Modern industrial cleaning, in particular in large companies, corporate groups or public buildings such as airports – faces an enormous challenge on a daily basis: maintaining an overview. The larger the fleet of cleaning machines, the more unclear their status becomes. Not only that: the more complex the site on which the machines are put into action, the more difficult their maintenance becomes, or in the case of loss, their positioning. To find a solution to this problem, Kärcher has come together with Internet of Things (IoT) expert Device Insight to develop the fleet management solution “Kärcher Fleet” together with partners.
Renowned company Kärcher is world leader in cleaning technology. The family-owned company offers cleaning technology for private, business and industrial use across the globe. Scrubber-dryer machines, steam and high-pressure washers, industrial vacuum and sweeping machines belong to the portfolio as well as car wash systems and drinking water dispensers. The key premise is the corresponding continuous supply and support of their customers with the latest technology. This includes avoiding customer machine loss as well as keeping machine status transparent at all times. Is the cleaning machine still operational? Where is it right now? Is the battery charged? Is it productive? These questions and others were, until now, difficult to answer from a distance, leading to huge maintenance requirements.
Together with partners such as Munich-based company Device Insight, Kärcher has developed a fleet management system based on the latest IoT technology – “Kärcher Fleet“. The customer can now log on via any web browser and see what was previously hidden: the complete status of its machine fleet. In addition, the portal “Kärcher Service” monitors the machine pool as agreed with the customer. In other words, the customer has at its disposal a permanent overview of the “health” of its entire fleet or individual machines. The system can also display error codes.
For the transfer of “Kärcher Fleet” data, the company is working together with a number of partners. An integrated telematics module or telematics box with SIM card, GPS and Wi-Fi access allows the fleet to communicate with the central IoT Platform. The telematics box serves as the central interface for data retrieval and positioning of individual machines. The IoT Platform was provided by the Munich IoT/M2M experts at Device Insight. Thanks to data analysis within the Kärcher Fleet System, users are able to receive useful information such as maintenance forecasting, high workload or productivity losses. Fleet managers are then able to access current machine position and operational data quickly and effectively. The associated manageable customer portal developed a system integrator for and together with Kärcher.
Dr. Friedrich Völker, Manager Digital Products at Kärcher, explains: “True to the motto ‘two heads are better than one’, our customers can be sure that they will receive all relevant information regarding their fleet in good time. Of course, we have to differentiate between different user groups here. Kärcher Fleet is intended for use as necessary by facility managers, branch managers, controllers or higher-level managers. The cleaner’s customer can, on request, access according data. The requirements and the usage motivation can therefore differ and be tailored to meet all expectations. The main argument for all user groups is however the saving of time and cost. Our Fleet-4-all strategy is proof of our belief in the future security of this technology: since March 1, all supported scrubber-dryer machines in six different countries, including Germany, have left the production line equipped with the new technology.”
In the free case study you can learn more about the implementation of the IoT solution for fleet management of the Kärcher SE.