Chase your top productivity score with Volvo's new app
New feature allows operators to set targets and objectives for continual performance improvement
Efficiency is about more than just powerful products. Machine software is playing an increasingly important role in analyzing and finding areas of improvement out on the jobsite - and using that data to adapt and advance machines and operations for the future.
Volvo CE has a dedicated team of experts from both within construction and other industries who are working to fuse together the two worlds of conventional construction and high-tech app development.
"We've barely scratched the surface of how apps can help us be more productive," says Carina Mclane, Senior Software Developer for Intelligent Machine Platforms at Volvo CE. "The more connected and aware the apps are, the more they can understand our behavior and feed back to the user. These technologies have a huge role to play in analyzing how we work today and how we can drive construction efficiency tomorrow. The trick is to make the apps simple, engaging and user-friendly, so that everyone wants to use them."
Since joining Volvo CE just one year ago, she has been engaged in developing Operator Coaching. It is a new app which forms part of the Load Assist family and is now available in select markets across the world. The latest upgrade gives operators of Volvo's L110H to L260H wheel loaders real time information so that they can better understand how their actions influence output. A bit like chasing a top score on a computer game, the new feature allows operators to set targets and objectives for continual performance improvement.
Operator Coaching is just one example of how gaming trends are influencing the world of construction. Carina and the team are also working on a number of new and improved applications within Volvo CE, all designed to help boost construction productivity.
Carina explains that a lot of teamwork is required to turn a great idea into a release-worthy product, so together with product experts they spend time asking questions such as ‘are they addressing the right issues for operators out in the field?', ‘are the algorithms correlated with industry standard operator training?' and most importantly ‘are they easy to use?'.
To mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, Carina is keen to highlight how app development can be a great career choice for both men and women. While traditionally quite male dominated, she says the sector is incredibly rewarding for anyone who has tenacity, curiosity and a desire to take on a good challenge.
"One of the biggest rewards of the past year has been to sit in the driving seat of a wheel loader and see the connection between this big yellow machine and this little seemingly insignificant app. It's something intangible but incredibly special when it all comes together."
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