Benefits of Motorola IMPRES Battery Fleet Management
In today’s fast moving world, we become more reliant on instant communications. Staying connected is crucial, especially when protecting the safety of yourself and others.
When using Motorola’s operations or mission-critical two-way radio solutions, your communications link will only perform as well as the battery that powers it. In difficult economic times, it is easy to cut costs and select batteries on purchase price alone without considering the implications of that decision. But imagine a steward responsible for crowd safety in a football stadium, or a fire-fighter entering a burning, smoke-filled building – the last thing they want is for their communications to let them down due to a failing battery.
Motorola’s IMPRES technology optimizes battery performance, increasing lifetime by up to 43%. But for those who rely on their radios, effective battery fleet management can minimize risk and maximize reliable performance.
IMPRES ENERGY EXPLAINED
IMPRES (Intelligent Motorola Portable Radio Energy System) is a proprietary system unique to Motorola and includes IMPRES batteries, IMPRES chargers and compatible portable radios, such as the MOTOTRBO DP2000, DP 3000 & DP4000 Series.
Once connected, the IMPRES radio, battery and charger communicate with each other to optimise performance. The radio detects the IMPRES circuitry embedded in the battery, identifying the battery type and automatically adjusting the radio’s transmitter and receiver audio circuits and battery gauge. The IMPRES circuit also stores key data to allow analysis and management of the battery when inserted in an IMPRES charger.
BENEFITS OF IMPRES ENERGY
Managing radio batteries is an essential part of maintaining a radio fleet, but it can require significant resource to monitor and check the batteries to ensure they are always charged and conditioned ready for a shift - vital for safety and operational efficiency. Often, the charge capacity of a battery and its potential remaining lifetime have to be estimated, resulting in poor performance, or batteries being replaced before necessary as administrators replace at fixed intervals or give workers spare batteries just in case. These factors all add up to increased costs in excess battery purchases, reduced performance, impact on the environment or recycling waste battery materials.
The IMPRES Energy solution takes away this guess work as it automatically recalibrates and reconditions the battery exactly when required. This can increase the life of an IMPRES battery by more than 43% - typically 150 charge cycles more than standard batteries. If the battery is recharged three times a week, IMPRES could extend the battery life by a year when compared to non IMPRES batteries.
HOW IMPRES ENERGY WORKS
Every IMPRES battery contains an embedded microcontroller that monitors and stores the individual details of the battery, including its serial number, part number, age and usage profile. When connected to a compatible radio, the battery communicates accurate energy information to be shown on the display so the user knows how much charge is left in the battery.
Using an IMPRES charger adds even more to the system. IMPRES chargers will monitor temperature, voltage and current into and out of the battery to prevent overheating which can permanently damage and prematurely reduce the life of the battery pack. Overheating is also a sign of inefficient use of valuable electrical energy and IMPRES chargers eradicate this inefficiency. Unlike conventional chargers, IMPRES prevents incorrect charging and the charger combines four functions in one device:
- Initial calibration
- Rapid, trickle and maintenance top up charges
- Reconditioning/recalibration of the batteries
- Analysis of the batteries
The result is a solution designed for crisis management because radios with IMPRES batteries can be left in their IMPRES chargers indefinitely, ready for any critical incident.
As a battery ages the unique IMPRES circuitry will adapt the charging profile to optimise the usable life and maximise return on investment. When a battery has aged so it has fallen below 60% of rated capacity, the charger will provide an indication to warn the administrator that battery performance is failing. All of this adds up to batteries that are maintained in optimal condition to maximise run time and extend life.
For even greater control of radio battery fleets, Motorola created the IMPRES Energy Fleet Management solution. This consists of data readers, charger interface units and a software application that allows administrators to record and analyse battery and charger usage and performance to ensure they get the best from their radio system.
IMPRES ENERGY FLEET MANAGEMENT EXPLAINED
The IMPRES Energy Fleet Management System allows managers or administrators to monitor and analyse their radio batteries and chargers. It is scalable from a single-site to a multi-site system and can be networked to support up to 25,000 batteries in the same location or over geographically areas.
