Vaira is the Startup of the Week 4: Digitizing the house connection documentation process


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Simple house connection documentation is a very multi-layered process: customer onboarding, job creation, scheduling, surveying, and all the documentation. Digitization can help bring order and efficiency to this process. This is exactly what our Startup of the Week Vaira is dealing with. With their platform, home connection documentation can be automated and digitized. We spoke with CMO Dennis Bienkowski about Vaira’s solution.

Hello Dennis! Thanks for taking the time for us today. Let’s get right into it: Who are you at Vaira?

We are a team of currently 13 people from Paderborn with different specializations. We transform the processes, documentation. Also, we are surveying work of network operators, municipal utilities, and construction service providers and simplify their work.

How does this work?

Vaira is a software-as-a-service platform consisting of a web application (Vaira Office) and a smartphone app (Android/iOS). In the interaction of these two solutions, we can map all process steps digitally on a central platform, from the household customer to construction documentation and billing.

We designed The Vaira Office for office work. Network operators, public utilities and construction service providers can communicate with each other via chat, create and schedule orders, manage users and keep track of the progress of orders. Using the integrated workflow builder, entire process chains can be designed without extensive programming knowledge, so that later instantiations only have to be triggered, which then run fully automatically. A notification system keeps process participants up to date and informed about the status of their jobs at all times.

In real-time, all data is exchanged between the Vaira Office and the Vaira App. An installer in the field receives a message directly as soon as a new job is assigned to them. They can then select an order from his order list and process it. Besides, they can fill out prefabricated forms completely digitally, carry out surveys using only their smartphone via augmented reality – without any extra hardware such as a GPS antenna -, and much more. All collected data is directly available as digital data sets and is shared with all authorized process participants in a matter of seconds. 

Vaira follows three principles: Modularity, generalization, and user-friendliness. Our platform is built in such a way that process participants only need to use the features they need to complete their jobs. The interface allows Vaira to be flexibly connected to other ERP, SAP, and GIS systems, ensuring a smooth exchange of data. Also, the modularity allows us to easily add more features to Vaira. Instead of an individual software solution for individual players, we give users the opportunity to map their requirements flexibly and easily. We provide a construction kit in which users can intuitively map their own jobs and processes. After all, acceptance of the digital transformation stands and falls with the manageability and user-friendliness of digital solutions.

That sounds like a very comprehensive solution. What features make you stand out from your competitors?

Vaira offers the possibility to skip all process steps that have to do with the transmission of data through real-time synchronicity. Since we collect all data digitally, it also eliminates all process steps that involve scanning, printing, or manually transferring data to in-house ERP, SAP, or GIS systems. This can significantly reduce errors that are common when manually transferring paper into systems. Jobs are searchable and filterable, and process stakeholders can communicate directly through the platform and assign tasks to each other. The progress of jobs can be tracked live and priorities can be communicated quickly, even in the follow-up. Features such as a reporting module generate fully automated reports. 

The innovative surveying component enables fitters to carry out high-quality surveying quickly. That frees them from tedious after-hours office work on the construction site. Automatic plausibility checks and mandatory fields can be stored in the form fields, which drastically increases the quality and completeness of the documentation during the documentation process.

Vaira bypasses superfluous process steps, reduces the probability of errors, raises data quality, and accelerates the process. Less time, fewer costs, more overview.

An important unique selling point of Vaira is our holistic solution. We think of the construction site and its documentation as one process.  The platform does not only serve a single process participant but connects all players and enables a smooth exchange of data and work. In this way, construction site documentation can be carried out consistently digitally for the first time – including an innovative surveying component that enables everyone to carry out high-quality surveying.

How did you build a successful business model from that?

Currently, we are financing ourselves through larger project deals that pay directly into the final product. In addition, there are financed test deployments and the first license customers of the first basic version: Vaira Basic. These then run on the software-as-a-service principle (SaaS for short) – Vaira is therefore not purchased, but you pay for a license to the platform. Depending on the desired scope of features, the prices for orders, process instantiations, and users are automatically adjusted.

Compared to purchased software, the SaaS model also includes support, maintenance, and update services. Unlike purchased programs, Vaira does not become obsolete but is continuously developed further. We constantly add new functions, which can be flexibly implemented in the user’s own license. The user experience is also continuously improved.

You’ve just briefly mentioned potential customers, could you go into more detail about your target audience?

Our target group currently includes network operators, public utilities, and construction service providers, including surveyors, with the use case of the house connection process. In Germany alone, there are around 500,000 new house connections, 700,000 FTTH connections, 150,000 emergency and 25,000 dismantling orders per year. Existing buildings bring in another 100,000 connections. Normally, you need to document and measure all of them in the process. 

In theory, however, Vaira can also be used to map any other process. Public authorities and municipal administrations such as land registry offices, police and fire departments, and forestry have already shown interest in Vaira. Together with the Paderborn cadastral office, we are striving for the implementation of a funding project. By developing a module for splice documentation, we were also able to attract the attention of telecommunications providers in particular. Accordingly, the potential target group for our platform is large. 

Our focus is currently still on the German market. However, we have already been able to establish contacts in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, and Switzerland via trade fairs. Through partnerships and projects with large international companies, we are also expanding our network beyond national borders. For example, we work together with Veolia and the fittings and piping system manufacturer Georg Fischer.

You are currently selling a basic version of your solution. Where do you want to go with Vaira and what successes have you already had?

