After previewing the concept at Conexpo, Perkins has launched its SmartCap, a cap designed to replace existing oil filler caps on Perkins engines.
It features Bluetooth connectivity that allows end users to receive engine data on their mobile devices through the company’s “My Engine” app introduced at the show.
Perkins touts the SmartCap as “the industry’s first engine-level low-cost telematics solution.” Included in the information transmitted to users’ mobile devices is location, number of starts, hours, and engine speed. Users also can be notified when service is due. Eventually, users will be able to order parts for service through the app.
At this stage, Perkins officials said, the device is not compatible with third-party software or OEMs’ telematics systems.
Production release is slated for September 17 in North America, and the SmartCap will be offered for an introductory price of $49.99. There’s no annual subscription and the My Engine app is free. Ian Bradford, parts product manager, declined to say what the cap’s price increase would be after the introductory offer. “We’re not looking to see a big increase,” Bradford said.
It is available in three different sizes, covering Perkins engines from 20 horsepower to 275 horsepower in products ranging from light towers to excavators.
The cap can also be retrofitted to Perkins engines up to 20 years old. It’s designed to last 2 to 3 years, and its battery level can be tracked on the My Engine app; there’s even a notification alerting users to a low battery.
SmartCap works by detecting vibrations in the engine. A chip inside then filters running data versus non-running data, and transmits data first to the cloud, then to a users smartphone or mobile device. Perkins and its local distributor have access to the data if the user opts to share.
The reward for sharing is a “higher level of service,” according to Bradford. The reward for Perkins distributors is a greater knowledge of the locations of engines in their territories, the opportunity to sell parts based on engine lifecycle information, and more accurate demographics.
“We can get to know customers more intimately and offer faster, more tailored support,” said Michael Wright, director, Aftermarket. “Frankly, it is a sustained relationship to grow revenue.”
Perkins will also gain greater intelligence on individual applications for R&D purposes.
The SmartCap can be purchased from Perkins distributors or on the recently introduced www.shop.perkins.com.