved. Or maybe you just aren't sold yet on what telematics can do for your operation. 

So, how about implementing a small-scale telematic application, just to get your tracks wet?

The people who bring you Perkins engines have developed a new piece of hardware and companion mobile app that are as easy to use as replacing your engine's oil cap. 

In fact, it is an oil cap - just smarter than the one your engine currently sports.

The Perkins SmartCap is a first in small-scale telematics that provides fleet managers an extremely low cost and simple to use method to track engine information such as:

  • Engine running hours
  • Engine location
  • Start / stop data
  • Build list, series, type, model
  • Service reminders and service log
  • Parts book and consumables information
  • A soon-to-come coming services and  completed service log.

Here's how it works:

The Perkins SmartCap replaces your engine's (unsmart) oil cap. Once in place, the SmartCap monitors your engine's performance and sends that information to the (Free!) Perkins My Engine app on your smartphone. 

The cap itself works by detecting vibrations in the engine. A small chip embedded in the cap then filters running data versus non-running data, then transmits the information to your mobile device via wireless connectivity. Ta-Da!

No logging into third party websites, no subscription costs, just about no hassle. If you want to make hard copies of the data or send it to your company's house computer, just use an Apple or Google app to wirelessly send the Perkins information to your enterprise system. (your email?)

The idea is that using a small bit of telematics technology will give you actionable data that will affect how you look at your equipment's use and efficiency. That little bit of information like engine running hours or stop/start counts will assist in scheduling M&R work, monitor how the operator is running the machine (idling??), and provide clues as to why fuel consumption may vary between machine, operator or job. Which, of course, all adds up to saving money.

Small 't' telematics aren't the big hitters of the IoT world but they certainly deliver information that is hard to get by other methods. As more manufacturers recognize not all fleets are ready for or feel the need for larger telematic systems, less complex but still very effective small 't' devices are making their way to the market. 

By including these low cost and simpler systems into you fleet management procedures, you avoid a formal proof-of-concept process and spend much less money, but you will gain some very useful telematics experience that may just convince you a larger system for your whole fleet is worthwhile.

We will keep our AEMP eye out as more small 't' telematics become available and make sure you are kept up to date. Sometimes, smaller is better.

*The Perkins SmartCap will be available in September and will come in three sizes for Perkins engines from 20 horsepower to 275 horsepower for equipment ranging from light towers to excavators.  Perkins says it can be retrofitted for engines up to 20 years old and the cap should last about 3 years. More information can be found at


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