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
Phone: +49 152 33668237

Schedule an Appointment

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.

SPAROX is the Startup of the Week 13: The platform for spare parts in the energy sector


Energy Supply, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Procuring spare parts for energy plants is a real feat. Above all, it requires a lot of patience. The search for suitable suppliers takes a long time. In addition, delivery times of several months must be expected. Our Startup of the Week has found the solution that saves energy suppliers time and money. With its platform, SPAROX offers an online marketplace that quickly connects plant operators and suppliers. We spoke with Sonja Zahradnik-Leonhartsberger, project manager at SPAROX.

Hello Sonja! Thanks for taking the time today. Why don’t you describe SPAROX in one sentence at the start?

Sure. We connect the plants and spare parts in the energy sector and have created a strong German-speaking network, which can also help in emergencies within a very short time.

How can someone who needs spare parts also get them?

We operate an intermediary platform for spare parts, where plant operators with critical spare parts and suppliers with a wide range of products are involved. In addition, we have established an emergency function in case of imminent plant shutdown and have also connected the 3D printing technology. The aim is to connect spare parts, plants and suppliers in the energy sector. We want to make it reliable and easy for all parties involved to make the right spare part available at any time.

Is this emergency feature one of your unique selling points?

Yes, exactly. That way we can avoid plant downtime. For many plant operators, long delivery times are a real problem. We often speak of several months. With our platform, operators can network with each other. We have thus considerably simplified the search, purchase and sale. We are also the largest platform in the sector, which is of course another advantage.

Is your platform for free? How do you generate revenue?

The use of the platform is free of charge for system operators. From the suppliers, i.e. the sellers, we receive a transaction fee.

Since you supply spare parts for the energy sector, your target group is clearly defined, right?

Yes, that’s right. We address plant operators in the energy market as well as their suppliers in the entire German-speaking area. We focus on all types of energy generation and grid operators.

You just mentioned that you are the biggest platform. What size are we talking about? What stage is SPAROX in as a startup?

The platform www.sparox.eu has been live since Feburary 2019. We currently have more than 15,000 spare parts online. Another 5,000 spare parts will be uploaded within the next few days. We are an innovation project within the framework of the Wien Energie Innovation Challenge Sprint Edition 2018. As a corporate startup of Wien Energie, we thus have a very strong owner. Currently our internal team consists of 8 employees.

Sonja, thank you very much for the exciting interview! We wish you continued success and hope to hear much more from you.

If someone is interested in more information about SPAROX and the platform, please have a look at the Innoloft profile.

TeDaLoS is the Startup of The Week 7: The Future of Internet of Things


Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT

Inventory monitoring systems are very important in the digital age. But only 5% of current storage areas can be automated by robotic systems. To make the processes more efficient, we need another solution. Our Startup of The Week, TeDaLoS, developed a system that delivers data in real time without the need for external resources or infrastructure. Thomas Tritremmel, CEO of TeDaLoS, told us more about it.

Hello Thomas! Thanks for answering our questions today. Why don’t you tell us what is behind the name TeDaLoS?

I’d be glad to. We have developed a patented system that enables sensor-based, digital and mobile inventory monitoring of goods in real time. With this system, we not only record the exact quantity of goods, but can also monitor their condition. Condition means for example temperature or vibration. In addition, we can also monitor the location of the goods on-site or transport. This is possible for all types of goods.

To successfully use the TeDaLoS system, no external resources or support infrastructure are needed. Moreover, nobody needs to be trained for the system.

That sounds like a very user-oriented solution. Feel free to give us more information about it.

Our sensor units send encrypted information directly to our cloud software, which decodes, validates, interprets and converts this data. The data can also be transferred directly to a leading system via interfaces. Set thresholds trigger an alarm message immediately if they are exceeded.

This system allows you to measure the physical distribution of stocks in decentralized storage locations in real time. In addition, it is possible to connect suppliers and determine accurate content quantities in transfer containers. But there are many other possibilities for use. The system is fully autonomous without local resource binding, includes special sensor technology, radio technology, data communication, cloud software and IT interface.

IoT has long been a big buzzword and especially in the field of logistics, more and more is being digitized. What is special about TeDaLoS?

