Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT) has announced that Shell has deployed a satellite-based asset management solution in the Netherlands to securely manage their movable assets on land and at sea.
By more closely and efficiently managing their high value assets and their associated test certification, Shell has achieved a positive return on investment (ROI) on the solution in just three months. The Alltrack track and trace solution, provided by Globalstar’s Dutch-based Value Added Reseller Improvement-IT, incorporates QR codes, Globalstar’s SmartOne™ satellite asset managers and a cloud-based content management system.
Alltrack has been integrated with Shell’s internal mapping software utility to make it easy to precisely locate assets, while geofencing confirms that items are in the right place. The solution ensures that equipment test certificates are valid, eliminating paperwork while cutting time and costs as well as speeding up supply chain operations. To date, Shell has deployed 250 SmartOne devices attached to a variety of high value assets including pumps, tools, power supplies and generators, which may be on land, in containers, in transit or offshore. With terrestrial mobile communications networks being incomplete, unreliable or non-existent in these locations, satellite was the only reliable communications option. SmartOne uses motion sensors, comparative GPS positions and sensors to gather and transmit asset status information over Globalstar’s satellite network.
Designed from the outset to be easy to use for non-technical staff, Alltrack requires just 15 minutes of training. There are currently approximately 100 users at Shell, with more being added. Shell originally started by using 2D QR style codes to track down hole drilling tools for oil and gas platforms as they went into and out of its warehouses. Then, in 2015, Shell extended this facility to tracking assets being put into containers for transport or storage, and tracking them by GPS, communicating the containers’ status back to headquarters using Globalstar’s satellite network.
Shell is now testing “track and trace” in other parts of the business, including monitoring pipe and tube materials, with a view to expanding its use. Plus, third parties who manage certification processes and those who manage tools for Shell can now benefit from using the system too.
According to Albert Bos, the Team Leader of the Well Services Workshop at Shell, this satellite-based solution makes certain the company obtains a full picture of where their assets are located, even if on a right in the North Sea, which results in decision-making quick and easy. When a container arrives at the warehouse, security officers now already know what’s inside and the test certificates are automatically validated, saving significant time. Shell can also easily see which of their rented assets are being underutilized and they can be returned, resulting in cost savings.