Exactly, since last year we have been offering “Vaira Basic” for testing and productive use. With Vaira Basic, the complete documentation can already be carried out on the construction site on an order basis. The basic functions of Vaira Office are also fully usable and are being further developed. 

In the background, we have already been working for some time on a major upgrade for the app and the web application. This update will fully align the logic behind Vaira with process flows. The upgrade will be rolled out seamlessly and at no additional cost to all license customers in the respective app stores – in line with the principle of Software-as-a-Service. Vaira Office is constantly being developed further and all new features can be viewed directly.

We are currently developing Vaira on the basis of a project together with the municipal utility association Thüga, the German subsidiary of the French group Veolia and the municipal utility Braunschweig. This cooperation came about as a result of our participation and victory in the U-Start competition in March 2020. Our cooperation with Georg Fischer allows us to take our application to a new level. Also, since this fall, EWE AG has become a shareholder in Vaira, which gives us better access and insight into the market. In addition, we have been working with a major network operator on a project basis to further expand the platform approach.  

Increasingly, network operators, municipal utilities and construction service providers are also becoming aware of us through recommendations or web searches for digital solutions. Test deployments are being requested and productive uses of Vaira are also already in the pipeline. Especially in this unusual and difficult year, we have noticed that interest in process digitization has increased significantly. The industry is ready to optimize existing processes through far-reaching digital transformation – and we are very happy to help.

 

Dennis, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success. We are sure that we will hear a lot more from you. 

If you want to learn more about Vaira, you can have a look at theirInnoloft profile here.

MotionMiners is the Startup of the Week 2: Analysis and optimization of manual processes


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Human flexibility and adaptability continue to play an important role in industrial value creation in the age of digitization. However, the analysis and optimization of manual work steps often proves to be costly and complicated. Our Startup of the Week, MotionMiners GmbH, uses Motion-Mining ® technology to automatically analyze and optimize manual work steps. We spoke with CEO Sascha Feldhorst to learn more about this technology and MotionMiners as a company.

Hello Sascha! Nice to have you here today. Let’s get right into it: What is Motion-Mining?

Motion-Mining ® enables an automatic analysis and optimization of manual work processes with regard to efficiency and ergonomics (e.g. determination of heat maps, travel, waiting and process times as well as unhealthy movement sequences). This all happens with the help of sensor technology and machine learning. As a result, it creates added value on both the employer and employee side.

How does Motion-Mining work?

Motion-Mining ® helps companies automatically analyze the efficiency and ergonomics of manual work processes. Using wearables, beacons (miniature radio sensors) and machine learning, we anonymize and collect process data to reveal hidden optimization potential. This allows process analysis to be performed without the need for a process engineer with a stopwatch and clipboard to document the entire process. Compared to today’s manual analyses (e.g. using REFA), this leads to a reduction in effort and ensures a 40 to 80 times larger data pool. 

If a customer decides to carry out a Motion Mining® project, we equip the work environment with beacons. The employees in the processes get wearables. Following the measurement, we evaluate the collected data using machine learning algorithms. Based on the data, our employees develop individual catalogs of measures and implementation priorities in close cooperation with the customers. In this way, we not only identify ways to make logistics processes more efficient, but also draw up implementation plans that customers can then follow up. If desired, the implementation of the optimization measures can be accompanied by success measurements. 

Motion-Mining ® is marketed in the form of various products and services. In consulting projects, MotionMiners employees analyze and optimize processes with the help of the technology. In addition, a motion Mining-Product solution, Manual Process Intelligence, has also been offered since 2019. The MPI is a combination of a hardware and a software license and enables customers to perform process analyses independently. In addition to fully comprehensive measurement equipment, the offer also includes access to the analysis dashboard. This allows users to create their own measurement scenarios and evaluate data according to selected key figures. They can use the results for their own optimization measures. 

In June 2020, we added the Motion-Mining® Tracing Solution (MMTS) to our portfolio. The MMTS is a combination of an app, micro radio transmitters and an analytics dashboard. While the solution has a lower level of data protection than the federal app, it can realize more accurate location and compliance with hygiene measures. The solution specifically targets business customers. In addition to the contact tracking options in the event of infection, our solution also provides various prevention options.

What is special about motion mining?

In contrast to manual analysis by human observation, where a process engineer manually documents the work processes, process recording using motion mining works automatically. The technology is based on sensors, beacons and a self-developed deep-learning algorithm that converts raw data into process metrics. Currently, multiple activities can be detected and tools and workspaces can also be identified. Our USPs include that measurement technology can be deployed without IT integration and can be set up and taken down with little lead time. In addition, we obtain the KPIs for process efficiency and ergonomics from the same dataset and the anonymity (according to DSGVO) of the employees is maintained at all times.

How have you integrated this form of automated analytics into a business model?

Our main source of revenue is currently still the service/consulting business. In addition, we have been offering our Motion Mining® product solution, Manual Process Intelligence (MPI), since last year. 

We bill the consulting service to customers via a consulting fee. The price varies depending on various factors such as the number of processes, employees, shifts as well as the complexity of the analysis questions. For the product, on the other hand, we charge a basic license fee. However, the license model also includes a usage-based price component. Against the backdrop of the Corona situation, we have also developed a tracing solution, a prevention tool, for use in companies. With the help of an app and additional radio transmitters, users of the Motion-Mining ® Tracing Solution can, among other things, trace infection chains, identify frequently frequented areas, and maintain safety distances and hygiene measures. To support this, the app provides real-time feedback. 

