Michelin and Komatsu announced a joint program to offer the MEMS 4 (Michelin Earthmover Management System) tire-monitoring system as a factory-installed option on select electric-drive trucks manufactured in Peoria, Illinois.  Komatsu’s 930E-5 mining truck will be the first available model with MEMS4 as an option, with other models to follow. Komatsu will factory-install the MEMS4 transceiver, antennas and related harnesses. MEMS4 will be integrated with the current existing electronic display panel. Michelin will coordinate installation of the sensors in the tires at the customer’s site.

“In an effort to better serve our common customers, Michelin and Komatsu have signed the first OEM fitment agreement for MEMS4,” said Bruce Brackett, senior vice president, Michelin global mining business line. “The benefit for the mining customer is the integration of the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and the truck at the factory. With MEMS4, the customer receives a complete monitoring platform for tires, site conditions and productivity gains as soon as the new equipment arrives at the site.”

Originally launched in 2006, the MEMS system can be found in thousands of rigid dump trucks around the world. The current MEMS4 version increases safety and tire life and reduces unscheduled downtime, tire budgets and maintenance costs. It also reduces fuel consumption and improves truck availability while eliminating on-site pressure check labor.

“As a leader in innovative technology, Komatsu and our partners develop the best technological solutions that enable our customers to improve safety, performance and reduce the cost per ton,” said Dan Funcannon, vice president and general manager, Komatsu Large Mining Truck Division. “Integrating MEMS4 at the factory level ensures that the product is subjected to our rigorous quality process and provides a seamless experience for the customer.”

This factory-installed system captures real-time tire temperatures, pressures and mapping for proactive fleet management. Using GPS and accelerometers, a sensor installed in the tire sends critical tire-related data to alert operators online, via email or by SMS to laptops, tablets or smartphones. Each truck is geo-localized on a map in real time. A data-capture tool and mobile-device connection transfers information via Ethernet or 3G to cloud storage. Data are reported to dispatchers.

With MEMS4, downtime can be anticipated and avoided through detection of critical events. An inflation monitor compensates tire-pressure limits for ambient temperature; therefore, when tire temperatures change, operators can know immediately if there is an alert and change routes. Maintenance operations can be anticipated, and useless stops can be avoided. Michelin will continue to offer MEMS4 as an aftermarket item for trucks already in operation.