Asset management for a distributed fleet of vehicles

In an effort to improve the return on investment for assets, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to develop and implement techniques for more efficient asset management and condition monitoring. Improved reliability and productivity levels for technological assets such as fleet vehicles and material handling systems in factory and warehouse environments are a must to maintain competitive. On a system such as a forklift fleet, distributed on-demand condition monitoring, combined with model-based fault analysis and prediction techniques, can raise productivity through more efficient maintenance schedules and reduced downtime.

BMI Industries is interested in developing a small and customizable embedded sensor system for forklifts to add to their existing product line of retrofit fleet monitoring embedded systems, with wireless connectivity and automatic status reporting. Professors M.G. Lipsett and Prof M. MacGregor from the University of Alberta (Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, respectively), with four graduate student interns, will work with BMI on research and development of the information flow and system design and prototyping. Work will be completed over eight months to develop technical specifications, provide an initial proof-of-concept demonstration, model system functionality for performance enhancement, and produce a prototype system suitable for preliminary evaluation. With the goal of providing the information and tools to improve asset management, this system will be capable of logging and transmitting sensor data over a cellular network to a centralized server and database system capable of providing improved model-based condition monitoring reports to fleet owners and operators.

Stephen C. Dwyer, Nicolas Olmedo & James D. Yuen
Faculty Supervisor: 
Drs. Michael Lipsett & M. MacGregor