The TIME TECH series 1 “‘vehicle and Personnel Monitoring System” is an affordable, modular time and activity monitoring system that is adaptable to any type of vehicle or machine and their associated personnel. This system was developed by Terry Ashwin in 1990.
The TIME TECH Series 1 system is an innovative portable time/activity management system for vehicles, both large or small, machinery and their operators. It enables the monitoring of remote machines, out-of-sight vehicles, thus promoting management of these very costly assets. These remote assets are often out of the ambit of managerial supervision and control, resulting in little or no true management of the assets or its cargo. Without TIME TECH abuse and poor utilisation is therefore common. TIME TECH gives true remote intelligence to the management of these valuable assets and distribution efficiency.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
The TIME TECH system is designed around a compact portable (or fixed in vehicle) data unit (a card sized unit). Its modular design allows the automatic monitoring of small or large fleets of vehicles, machinery, equipment and their personnel, from basic time/activity management to more sophisticated data measurement and control. For an affordable price, users can obtain daily activity reporting, directly downloaded to an ordinary printer or PC. TIME TECH addresses the aspects of vehicle operation and personnel activities where the bulk of losses occur.
THE MULTI APPLICATION, MODULAR, VEHICLE/ACTIVITY MONITORING SYSTEM
The successful exploitation of all core technologies is dependent on the adaptation of the technology to a wide spectrum of applications in its market as well as the extention into other areas where it can be beneficially employed. The TIME TECH system is admirably compatible with this requirement.
All operators of large or small fleets of trucks, busses, aircraft and marine vessels. Police, car-hire fleets, emergency services, government departments, municipalities, state corporations, armed forces, agriculture, construction, mining and all types of production machinery and equipment, compressors, pumps, air-conditioning, cranes, elevators and indoor vehicles.
TIME TECH utilises a micro card as its data recording unit. This card in turn has a compliment of docks available, these being a base, PC and Printer dock. The. base dock is fitted to the ‘equipment being’ monitored. The printer dock allows for the data to be directly printed out without the need of a PC. The PC dock allows a direct data transfer from the TIME TECH micro card recorder to the PC.
The portability/modularity of the system allows application from very basic vehicle activity management, to more sophisticated requirements. The unit/reader is not a permanent reader to the vehicle and can thus be removed, and replacement unit installed without incurring any downtime for repairs.· Card units are replaced on an exchange/return basis. Modularity also means that the system can be upgraded or tailored to any specific user needs. The unit has the ability to automatically identify various docks and perform the relative functions required. The base dock is fitted with an intimal REM Button informing the micro card about the machine and its operating parameters automatically allowing for the micro cards to be interchanged from one base to another.
REM Button (Remote Memory)
A portable TIME TECH base with rechargeable NiCad batteries and REM Button reader probe is utilized to capture REM data from remote locations. The REM Button has preprogrammed data and retains such for 15 years which is transferred into TIME TECH when probed.
This feature is ideally suited for the monitoring of remote locations, serviceable equipment (eg photocopier) and once probed, date and time stamping is included along with the REM data. Another application for the REM probe onto a base which is located onto any equipment is for the identification of users of such equipment. This also provides a security function/facilily.
Bar Code Reading.
A portable TIME TECH base with built-in rechargeable NiCad batteries and bar code reading wand (or CCD scanner) is utilized to to read bar codes. Date and time of reading is also included with the bar code data. This feature can be utilised in the same areas as the REM Button but also provides cargo, stock or Inventory monitoring.
TIME TECH Transceiver
A transceiver is installed onto the TIME TECH base and remote PC, providing an automatic. Cable -free transfer of all the recorded data in the TIME TECH unit to a remote PC placing the data in the PC’s data base. This allows for the data transfer to take place without human interaction and at any given time.
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Terry Ashwin invented Send-It in 1990, allowing printing and printer sharing between computers.
SEND-IT, an approved, locally manufactured product, is a cableless data transceiver device allowing printing and printer sharing between computers, whilst eliminating the need for cables. Data transmission is achieved by means of radio transceivers attached to P.C.’s. workstations, or file servers which communicate with one or more uniquely-identified printer base stations, each of which can control up to three parallel printers.
