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9/9/2010
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InformationWeek 500: 20 Great Ideas To Steal

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John Deere's construction and forestry division has introduced Fleet Care, a service that relies on actual data from the machine to drive when fleet maintenance gets done, rather than relying only on scheduled intervals.

Fleet Care leverages an existing telematics platform called JDLink that transmits data to and from a machine over wireless cellular--soon to be satellite--data networks. Machine operating data is transmitted to John Deere daily, and higher-priority error and problem indicators are sent on demand.

The telematic data along with laboratory analysis of machine fluids is automatically fed into an expert system. Other inputs into the system include preventative maintenance schedules and visual inspections of machines. The data is processed through a flexible rules engine that codifies Deere engineers' vast experience and understanding of how to interpret complex machine data. The system translates this data into plain language and suggests how to proactively maintain machine health.

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