This informs the employee: 

  • If the contact time of 15 minutes is exceeded. 
  • For reminders of regular hand hygiene and ventilation of rooms (through the use of additional sensor technology). 
  • To warn of critical and high-traffic areas for contact reduction 
  • In case of infection to inform further measures

The Motion-Mining® Tracing Solution relieves employees and helps to avoid a company-wide lockdown.

What is your target group?

Our main source of income is currently still the Our current target market consists of various industrial companies. The focus is on companies in the production and logistics sectors. Here, for example, many repackaging, packaging, production and picking activities take place and automation is often not worthwhile due to short contract terms, high business dynamics or low margins. An initial pilot project was recently carried out in collaboration with a hospital. The aim in future is to win more customers from the health care sector. 

Our target group includes the logistics services, e-commerce, wholesale and retail, manufacturing, air freight and healthcare sectors. In addition, our customer base now also includes consulting companies that license the technology and use it as part of their own customer projects. 

At the moment, we are working primarily with companies in Germany. Our goal is to operate more internationally in the next few years. So far, we have sold consulting projects and licenses to Switzerland, the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Where do you stand right now with MotionMiners GmbH?

We are in the growth phase and are moving towards the next scaling stage. Among other things, this involves achieving a larger footprint with individual customers and also further professionalizing the production of measurement technology. We can already show more than 20 customer references, which we have gained in more than 40 consulting projects and from our product business. So far we were able to convince 15 customers to license our technology and have grown from 3 founders to a team of 30 without an investor. However, we are not averse to further growth and cooperation with investors.


Sascha, thank you very much for this exciting interview. We wish MotionMiners continued success, especially for 2021. 

If you want to learn more about MotionMiners, you can check out their Innoloft profile.

Lava-X is the Startup of the Week 50: Laser beam welding in a vacuum


Industry 4.0 & Logistics

Today’s Startup of the Week accompanies companies through the complete process development from the feasibility study, through component manufacturing as a contract manufacturer, to the implementation of the plant. Lava-X is an expert in the field of laser beam welding in a vacuum and received the “Rheinland Genial” innovation award last month. We met CEO Christian Otten in an interview to learn more about their technology.

 

Hello Christian! Thanks for being here today. Why don’t you explain to us briefly what you do at Lava-X?

We are solution providers for laser welding in a vacuum. We accompany our customers from feasibility to B-sample production to product-related production equipment.

What is special about your way of welding?

Our technology increases quality and productivity in laser welding while reducing investment and production costs.

To what extent is the quality and productivity of laser welding in vacuum increased?

If we use our technology, we can make pore-free and crack-free welding seams possible even with difficult materials and mixed joints. The weld seam quality improves significantly. In addition, this type of welding offers an increase of the welding depth or reduction of the laser power at the same welding depth. This reduces power consumption.

What services do you offer your customers?

Basically, we have 3 core services: consulting, contract manufacturing, and mechanical engineering.

New technology is only considered if it offers technological or economic advantages. In the best case, however, both! Within the scope of technology consulting, we inform companies about the possibilities of our technology and what exactly the benefits are for the companies’ products.

For contract manufacturing, we support our customers with feasibility studies, prototypes, or in series production.

In addition, we also offer production cells that are specially designed for laser beam welding in a vacuum.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and are located in the automotive supply industry, sensor technology, and mechanical engineering. We also operate internationally.

In which phase are you currently?

We are in the growth phase. Four systems have been installed at well-known customers.

 

Christian, thank you for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success, especially in the coming year.

If you would like to learn more about Lava-X, please visit their Innoloft profile.

Semasquare is the Startup of the Week 41: Digitalisation of vehicle cockpits


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Easy handling, automation of functions and low installation effort – for cockpits in commercial and special vehicles this is desirable, but often not a norm. Our Startup of the Week semasquare GmbH has recognized this gap and developed new approaches to make vehicle cockpits more intuitive and efficient. Today we talked to Moritz Koch, Sales Business Development Manager about their solution.

Hello Moritz! Thanks for taking the time today! Explain to our readers what semasquare does.

We at semasquare offer HMI and software engineering for commercial and special vehicles.

What do your solutions contain?

semasquare GmbH offers expertise on hardware and software up to the cloud. We work in an agile manner and can thus iteratively develop the perfect operating concept for the respective area of application via first mockups using rapid prototyping with customers. After defining the operating concept, we select suitable hardware components together with the customer and develop the software according to his ideas. With our experience in the areas of UI/UX, design decisions are critically discussed to optimize the user experience for the end user.

How does your approach differ from that of other providers?

Previous concepts for operating commercial vehicles often still rely on physical input elements such as buttons and switches that automate vehicle functions only to a limited extent. This makes it difficult to map the complexity of the vehicles. Service providers usually only offer the development of a modern user interface. However, the knowledge required to integrate them into a cloud and thus exploit their full potential is still missing.

So you develop individual concepts and also implement them, right?

That’s right. We offer individual engineering services for commercial vehicle manufacturers. Our goal on the one hand is to make the operation of the vehicles suitably intuitive. On the other hand we want to make the complex tasks manageable. Furthermore, semasquare enables the transfer of the accruing data to servers or the cloud. Thus we help our customers to develop and implement new innovative, data-based business models. A further project, which we adapted to the Covid-19 situation, is a puzzle bot which Escape Rooms or other providers of experiences can use to create and offer individual tours.

