Managing the crucial three - security, safety and savings – is about to become a lot simpler for Australia’s marine industry operators with the release of Cat®’s GPLink - a satellite-based tracking, monitoring and notification system. Designed for Cat-powered yachts and vessels, GPLink is a bespoke off-the-shelf device created specifically to monitor and track, secure and protect, and diagnose and repair our most valuable investment, the vessel.
“The beauty of this system is that it is very tailored to the marine market,” says Martin Ditchburn from Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA), who is launching the device to the Australian market. “GPLink can be installed and implemented on any type of vessel powered by a Cat engine. It provides 24/7 monitoring of your vessel’s critical systems and, most importantly, it guarantees instant notification when a designated alarm activates.”
GPLink monitors marine engines and critical systems, from bilge and battery levels to power interruption, fire alarms and engine diagnostics, all while tracking the precise location of the boat says Ditchburn. “It is the remote access that is so appealing,” he adds. “Owners can remotely watch their vessel’s movement from anywhere in the world and monitor the speed that it is travelling. With the soaring price of fuel, this helps manage fuel consumption.”
GPLink also allows the sending and receiving of emergency messages via satellite and pinpoints the exact location of a vessel.
From a security perspective, Ditchburn says that the system’s geo-sensor allows vessel owners to set up precise boundary areas for operation and docking, and provides immediate notification if there is any unauthorised movement of the boat. “With Australia’s recent history of extreme weather patterns, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia, GPLink acts as a type of insurance policy,” he says. “It can track boats that may lose mooring in wild weather, and provides the same immediate response in the case of theft. It alerts owners often before they even realise that their boat is missing, saving valuable time and potentially long term costs.” Through a secure website interface, owners can log on to display the location of their vessel at any time and in any location.
GPLink’s list of advantages extends to remotely monitoring the critical engine parameters on the boat, allowing Cat technical experts from GPLink’s Concierge Call Centre in Singapore to access any fault codes or operating conditions on the vessel. This allows for the immediate review of the vessel’s alarm status and the troubleshooting of any engine conditions. Ditchburn says “in many cases this can eliminate the need for a technician visit, again keeping costs down.” In addition to real-time data, GPLink can archive data and supply regular updates on maintenance requirements, diagnostic reports and important manufacturer updates. Ditchburn adds that “boats with older Cat power systems can easily be upgraded and modernised.”
GPLink is already successfully in operation on vessels in the United States, with customers including New York Waterway ferries, Hatteras & Cabo yachts and Terral RiverService towboats. Martin Ditchburn says the system has received a “phenomenal response” from customers abroad and he looks forward to the reception it will receive in Australia.
“The system really is an imperative security and safety device on the water, and streamlines maintenance systems. It provides instant peace of mind for operators in the Australian marine industry. Once again Caterpillar is demonstrating its leadership and expertise in taking the marine industry to the next level of technological advancements.”