SEND-IT units connect to either the serial or parallel ports of the computer terminal. The former (serial) conforms to MS-COS standards, whilst the latter is Centronics compatible and is driven via the parallel port, thus being software independent. Both types of units address the same printer base solutions thus allowing the sharing of printers from a wide variety of workstations.
SEND-IT has a range of approximately 25 metres. This can vary according to the construction of floors, walls and ceilings but in an open-plan office the range would exceed this. The only limitation in terms of the number of terminals and printers in a system environment is the range.
SEND-IT Incorporates a transmission protocol which detects and rejects corrupt data and will only allow uncorrupted data to be printed. Security is achieved by the use of a unique transmission protocol, and coded printer base stations.
The large increase in the number of personal computers in use has seen a proliferation in the requirement for cabIing. Even the so called portable computer is still dependent on cabling to operate printing. Cable installation is expensive, inflexible and disruptive, and as more and more peripherals are added, so the complexity and volume of cabling increases.
This has created a market for a product that will eliminate the requirement for cables In the personal computer and main/mini-frame environments.
Applications Dependent upon Cables
Common to all, is the cabling required between the components of the system.
SEND-IT offers an unique solution because:
Why Use SEND-IT?
There will be advantages where:
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Terry Ashwin invented the Unifuel system in 1989
The ‘controller is situated at the pumps, This unit accepts the RF transmission from the BUTTON and identifies the vehicles. The unit compares driver pin codes allocated to the vehicles and allows access to the fuel (by switching the pumps on and off after a predetermined procedure has been followed), The controller has a sixteen character keyboard for input information and a LC,D, backlight display. The unit is made of #304 stainless steel.
Unifuel – System Overview
Every fleet operator is aware of the problems associated with fuel misuse. The time has arrived for a superior fuel management system. Computer technology has allowed us to design a unique fuel control system that gives fleet operators total control over fuel usage. Unifuel provides fleet owners with direct access to detailed reports.
Unifuel accurately records data pertaining to the vehicles’ identity, the drivers’ identity, the amount of fuel dispensed, time and date, the type of fuel and the kilometers travelled.
Vehicle driver Information Is captured either via the portable reader/reporter computer unit or an IBM compatible PC. This information is then downloaded to the Unifuel pump controller unit. Fleet vehicles are fitted with an electronic button mounted on the dashboard.
A Unifuel pump controller unit is installed alongside the fuel pumps on the pump island. When the electronic button on the dashboard is depressed a coded Signal is transmitted. The controller unit receives and identifies the vehicle, requests the drivers pin number and awaits for the number entry. If the pin number is valid, the controller unit will request the driver to enter the vehicles current odometer reading. The driver then selects a pump which is now ready to dispense fuel. On completion of refueling the controller unit has recorded the date, time, vehicle, driver, odometer reading and the amount of fuel dispensed.
Management can now identify problem areas at a glance. Immediate action can be taken to ensure that the fleet is running at optimum performance and discrepancies can be queried and rectified without further losses. Vehicles or drivers using excessive fuel can be identified and specific driver and vehicle performance monitored. Illegal usage of fuel after hours can be eliminated by coding in restrictive data to the controller unit. The Unifuel monitoring system is easily operated by the driver at any time thus eliminating the necessity for a pump attendant.
The data collected by the controller unit can be extracted by the reader/reporter unit at any time. Within a few seconds the information is downloaded into the portable reader/reporter unit and is now ready for management to configure a wide selection of reports. By linking up the portable unit to a PC the information can be downloaded to the PC. A number of reports can now be generated using standard software packages (e.g. Lotus, dBase).
Optional System Features
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Voyageur, a revolutionary new on-board recording device which has just hit the marketplace, could save the transport industry millions of Rands worth of lost time. The product, which is locally developed, is the result of more than five years research by Johannesburg based Anglo Asian Trading Corporation, manufacturer of microcomputer systems and specialist in custom designed equipment.