Many departments of a company benefit from our solution. The processes in the departments run more efficiently. For example, the warehouse saves space, search times and inventory costs. In production, faster material provision is achieved in less production space. The purchasing and finance departments also benefit from more accurate information provided in real time. With TeDaLoS, the return on investment is less than 2 years.

Another advantage is that any storage location and any type of goods flow can be retrofitted. The application is carried out across locations and piece by piece.

How do you integrate your services into a business model?

Our pricing model consists of the purchase of the hardware, monthly costs for telecommunications, data transmission and the rental of the basic function of the cloud software, as well as one-time costs.

Since your product is related to warehousing, your customer segment is probably also in the field of logistics. Do you narrow it down to a niche?

Not really. 95% of all storage areas and intralogistic goods flows are not digitally monitored. The market for inventory monitoring via the Internet of Things will be worth around 300 billion US dollars by 2025. So we have many applications.

Our main target groups are of course primarily in the logistics and transport sector. However, we also supply customers in the healthcare, retail and industrial sectors. We are not focused on specific countries, but offer our services on an international level.

Is your product already usable?

Yes, since 2017 TeDaLoS is in operational use in customer projects from the Netherlands to Greece. We produce a standard sensor unit, but also special adaptations to various load carriers. Customers such as Kellner & Kunz AG and Canon already successfully use our sensor technology.

In September 2019, BITO-Lagertechnik, as an internationally operating industrial company in the field of storage and picking technology, strengthened its cooperation with us. Since then BITO Campus has been involved as a shareholder. The cooperation pursues the goal to offer mobile and autonomous systems for material and inventory monitoring via Internet of Things with combined know-how.

International sales partners with focus on the user target groups have already been acquired.

Thank you for this exciting interview! We wish you continued success with your idea.

If you want to learn more about TeDaLoS, please have a look at their Innoloft profile.

Review of the year – Innoloft highlights & the greatest successes in 2019


Energy & Environment, Industry 4.0 & Logistics, IT & ICT, Mobility, Smart City & Buildings

 

By the end of 2019, we finished our strongest and most energetic business year to date since the founding of Innoloft GmbH. Even though we can not look back on a long company history, the year 2019 came up with a number of highlights for us that we would like to share with you through a review of the year.

Here we go!

 

Platform in a brand new look and an expanded range of functions

A step that set the course for us was without a doubt the relaunch of our platform. We have completely redesigned our platform to make it not only more user-friendly thanks to an optimized structure and use of modern web technologies, but also to offer our users additional added value through new features. Thus, our new platform comes with all kinds of new functions.

What kind of functions we integrated to improve the implementation of your innovation projects with the right partners you can check in the graphic below or read about it in our blog post, stage free …

 

Infographik innoloft benefits

 

But that’s not all!

 

Rebranding opens the door to new industries and internationalization

We continued as our previous (brand) name “Energieloft” was also put to the test, and with it our entire corporate design. It took several months to develop, adapt and redesign it. We were happy to officially announce our rebranding on October 1, 2019. The story behind how Energieloft became Innoloft can be found in this separate blog post: Energieloft becomes Innoloft: Here’s why! … . Furthermore, you can learn more about the evolutionary process that we have followed with our B2B innovation network since the end of 2015.

The energy sector will remain a very central pillar for us. But innovations are also waiting to be implemented in other industries, such as the health, financial and industrial sectors. In addition, we have committed ourselves to the ambitious goal of accelerating innovations across industries as well as worldwide, together with you across Germany’s borders – “Create Tomorrow Together”.

innoloft platform requests

 

Event highlights and successful projects in 2019

Of course, we did not only deal with our design and our platform during the year. In addition to the new strategic direction and positioning, we haven’t lost sight of our “daily business”. Filtered from our business repertoire, we would like to present you some selected event and project highlights from the past financial year, which we implemented together with customers and partners.

 

Startup Speed-Datings 2019

A central core element, which on the one hand is part of our digital innovation system, but on the other hand takes place analogously, are our Startup Speed-Datings. For this we traveled across Germany last year and even came to Paris in autumn. With our speed dating we bring startups together with established companies and investors.

