Big data promises half percentage gains for organisations that might mean reducing costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. For Visy Logistics, visibility across its transport operations is crucial and its ongoing alliance with Scania, including a recent order of ten P450 prime movers, attests to the importance it places on information sharing and operational improvements.
An innovator in the packaging, paper and resource recovery industries, Visy regards sustainability as one of the pillars of its business.
Operating in Australia for over 70 years, the company currently has over 120 sites across Australasia specialising in fully integrated, closed loop packaging and recycling solutions. For Visy, sustainability is fundamental to the central focus of its business, making its logistics affiliate a natural fit with Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania.
As a leader in renewable fuels and sustainable transport solutions, Scania, as a brand should resonate with eco-friendly industries in the brave new world of recycling, refuse management and circular economies.
Recently Visy Logistics added the clout of ten P450 6x4 prime movers to the growing fleet of trucks they have purchased from the commercial vehicle manufacturer.
That now brings Visy Logistics’ total of Scania prime movers to well over 70, the additional assets to be utilised for the new Truganina facility in northwest Melbourne.
Fitted at once with active and passive safety features, the Scanias are New Truck Generation (NTG) vehicles that feature side curtain rollover airbags, an enlarged windscreen and repositioned A-pillars and door mirror mounts to reduce blindspots and improve visibility in a crowded urban milieu. Various aero efficiencies are dialled into the cab shape on the Euro 6 emission compliant P450 for enhanced fuel efficiency when compared with previous generation commercial vehicles.
An onboard Scania Communicator produces a constant stream of data regarding operation and driving style for both Scania and Visy to analyse.
Visy’s Truganina site is a state-of-the-art facility incorporating a wealth of innovative manufacturing process and equipment which is progressively being introduced into company practices.
Part of its commitment to new technologies sees it focus on an integration of next generation systems, automation and data analytics. Furthermore, Visy Logistics has just embarked on a pilot program of the latest generation of Ecolution from Scania.
The vehicle management software, designed to lower fuel consumption and Co2 emissions, optimises Scania commercial vehicles with tailor driver management and an extended maintenance program. The Visy site in Truganina was selected as the first in Australia to run the new generation of Ecolution.
“In my understanding, Ecolution is a more realistic view to measure vehicle utilisation and sustainable metrics around consideration of the environment, the driver and obviously the economics of owning a fleet,” says Anton. “Having visibility of the fuel consumption and how we utilise vehicles in terms of the mileage and aligning our maintenance scheduling to it, we also have the visibility of how the drivers operate the vehicles in terms of driver behaviour which is essential.”
As part of its internal review process, Visy Logistics examines how the Scania fleet is being utilised by analysing monitored data that tracks over time the average trailer weight pulled by its vehicles. Anton says that data, in turn, is checked against the driver support scores and fuel consumption.
“All of this data is available to us by state or region and by specific vehicle model and gives us tracking over time so we are in constant pursuit of improving these metrics,” he says.
“We look forward to piloting the Ecolution to see what the outcomes are from a driver standpoint. We’ve seen good results in their score cards and from a driver perspective, our drivers are measured on regularly achieving more than 94 per cent of the system metrics as reported by the driver support system.”
Driver training, a service with increasing utility within the industry, is provided by Scania as part of its standard package. More recently, its driver trainers accompanied the operators of Scania vehicles for Visy Logistics on a national assessment and assistance program. It proved productive.
Fuel consumption, according to Keith Crawley, Visy Logistics State Operations Manager, is one of the key metrics most improved by better operation of the vehicles, and the gains they strive to make in this area, always come with safety in mind.
“If the driver is the most perfect driver then we’re going to get the best efficiencies out of our vehicles both operationally and financially,” he says.
“Fuel consumption, yes, is very important and also the fact that these vehicles basically tell us when maintenance is due. So the more efficiently and the more appropriately we handle the vehicles, the less opportunity we’re going to have to require repairs or anything beyond just the normal servicing requirements.”
As the new vehicles are assigned a metro detail which will reduce their mileage, Visy Logistics has opted for a five-year full maintenance lease arrangement with Scania.
The company, according to Anton, arrived at a decision to bring down the age of its fleet in 2016.
“With an older fleet, your reliability factor drops and your repair costs becomes more of a risky issue. The predictability of that under the new arrangement is a lot better with a fixed monthly cost and we don’t get surprises at any given time because it’s all covered under maintenance,” he says.
“We moved to a model where we decided the maximum age of our vehicles would be five years and that they’d be changed every five years. That’s a critical component in terms of our Chain of Responsibility commitments as a business – that we have a fleet out there that creates a safe environment for other road users.”
Scania has been involved in the ongoing monthly meetings chaired by Keith helping to dissect the metrics and amplify any of the training updates that might be required.
Only last week he was in discussion with one of his Melbourne drivers whose poor rating in the Driver Support Score was cause for concern. The operator, as it was soon discovered, had been driving in cruise control.
“There is a smarter cruise control option that will actually have you sitting back five car lengths from the vehicle in front of you and being able to sense that so you don’t have to hit the brakes so severely,” Keith says.
“The driver scores will now come up and the driver economics of that vehicle from our perspective will improve because the driver trainer has gone out with him and shown him how to do something slightly different even though he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. That to me was the best example of when a score has come back and how those exercises have improved operation.”
Scania driver trainer support is scheduled either annually or bi-annually, subject to the duty cycles of fleet operators at Visy Logistics.
Visy’s Australian-owned logistics arm of the business was established in 2006 and leverages the company’s considerable domestic and international supply chain.
As it requires versatility across its transport operations, Visy Logistics regards the Scania P450 6x4 as having a varied role that will deliver the efficiencies the business actively seeks across a range of applications.
As Visy Logistics works closely with a number of customers requiring specialised equipment and services, the trucks are utilised to move heavier materials from tips and landfill environments.
At present, the Scania fleet is also employed to pull 36 tonne B-double trailers laden with recycled paper products and in beverage applications for aluminium cans and plastic bottles. The Truganina prime movers are all fitted for Performance-Based Standards.
“We found they work very effectively for all other applications and we also had no reason not to go to Scania for this new application,” says Keith.
“The after sales service is more than adequate as they interact with us regularly and provide detail both electronically and in hard copy, and the ongoing meetings to make sure the fleet is operating to expectations.”
He adds, “Anecdotally I have not heard one negative comment from any of our drivers regarding the vehicles.”