One of the biggest advantages of Voyageur Is that data is gathered once and stored for 31 days – whether the trip takes one day or 31 days – with no human Intervention, explains Anglo Asian’s marketing manager Roland TIlman. “From our investigations Voyageur with its radio link stands alone in the SA marketplace because it requires no cables, no plug-in modules, no keys and no paper disks. The sealed tamper-proof unit has a Nicad backup battery, which is automatically recharged by the vehicle’s battery.”
Other on-board recording devices currently available on international and local markets, rely on one or more moving or removable parts or components, says TIlman. “Among other things stylus needles can be bent and foreign objects can be stuck into mechanical systems and cables are susceptible to being driven over, twisted, or caught in doors.”
Voyageur is the result of Anglo Asian Trading’s in-depth survey of the transport industry. For a start, the product had to be versatile enough to address the needs of both the transporters who specialise in the transport of goods for money and companies who are forced to provide transport to stay in business because they must deliver their goods to the end user.
The survey showed there was a need for an instrument which could provide up to forty different reports, five different formats of recorded data, 72 pieces of recorded data and 27 general built in features – such as door opening monitors, temperature monitor, demobiliser, anti-hijack, alpha numeric displays, and so on.
“On top of this we realised that, because of the ever changing needs of the market place we had to create an instrument that was programmable to the nth degree.” In this vein, the Voyageur is currently using only one half of its available storage capacity and can therefore be continuously developed to cater for changes in legislation, or whatever.
When developing the product, Anglo Asian’s aim was to produce a sophisticated recording device which would put management in the driving seat. The result was that Voyageur’s features include a visual display and an audible warning signal to tell the driver where he is going wrong. “If his bad driving habits persist, the errors are recorded in the computer,” says TIlman.
Another feature of the system is that it provides truck owners with a working tool to plan and re-plan journeys by enabling them to reschedule vehicles for non-peak periods, plot a different route and perhaps a different load. The system is extremely easy to use because it merely requires the driver to enter a simple code that allows the truck to be started. As soon as the code is accepted, the recording device is activated. At the end of the day when the truck returns to base the Information is downloaded by radio signal into a receiver. “The driver just pushes a button and in 11 seconds the complete information for that day, the whole week, or whatever, is downloaded into a receiver unit.”
The data reader, which is linked by radio to the recorder in the vehicle, is about the size of a telephone, typically attached to an IBM PC compatible printer in the manager’s office, which allows immediate debriefing of the driver. Voyageur readers can also be linked across distances via modem (8 device that enables digital computer signals to be transmitted utilising a telephone line) so that fleets can be controlled from a central situation to anywhere in the country.
Consequently any misdemeanors are highlighted there and then and management can save money by pin-pointing unscheduled trips and time wasting, thus enabling them to put the bite on employees and also eliminating bad driving techniques. “Exception reporting makes life easy for the manager and a special colour coded highlighting technique on reports makes it easy 10 track performance. “Coupled with this, reports can be produced in any language, he adds.
Interestingly, says TIlman, drivers do not resent the controls imposed by the Voyageur, far from, “A lot of companies are offering Incentive bonuses to those who perform well and they say this encourages a spirit of friendly competitiveness among their drivers” He adds that there was one case where a manager, who was convinced that a particular employee was a bad driver was proved wrong once Voyageur had been installed.
Voyageur is a very potent management tool for Improving a company’s productivity and profitability. With running costs of heavy-duty vehicles, savings per km, can represent a significant increase in margins and returns, giving a Voyageur equipped fleet a competitive edge in the market place.
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IN-MOTION MEASURING SYSTEM
Traditionally trucks and trains had to stop at a weigh bridge to weigh the content of the vehicle. With this invention the vehicle continues to move over the weighing area without stopping.
BENEFITS OF THE INVENTION:
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Terry Ashwin invented the Fuelcon System between 1987 and 1988.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & CAPABILITIES
The Fuelcon M3 is a fuel control management system, locally developed, manufactured and serviced in South Africa. It is designed to provide fleet operators, with their own fuel pumps, the ultimate in fleet fuel control. The latest computer technology has been employed to guarantee maximum accuracy and efficiency.