In a very effective way, in short 8-minute dates, the participants who have previously registered on the web pages can be connected according to their wishes, interests and cooperation requests. To do this, we use an intelligent algorithm that, based on the entered data, selects the most interesting conversation partners.

At the following events in 2019, we organized our startup speed dating and matched a total of more than 700 participants at around 2,800 matches.

 

innoloft speed-dating

 

 

 

January: E-world – Europe’s leading trade fair for the energy industry, Essen
March: ISH – Industry meeting point for air conditioning, heating, cooling and bathroom design, Frankfurt am Main
April: Tech Festival, Berlin
April: HANNOVER MESSE, International Industry and Industry Fair, Hanover
May: The smarter E, leading trade fair for the new energy world, Munich
November: dena Energiewende Congress, Berlin
November: European Utility Week, Paris

 

Startup Challenges 2019

While our startup speed dating focuses on providing the participants with the right business contacts for innovation projects, our startup challenges are competitions at the push of a button. The startup challenges are also a central component of our B2B innovation network. They enable startups to participate in a targeted manner.

At the same time, established companies can advance their innovation projects and look for cooperation partners from the startup ecosystem. This results in a win-win for both sides. After all, startups rarely have their own established customer networks that have grown over many years. They also often lack the relevant experience on the market. Despite this, they often bring a lot of fresh know-how, new technologies, courage and willingness to take risks – in other words, the so-called “entrepreneurial spirit” that is needed to implement innovation projects.

With our challenges, we act as an intermediary and leverage our platform, which now has more than 2,500 established companies and around 2,000 startups. In 2019 alone, we were able to screen a total of 314 applications for our startup challenges and forwarded them to our partners.

The most successful challenges last year included:

U-START Challenge 2019 | Veolia, Thüga & BS | Energy
Metro Startup Challenge
EWE Mobility Challenge
E.DIS Startup Challenge

 

You can take a look at our challenges here…

 

Successful innovation projects

In addition to our digital platform and our white label partner platforms, events and challenges, we foster innovation processes in order to accelerate innovations directly in companies. We support you with know-how and innovation consulting for developing and searching for business opportunities, accompany the conception and implementation as well as conduct marketing and scaling.

Our innovation managers, who are specialized in industries and technologies, help you find suitable partners via screening and scouting and integrate them into projects. They advise you on the development of business models and develop customer journeys. In this way, we realized several successful innovation projects together with customers and partners last year.

You’ll find a selection of some of our innovation projects here …

  • IoT platform Stadtwerke Aachen
  • IoT platform evo Oberhausen
  • Digital power product, Stadtwerke Aachen
  • E-scooter sharing Aachen, business crowdfunding
  • Mobility project, Stadtwerke Neuss

 

If you have any questions about the individual projects, please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

What else to report …

Much more could be reported about the past year. Therefore we’d like to refer to further highlights in a short manner …

Our team grew from 18 at the beginning of the year to 28 team members at the end of the year. Together we spent a team week in the Eifel and let the year end with a cozy Christmas party.

Together with our cooperation partner energate GmbH, we published the trend radar for the energy industry blue oceans – a new trend report on important energy trends. The first report was focused on smart building solutions and was presented at E-world 2019 in February. A second industry report followed last summer on the topic of smart mobility services.

We started with new social media formats to let you participate in the current Innoloft events. Our follower numbers are developing positively and our social media community is growing happily. You can find us on the following channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Linkedin.

We started our first collaborations and projects in Asia in 2019 and are continuing to work with our white label innovation platforms, which we have also relaunched.

Last but not least … At the end of the year we were very pleased that Gründerszene Awards had chosen us as one of the fastest growing startups in the area of digital business models. After all, we made it into 21st place in Germany with our startup in the TOP 50 and became industry winners in the energy sector. You can find out how we achieved this in an interview with our CEO Sven. You can read about it here: Start-up scene … 

 

A big thank you to our team, customers & partners

Everything we have achieved in the past year would not have been possible without our customers and partners or without a powerful and committed team. Therefore, a big thank you to you and we look forward to continuing this. Because now it means to look ahead and start again with full energy and power ahead.

 

Outlook for 2020

The first projects are already in the starting positions and you can save the following dates. These are the events we look forward to in the first months of this year.

Save the date!