The system consists of three key components:
- Fleet Management application software
- Software license activation key
- Charger Interface Units (CIU’s) and Battery Data Readers
The software application is installed on the system administrator’s PC and also on any remote client PCs if required. Each software license supports 1 system administrator and up to 19 clients (each of which can support up to 25 IMPRES chargers or data readers). If more client PC’s are required then additional licences can be used to increase the system capacity. Fleet Management uses normal IMPRES Single-Unit and Multi-Unit Chargers, but a Charger Interface Unit (CIU) is required to connect the chargers to the PC. The battery data reader is an optional component in the system – it does not charge the battery, but enables the IMPRES data to be read by the system.
Fleet Management can be used across a LAN or as a standalone computer (client PC) installation. The administrator is able to monitor all chargers and data readers, and the batteries placed in them, across the system.
IMPRES technology is unique to Motorola and allows the battery, charger and radio to communicate with each other, retaining key performance-related information including:
- Serial number
- Part number
- Rated capacity
- Potential capacity
- Date manufactured
- Date first used
- Number of charge cycles
All this data is stored in the battery and is read and saved automatically into the Fleet Management database, via an IMPRES charger and CIU. System administrators can then run reports and create charts to help manage their battery and charger fleets. Predefined or customisable reports (like batteries sorted by capacity, chargers by amount of use, and many others) allow the administrator to see a status snap-shot of their entire battery fleet in seconds, evaluate whether batteries are meeting performance criteria and determine when batteries are nearing end of life.
This allows forward planning, removes guess work and enables administrators to decide exactly when and how many new batteries to buy, helping budget for replacements in advance.
Fleet Management also identifies batteries and chargers that are deemed lost or under-utilised because they have not been used for months – they can be re-assigned to other users. Batteries that are several years old may be deemed no good because of the date code printed on the battery, but Fleet Management can show whether they are still usable.
Being able to easily identify under-utilised assets and usable capacity maximizes efficiency and provides greater return on investment on batteries that may have been disposed of prematurely.
As well as analysis of historical performance, IMPRES Fleet Management also allows real-time monitoring of batteries and chargers. Once a battery is inserted into a charger in the Fleet Management System, the administrator can view its IMPRES data and compare it against predefined preferences to ascertain the health of the battery.
If the battery fails to meet the preference settings, it will be identified on-screen with an orange warning triangle. This automated but simple check is easy for non technical personnel to identify potentially under-performing batteries and take them out of service. So if you set preferences to identify a battery that will not last the shift – Fleet Management will tell you.
OVER THE AIR BATTERY MANAGEMENT
IMPRES Over the Air (OTA) Battery Management, for DP2000 and DP4000 Series radios when used with IMPRES batteries, automatically collects battery information over the air while radios are in use. It eliminates the need for wired network connections and a computer at charger locations. It also enables real-time data querying of any radio in the field and adds radio related data for radio asset tracking and other uses. IMPRES OTA Battery Management requires IMPRES Battery Management software 2.0 and a software license key.
The Battery Fleet Management application (BMA) starts empty. Within a few hours after a radio powers up, it registers its current battery over the air with the BMA.
If the battery has never been registered with the BMA before, the BMA creates a new record for the battery and reads its battery data over the air.
If the battery has been registered with the BMA before, the BMA checks the last time the battery’s data was read.
If it has not been recently read, the BMA reads the battery data over the air.
If it has been recently read, no action is taken.
Radios register their battery about once a day, and a battery’s data is read once every few weeks. User can also request a manual read of a radio and battery, if immediate battery data refresh is needed.
An example of OTA air management can be seen in the following video:
IMPRES Fleet Management System is ideal for administrators who need to manage energy assets across a wide geographical area and also for workshop technicians, service managers and rental business aiming to get the best performance and return on investment from their radio batteries.
Pre-empting failures and providing high quality customer service helps improve user satisfaction. Keeping tight control of expenditure at the same time is sound business practice. Fleet Management allows managers a competitive advantage by enabling them to identify potentially problematic batteries and to order replacements before they cause issues for users.
A radio is only as good as the battery that powers it. So when a battery fails and communication is lost, it impacts every aspect of the organization from serving customers to saving lives. But monitoring and maintaining the status of a large fleet of batteries can be time-consuming, inefficient and potentially overwhelming.
That’s why we created our proprietary IMPRES Battery Fleet Management technology. It saves the guesswork, complexity and cost of managing hundreds or even thousands of radio batteries and chargers wherever they’re located, and makes it easier for radio users to do their work safely and successfully.