Has a new target group developed for you? Or are you still addressing the special vehicle industry?

So far yes. Our previous customers are manufacturers of commercial and special vehicles with complex superstructures from the fields of street sweepers/canal cleaners. In addition, many other applications such as waste collection vehicles, drilling vehicles and fire-fighting vehicles in public road traffic are of interest. Furthermore, commercial vehicles that are not registered for public road traffic, such as construction machines, construction site, forestry and agricultural vehicles are also targeted. Manufacturers of commercial vehicles, users, brokers, rental companies and service providers using commercial vehicles are also interesting customer groups.

You already entered the market. What are your next steps?

Yes, the market entry has already taken place with a pilot project. A second customer is about to place an order. To simplify the entry for these customers, we offered a service for the development of an HMI in the first step.

In addition to cold calling, we use the existing network via the cooperative visibleRuhr, Bochum Wirtschaftsentwicklung, the university and company network ruhrvalley and other friendly companies. Once the pilot projects are completed, we plan to use the experience gained from the projects to develop platforms for HMI and the cloud. The idea is that they will accelerate the processing of further projects. Based on the development, the service should slowly be transferred to products. In the future, the cloud will be used via licenses. This will make the cloud a scalable product. We want to continue to offer services based on the HMI platform. Our intention is to further expand our current partnerships.

We will also work with the Institute for Electric Mobility at Bochum University of Applied Sciences and other partners to promote innovation and progress in the field of electric mobility for commercial vehicles. In addition to the references of the pilot projects, we will thus underpin our innovative strength. We will compensate for the increasing workload by hiring additional full-time employees and working students. Our overriding goal is customer diversification. In this way we want to ensure that one customer accounts for a maximum of 30% of total sales.

Moritz, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success with your goals. We hope to hear a lot more from you.

If you want to learn more about semasquare, please have a look at the corresponding Innoloft profile.

Olmatic is the Startup of the Week 32: Efficient energy management solutions


Energy & Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Although the addition of “smart” has long been an important aspect in the discussion on energy management systems, concrete implementation approaches are rarely found.  Our Startup of the Week has the same opinion – especially since conventional systems are usually inflexible and platform-bound. One of the co-founders of Olmatic, Christian Olma, therefore introduces us to their solution: The Olmatic Power Tracking.

Hello Christian! Thank you for taking the time. We are looking forward to getting to know Olmatic better. Would you give us a small pitch for that?

Sure! We develop, manufacture and market devices and systems for energy management 4.0 and wireless networking through central control units in the industry 4.0 and IoT area. Our highly innovative Olmatic Power Tracking enables maximum self-sufficiency in the energy sector.

What exactly is the Olmatic Power Tracking about?

The so-called Olmatic Power Tracking (OPT) is an intelligent combination of hardware and software, combined in one product, which deals with the completely self-sufficient supply of electrical consumers via regenerative energy sources without the necessity of a conventional supply network. In order to use the power available from renewable energy sources (solar cells, wind turbines, hydroelectric power plants, etc.) in the most effective way, without losing excess energy in the form of power loss or the like, the OPT offers the appropriate technologies and systems to realize dynamic power distribution and prioritization of energy and consumer sources. This means that with an optimal design it is possible to almost completely dispense with the public supply network and to reduce the energy demand via the conventional supply network to < 1%. Even if the system is used without regenerative energy sources, i.e. directly via the conventional supply network, >30% energy savings can be achieved compared to conventional energy management systems.

The main focus of our energy management system is on the specific treatment of each input source and each consumer output independently of each other. This gives us the possibility to distribute energy to all consumers of a system with the highest efficiency. In combination with a direct integration into the supply line and open interfaces in the communication line, our energy management systems can easily be adapted to or integrated into existing systems. This makes it possible to distribute energy across the boundaries of a specific platform or system.

How does your product perform compared to currently established energy management systems?

In contrast to conventional energy management systems, it is characterized above all by the additional networking of the Smart Grid at the supply level, which enables stepless power regulation (0-100%) and power distribution. Through the specific consideration of all energy consumers and the platform independence of the systems, a highly efficient energy sharing between different energy systems can be operated with maximum efficiency. Conventional systems are platform-bound and can only communicate via the communication interfaces and suffer from higher losses and a lack of dynamics due to static switching on and off based on preconfigured power hysteresis. Especially in safety-relevant systems, the simple shutdown can lead to enormous security gaps or chaos scenarios, which the OPT procedure avoids via intelligent and dynamic power regulation and distribution on the basis of prioritizations. Through customized, individually adaptable designs of the modules, a maximum energy saving can be achieved at low investment costs for the manufacturer/developer, which promise low payback periods. The OPT process is linked to already existing and established energy management modules and central control units of the Olmatic product range and thus realizes the following two core products, which can be used in combination or independently of each other in all AC and DC power-based energy systems, conventional and regenerative generation methods.

You were just talking about customizing your products to suit your customer’s needs. The pricing will certainly be the same, right?

We follow the implementation of two different business models. On the one hand, we sell via direct sales in the B2B area through appropriate acquisition of our sales team and in the course of networking measures, and on the other hand, we have a large cooperation partner named Endrich Bauelemente Vertriebs GmbH, which acts as a middleman for us and actively sells our product range internationally. Since we always offer customer-specific products, the pricing model is variable and calculated according to complexity and effort. As an additional service in the field of Energy Management 4.0 we offer the complete energy consulting as an additional service.

