Today, industry in Europe faces an undeniable reality: With a century-old legacy, the vast majority of its factories are aging. For many manufacturers, cutting costs, surviving international competition and the need for remote supervision during the health crisis has meant starting the digitalization process, and that is before we even talk about Industry 4.0. “For those looking to optimize production and reduce energy consumption, data generation is a must,” explains Nicolas Babel, CEO and Founder of Ewattch. What we are proving with Ewattch is that this does not necessarily require heavy investment or mean you have to replace all your machines. We develop comprehensive solutions, including everything from the sensors themselves to the software platform that manages them. At SIDO 2021, we will present an example of a ready-to-use industrial kit. And we’ll demonstrate how even a 40-year-old machine can become connected.”
A modular solution
The sensors, which are deployed throughout sites, can measure machine function (e.g. the number of units produced, cycle time, energy consumption, operating status) or collect data on quality (e.g. temperature, humidity, CO2 levels). Ewattch uses edge computing to avoid overloading the network or servers, meaning raw data is not processed in the cloud, but pre-processed as close as possible to the sensor that collects it. The relevant indicators are then sent back through the network to the monitoring tool. Instead of the classic dashboard, Ewattch has boldly opted to display this data in 3D, with screens in plants providing real-time information in order to ensure the immediate uptake and effective use of the tool by all employees. As it controls most of the value chain, Ewattch can quickly adapt its solution. Its kits cater to a wide range of different fields, such as plastics, metallurgy, stamping machines, bakeries, water management and the list goes on.
Supported by a reliable network
As well as being able to mix multiple types of measurements, Ewattch sensors are also one of the few multiprotocol sensors on the market. To transfer the collected data, they use either the 4G network or, more recently, Orange’s IoT network, LoRaWAN. Thanks to the product’s modularity, Ewattch can provide its customers with specific guidance, right down to the choice of network, depending on their use case and requirements. “It’s reassuring for manufacturers to know they can count on a trusted carrier. Data security, network control and network availability in factories are key considerations in this sector where the stakes are often very high. A partner like Orange gives us greater credibility in terms of the network.”
A young yet fast-growing company
It was after Ewattch’s victory in the 2021 edition of Orange’s Datavenue Challenge that the two companies joined forces. “We only started collaborating with Orange recently, but it is looking very promising. By pooling our expertise, we can provide an end-to-end solution to meet the challenges of modernizing industrial sites. We hope to bring this relationship to fruition soon, by establishing concrete partnerships.” Having recently fundraised €3.5 million and launched a subsidiary in Benelux (with two more in the pipeline for 2022 in the German and Italian markets), Ewattch intends to thrive in Europe and continue innovating to make Factory 4.0 a reality.