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Thread: Food & Beer Production with "Wire-Free" Telemetry

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    Food & Beer Production with "Wire-Free" Telemetry

    With a history dating back to 1850, leading animal feed merchants and holders of the Royal Warrant, James & Son (GM) Ltd. have made history of their own by investing in the industry’s first ever silo and vehicle management system.

    Conceived in conjunction with Coleshill based ‘wire-free’ telemetry specialist BOX telematics, who were recommended to James & Son by Orange’s Technical Sales Department, the new system is designed to co-ordinate the company’s fleet of heavy goods vehicles that are used to transport co-products from the country’s top brewers and food producers to farmers across the UK. In addition to supplying dairy herds with traditional feeds such as brewers’ grains, the company markets a wide range of co-product feeds and has operations in Australia and Argentina.

    Explaining why they opted to invest in ‘wire-free’ telemetry, Paul Featherstone, Operations Manager for James & Son commented:” As a company we have two clear goals that must be achieved. These are to collect co-products from silos used by our brewing and food preparation customers and deliver them to our agricultural customers across the country. Although this may sound simple, if this operation breaks down for any reason our customers could end up having to shut down production as full silos prevent the safe storage of co-products. This is obviously a costly scenario for any customer, similarly livestock farmers can not be left without feed, so it is vital we operate this process as efficiently as possible.

    “From a business perspective, achieving full utilisation of our vehicle fleet at any one time is our ultimate goal as this results in greater efficiency and cost savings. By analysing the operations side of our business we were able to identify a greater need for silo management, as in some cases, our vehicles were having to wait at customers’ premises until enough co-product was available to achieve a full load. From an operational point of view, this kind of issue would affect the entire schedule to the vehicle fleet., and was a major headache for the operations division.”

    Having identified the operational problems with its business, James & Son contacted their network operator Orange for help in finding a workable solution. In turn, Orange recommended BOX telematics, who have recently been awarded its Orange seal of approval by being given the status of ‘Approved Technology’ by The Orange Developers’ Forum. BOX were also appointed in 1999 as the country's first wholesale service provider of data for Orange.

    Having worked with Orange since BOX telematics was launched in 1998, Mike Langley, sales and marketing director for BOX telematics said: “ Our relationship with Orange is very important as they have a strong focus towards delivering business solutions and the strength of its network also enables us to enhance our data transmission capability and therefore offer greater flexibility to our customers. The work we have done with Orange has instilled them with confidence in our capabilities so much so that they are happy to recommend customers like James & Son to us, which is exceedingly positive for both ourselves and the industry.

    “For James & Son we have been able to tailor a unique package to solve their business needs. By using a combination of our spotonBOX GPS vehicle tracking system linked to silo level management, at any one time Paul and his team are able to locate the exact position of every vehicle on their fleet, whilst monitoring silo levels. The system therefore allows them to direct vehicles to different destinations,contents ensuring silos do not meet critical levels. As a management tool, the system can also be used to plan routes, identify trends, recover stolen vehicles and automatically trigger alarms when pre-programmed silo threshold levels are exceeded, alerting staff to re-direct vehicles.”

    Working together with large brewers and food producers such as McCain Foods and Carlsberg-Tetley, the new equipment has been installed in over 16 silo sites across the country and to the entire fleet of 10 specialist vehicles. As a round-the-clock business, operating seven days a week, there have also been a number of additional benefits achieved by adopting the new system. Management time has been reduced and the installation of a PCMCIA card in one of the company’s laptop computers has enabled staff to be able to communicate with the system remotely, downloading vital information over breakfast instead of rushing to the office at the weekend.

    Paul:- “As a business, investing in this new system and technology has enabled us to maintain a competitive edge, whilst continuing to offer our customers exceptional service and support. As a respected and historic player in the market, we are committed to ensuring our continued growth in this and other fields and we are confident that the use of telemetry will enable use to achieve our ambitious goals for the future.”

    For further information about ‘wire-free’ telemetry and spotonBOX contact BOX telematics on 01675 434200 or visit . For further information on James & Son visit

    Picture Caption
    Bob Finley -Transport Manager at James & Son – with his 21st century vehicle and silo monitoring system central to the work activity.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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