When McMaster engineering alumni Ken Sills and Sasha Kucharczyk first connected online, it wasn’t in the way that most people think. Sills, a computer engineer with a background in data science, looked to find a project which capitalized on the skills he had to offer, and when he was approached by Kucharczyk on an online founding forum he found the ideal project in Preteckt.
Preteckt is a cloud-based platform which analyzes vehicle data to accurately predict upcoming maintenance issues and their root causes in real-time. This two-stage algorithm first identifies anomalies in vehicle performance, then Machine Learning powered data visualization tools to allow subject matter experts to label the anomaly by severity and root cause.
“What makes us different from our competitors is in how we use Machine Learning to supercharge our expert diagnostic technicians,” explains Sills. “All data has anomalies, but not every anomaly is a failure. Our experts validate each prediction with their real-world knowledge, and our technology learns from those experts every time they look at the data.”
Preteckt’s predictive algorithms are validated in real-time by human technicians, who fine-tune the predictions and provide expert repair recommendations. Preteckt’s technology saves truck and bus fleets up to $2700 annually per vehicle, and can reduce vehicle maintenance downtime by up to 48 hours.
“Diagnostics has become very expensive for fleets,” says Kucharczyk. “Preteckt’s technology allows a single technician to monitor up to 1000 vehicles in real-time.”
Saving time and money on preventative maintenance isn’t the only benefit here. Preteckt’s predictive diagnostics allow for planned maintenance on vehicles, giving operators the chance to protect their brand’s reputation by avoiding missed deliveries or poor commuter experiences. The ability to deeply understand each vehicle in its unique operating conditions increases vehicle reliability without the need for over-maintenance. It also provides a timely maintenance strategy that can extend the life of vehicles and result in higher resale values.
The company, based both in Hamilton and Memphis, TN, has benefited from support from Innovation Factory’s Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility (CITM). Preteckt’s relationship with Canada Cartage was facilitated by CITM, and their participation in an Ontario trade mission to Michigan helped them establish valuable business connections. And with Canada being a small market, it’s important for Preteckt to have international success.
Other big clients include Trimac, Bridgestone, General Motors, and the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority. Preteckt is also expanding into electric vehicle prognostics, working with experts from Japan and China as they continue to expand their impact.
As Preteckt continues to grow their business and team, Sills believes the emphasis on company culture plays a key role.
“We measure our company’s success through our employees’ personal growth. An employee who is extremely high performing can develop their skills faster with us than anyone else,” says Sills. “The Hamilton area is a data science and machine learning capital in Canada, and it is the most effective place to build a data science team in the world. Companies such as Amazon and Uber approach our employees, but we have never lost one to them because our employees know they can grow faster here than anywhere else.”
Learn more about Preteckt at preteckt.com
Written by: Kim Zarzuela