Efacec Power Solutions SGPS, S.A. is a Portuguese energy, engineering and mobility company, comprising several subsidiaries in different international markets.
The company aims to be the preferred partner in delivering worldwide innovative and customized solutions for energy, mobility and the environment.
Efacec launched the challenge “Smart Digital Transformer Management Solution”.
They were looking for a partner to co-develop a cost-effective and reliable IoT hardware for remote monitoring, in order to digitize all oil-immersed power transformers, allowing a faster advancement of smart grids to cope with the energy transition challenges.
Izum is a company dedicated to the provision of services in the IIoT and Robotics area. Through their monitoring and sensing devices, they design IoT and Robotics solutions applied to Industry 4.0.
Izum won the corporate challenge launched by Efacec and aimed to achieve customer success by using the latest technologies.
As a result of this PITCCH support it was possible to develop a novel monitoring solution for power transformers that helps to reduce the rate of failures and degradation, thereby optimizing utilities to significantly increase their reliability and reduce maintenance costs.
The project was divided in three main activities: the first one related with “Project Requirements, and Specifications”; the second related to the development of the electronic equipment “Beta Equipment Manufacturing and Testing”; and the third related to “firmware programming”.
After the conclusion of the project activities, it was decided among the parties to create a new task related to the industrialization process, so that the prototype developed could reach the market over the next months.
In terms of project technical execution, by combining the software and hardware it was possible to develop a device according to the initial requirements and adjusted to the Efacec production process. This solution gathers data from the key equipment in order to predict any damage to parts or possible downtime. It also sends data at the start or end of each process on the production line or on specific equipment.
The solution created is capable of pre-select items to feed the machine and assist logistics in preparing transportation routes for various customers. The edge data processing module allows for faster responses and actuations and enables the transformer data, creating the required degree of data redundancy and providing a secure data storage mechanism.
Hardware was defined following a ready-to-use approach ensuring seamless usage and configuration, with no additional requirements for installation other than connection to the power supply and sensor devices through available physical and wireless interfaces. The supported protocols ensure interoperability and ability to communicate in several platforms with and across all the legacy equipment and easy integration with third-party applications.
The project started in July 2021 and ended in mid-January 2022. PITCCH supported the first phase with the intent to facilitate the initiation of longer-lasting Open Innovation collaborations and stimulate the adoption of this approach by companies.
In accordance with the project requirements, there was a need to develop nonstandard solutions, an example of which was the development of a power supply for voltage levels of relatively high amplitude.
This project has been an essential inducer of collaboration between teams from different business partners and contributed to the adoption of agile methodologies. The framework for the software and hardware developed by Efacec and Izum is designed to model how their products will support customer success, providing the right platform for value generation in the context of intense changes we are living in now. This solution, as a novelty/degree of innovation on the manufacturing level, is unique. It is aligned with the UN SDG contributing for affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production.
Both parties were enthusiastic about the collaboration and the results achieved. Izum also declared that they have achieved much more than they expected from the technical requirements.
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