What do you think about the market you are currently addressing? To what extent do you see growth potential, opportunities and risks there?

Placing a product such as Olmatic Power Tracking at the right time in a market that is currently more than ever in the focus of current attention undoubtedly brings with it a huge opportunity to establish the company as a pioneer in a market that will continue to grow steadily in the future. Since the market for electrical consumers will tend to rise in the coming years, while conventional energy resources will tend to decline, it is to be expected that the market in the segment of renewable energy supply will bring secure growth in the coming decades. Timely market entry and the protection of the product against competitors therefore represent a huge opportunity for us to already now sustainably position ourselves for the coming decades. Nevertheless, the market is highly competitive and is already populated by a large number of “big players” who will gladly and directly accept the competition and already have the financial background to become active here in the short term. The big chance is thus at the same time a big risk to lose the competition and thus the market shares already at the beginning, if the strategy and the goals are not pursued with fullest precision. We pursue the international target group.

 

You founded your company in 2016, a lot has happened since then. You have already explained some of the results to us. What are the next steps for the development of Olmatic?

Last year, we developed the existing prototypes to market maturity. The aim was to be able to place them on the market as quickly as possible. In the course of the prototype phase, a new energy management module was developed, which includes the OPT procedure. Three new products have been developed, which are directly communicated to already existing customer networks and distribution channels. The power supply module is the first product of the new Universal 4.0 series and serves in its current version as a power supply module for intelligent supply and energy management according to OPT for consumers in the low voltage range. The wiu, which has been expanded to include the software functionality of the OPT, can be marketed directly as a successor model to the existing plus the additional function of the OPT and will in future serve as a central gateway and control unit for the digital networking of the system.

Christian, many thanks for this exciting and detailed interview. We wish you every success in the further development of Olmatic. If anyone would like to learn more, please take a look at Olmatic’s Innoloft profile.

Conclurer is the Startup of the Week 28: Smart service for the industry 4.0


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

The digital transformation enables new business models and efficient processes in every industry. The Startup of the Week Conclurer specializes in digitalization in the machine and plant engineering industry or the general industry 4.0 sector. This means that chaos in the service department, dissatisfied customers and pressure from the market are a thing of the past. Janick Oswald, Innovation Delivery Manager, told us what Conclurer makes possible instead and what distinguishes them from other startups.

Hello, Janick! Thanks for coming here today. How would you describe Conclurer in one sentence?

Conclurer brings digital service 4.0 to the machine and plant engineering industry, ensuring long-term success with intelligent software that makes service easy and generates more revenue.

You currently sell these solutions under the product name CUSE. Could you tell us a bit more about it?

Of course! With CUSE as a cloud-based software solution, we offer the mechanical and plant engineering industry a platform for all after-sales use cases. CUSE combines different tools and functionality in only one solution with a playfully easy user interface. Our goal is to map all activities and tasks that occur in service in a simple and collaborative manner and to solve them as quickly as possible. We collect relevant data for analyses at the same time and make the work in the service department easier and more efficient day after day thanks to intelligent assistants. The basis for this is an automated workflow engine, a scalable machine database incl. service logbook and various assistant systems. Thanks to a state-of-the-art docker architecture and standardised APIs, our system scales with your application and integrates optimally into your system landscape.

I see. What are the concrete added values associated with the use of your services?

We have packed all our experience and knowledge of the last years and countless after-sales projects into one software. The result is CUSE – the easy-to-use software for the after-sales which delivers added value from day 1. No matter where you start, CUSE creates transparency and efficiency to generate more revenue in the long run. Whether it is a small medium-sized company struggling with telephone and sticky notes or a large innovator where the sensors are already integrated in the machines. Cuse transparently maps the installed base, shows unused potential in service and collects valuable data for the next stage of preventive maintenance. Our usability is one of the success factors, because even the best system is useless if no one uses it.

Conclurer Digitalisierung 4.0
Das Conclurer Team

In your Innoloft profile you have selected the business model “License” among others. How does this work in detail?

We not only talk about the service trend, but also implement it ourselves.  As Software-as-a-Service we deliver CUSE browser-based over the cloud. Ready for immediate use, regardless of time and place. But we don’t just deliver software. As experts in service digitization, we accompany our customers from the as-is analysis, potential analysis and idea generation to the implemented service solution and the successful introduction of the system in the company. We are involved in the entire project and ensure the added value of our solutions.

Who do you want to reach with CUSE?

Our solutions offer added value to all those who sell assets requiring maintenance and service, which offer valuable potential over the entire life cycle. Our main target group includes plant and mechanical engineering, regardless of whether the assets in question are mobile or stationary. We currently focus on the DACH region. In Germany, mechanical engineering is the largest employer with more than 1 million employees.

As it sounds, you’re not really new to the business anymore and can already sell your products well. Who are your customers? What are your next steps for further growth?

Our software solutions have been used for several years by customers such as Voith, Azo, Christian Maier and Diefenbacher. With Cuse, we have been offering the most important functionalities for after-sales in a standard software package for a year now and have already proven this many times. We are constantly developing CUSE further and adding relevant functionalities to offer even more added value every day.

Janick, thank you very much for the exciting insights into your idea and technology. We wish you continued success! If anyone wants to know more about Conclurer, please take a look at their Innoloft profile and contact them.