 

Startup Speed-Dating

February 11th & 12th 2020, E-world Startup Speed-Dating – Information & registration

March 5th & 6th, 2020, Fiberdays Startup Speed-Dating – Information & registration

March 24th, 2020, Tech Festival Startup-Dating – Info & registration

April 20th. 2020, HANNOVER MESSE Startup Speed ​​Dating – Info & Registration

 

The new year can begin. We are ready to take off!

 

 

 

Arkite is the Startup of the week 42: HELPING OPERATORS EXCEL


Industry 4.0 & Logistics

This week’s interview is about a solution for industry 4.0. More specifically our startup of the week is developing an operator guidance system that uses sensors to monitor every single movement during assembly, providing live feedback at every step. An exciting and complex idea that Head of Sales, Jorg Hendrikx explains to us in more detail. We are looking forward to learn more about Arkite’s technology, products and benefits.

Hello Johan. Thank you for taking the time today. We start directly with our first question: How would you pitch Arkite? Could you share some information about the underlying technology?

Arkite as a company was launched in 2015 with the first product launched in May 2016, but actually the roots of Arkite dates back to 2004. From that time, Arkite was actually a consulting company helping manufacturing companies in process innovation and process optimisation aimed to improving production. But we noticed that there were a lot of challenges because, even in the time of automation, still a lot of operations are done manually. Human in Industry 4.0 is something which is still very relevant as companies yet cannot automate everything. Human have a lot of advantages over machines as they can be creative, they are very flexible and dynamic and they can detect issues in the overall process. But working with people, still have some challenges. Operators sometimes forget things; they may lose focus and are prone to make mistakes such as missing a part or assembling a product wrong. This results in a lot of quality leaks and a lot of efficiency leaks. So, our first aim was to improve the quality and efficiency at the operator level. On the other hand, there is also a lot of employee turnover. We observed that a lot of manufacturing companies are struggling with training new people caused due to higher turnovers and most of the times due to lack of experience and technical knowledge. To actually target these two challenges, we launched our product. The product is called Human Interface Mate (HIM). It’s an operator guidance technology and what it does is it creates a dynamic and digital interactive work environment over the existing work place. So, we put the sensor above the existing work station and with that we can validate the operations that the operator is executing, we can see if they grab or assembled something or did, they used the correct tool or the wrong tool. Arkite is actually a software company, so, the sensor is combined with smart algorithms that runs on the same HIM unit and uses the sensor input to analyse the overall process. There is also an integrated projector sensor which as used to interact with the operator. The projector is used to project texts, images and videos with a goal of having the correct instruction, on the correct moment, at the correct place. So, all we need to do is to teach all the standardised actions and sequence once into the system and then we validate if the operator is executing its task in comparison with the standardised sequence of steps.

That sounds really effective. How easy is it to integrate the Arkite system in the existing infrastructure? How is the adoption for the end users?

There are two parts to it. One part is essentially the activation or the training of the system. And the second part is then the integration with production environment. Looking at the first part i.e. the activation, is done at the backend with the software using our proprietary algorithms, so, you can show the action to the system and the system will create a visualisation and an automated sequences. Depending on the process and the amount the steps, the complexity can go from few hours for assembly to a few days. Then, the second part is the integration. We have our HIM unit which often needs to be integrated with the overall production environment to communicate with other smart tools and the overall Industry 4.0 network, so, the system is integrated with the existing MES/ERP system. We are a sliver partner of SAP and we have already built a lot of integration with its software environments. The underlying reason for this is to receive information about the product specifications such as the product code, the quantity, the priority, the BOM and so on which our system can use I order to give the operator the correct instruction. In addition, we can generate a lot of data which can then in turn be shared with the existing networks so that the customer has insights about their manual operations.
In terms of adoption, let me say for new operators, that is if a new employee arrives, there is no struggle at all. They are supported by the technology as it aids the company to train new employees faster and more efficiently. So, for the new employees, it is definitely a big added value with almost no adaption delay to the new situation. On the other hand, for the experience employees, and that for every other new technology or system, you need a change management. That’s actually not directly related to our technology, but its just that every new procedure that you are optimisation, you need a change management support. So, what we can do with our software is that we can adapt the instructions based on experienced level. So, new employees can get a lot of text, images and videos, whereas with experienced operators, they can get almost no visual instruction but only a feedback if they make any errors. So, they can approve this technology even faster.
What we noticed in practice that the more we integrate our technology, the better it is being used by the operator because then the operator themselves have a choice to activate those virtual instructions. But what we recommend is to automatically activate the system depending on an input from a PLC or a MES system, the system will always be running which gives a possibility to connect tools, so you can block tool when they are not allowed to use or they will only be activated if they are being used at the correct spot, so, even if the operator is little bit forced to use to it, the error rates reduce significantly and we obverse that the adoption rate still remains very high.

