Virtual Tech App Improves Reefer Unit Uptime, Carrier Says
August 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
Virtual Tech, a comprehensive diagnostic application that continually monitors trailer refrigeration unit operation to help avert potential system problems, is now part of Carrier Transicold's APX control system, the company announced.
The new application continuously monitors the operation of all unit components - refrigeration, mechanical and electrical - as well as the APX control system itself.
"The Virtual Tech application is like having a ride-along service technician watching the unit's performance," said Mark Fragnito, Carrier Transicold's product manager, electronics. "It helps take the guesswork out of refrigeration unit service, making troubleshooting easier and faster, and improving equipment uptime in the process.
"It's a tool that will be well received by fleet managers, owner-operators and especially service technicians, who won't need extra troubleshooting hardware, testing kits and complex troubleshooting trees to diagnose problems, because it's all automatic."
Innovative technology used by the APX control system makes Virtual Tech's diagnostic capabilities possible, Fragnito said. Unlike earlier controls, APX uses no mechanical relays. This means the Virtual Tech application can monitor more system operations, with the ability to identify more than 250 different alarm conditions, he said.
If the Virtual Tech application senses a problem, it activates the refrigeration unit's amber external warning light to alert the driver, and the alarm LED flashes on the control system display module. When the alarm button is pushed, a text message describing the problem appears on the APX display module. If a specific control module needs repair or replacement, that module's red fault light glows for easy identification.
For units equipped with telematics capability, Virtual Techis capable of relaying system status and faults to a centralized dispatcher by way of Carrier's DataTrak option.
When APX is operating in technician mode, Virtual Tech provides analytic and diagnostic information on the display module's dashboard. The APX control system dashboard generates more diagnostic information in fewer keystrokes than existing control systems and can simultaneously show data from up to five sensors, providing a large overview of system performance.
Virtual Tech also records operational data so that detailed performance reports can be downloaded for review on a computer with Carrier Transicold's new TRU-Tech and TRU-View PC programs. The APX control system is standard with Carrier's new 2500 APX and 2100 APX models in the X2 series of trailer refrigeration units.
More information about the APX control system, Virtual Tech and Carrier's extensive Reefer Apps software suite is available from Carrier Transicold dealers and at www.trucktrailer.carrier.com.