Digital B2B support to cushion the corona crisis


Energy & Environment, Health & FoodTech, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

Innoloft supports you with its digital network in times of Corona

The COVID19 pandemic is spreading worldwide. It affects all of us and comes along with lots of uncertainty. What we will face in the upcoming months nobody knows. The economic consequences of the crisis can’t really be quantified yet. Nevertheless, we are not completely helpless facing the crisis. While there are major cuts in the analogue economy and the “lockdown” forces to slow economy activities, digital solutions can help to bridge this situation. Millions of people in Germany and around the world currently work from home. Doing home office would not work without internet connections, digital tools and platforms.

Plenty of companies are currently offering support in these times of crisis. We at Innoloft would also like to contribute and help to cushion the economic restrictions. We’re making our digital network platform available as a “white label application” to networks, associations, clusters, trade fairs and other private organizations. For this purpose we adapt it according to your corporate design. Our Innoloft network operating system is designed to initiate business contacts and connect solution providers, such as startups, with solution seekers.

 

What features does our digital B2B networking platform provide you?

– Create company profiles & personal profiles

– Place technologies, products and services

– Find business partners

– Automated business matchmaking

– Share news across your ecosystem

– Access a global network of innovation stakeholders

 

In addition to these key functions, the digital B2B network platform with its network feed, chat and mailing functions between network members offers further opportunities to exchange information and stay in touch with network users. Thus, the platform supports you in establishing new business relationships and serving existing ones, regardless of time and place.

 

Economic added value via digitised business relations also for the time after COVID19

With our digital B2B network platform, we would like to give you support for a difficult period of time. For this reason our offer is limited in time. For a period of six month, we are able to provide you with the platform in your design and we’ll make ends meet to shift the development costs. The platform is only suitable as a business network and is not designed for private use.

In the long term, we want to be available to you as a digital B2B network that will enable you to prepare for the digital future, even after the coronavirus. Our platform offers you and your network members the chance to network effectively with other companies, start-ups, organisations. You can establish and maintain business relationships in a digital manner. With the functions mentioned above, our platform offers numerous opportunities for new “customer leads”, partnerships, contacts, innovations and projects.

 

Learn more about our Platform

Are you interested in our six-month Corona B2B support offer and would like to learn more about it?
Get in touch with our CEO, Sven Pietsch.

Contact and further information

Email: s.pietsch@innoloft.com
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BOX ID Systems is the Startup of the Week 19: Localization for mobile assets within the supply chain


Industry 4.0 & Logistics

Logistic processes are highly complex and precisely coordinated. Nevertheless, a lot of things go wrong if you can’t find out exactly where something is located. Then it can quickly become very expensive. However, our Startup of the Week BOX ID Systems can help. Their solution tracks assets from the entire supply chain. This not only creates transparency, but also saves costs. We spoke to Shawn Silberhorn, one of the co-founders, about this.

Hello, Shawn! Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s start with the first question right away. What do you do at BOX ID Systems?

Firstly, BOX ID Systems provides end-to-end tracking solutions that enable millions of logistics assets to be tracked throughout the industrial supply chain. All over Europe, digitally and cost-efficiently. We are able to do this site-to-site, on company premises and within buildings.

What technology is behind it?

The system is a complete solution that contains many valuable functions. Behind it there is a specialized software platform and LPWAN sensory tracking devices. Efficient management, including functions to support automation and process optimization, make the whole thing complete. For example, customers from industry and automotive production benefit from the fact that their logistics processes are more efficient and cost-optimised. Moreover, their critical processes are 100% transparent.

What is special about your product?

The entire processes are simplified, optimized and less prone to errors. Losses of containers and load carriers are avoided and it is easier to allocate damage to its originators.

Other advantages include the elimination of manual search times and recording times through automated tracking and data acquisition. The tracking and booking of goods along the supply chain works automatic. Furthermore, with the software customers can monitor and optimize the entire supply chain.

Do you base your business model on the classic SaaS model?

Yes. We offer an end-to-end solution as Solution-as-a-Service. This consists of hardware, connectivity and cloud software. For correspondingly large customers, pure software licensing is also provided as Software-as-a-Service.

Where are your customers operating? And who do you want to reach?

We supply Europe-wide production customers. Likewise we operate internationally, too. A high focus is placed on production logistics, where reusable containers/packaging are used in a logistics pool.

What stage of development are you in at the moment?

We have already completed many interesting projects with well-known customers. With the new version of our intelligent software, we merge the data of thousands of LPWAN tracking sensors with the customer’s data sources. To put it shortly: Our entire product range has the goal to be as user-friendly as possible.

“In a joint project with BOX ID Systems GmbH, we were able to optimize the cost of operating shuttle packaging in a Siemens unit by introducing the asset tracking and monitoring solution from BOX-ID. Thanks to the newly gained transparency of the inventory along the entire supply chain, we now detect irregularities in the process. Furthermore that increases the return rate and avoids the constant purchase of new shuttle packaging.  Thus we ensure the supply of customers. In addition to cost savings, this also leads to higher customer satisfaction,” says Ralf Dupal, Senior Consultant Production &Ampel; Logistics at Siemens IoT Services Consulting.

Shawn, I’m afraid that brings us to the end of the interview. Thank you for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear a lot more from you. If someone wants to learn more about BOX-ID Systems, they can have a look at the profile and requests on our innovation platform.