OPTIONAL SYSTEM FEATURES
Aesthetically pleasing in free standing weather proof pedestal enclosure.
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Terry Ashwin has a proprietary air when he demonstrates the new Traveller on board Recorder – and well he might.
He invented this electronic tachograph. Costing under R2000 and marketed in South Africa by Hampo Systems, the device verifies any activity of the vehicle while it’s away from the depot, including distance travelled, starts and stops, maximum speed and engine revolutions, distance covered per trip and per day. It also provides warning signals to the driver to prevent misuse of the vehicle.
The tachograph is designed to enable vehicles to be utilized in the most economical way, with savings on tyre wear, engine wear and fuel consumption. The system is provided with its own low-cost reader, obviating the need for a microcomputer.
Simply put, it stores information on a memory chip and at the end of the day, this is extracted or transferred by radio to the reader to give managers access to all the information they need on each vehicle.
Driver self-management is achieved with a series of warning lights which indicate to the driver that he has overstepped limits set for the safety and economy and keeps him in line. If he does not confirm, a horn blasts off.
The unit effects great savings. But Ashwin is adamant that the machine has to be used to motivate drivers, not police them.
“Drivers must know the machine is there, that it is there to help them and how it works. A driver gets on-the- spot correction to which he has to react instead of his manager finding a mistake days after it has happened and complaining about a forgotten incident”: said Ashwin.
The display can be used as clock, kilometre, trip-meter, can be used to record details of a trip or check on parameters. It is an exception reporter, obviating tedious hours of data collection. It can give full detail reports on an individual, daily, weekly and monthly basis.
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This South African-developed computer vehicle monitoring system, which provides instant read-outs of a host of vital operating functions was marketed in 1983.
The system is of a very advanced design and can assist transport management to obtain vital information relating to the operation, scheduling and control of fleets, saving thousands of rands a year.
The beauty of the system is that it is suitable for one vehicle to a major fleet operation. Readings can be taken off the unit on a roll-printout into a teleprinter or directly through a micro system. Basic information includes distance. Rpm, speeds, times of trips, times of stops, over speeding, over-revving and with additional attachments it can meet any transport operator’s requirements.
It is designed to fit any needs of an individual operator. A special rugged reliability test over 1 436km was done this month over a route which included highways, beaches, back-roads and mountain routes from Durban to Empangeni, followed the rail track to Umfolosi, on to Vryheid on bus routes, described as the worst in the world.
Conditions were so bad they could hardly be described as reads, but tracks, then into the Drakensberg where the route covered backtracks ‘including the road to Giants Castle and to the top of Sani Pass, then back on to bus routes through Underberg, Kokstad and back to Durban.
Two Datsun four-wheel drive Safaris were specially fitted for the trip and to prove the reliability of the unit, they were also driven into the sea and one unit survived a 60 km/h crash when a bridge was hit by accident.
This system offers transport operators a new dimension of control as they are now able to monitor exactly where vehicles go and how they are driven,” said Mr Peler Zeedcrberg, a Control Instruments on-board computer consultant.
“Steps can be taken to device methods of reducing operating costs as routing can be pre-programed and the computer can reveal that a wrong vehicle is being used. The computer will immediately inform an operator which vehicle would be more economic or suitable.”
The unit is about the size of a soft-covered book and is backed by Hunt Leuchars and Hepburn, one of the biggest companies In South Africa. Fitting of the unit takes about an hour.
Other articles regarding the Compufleet system is as follow:Read more →
This inexpensive system was developed by Terry Ashwin in 1979 and the rights sold to Control Instruments.
Up to the minute information make matches and competitions more interesting and easier to follow and gives more appeal.
The CI portable electronic display has many unique features which make it the ideal scoreboard for any school or club.
Although it is primarily suited for indoor sports, it can with simple weather protection be adapted for outdoor use.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS:
– Table tennis
DISPLAY FORMAT – SCORE MODE
DISPLAY FORMAT – TIMING MODE
Length – 660 mm
Width – 200 mm
Governments and policy makers globally are realising the potential benefits of encouraging the growth in sensor technology. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s Technology Foresight, meet regularly to examine potential opportunities to promote wealth creation and enhance quality. This forum identified sensor technology as an integral element in the overall development of products and services. In fact it emerged as the key technology supporting a wide variety of research and industrial applications.
