Jon Prescott, CEO
The major value of IoT and Industry 4.0 for engineered product manufacturers may well be in providing IoT data and data-driven interactions to customers and end users.
With the dawn of Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT largely focuses on gathering sensor and operating data within factories and supply chains to optimize operations, maintenance and logistics. However, according to Jon Prescott—CEO of IoT Customer Experience platform Scante.net—there is gap between manufacturers of industrial equipment and their end-user customers. Most commercial and industrial engineered products have a long life in the field, regularly use consumables and services, and may have significant needs for support. Many Industry 4.0 and IIoT efforts don’t address these aspects, nor fully leverage equipment manufacturer’s knowledge and expertise.
With zeal to address these shortcoming, Scante laid the cornerstones of their solution—a comprehensive system for “customer facing IoT” that uses data from customer’s equipment to drive support, after-sales revenue and improved maintenance and operating performance. The company offers a game-changing approach that engages both the customer and the machinery OEM in the IoT process. The OEM gains critical insight into the operations and maintenance of their equipment in the field, and the end user gains from the detailed knowledge and support resources of the OEM to produce more value than stand-alone IoT initiatives.
The Scante platform allows manufacturers to provide applications to their customers for conveying IoT data to the owners of a product. “With our system, OEMs provide an app that conveys relevant IoT and support interactions to the end user on a shop floor. This takes out enormous amount of friction in the maintenance and operation of the equipment,” says Prescott, a long time Industrial IoT entrepreneur.
Scante’s IIoT approach allows the OEM to gain insight on the utilization of their machinery in real-world use, while helping build tight, integrated relationships with customers, improving their operations, maintenance, and cost of ownership. “When IoT data is centralized at the OEM from the total installed base of machinery from many customers, best practices for operations and maintenance can emerge to provide better service and support to the end user customer,” says Prescott.
Our systems are allowing companies to build tight relationships with their customers and distribution chain partners around IoT data and branded apps. Insights from these systems are changing the way companies interact with their customers and equipment in the field
Scante is a hardware agnostic platform with native support for several well known IIoT Gateways and cloud data services. With preferred partners like HMS Networks and several others, the Scante platform can be added to many existing IoT efforts. The system also utilizes standard industry connectivity protocols like MQTT, OPC, REST API and HTTPS data transfers for a wide range of IoT use cases. Platforms like Amazon IoT, Azure and other systems are also supported.
For a real world example of its systems, Prescott offered Scante customer Osprey Filters, an Atlanta based company manufacturing factory-scale air filtration equipment. With complex machinery deployed in manufacturing facilities on 6 continents, Osprey personnel spend plenty of time traveling in support of their complex systems. The incorporation of HMS Flexy IIoT devices working with Scante apps allowed Osprey to remotely access their systems around the world, and provided customers with branded IoT apps specific to their particular machines. The centralized application of a Scante system helped Osprey personnel view the current and historical status of equipment while customers received detailed insights into their machinery 24/7 via apps on smartphones, tablets and desktops. Beyond detailed IoT data, Osprey’s Scante app includes a full range of product support documentation, preventive maintenance schedules, operational alarms and notifications, as well as parts and service requests and support interactions with Osprey technical staff.
The Scante platform extends broadly from manufacturers of industrial and commercial equipment to services companies and industrial consumables suppliers. “Recently, we’ve been doing IoT driven customer experience applications for companies as diverse as industrial lubricant suppliers, oil-field equipment, micro-breweries, packaging equipment, converting machinery, filtration, hydraulics, and many others.”