Startups of the Month March 2020


Energy & Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Our five startups of the week in March at a glance

In the month of March we presented five startups in our Startup of the Week format in an interview. Interviews were conducted with Blue Boson, FSIGHT, Motius, SPAROX and AMPEERS ENERGY. Here we give an overview of their solutions in our Startups of the Month article. If you want to learn more about their offers, you can also have a look at their profile in our Innoloft database. There you will also find their and other customer and partner searches.

 

Blue Boson – water treatment without any chemical additives

Blue Boson uses a technology for the treatment of contaminated wastewater that does not require any chemical additives. This enables them to remove incrustations and deposits in an environmentally friendly way. By protecting systems from corrosion, they extend their service life. They are already on the market with two patented products called SCAT® and SCAT REXCIT®. Their hydraulic flow modules ensure supramolecular treatment of water, but are also suitable for treating other liquid or gaseous media. They manufacture or modify their equipment according to requirements and application. Fully automated, they can be operated around the clock. They distribute their products according to the ESCO model. This refers to an energy-saving contracting model that is geared to energy efficiency and cost savings. They also offer equipment rental and sales as well as other services.

To the Startup of the week interview KW10

FSIGHT – Artificial Intelligence Platform for the energy sector

The startup FSIGHT focuses entirely on artificial intelligence and shows how this can be used profitably in the energy industry. With its energy management platform, energy flows can be calculated with foresight and adjusted according to demand. With the help of their Energy-AI platform, they can combine the consumption behavior of consumers with the energy production of renewable energies and energy market prices. They use over 40 machine learning models for this purpose. Their trading model for energy communities allows private households, commercial customers and industrial companies to trade the electricity they generate themselves. In addition, energy savings of up to 20 percent can be achieved for end consumers. At the same time, its platform helps to stabilize local power grids. Its Software-as-a-Service solution benefits energy customers and consumers as well as energy companies and network operators. FSIGHT’s customers are located all over the world.

To the Startup of the week interview KW11

Motius – Modern technologies for every kind of use case

Motius GmbH has an answer to the rapid changes in the tech world. Its mission is to open up technologies for customers from the most diverse areas for their respective fields of application. For this purpose the Motius team uses extensive tech expertise. As technology experts, they serve the innovation needs of their customers on the one hand through their interdisciplinary talent pool and on the other hand by integrating technology and management hubs. In doing so, they offer support in generating ideas and applications, in providing proof of concept and in product rollout. Motius focuses less on specific industries and target groups and more on the application of new technologies in a broad customer segment. Motius has been on the market for seven years. For some time now, they have been among the fastest growing start-ups in Germany.

To the Startup of the week interview KW12

SPAROX – Amazon for spare parts in the energy sector

Sparox procures spare parts for energy systems. Via their platform, they supply plant operators of all types of energy production in German-speaking countries. For this purpose, they have built up a network of suppliers with a wide range of products. Their portfolio currently includes over 15,000 spare parts. There is an emergency function on the platform for spare parts that are needed quickly to prevent plant failure. With SPAROX3D they also serve a segment where 3D printed spare parts can be ordered. For plant operators, the use of the platform is free of charge. For suppliers they charge a transaction fee. Especially in the current corona crisis, the added value of the Sparox platform is evident, not least in the avoidance of downtimes and the securing of energy supply.

To the Startup of the week interview KW13

AMPEERS ENERGY – Energy Management 4.0 for Decentralized Energy Supply

With their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, AMPEERS ENERGY are giving the decentralized energy turnaround the right impetus. Based on a self-learning technology, it allows decentralized generation to be combined and controlled with energy consumption. AMPEERS ENERGY offers three cloud-based applications that can also be used individually. These include its AE District Manager as a comprehensive neighbourhood energy management solution, its AE Local Supplier fully automated, integrable tenant electricity software and its AE Fleet Optimizer solution for intelligent control of charging processes and loads for electric fleets. All three components interlock technically, are user-friendly and connect market participants. Their SaaS solution not only enables innovative business models, but also provides all participants with environmentally friendly efficiency advantages and cost savings. AMPEERS ENERGY’s approach not only convinced the jury members of the kraftwerk city acceleration bremen Challenge last year, but also won the Fraunhofer Gründerpreis 2019.

To the Startup of the week interview KW14

AMPEERS ENERGY is the Startup of the Week 14: The future of energy


Energy Efficiency and Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

The energy industry is changing. Where for many years only a few large companies set the tone, there is now the opportunity to become an energy producer through decentralised generation with the help of renewable energies. However, this requires external help. This comes, for example, from our Startup of the Week AMPEERS ENERGY. They won the kraftwerk city accelerator bremen Challenge and also the Frauenhofer Founder’s Prize last year – successes that are quite impressive. We wanted to know more and talked to Gerrit Ellerwald, Managing Director of AMPEERS ENERGY, about the startup and the idea.

Hello Gerrit! We are happy to learn more about your startup today and therefore we will start right away. What does AMPEERS ENERGY do?

At AMPEERS ENERGY, we make it easy for companies to tap the potential of the decentralized energy revolution – economically and ecologically!

That sounds very exciting! How does the whole thing work in detail?

