ORBCOMM Provides Satellite Network for Manitowoc's CraneSTAR

Manitowoc Cranes, a division of The Manitowoc Company, Manitowoc, Wis., and ORBCOMM, a leading global satellite data communications company focused on machine-to-machine communications, today announced a partnership to provide CraneSTAR, an asset management system that helps owners monitor crane fleets almost anywhere in the world.

Scott Blair, director of global telematics at Manitowoc, said that CraneSTAR will help crane owners get better productivity and profitability from their cranes. "CraneSTAR gives customers timely information on their crane fleet, no matter where they or their cranes, are in the world," he said. "It is the most comprehensive asset management system our industry has ever seen. At present no other OEM in our business is able to offer fleet managers this level of information to help them plan lift scheduling or maintenance schedules. "

CraneSTAR processing capabilities come from a Manitowoc-engineered telematics control unit which monitors major crane functions and provides operational data taken from the crane's proprietary CANbus network. Once gathered, the data is transmitted via GSM or satellite network to a secure database linked to a web server, which can be accessed by a web-connected computer or handheld device. Manitowoc will offer CraneSTAR as standard equipment on most current production models, and it will be phased into production in the coming months.

One major CraneSTAR benefit for customers is that the system will help reduce ownership cost and improve profitability by helping to monitor critical operating data, assisting in recognizing maintenance trends and routine maintenance schedules, and making more efficient business decisions. ORBCOMM, Fort Lee, N.J., provides the satellite communications portion of the CraneSTAR system. ORBCOMM's network of low Earth orbit satellites provides cost-effective tracking, monitoring and messaging capabilities around the world.

Marc Eisenberg, CEO of ORBCOMM, said the company is committed to helping fleet owners manage their assets more effectively. "Tracking equipment hours, location and performance is a major step toward improving equipment utilization," he said. "ORBCOMM's involvement with CraneSTAR helps crane owners leverage their assets and become more productive and profitable in the field."