IoT – maybe you’ve heard of it by now? Nowadays, it seems like everyone wants to start measuring and collecting data to get ‘valuable insights’. Often, getting started with IoT is synonymous with significant upfront investments and highly disruptive architectural overhauls. A new partnership between delaware and the hardware innovators at Crodeon seeks to rectify the situation and make IoT accessible for everyone.
First, a short introduction. Based in Ghent (Belgium), Crodeon Technologies was founded by Sam Vanheule and Jonathan Sercu in 2015. “After kicking off my career as an SAP consultant in Brussels, I quickly realized I wanted to do something more product oriented,” explains Jonathan. “However, we also wanted our product to address a real-world issue. So, Sam and I started by visiting local companies – farms, bakeries, etc. – to find out what they were struggling with the most. In a significant number of cases, that turned out to be efficient remote monitoring. One story that stood out for me was of a farmer who needed to know exactly what the temperature was in his piggery. If it was too hot or too cold, many animals could die.”
“These kinds of tales inspired us to create the Crodeon Reporter: a simple and easily deployable device for data logging and remote monitoring,” Jonathan explains. “It reads data from sensors and transmits it wirelessly and in real time to Crodeon servers. As a result, users don’t have to worry about connectivity, hosting or configuration.”
What differentiates the Reporter from similar devices is its ease of use. Jonathan: “Because the device doesn’t have to be integrated into a DIN-cabinet, installation is very easy – anyone can do it. In fact, it’s possible to be up and running in 5 minutes.” Crodeon even offers basic dashboarding functionality that allows users to check the latest measurements anytime and anywhere. Today, the devices are deployed across the country at farms, bakeries and SME’s that need to monitor specific environments and activities. However, the team also has plans to scale up production and add larger organizations to their client portfolio.
This amount of flexibility and usability opens the door to a wide range of new possibilities – and delaware took note. “Thanks to its robust simplicity and reliability, the Crodeon Reporter makes IoT a lot more accessible,” says Rens Bonnez, solution lead for the Mobile, Web & IoT team at delaware. “Companies can easily dip their toes into the world of IoT without having to spend a lot of money or tinker with their IT infrastructure. For us, this creates new opportunities on top of our existing offerings and partnerships.”
When it comes to IoT, there’s a sweet spot where delaware and Crodeon’s objectives meet: the ability to generate results – in the form of valuable insights – faster and cheaper than with traditional IoT setups. Taken together with environmental data captured through existing IoT setups – e.g. temperature, humidity etc. – these insights provide digital product traceability. With this traceability, businesses can optimize production to align with specific environmental circumstances, like warmer weather or higher humidity. For example, in certain scenarios, a higher dose of a specific ingredient might be needed to compensate for environmental factors and maintain the same quality. In this way, IoT data can be used to optimize overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and reduce scrap.
A major advantage of the Crodeon-delaware duo is the ability to start small and scale up fast. Jonathan adds: “For example, we could rollout a small test case in one plant with 25 sensors. Because sensors work independently of the plant’s system, they can easily be deployed at other sites as well. This approach also has its merits in terms of security, but it also makes it possible to capture comparable key data across plants – even when they have different IT infrastructures or software. The Crodeon Reporter can be a gateway to the company-wide standardization of key values, enabling analysis on a group level.”
“delaware has a lot of experience with a wide range of technologies, but at the end of the day, we’re not a hardware company,” says Rens. “That’s why we partner up with firms like Crodeon who are creating best-in-class products that solve real-world problems and allow us to serve our customers in the best possible way. We look forward to the many exciting new IoT projects on the horizon.”