The ePod is an unmanned, self contained, self-service rental / hire portal that can be inserted inside a standard shipping container or positioned in the entrance to any secure area. Developed in partnership with Speedy Services it is available for purchase or hire exclusively through Speedy.
The ePod is intended for organisations who need ready access to assets in a secure area but where it is not cost effective to have a manned facility. It is designed to withstand the harsh environment of a construction site and therefore could be used in a wide range of similar industries, including rail, nuclear, aerospace, military, and petrochemical.
Compared with the alternative option of hiring tools from the nearest depot the ePod can offer significant savings in terms of total hire costs, carbon, travel time and labour costs saved.
The ePod can be transported to site quickly and easily by lorry and installed using a standard fork lift, which slots into the reinforced ventilation ducts above the doorway.
The only infrastructure the ePod needs is a 110v or 240v power supply with Commando socket fittings. Lighting for the inside of the container or store area can be connected and operated by the ePod®’s built-in Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensors. Data communication is via the cell phone network, local WiFi or LAN is not needed.
Once installed and powered up the ePod will operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week. If the external power supply fails the ePod will allow any visitors to exit before shutting down until power is restored. Spoken instructions are provided to guide users through the portal. Multiple language options are available. A different language preference can be set up individually for each entry fob.
The customer is issued a unique entry tag (low frequency RFID key fob) for each authorized ePod® user. A user simply swipes the entry tag to unlock the external door and enters the ePod®. On entering, the user is greeted by an audible welcome message and talked through how to use the unit. Assets are simply carried in and out of the portal.
All assets to be tracked by the ePod® must be fitted with an RFID tag. All Speedy Services assets are supplied pre-tagged. For other assets Codegate can assist with the sourcing and positioning of tags.
Once tags are correctly fitted any movement through the ePod® will be recorded together with the identity of the individual who carried them. This information is communicated immediately over GPRS back to the remote servers allowing movements to be monitored via a web portal.
ePods are in daily use by multiple customers all over the UK. Many have shared information relating to how much they have saved compared with hiring tools from the nearest depot. The figures below show the average monthly savings reported:
Average distance to nearest depot - 17.2 miles
Total hire charge savings compared with equivalent spot hires from depot - £4,952 per month.
Total labour time saved (travelling to and from depot and waiting for tools to arrive) - 235 man days per month
Total labour cost saved - £18,796 per month
Total carbon saved by not travelling to depot - 4.6 tonnes per month
ePod users have also found the number of items lost or returned damaged reduces to almost zero (because of individual entry fob accountability), delivering a huge contingency cost recovery at the end of the job.