Ecolibrium Energy’s IoT platform SmartSense Is Accelerating Industry 4.0 For Enterprises

Ecolibrium Energy, a leading provider of Predictive Asset Intelligence for industrial and commercial enterprises, with over 700 installations in over 300 global organisations, has its applications across industries, commercial buildings and smart cities. Curious Dose talked to the IoT startup Ecolibrium Energy to know more about their IoT-enabled platform called SmartSense and how it helps in digitization, energy efficiency and predictive maintenance in the IoT world.

How Did It Begin?

Ecolibrium was founded by Chintan Soni, and Harit Soni at the end of 2010. It started off on a high note with the establishment of Gujarat’s first smart micro-grid demonstration project with Torrent Power. Their next breakthrough came in the form of incubation at CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad. Since then, there has been no looking back and the startup now has investors such as JLL, Infuse Ventures and IFC. They have over 700 installations across 300 global enterprises and offices across India, UAE and South East Asia.

Ecolibrium solutions have evolved from an energy monitoring module to a comprehensive Industry 4.0 – enabling solution that encompasses enterprise-wide energy efficiency modules and predictive maintenance solutions. The startup had to go through challenges of the lack of know-how about IoT and Predictive Maintenance and resistance to change from traditional forms of energy management but they have now gained a massive experience in the field to tackle these challenges.

The Tech Behind It

The tech team of Ecolibrium Energy has around 20 people with an array of departments like UI/UX, backend, full-stack, DevOps, Data Science, embedded technology, Server and platform teams. The team consists of professionals who are proficient in Python, Java, ReactJS, Bootstrap, PostgreSQL and Time Series Database (InfluxDB), WebAPI, REST API and framework (Spring and Django), as well as technologies like Redis and RabbitMQ. Many of the team members are also experienced in machine learning algorithms.

The SmartSense edge lies in its proprietary ‘Power Genome’ algorithm that the startup uses to ensure early detection of machine degradation, using the least possible sensors. These algorithms have been built using 4.1 TB data over 7 years, and are being used on over 4000 equipment today.

The hardware that Ecolibrium Energy uses is called Link+. It enables strong data acquisition that is retrofit with 200 types of sensors, 12 Industry protocols, and enables a 3rd Party Integration with SAP, BMS and other IoT Platforms.

The Success Story So Far

The Ecolibrium solution- called SmartSense- enables enterprises to prevent unscheduled downtime; optimise maintenance & energy costs. It has been very well received among our customers across India, South East Asia and the Middle East. Oftentimes this results in them asking for customisation in reports and on the dashboard. While the traffic sometimes gets the team busy, this has been one of the biggest reasons and motivations to enhance and improve the solution from time to time. The startup was recently recognised as one of the major players in the global Predictive Maintenance market by the Market Research company, MarketsandMarkets. The report identified 19 major vendors in the Predictive Maintenance market, of which Ecolibrium Energy is the only India-based solution provider.

Following are the key SmartSense offerings:

  • SmartSense for digitization: Real-time monitoring
  • SmartSense for energy efficiency: Helps reduce the cost of power through energy analyses & network leakage identification along with root cause & recommendations
  • SmartSense for Predictive Maintenance: Reduced asset downtime and maintenance costs by identifying asset degradation along with root cause & recommendations

SmartSense is used by industries, commercial buildings and OEMs alike. Following are some of the SmartSense success stories:

1.In one of the large plants using SmartSense, within a span of 3 years, Ecolibrium has increased its presence from 5 to 108 electrical points and 17 critical equipment. This has helped the client save over $50000 by preventing downtime, has reduced maintenance costs of this equipment by 23% and overall energy costs by 8%.

2.Another reputed tech park in Bangalore was able to save energy cost of $11200 in just over a year, using SmartSense.

3.OEM experts believe that in this digital era, it is critical to use technology to carve a niche for oneself. And in the OEM space, the best way to create this edge is by connecting, understanding and delighting customers. It is with this vision that SmartSense is working with many prominent OEM partners. 

Talking about its competitors in this space, the Founder said that the SmartSense platform is a full-stack IoT solution that seeks to make industries and buildings smarter. This means that SmartSense can be used by an organisation through its Industry 4.0 journey – from energy data acquisition to analysis and condition monitoring to predictive maintenance. What this also means is that, for SmartSense, there exists no competitor. For instance, if an organisation uses solution A for energy monitoring, the SmartSense analytics module can be layered on this. If an organisation uses solution B for condition monitoring, SmartSense can be used for predictive maintenance. This creates a situation where other solution providers are made partners, not competition. And this means that any organisation, whether for end-to-end solutions or for a particular purpose, can contact and engage with team SmartSense, with no worries of integration issues with other solutions.

Over and above this, SmartSense stands out from the competition in the following ways:

  • SmartSense ‘Power Genome’ ensures early detection of machine degradation, using the least possible sensors – ensuring maximum data using minimum sensors, and making it more cost effective
  • SmartSense uses reliable algorithms that are built and enhanced using 4.1 TB data over seven years
  • The solution uses AI and ML models use Data + Domain, making it brand agnostic
  • SmartSense covers a wide set of assets such as motors, transformers, chillers, pumps, compressors, escalators and elevators.
  • Has a strong acquisition layer which is retrofit with 200 types of sensors, 12 industry protocols, and enables a third-party integration with SAP, BMS and other IoT platforms
  • The proven solution which currently has over 4000 equipment being analysed using Power Genome
  • SaaS implementation in an Opex model, with minimal upfront investment.

IoT Scenario In India

When asked about the team’s views on IoT market evolving in the coming 5 years in India, they said that IoT is much larger than a market – it is a space, a movement in itself. The IoT movement has swept across every sector and industry in every stage of development and scale. It is today, an integral part of production, transport and distribution and consumption. So, it’s safe to say that every bit of the hype is completely justified. Besides, some of the world’s biggest players have begun their IoT journeys – both in terms of implementation and by investing in IoT technologies. Their belief and concentrated efforts to get a stronghold in the IoT space is proof enough. IoT will soon switch from being a mere ‘competitive advantage’ to a mandate, a bare minimum to stay competitive with others in the market.

Talking about the industries with IoT demand, the CEO said that all sectors in the manufacturing space have started adopting and scaling up their IoT usage and that he sees a great deal of demand coming in from competitive sectors such as auto ancillary and engineering. But another segment that is now the dark horse and will also emerge as a major demand generator is the commercial buildings segment. Malls, technology parks, educational institutions and office buildings – they are all in the race to provide healthier and safer environments for their users or occupants. And most of these initiatives are IoT-centric. Facility management companies have all embarked on their IoT journey and there is soon going to be a boom in their IoT usage.

The startup recently expanded into South East Asia and the Middle East. The next year is going to be crucial for them in establishing themselves in this market. In the long run, it is looking to establish and connect with more strategic partners and investors, and customers across the world and to expand into the US and Europe.

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