Connecting thousands of dishwashers to the cloud
In a few weeks, Glaze succeeded in moving Granuldisk to Beacon Tower, which allows the company to consolidate, analyse and share data from thousands of industrial dishwashers with customers. The solution provided Granuldisk with a new Italian customer with special requirements for Industry 4.0 and gives the Swedish company the opportunity to offer new digital services to its customers.
80,000 times a second, granular pieces in Granuldisk’s industrial dishwashers hit the surface of customers’ dirty dishes and kitchen equipment. The washing process is so efficient that Granuldisk’s dishwashers save an average of 70% water, electricity and chemicals on washing at customers’ premises, which include hotels, schools, hospitals and canteens.
Analyse data to optimise service and support
The Malmö-based company has a desire to be able to analyse data on e.g. water and power consumption and temperature to optimise service and support as well as develop new digital products for customers. For this purpose, Granuldisk had invested in a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) product from a large telecommunications company, but the platform proved to be too inflexible.
“To stay relevant and competitive companies know they need data to create business value. However, our customers often find that they cannot access the right data or perform the right analyzes with their existing solutions. Therefore, they choose Glaze to implement a complete solution based on our IoT cloud platform Beacon Tower”, says Jakob Appel, Managing Partner at Glaze.
Beacon Tower is an iPaaS (Integration-Platform-as-a-Service) solution based on micro-services on the Microsoft Azure cloud. According to Gartner, integration flexibility and open data management are crucial properties for companies in order to succeed in areas such as Predictive Analytics and Condition Monitoring. Beacon Tower is based on proven Microsoft technology that guarantees high uptime and compliance with strict IT security requirements, including data encryption, while open datamodels and APIs with a flexible deployment model makes it easy to integrate to.
Granuldisk was in an emergency when a potential customer in Italy had special requirements and wishes for Industry 4.0 services that the company’s existing SaaS product could not provide. There was a need for a platform that could capture the complexity of the different contexts in which industrial dishwashers are involved. A dishwasher can e.g. have the status of belonging to a particular customer, needing service or being in the process of doing a wash. An important feature of Beacon Tower is that raw data does not need to be replicated to be used in various business and analytical contexts. Instead, asset structures are dynamically applied to the raw data streams, which is equivalent to filtering data as needed. For example, if Granuldisk or their customer wish to know the service needs of a particular group of washing machines, data can be obtained from the asset structure without having to manipulate or replicate the raw data streams.
“Beacon Tower uses graph databases, which is a relatively new concept. It allows us to create dynamic asset hierarchies where the same object, e.g. an industrial dishwasher, can be included in as many different contexts and hierarchies as needed and be analysed in as many different aspects as needed”, says Fredrik Svensson, Partner and CTO at Glaze.
Beacon Tower allows Glaze’s consultants to build a Proof-of-Concept in 14 days. But just as important is the fact that Beacon Tower simplifies the transition from Proof-of-Concept to an enterprise-ready solution. The IoT Signals survey from 2021 shows that 35% of IoT projects fail during the prototype phase – most often because it is too expensive to scale up the prototype.
For Granuldisk, the rapid development phase meant that the Italian customer was won.
“With Beacon Tower we have an effective and scalable starting point for our digital journey within connected products. In a matter of weeks we had a solution that was capable of connecting thousands of industrial dish washers and consolidate and utilise data from them and even give customers access to their relevant data. Connecting our products to the cloud will enable us to further develop our business and give our customers a better service and product experience“, says Johnny Josefsson, Director Technical Support & Service at Granuldisk.
Via Beacon Tower, Granuldisk can also give customers and partners access to selected data about their machines and share them across their organisation. The platform also gives Granuldisk the opportunity to offer additional, data based services in the long term, which customers can buy together with the industrial dishwashers.
With Beacon Tower, customers are also guaranteed a solution that evolves with their future needs.
“We deliver the platform as a service, which means that we keep developing it continuously, updating it with patches and providing support, and we also ensure that Beacon Tower can run on the exact Azure setup that suits the customer’s needs”, says Jakob Appel.