Streamlining Equipment Maintenance with Automated Data Integration for UpKeep CMMS

Introduction

At a renowned company in the deep foundation industry, cutting-edge technology and innovative practices are at the heart of their operations. They manage a vast fleet of high-value, heavy construction equipment – from CFA piles to drilled shafts and driven piles, among others – making a streamlined management system critical to their success.

These advanced equipment, used across project sites in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America, are significant investments in the company. They cannot afford unscheduled downtime, as even minor equipment breakdowns can lead to costly repairs, loss of revenue, and potential delays on vital infrastructure projects.

To avoid such issues, the company has been progressively upgrading its management systems to leverage the newest technology on the market. As part of this technological evolution, they have started using a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to better manage work order history on their equipment fleet. However, they faced a significant challenge – manual data collection across various construction sites was impractical, often inaccurate, and time-consuming.

Recognizing the need for a more automated and efficient solution, the company reached out to Linortek, exploring options for automatic data retrieval that could integrate seamlessly with their CMMS. Thus, the journey to implement the Linortek iTrixx Hour Meter to the company’s maintenance management software began.

The Challenge

As a leading provider of deep foundation solutions, this company heavily relies on its fleet of high-value construction equipment. Ensuring these machines are properly maintained is essential to their operations. To improve the accuracy and efficiency of their equipment maintenance, the company recognized the need to modernize their system. While they had a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) in place, powered by UpKeep, their process for inputting operation hours for their equipment was laborious and prone to errors.

They needed a solution that could automate the collection of this vital information, freeing their operators from the time-consuming task of manual logging and reducing the risk of inaccuracies that could result in costly maintenance mistakes. That is where Linortek’s iTrixx WiFi Hour Meter came into play. It was the ideal device to collect and transmit machine operation hours. However, integrating it into the company’s existing system posed a significant challenge.

In-depth discussions between the company, Linortek, and UpKeep’s software engineer yielded numerous options. After a thorough analysis and comparison of the various alternatives, it was decided that utilizing the MQTT protocol for the integration would offer the most efficient and reliable solution. The problem arose because UpKeep’s API, the interface that enables interaction between different software intermediaries, did not directly support MQTT.

This left Linortek with a significant task: developing a program that could bridge the gap between the iTrixx Hour Meter and UpKeep’s CMMS. This required careful planning, a clear understanding of both systems’ capabilities, and a sound technical solution that could translate MQTT messages into a format that UpKeep’s API could understand.

Linortek iTrixx Hour Meter Architecture Equipment Maintenance

The Solution

The solution to this challenge involved the clever use of technology and a unique collaboration between the company, Linortek, and UpKeep. After evaluating multiple options and engaging with the UpKeep team, Linortek proposed a solution that leveraged the MQTT protocol, iTrixx-WFMN-Di WiFi Hour Meter and the iTrixx-GW MQTT Gateway device. The iTrixx-WFMN-Di WiFi Hour Meter will be installed on the construction equipment. The device will start recording the operation hours as soon as the machinery starts running, and publish the hour reading data as an MQTT topic to the broker at the intervals user defines. Technically, the company could use any MQTT broker. However, Linortek had specifically developed a unique program to convert MQTT messages into a format that UpKeep API could understand. This special program, pre-installed and pre-configured on the iTrixx-GW MQTT Gateway – built on a Raspberry Pi4 platform, seamlessly bridged the gap between the iTrixx-WFMN-Di WiFi Hour Meter and the UpKeep CMMS. Once implemented, the entire system worked seamlessly. As the construction equipment ran, the iTrixx-WFMN-Di WiFi Hour Meter recorded operation hours and published them to the iTrixx-GW MQTT Gateway. The unique program on the Gateway then converted these MQTT messages and send to the UpKeep software directly, effectively integrating the real-time operation hours into the company’s existing maintenance management system. This efficient, automated solution streamlined the company’s maintenance management process and brought it up to date with the latest technology, making it a more advanced and efficient player in the deep foundation industry.

Results and Next Steps

The solution devised by Linortek, integrating the iTrixx-WFMN-Di hour readings with the UpKeep CMMS, has demonstrated promising results during the testing phase. Continuous data feeds from the devices to the UpKeep system have been achieved, paving the way for a seamless integration of real-time operation hours into the company’s existing maintenance management system.

This automated, state-of-the-art solution promises to revolutionize the company’s maintenance management process, aligning it with the latest technology. Although the company has not yet started full-scale implementation, the successful testing phase has given them the confidence to move forward. The plan is to soon implement the system into their everyday operations, transforming their approach to equipment maintenance.

Once fully implemented, the company can anticipate an advanced, efficient, and reliable equipment maintenance system. By leveraging the power of IoT, MQTT, and API technology, they are on track to significantly optimize their operations, delivering on their commitment to innovation and excellence in the deep foundation industry. The future of the company’s maintenance management looks promising, and they are excited to move forward with the next phase of implementation.

Ultra MQTT IO Controller Flexible Data Collection and Distribution