Volvo ActiveCare boosts uptime in Ghana mines

Volvo Construction Equipment and dealer SMT Ghana have been piloting the Volvo ActiveCare 24/7 remote machine monitoring service in Africa to deliver new levels of uptime and productivity. Leonardo Aguiar, Technical Director at SMT Ghana, shares the inside track.

What is Volvo ActiveCare?

Volvo ActiveCare is a 24/7 remote machinery monitoring and fleet utilisation reporting service that takes the burden of monitoring CareTrack telematics data off the customer. We keep a constant eye on machine utilisation, performance, and health on behalf of the customer to provide remote diagnosis and suggest actions for improvement. This enables us to catch any potential issues before they can turn into more serious and expensive problems, as well as boost uptime, productivity, and profitability overall. In a nutshell, ActiveCare makes life easier for the customer – and for us as a dealer to help them – and gives the customer peace of mind that they are getting the most out of their machines.

What makes Volvo ActiveCare ideal for your customers in Ghana?

We have mining customers with machines working almost 24 hours a day, so uptime is crucial to their productivity and profitability. While our on-site technicians do checks every morning for our service contract customers, a lot can happen in a day, and it is costly to the customer to stop machines to investigate every time an alarm or error code pops up. With remote monitoring and diagnosis, we can prioritise whether our technicians need to stop the machine immediately for servicing or can wait until the next scheduled downtime. We can also anticipate any other problems that might occur and so our technicians can be ready with the tools and parts they need take quick, proactive, preventative action at the next service.

How did SMT Ghana prepare to deliver this service?

Delivering Volvo ActiveCare required some investment and organisation from us as a dealer, but it is worth it. We appointed a CareTrack manager, Peter Antwi Boasiako, to work exclusively on driving the process. He is responsible for going to the CareTrack portal every day, checking the cases generated and following up on their resolution. He also receives alerts, campaign information, and software update information etc. from the Volvo Uptime Center in Sweden.

For service contracts where we have our own technicians based at the customer’s site, we will liaise directly with them to plan the interventions, so there is minimal communication with the customer. The customer is not necessarily even aware of everything happening behind the scenes; they just see the results of seamless servicing and high uptime.

For other customers, our service managers will contact the customer when action is needed and ask if they would like us to send our technicians. It requires a mindset shift from these customers to appreciate how preventative and predictive maintenance will lower their costs long term. In these cases, it is extremely valuable for us to be able to show the customer how much worse damage and costs they will have if they don’t stop the machine for servicing.

What results have you seen from Volvo ActiveCare so far?

Analysing CareTrack data through Fuel Efficiency Reports has enabled us to support customers to reorganise the number and capacity of machines on site and the routes they take to reduce their idling time and fuel consumption for greater productivity and lower costs. We have clear figures on this. We access four Insight Reports in total with ActiveCare: ActiveCare Report, Fuel Efficiency Report, Productivity Report and Summary Report.

Uptime is a more complex measure as it is related to so many things, but ActiveCare undoubtedly has a significant positive impact on our service processes. Customers tend to notice more when something goes wrong than when everything is running smoothly. So we can say that by enabling us to fix issues quicker and prevent others from even happening ActiveCare is contributing to our customers’ satisfaction.

To give a specific example, we noticed in the CareTrack portal that one of our service contract customers was experiencing many air pressure filter alarms. We asked our on-site technicians to investigate and found that the filters were getting clogged very quickly. So we added extra oil bath filters and housing to protect them. We also optimised our process to exchange the entire system with a clean one in a pit stop, so the machines do not have to wait while their filters are cleaned. Issues like this are not critical, but if not treated can lead to unplanned downtime or failures on the engine or machine. We clearly see that ActiveCare supports the uptime of machines in the long term.

What does the future hold for Volvo ActiveCare in Ghana?

Connectivity is a growing trend not just in Ghana but across Africa. Our new machines come equipped with CareTrack telematics as standard and we want to reach close to 100% connectivity from our field population within the next four to five years.

We also offer ActiveCare free of charge for all production plus machines connected with CareTrack Production plus machines are A40G, A45G and A60H articulated haulers, wheel loaders from the L220H and up, and excavators from the EC480D and up.

Having remote access to machine information helps us to provide quicker and more efficient servicing for customers – and we are excited to support even more customers with ActiveCare so that we can not only fix issues faster but prevent them from even occurring in the first place.

Any customers interested in CareTrack or ActiveCare should contact their local Volvo dealer for more information.


March 2023

Journalists with enquiries, please contact:

Anne Bast Head of Brand, Marketing & Corporate Communication Region Europe & Region International Volvo Construction Equipment anne.bast@volvo.comHannah Kitchener PR Support SE10 +44 7432 296296

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