First of all, you should know that as an SaaS company, we offer three cloud-based applications. Those applications enable companies to save money, automate processes and protect the environment. In addition to the AE District Manager, which is a complete energy management solution for the district, there is also the AE Local Supplier. This fully automated and integrated tenant electricity software takes care of the administrative side of tenant electricity projects. And the AE Fleet Optimizer exists above it. By consolidating all relevant data, the intelligent software takes over the control of the load and charge management of e-fleets.

The basis of these products is an extremely powerful Fraunhofer software which is able to connect all decentralized processes relating to energy generation and consumption. It ist is also able to control them in a targeted manner. This is possible through the use of self-learning technologies.

This technology basically consists of two components – an energy management component and a billing component. The energy management component controls and optimizes generation and consumption facilities. The more heterogeneous these plants are, the better the technology can play out its strengths. Similar to a conductor, you orchestrate all the producers and consumers in a neighbourhood and can thus save money. This is based on linear optimization models and the basic idea that one tries to make generation and consumption coincide. In very, very simple terms, the car should be charged when the sun is shining. Load peaks are absorbed by trying to switch on flexible loads when other loads are not running at the same time.

The billing component is an energy data management system. It is used to take the various energy data from the management systems, such as from the meter and the generation components, and assign it correctly according to the source. It can create bills for the customer or fulfill the obligation to report to distributor and government authorities. Intercepting the relevant energy data correctly, making it transparent, and billing or forwarding it correctly is the job of the billing component.

These components can also be used individually, for example only the energy management in the neighbourhood or only the billing component in tenant electricity projects. However, the great advantage of our offer is that the components can be combined. For example, the charging station can also be billed correctly for controlled fleet charging in the neighbourhood. This is what makes the product so strong.

At the moment many are dealing with the decentralization of energy supply, what separates you from their ideas?

AMPEERS ENERGY ensures that energy generation, transport, consumption and billing are as simple as, for example, e-commerce today. In this way we enable our customers to enter the energy management 4.0 environment, in which all players and technical components are seamlessly integrated. Each individual market participant can thus realize considerable savings potential, in some cases up to 40 percent. E-vehicle fleets can become a real alternative to existing diesel vehicles through our SaaS solution and much more. New types of business models based on intelligent energy can thus be created.

The big difference to our competitors is that we take a holistic view of decentralized business models and do not just deliver partial solutions. With us, you get the complete software support for the implementation of an overall decentralized business model. And this in turn is so user-friendly that we clearly differentiate ourselves from our competitors thanks to this intuitive usability.

Furthermore, thanks to the cooperation with Fraunhofer, we have the advantage of continuously integrating further innovations into our SaaS solutions. This is a market advantage that probably no other startup has.

You just mentioned that you’re a SaaS company. So you offer the applications as a service. What exactly do you charge for?

Yes, we are a Software-as-a-Service company and generate revenues by licensing our products to customers.

Pricing consists of a setup fee, and a usage fee. In the Set Up Fee, we calculate the setup expenses, such as customizing the system or connecting the interfaces to the system. And to keep the entry hurdle low so that monthly costs are not too high, the pay per use fee is paid after use. For tenant electricity projects, this is per apartment/per meter. We calculate the pay-per-use fee for neighborhood management and for fleet optimization per KWh.

For the time being, we are not planning to provide any additional services outside our core products. We are concentrating on the continuous development, implementation and maintenance of our products.

Who exactly are you addressing with your solutions? Do you also address markets outside Germany?

There are three main target groups for our services: Energy suppliers and service providers, the real estate industry and fleet operators.

For our tenant power and neighbourhood solutions, for example, all medium-sized and large housing construction companies are suitable. Also all companies with relevant large housing stock (church, private, public and co-operatives) are relevant customer groups. There are approximately 40 million apartments in Germany – 10% of which are tenant electricity and suitable for the AE Local Supplier. All larger building complexes with a heterogeneous generation infrastructure are suitable for our neighbourhood energy management system.  Examples for this group would be airports, shopping centres, purely residential districts or various mixed districts. The AE Fleet Optimizer is worthwhile for all companies that have at least 10 electric vehicles.

And to the question of internationalisation we can answer that we are already in the process of internationalising in the DACH region. At the end of the day, our solutions are not limited to the German energy market. With a (neighbourhood) energy management system, the only question is what should be optimised. And if this involves cost optimization under boundary conditions (e.g. maximizing the own power consumption), then this is only a mathematical function that is optimized. It is possible to use our product everywhere internationally. At the moment we focus on the DACH region, later on Europe and finally everywhere where our products can be used.

Now, we only have one question left. As winner of the kraftwerk city accelerator Bremen Challenge and Frauenhofer Spin-off your idea is very popular. Where do you stand with your startup at the moment?

We have successfully completed the first financing round. The first two products (District Manager and Local Supplier) are successfully on the market and we have a double-digit number of customers. At this point, we would like to proudly announce that we have won the Fraunhofer Founder’s Prize 2019. This prize honours the most successful Fraunhofer spin-off of the year active on the market, whose products and services have a direct social benefit.

We find it motivating to make an active contribution to the energy turnaround and thus also to a greener future with our daily work. And for those who also believe that we should no longer just talk about the energy turnaround, but finally tackle it, we encourage you to join us and take a look at our website. There you will find open job offers (and the contact details for a initiative application).

Thank you for the interview!

Gerrit, we also thank you for the interesting conversation! We wish you continued success and will follow your developments with great interest. If anyone wants to learn more about you, we invite them to check out your Innoloft profile and your requests.