Inside Komatsu and iVolve’s Enduring Partnership

SOURCE: Quarry | March 1, 2024

After collaborating with iVolve on the globally successful Smart Quarry Site, Komatsu has officially acquired its partner as it looks to digitalise the quarrying industry.

The shift towards digitalisation in the resources industry is making operations more predictable, efficient and sustainable than ever before. Real-time data for site operators is helping to manage the health of assets, streamline efficiency and empower informed decision-making.

“Data is king in the quarrying sector,” Komatsu general manager smart construction James Muir told Quarry.

“It has become so incredibly important and being able to access this data from your machine is critical for almost all modern quarries.”

Though common in other industries like mining and construction, technology such as fleet management solutions have been largely unrealised in the quarry industry.

That is until Komatsu and iVolve introduced Smart Quarry Site.

Smart Quarry Site is an agnostic fleet management solution, which allows site and project management personnel to see real-time animated overview of their machines, including trucks, loaders, excavators, graders, dozers, and more.

  “With Smart Quarry Site, machines are able to receive, transit and act on information,” Muir said.

“Site managers can see every movement of their machines in real-time, by monitoring the location and status of their fleets through the platform.

“It also provides critical information about volumes and tonnes being hauled and loaded, and is brand agnostic, meaning the platform is compatible across mixed fleets of machinery regardless of manufacturer.”

The technology has auto-reporting capabilities for machine faults, automatic service metre readings, automatic machine utilisation measuring, and access through myKomatsu online customer parts portal for parts and service kits.

More than a typical fleet management solution, Smart Quarry Site is specialised for the quarry industry, striking a balance between iVolve’s back-end technological skill and Komatsu’s focus on the end-user experience.

Muir said Komatsu used iVolve technology at its mining operations, so making the leap into quarrying was a logical evolution.

“The opportunity for this partnership came up while we were looking for a technology that gives real-time information and data on quarry operations, including productivity information, speeding events and real-time positioning of the machines on the site,” he said.

“We were impressed with iVolve’s capabilities and the great synergy between our companies, but we also know exactly what our customers want.

“So, with the voice of our customers like Hanson and Holcim ringing in our ears, we set out to fine-tune the program for our quarry end-users.”

Komatsu and iVolve have partnered up to deliver Smart Quarry Site.

Komatsu pays special attention to the machine dashboards to help streamline essential fleet management information for its customers.

“We created five dashboards covering productivity, machine health, operator efficiency and everything a quarry operator needs to know, including idling and sustainability measures,” Muir said.

“With Smart Quarry Site, operators and site managers can pull all of that information from the machines in real time.”

Since its launch, Smart Quarry Site has been a global hit. Muir said that the company is in the process of rolling it out across North America and Europe.

In the wake of Smart Quarry Site’s success, Komatsu and iVolve ratified their relationship, with iVolve officially becoming part of Komatsu in December 2023.

“Our customers will benefit from this new alignment, as we leverage the expertise, commitment and reach of Komatsu to improve our offering,” iVolve chief executive officer and co-founder Kim Parascos said.

It’s an acquisition, Muir said, that will help deliver high-calibre technology to Komatsu’s customers.

“While it is great to be able to give real-time information to these quarries with Smart Quarry Site, now we want to take that further and be able to provide historical data so they can make informed choices on pit design, truck routes and anything that will help make their jobs easier,” he said.

Aside from iVolve’s technological expertise, another main draw was the fact that its solutions are entirely brand-agnostic. This means Komatsu’s customers, who typically run mixed fleets, can access technologies like Smart Quarry Site on machines from other manufacturers.   

“We’re going to be looking to continually improve our products and technology for our customers, really keeping them front of mind during the design phase,” Muir said.

“Going forward, we know that technology will play a big role in Komatsu machines. We really want to educate our customers on these platforms and how they can use them to help achieve their business goals, whether that’s productivity, sustainability or achieving a more accurate payload.

“With the acquisition of iVolve, we are really jumping headlong into the digital era.”

To comment on this story or for additional details click on related button above.