Condat, a global specialist in surface chemistry including industrial lubricants, recently announced its partnership with Sigfox, the world’s leading IoT service provider and initiator of the 0G network. With its long-term partner delaware, an internationally renowned integrator of innovative technology solutions, the two companies have created CondatLink, an IoT solution capable of helping tunnel boring machine operators to better manage their supply and stock of sealant on construction sites.
Sealant stock management: a major challenge for tunnel construction
With more than 25 years of experience in the field of tunnels, with more than 4,500 km laid, Condat has unique know-how and an international reputation in its sector. In particular, the company is a leader in the manufacture and supply of tail seal greases, products designed for tunnel construction in wet areas. Tail seal greases are essential for tunnelling especially in the event of water ingress, as job sites risk being delayed and, in the worst case, may even be submerged.
Condat delivers all over the world using 20-ton containers. Until now Condit’s sales teams worked with customers to estimate requirements, without being able to obtain precise information on sealant consumption.
“We needed a solution to prevent our tunnel boring machine customers from running out of sealant on their sites. In the life of a construction site, many parameters can speed up or slow down the consumption of this product. To satisfy our customers, we had to think of a way to find out about it, without having to contact someone on the worksites. We had the feeling that IoT was the right way to go, so we turned to delaware, our technology solutions partner of more than 23 years, to help us,” explains Guy Chemisky, Director of Operations at Condat.
CondatLink started as a concept last November at Del20, the delaware working group focused on innovation, where concrete cases and feedback are shared, and in January, the project was launched:
“We started this project together by working on an end-to-end strategy: from the ideas phase to the design of the applications. We then put several people from the IoT ecosystem in touch with each other. Sigfox was chosen to support us during the implementation of this project and the design of the tracking and monitoring equipment,” adds Baptiste Duriez, Partner at delaware.
Sigfox was chosen by Condat for its 0G network covering more than 70 countries and regions and its proposal to fully integrate the solution into Condat’s SAP environment.
“We were very delighted by the maturity of the thinking. The Condat and delaware teams had carried out an in-depth study of the service experience expected for users and how the solution would fit into production. Even the notion of return on investment with stock management had been analysed. We were therefore able to bring our expertise to the project to introduce a solution very quickly,” says Patrick Cason, Managing Director of Sigfox France.
“This project was carried out thanks to a dozen-strong team from Condat, delaware and Sigfox. By combining all these skills, the spirit of innovating together and the desire to co-develop with our suppliers, we managed to finalize this project in a very short timeframe and in the middle of a period of lockdown,” adds Guy Chemisky.
The IoT for better consumption monitoring on construction sites
Sigfox’s expertise has led to the implementation of the CondatLink solution, which will be available internationally and will enable more precise information about the level of consumption of sealant on building sites, thanks to a connected device that monitors the opening and closing of sealant drums.
The device is attached to the drums as soon as they leave the production plant. It is small (116x45x30mm), light (around 100g) and has, at least, a one-year battery life. As for the software, it uses Sigfox Monarch (international device, frequency management) and Atlas (geolocation) technologies. It will emit a message regularly to signal the location of the drum (asset tracking) while emitting regular messages indicating its change of state when the drum is opened (asset monitoring).
The information obtained by this connected device is sent to Condat and their clients via the Sigfox 0G network and available on a dedicated tracking application. This platform will take the form of a dashboard allowing the customer to track consumption and stock, and Condat to manage its deliveries worldwide.
Aware of environmental issues, Condat has been offering solutions for more than 20 years that are more respectful of individuals and the planet. The development of CondatLink is part of this approach. Thus, with delaware and Sigfox, Condat wanted to pay particular attention to the ecodesign and optimization of the battery. Moreover, the optimisation of transport and the better planning of deliveries, obtained via this solution, enable the company to avoid air transport as much as possible and, therefore, to greatly reduce carbon footprint.
A first use case that aims to deploy tens of thousands of connected objects
A test phase is planned for July with the implementation of this solution over two sites. Initially, the challenge will be the deployment of tens of thousands of objects by next year.
“Tomorrow, we will be able to go further than just monitoring the consumption of sealant on building sites. It will be possible to do this with many other products and for sectors other than tunnel builders. One of our major technological challenges in the coming years will be to make greater use of the data we have been collecting for more than 20 years to build predictive models and serve our customers better,” concludes Guy Chemisky.