Yanmar's Advanced Technology Gives Customers a "SmartAssist"

December 6, 2012
Yanmar Co., Ltd.

Responding to the advance of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Yanmar is set to begin a staged rollout of its market-leading "SmartAssist" machine to machine (M2M) service.

Until recently, whenever industrial machinery broke down, the manufacturer could be confident in their technical ability to provide a high level of service. However, with the increasing use of advanced electronic engine control systems, it is anticipated that there will be situations where the reliance on the technical capabilities of service staff may lead to a less than ideal customer service experience.

To head off this situation and provide a service that allows for uninterrupted operation of the customer's machinery, Yanmar is to launch the SmartAssist system. Monitoring the customer's machinery in real time, SmartAssist gathers accurate data on operational conditions and the state of equipment to minimize downtime.

The advanced M2M service which utilizes Yanmar's proprietary technology and incorporates the latest advances in mobile communications infrastructure will be deployed first to agricultural machinery, and then to construction and marine equipment.

1. Objectives of SmartAssist:

(1) Reduce machine downtime

If malfunction or error is detected in the electronic control system, the error can be transmitted and an appropriate response formulated, minimizing the time taken to restore the product to correct operation.


(2) Prevent downtime

By accurately ascertaining the individual operating conditions of each machine, optimal maintenance can be conducted at the ideal time. Not only does preventing downtime facilitate scheduled work, but machine life can also be extended, maximizing value to the customer.(3) Provide consistent, high quality serviceThe coordinated global deployment of SmartAssist in cooperation with different Business Units promises to deliver consistent and high quality service that transcends business and regional boundaries.

2. Service Examples: The services offered are given below:

(1) Agricultural business:

The majority of customers are expected to be in Japan, particularly professional farmers that purchase large agricultural equipment.
Service start date: A phased introduction starting in Hokkaido from January 2013.

  1. Operational status management service: The location of agricultural equipment can be plotted on a map by date and time. Where customers are operating a large agricultural enterprise, wasteful work distribution can be avoided and work routes managed by simultaneously ascertaining the state of multiple pieces of machinery.

  2. Maintenance service: Optimal service schedules can be arranged around the actual usage of equipment. Regular maintenance items such as engine oil and element changes can be "prescribed", based on the information gathered. In addition, maintenance can be tailored to individual operational characteristics and load rate data.

  3. Malfunction notification service: Agricultural machinery can be monitored for malfunctions, and where such occur, service centers and service staff can be notified. Depending on the nature of the malfunction, customers may be notified or service staff dispatched, after determining the best way of dealing with the issue.

  4. Operations improvement support: The customer has the ability to directly add information and comments on the type of work carried out to the operational data automatically collected from the equipment, creating a kind of "work diary". By accurately determining the condition of the equipment and the details of the work carried out, later agricultural work and processes can be improved.

  5. Theft prevention: The customer can set the times and places where they usually work into the GPS function of the electronic control system. If the machinery is operated outside of these designated ranges, the customer is notified reducing the risk of loss from theft.

(2) Construction business:

Main customers are expected to be operators of mini excavators and rental companies.
Service start date: A phased introduction starting in Hokkaido from February 2013.

  1. Operational status management service: Data relating to operational status as well as information on the operating location can be supplied to customers who wish to manage the operation of their machinery.

  2. Maintenance service: When the machinery operating time reaches a maintenance threshold for any inspection items specified in advance, the machinery will issue a notification.

  3. Theft prevention: When data is received from areas and times outside of specified ranges, the customer is notified and the engine is locked to deter theft.

(3) Marine business:

Main customers are expected to be purchasers of small marine diesel engines.
Service start date: A phased introduction starting in Hokkaido from 2014.

  1. Operational status management service: Information on the operating location can be supplied to boat rental companies, hotel operators and fishermen, or any customer who wishes to better manage their vessel's engine.

  2. Theft prevention: The customer can be notified when the engine in question is used outside of a predetermined range of times and locations, deterring theft.

  3. Operations improvement support: Customers can be provided with information on the usage parameters of their engine, allowing them to operate their engines with optimum efficiency, extracting the most from every drop of fuel. Customers may also be able to take advantage of a support service towards realizing more effective and energy efficient operation of their engine.

Note: Information contained in News Releases is used in press conferences and may differ from the most recently available information.

3. Inquiries:

Public Relations Group,
General Affairs Dept., Yanmar Co., Ltd.