Kobelco partners with Iridium to enable fleet management system global remote asset tracking

Source: press release, 11 November 2020

Iridium’s crosslinked mesh architecture creates a web of coverage encompassing 100% of the planet from Low Earth Orbit, providing low-latency, weather resilient services unlike any other satellite provider
Iridium’s crosslinked mesh architecture creates a web of coverage encompassing 100% of the planet from Low Earth Orbit, providing low-latency, weather resilient services unlike any other satellite provider (illustration: Iridium)

Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (KCM), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), has integrated Iridium’s two-way satellite communications into its hydraulic excavator machinery, heavy equipment and the KOMEXS remote asset management platform. The addition of the Iridium® service provides KCM equipment with truly global coverage for the first time, along with the flexibility of programming deployed assets to provide automated recurring telematics and equipment health updates, while also enabling customers to request real-time reports.

The KOMEXS platform provides the capability to manage multiple deployed assets across several job sites and tracks machinery health information such as working hours, engine health and fuel consumption. The system helps users keep track of valuable resources, manage costs, boost productivity, and proactively plan for maintenance requirements that can help increase efficiency and safety. This can also include warning alerts when deployed machinery needs servicing and geofencing to ensure machinery is deployed to the correct worksite.

“As the need for real-time, global communications solutions continues to increase, Iridium and KCM are delivering reliable, effective and weather-resilient connectivity for KCM’s vast customer base,” says Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Iridium. “This partnership solidifies Iridium’s leadership position in providing global satellite industrial-IoT communications within the heavy equipment industry.”

Iridium’s network is uniquely qualified for mobile telematics reporting and serving the needs of heavy equipment and construction machinery for connectivity beyond the reach of terrestrial networks. With small-form-factor devices that can be easily integrated with existing solutions like the KOMEXS platform, Iridium works closely with its partners to help simplify the process of adding truly global satellite connectivity to their services. KCM expects to begin shipment of vehicles equipped with Iridium Connected® devices in early 2021. Initial deployment will occur in Southeast Asian countries, followed by Russia, Central and South America and North America.

As of the third quarter of 2020, Iridium commercial IoT subscribers grew 20% from the year-ago period to 924,000 customers, further cementing the company’s place as the premier satellite IoT company. As the satellite IoT market continues to grow through the increased adoption of satellite-enabled telematics solutions, the need for global and reliable solutions will increase, further establishing Iridium’s position as the leader in this space.