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EIT Digital: In IoT, technology and business development go hand-in-hand


'Cooperating with ACTIVE has provided us visibility to what can be done with the latest technology', said Tomi Sundberg, when presenting at the EIT Digital Finland Innovation Day Cramo's ACTIVE powered solution for tracking online the tool usage at a construction site.

Cramo, one of the leading rental companies in Europe for construction site equipment, clearly sees the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) for improving Cramo’s business. The Company is working with EIT Digital’s Advanced Connectivity Platform for Vertical Segments High Impact Initiative to meet the goal - and to obtain visibility in what can be done with the latest technology. 

'IoT affects our business in three ways: it provides us tools to add more value for our customer, it helps us to improve our internal efficiency, and it provides means to develop our business models and find new ones', said Tomi Sundberg, Director of Innovations and New Business Development at Cramo.

He continued, 'For example, if we can track online the tool usage at a construction site, it offers us a possibility to add customer value by bringing right kinds of tools to the site when needed. We can also increase our internal efficiency by taking unused tools to other sites. In the future online tracking enables new business opportunities, like providing tool fleet management services for our customers. Additional sensors could be attached to customer’s own tools, giving both our clients and us a holistic perspective on tools and how they are used.'

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Cramo is working with EIT Digital’s Advanced Connectivity Platform for Vertical Segments High Impact Initiative, dubbed ACTIVE.

In ACTIVE, sensor computers, intelligent gateways, and a cloud solution are integrated into a next generation intelligent IoT platform. Three sub-grant companies from ACTIVE have been closely collaborating with Cramo in this task; HitSeed, focusing on intelligent IoT sensors, Tuxera, providing intelligent IoT gateways, and Eficode, providing backend cloud IoT solution.

The cooperation between these three companies started in September 2017, and Cramo was quickly involved after that. Last year Cramo was involved in another ACTIVE proof-of-concept in Sweden.

'Cooperating with ACTIVE has provided us visibility to what can be done with the latest technology', Tomi said.

At the moment, an initial batch of tools at Cramo’s client site is equipped with intelligent sensors and IoT solution from ACTIVE. The goal in this first phase is to transfer usage information and to test the end-to-end connectivity from a construction site to cloud.

'For EIT Digital and its initiatives, it is very valuable to get strong customer perspective from early on and test products and services in an authentic environment to ensure fit and usability. Cramo’s open and practical approach to innovations and their ability to quickly develop ideas and test them in real-world conditions has made the cooperation easy and beneficial for all involved parties', said Marko Turpeinen, Director of EIT Digital Finland Node.

The next planned step is a larger scale pilot involving several gateways and dozens or even up to hundreds of tools equipped with sensors.

'This is not about demonstrating new technology capabilities, but developing innovative technology and business hand-in-hand, and solving existing problems with quick iterations', Tomi said.  

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