Sensor technology is a key in the seamless integration of systems. Any technology system requires an input to trigger a process; intelligent wireless sensor technology does not only provide this input automatically but also sense the important environmental aspects and in doing so triggers the appropriate system processes.
Science fiction is always an indication of where technological development is going. Start Wars was released in 1977 and at that stage it stretched the imagination of most people. What was far-fetched then is a possibility today. During the late 1990’s I attended a book launch at one of the big advertising agencies for a book called “Next”. The book was all about the trends in the advertising industry but what I remember is that the book predicted seamless integration between the individual and its world. Bill boards will sense your presence and will display advertisements based on your demographics. Should you be travelling with your family, combined demographics will be used to determine what would be the most appropriate information to display. If correctly targeted advertising becomes relevant information that is non-invasive. What was far-fetched then is possible today.
Although it is possible to implement what we have seen in science fiction over the last decades, something is still missing. A logical deduction could be that the inability of the various technologies to detect or sense according to a universal standard still makes technology fragmented and dependant on human intervention. Even though technology is used in everything around us, it has not yet been integrated into a seamless solution. We carry electronic vehicles keys, remote controls to gates and garage doors, we type codes into keypads, we have chipped bank cards, ID cards for access control, loyalty cards, USB devices to do banking and many more. Almost everything in our world is controlled by a different device or some form of intervention.
The main reason why every technology uses a different device is because the user needs to identify them to the technology and provide the technology with some input and up to now there has been no single identification method that could work universally. As a result people are used to a bunch of keys with a couple of remote controls, a wallet full of cards, passwords and pin codes, and the other devices that we interact with.
But is it really possible to do away with all of this? The answer is YES! Imagine a unique identification that is accessible to all technologies combined with an improved ability to sense relevant environmental attributes. Such a combination could give us the ability to seamlessly integrate and automate much more than what we do today.
To understand how it is possible we need to explore intelligent sensing technology.
The human body is a good example of how intelligent sensing technology works. We are familiar with five standard senses but in reality there is a network of sensors throughout the body. These micro sensors on a cellular level know how to respond when triggered to maintain a natural balance. Think about the enzyme produced in the liver to cope with whatever humans consume. The eyes have sensors that detect light and sensors that detect the three primary colours. The ear has sensors that enable you to hear as well as sensors that detect your orientation in the gravitational field and that give you a sense of balance. In your muscles and joints, there are sensors that tell you where the different parts of your body are and about the motion and tension of the muscles. These senses let us; for example, touch our index fingers together with our eyes shut. Hunger and thirst can be said to be monitored by sensors too.
In our environment an electronic sensor is a device, which responds to an input quantity, just like human cells, by generating a functionally related output usually in the form of an electrical or optical signal. These signals are then used to provide the inputs to technology that would have otherwise have been manual. During the past two decades, there has been an unprecedented growth in the number of products and services, which utilise information gained from different types of sensors. The development of sensors to meet this need is referred to as sensor technology and is applicable in a very broad domain including the environment, medicine, commerce and industry.
A practical example to demonstrate this; is to look at the systems present in an office block. Every single office block has the following systems operational in some way. The systems although often very primitive is related to building automation or energy management, access control and security, time and attendance, asset management or stock control, office automation and many more.
Imagine every person working in the building had a wireless identification that could be verified on entry through some form of biometrics. From that point on all the systems could respond to the presence of the person without any further intervention. By using a single wireless identification method and environmental sensing technology the systems can be seamlessly integrated. The individual’s journey via the basement elevator can be scheduled on entry into the basement parking, the air-conditioning system in the persons office can be switched on according to personal preference taking the outside temperature into account. The sensor in the persons pocket could also sense body temperature that could be a further input. The person will only be able to enter and exit the building with computer equipment that has been allocated to them. The access control and time and attendance systems will automatically be updated as the person approaches an entrance. The security systems will stay activated but ignore people with valid identification as they walk through the building. Should they try to access unauthorised areas the system will either block access or notify the relevant people. The lights will switch on as the person walks through the building and switch off as they leave. The business systems will automatically know who is accessing the systems and allow access. When the individual leaves his or her desk the computer will automatically lock and unlock on return. When entering a meeting room the computer could automatically log me on and load the presentation linked to the calendar booking. Personal selections can be made by tapping my sensor when asked. The meeting could be recorded and automatically sent to attendees selected via the sensor to receive the recording.
