The London startup Oden Technologies delivers the complete infrastructure to manufacturing companies to enable them to implement Industry 4.0 quickly and conveniently. Sensors can collect data from machines, making devices visible, actionable and accessible anywhere and on any device. We asked the CODE_n finalist some questions.
Where did your idea for the company come from?
The idea came to me while I was studying industrial engineering, specializing in production. A professor sent me around to manufacturing companies to interview them on how they were doing continuous analytics and optimization. It was astounding to see how little was done and what the potential was. If the analytics was done, the data collection happened irregularly and manually. If the companies were using software (ERP or SCADA- type systems), there was a serious lack of intuitive visualizations and understanding of the data, and most importantly translating it into actions.
For which kind of audience is your product or service intended and what problem is it solving?
Our system collects data in real time from machines, quality assurance equipment or sensors that we add. So the first problem we’re solving is that the data currently isn’t available. The data is then sent wirelessly to our cloud-based analytics platform where we visualize the process flows and current problems as well as use a combination of user-chosen and machine learning-generated alerts to make the analytics actionable and deliver quantifiable results. So the second problem, (where the real benefits come) is that we’re taking all the pain points we’ve seen in industrial software (not to mention costs and implementation times) and fixing them. We’re making them visible, actionable and accessible anywhere and on any device. We are trying to make the industrial Internet of Things as easy and seamless as consumers are used to in their every day smartphone lives. The big underlying problem we’re solving (or minimizing) is rejection rates and machine downtime.
Our technology is agnostic to different sectors and can be applied to most process-driven manufacturing companies. But in order to make sure that we are always delivering results and painless solutions for our customers, we are going to market one vertical at a time. That means that we can connect a smart factory in a matter of hours and be certain that we’ll deliver a solution and results that our customers love. Our first vertical is cable manufacturing (extrusion), but we are already evaluating our options for the next vertical.
Tell us a bit about the company’s founders like their professional or industry background and the origins of the founding idea.
We were founded by two friends with combined experience in industrial engineering, telecommunications, big data SaaS and previous startups. We’ve since managed to gather a team of extremely talented software and hardware engineers around us that have bought into the long-term vision of the company.
Data from sensors in the machines of your customers will be sent to you. Have companies shown a certain amount of hesitance when it comes to giving away their most valuable data to a third party? If so, how do you deal with these concerns?
We have seen initial hesitance towards that, but after talking through the solution with the customers and especially our security measures it hasn’t been a show-stopper. We know that we’re dealing with very sensitive information and take security extremely seriously, we use it as a differentiator even. Since we’re developing our own hardware and software solution end-to-end, we’re able to control the whole process instead of relying on a network of third parties that needs to be connected.
See Oden Technologies live on the CODE_n Stage on Thursday, 19.03.2015.