We already learned that you are developing your technology in the area of industry 4.0 – an area with a pretty wide range. Which markets do you address within it?

At the moment, our biggest market is still automotive, mainly Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier. Our technology cannot be currently be used on moving lines, so, we focus on companies with sub-assembly stations and picking stations. In addition to automotive, we are also very active in aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing and traditional manufacturing like compressor and pump manufacturing industry. So, in every industry where companies need a proactive quality system rather than a reactive quality system so that they can detect mistake during the assembly, our technology can be implemented to support them. Our main headquarter is un Genk, Belgium but we work with global partners with a main focus on Europe, UK and Asia, mainly China and India.

And what is the average investment effort that the companies need for implementing Arkite solution?

We actually have two versions, standard and enterprise where the investment efforts are mainly low to medium per station and also directly depend upon the overall project scope. The goal of the overall system is follow-up and support a specific station for preferably several weeks or month to gain the most value on the production and have higher ROI. The ROI is highly industry specific depending upon multiple factors like how often are you using it, what’s the amount of product that is being made and what are the quality and efficiency issues that the company face during the manufacturing process. On average we can say it’s about 2-3 years.

Can you share some real case reference of how companies benefitted from implementing Arkite solution?

We have more than 150 systems installed and actively running in the production. One example can be Benteler. Benteler operates worldwide in the fields of automotive technology, steel and tube production, engineering and distribution. Benteler was looking for a solution to support both assembly and picking of critical components for its multiple product variants. HIM is first of all supporting the picking process of the heat shield, the floor shield and the shackles. Next to assembling these parts the operator is supported with a virtual checklist of the arm, the link and the protective cover in its correct position (potential damage on further stations). The HIM unit has been integrated with the Siemens S7 line PLC to allow a line stop if critical issues would arise. All process steps are logged to support Benteler having full traceability. Other references include, Ford Europe, Volvo, Danfoss and Atlas Copco.

That already leads us to the last question: What is your company’s approach towards Industry 4.0 generally?

There is a very big challenge to support operators in the overall Industry 4.0 context. Even, with robots, AGB’s and automated systems, there will be still a lot of operators in the manufacturing industry globally even in the future. If you look to the Industry 4.0 network, you will also see a big trend in platform technology. Companies like Siemens and SAP are investing heavily in IoT and Industry 4.0 platform and Arkite can be seen as an add on those platforms. Because we are the interface with the operator, the system can provide the correct instructions at the correct moment, so we can project and instruct data from those platforms to the operator. On the other hand, the system is also an input to those platforms because the system has human analytics with which it can see what operators are doing. The system can observe what their output is, their efficiency, the quality, so, it’s also very valuable data for those platforms because until now, all those platforms only have the data from the machines, the production line and all those operators are black boxes. So, the measurement at such a localised level can provide more room for improvements in the overall quality of the process and Arkite technology can give a lot of insights about those actions. The benefits that the companies can have by using the Arkite system can be firstly, improved overall quality of the process, reducing scrap and rework. Secondly, as I mentioned, the system can improve the efficiency, specially with new operators and very complex assemblies. Thirdly, we can generate a lot of valuable data that can then generate insights about localised challenges and then the lastly, which I believe is the most important one is the investment on what we call as “Human Capital” or “Operator Empowerment”. The system can make it easier for people to work in factories, do more complex assemblies, get augmented guidance of the instructions and create a much more flexible workforce planning.

Johan, thank you very much for the interesting and detailed interview! We wish you continued success and would like to take this opportunity to refer to your Innoloft profile and your Innoloft request. Interested parties will find more exciting information there.