If you at this point wonder how to protect your identity when you do not want to use the functionality, you always have the ability to temporarily disable your sensor. Also remember that you decide who you provide your information too. Without providing access to your own information the sensor will just provide a number when detected. With some development in progress identification sensors will automatically sense whether the sensor is used by its rightful owner and potentially limit the need for separate biometric verification.
The same identification can be used; to transact within multiple retail stores, for banking, to gain access to your local gym and to monitor your progress, to unlock your vehicle, open your garage door and house etc.
WiST SA recently launched a new range of sensing products that can make most of the above possible. Broadly speaking WiST provides two types of sensors. The first will detect changes in the status quo, and the second will provide exact measurement. The sensor has a level of intelligence and communicates on predefined intervals to notify the WiST updater/reader that it is still present but when any change in the status quo occurs the sensor will immediately send an alert. Although alerts triggered on an exception is a key component of the WiST value proposition, the data collected on an ongoing basis cannot be under estimated. Analysis of this data will provide key business insights.
Sensor data is either used by local systems or is transmitted to a secure database on the internet depending on the application. In the last case the WiST rule based management system responds to alerts from every sensor according to predefined rules. The rules can be as simple as to notify the owner via SMS.
Standard WiST sensors can be packaged to suit the client’s application in short and long range. The sensor can be packaged in a credit/ access card for financial and access control applications. The sensor can be packaged in wall mountable housings for security sensing purposes, flat figure eight enclosures for asset tracking and more robust and water proof enclosures for industrial applications. Sensors can also be moulded into plastic containers and crates.
Updaters are not merely the device that transmits the data to the relevant system or database. These devices have a very important role and provide another level of intelligence.
The entry level WiST Updater could either be used as a PC USB updater that uses the PC’s infrastructure to transmit data to the database or could be integrated in any other device that could use or transmit the sensor data. This updater is a powerful reliable low cost option.
The WiST mobile Updater is a small GSM/GPS/3G updater which is ideal to track high value movable assets such as vehicles and containers etc.
WiST static updaters can also be installed on client networks. In this case the updater is typically wall mounted and either linked to the clients wireless or fixed cable network infrastructure.
Sensors can be used to provide input to a local system or updated to the WiST high speed secure database from where it will be switched to the appropriate destination? Should the WiST Identity sensor or any of the items tagged with a WiST sensor be stolen the sensor can be marked as stolen on this database. Should any other updater locate any stolen sensor or item anywhere in the world it will immediately report on its whereabouts and inform the relevant parties.
WiST has a myriad of applications and as clients understand the capability of WiST the installation typically grows as clients identify more uses. Below are examples of sensors:
Identity Sensors: WiST identity sensors have a unique ID plus one or more senses. The WiSTâ„¢ identity sensor is typically fitted with a magnetic switch but the main purpose of the sensor is to provide ONE unique identification code for financial and loyalty transactions across banks, retailers, insurance companies and access control in the work place and at home. The sensor can trigger energy saving devices and be your unique ID that protects your data on your computer. Identity sensors can also be used for asset management if it is not important to track movement.
WiST South Africa and its Centre of Excellence Partners have various software applications available to use with WiST. The sensor data can also be integrated into any other business application depending on the client requirements.
WiST brings control back in a hectic world. WiST tracks, protects, secures and streamlines your business assets
Sensors will progressively become part of modern life. In nature and in the human body there is an invisible network of sensors at work that maintain a natural balance through continues fine tuning and adjustment. Networks of sensors can monitor and manage everything around us in a similar precise and economical way. Just think about it: