SIGFOX, the low power wide area (LPWA) Internet of Things (IoT) network provider and e.l.m. leblanc have announced a connectivity agreement in France that will enable the French boiler manufacturer and its partners to provide responsive, predictive and even remote maintenance.
Connected equipment will also allow users to remotely pilot their boiler and manage their energy consumption. Connected to the SIGFOX network, boilers communicate and trigger an alert when a failure occurs, allowing professionals to generate responsive, appropriate and even remote maintenance.
The real-time usage data will be stored, processed and analyzed. Patterns and warning signs will be identified to predict potential failures before they happen and prompt pre-emptive servicing of equipment.
Thanks to the bidirectional connectivity of the SIGFOX network, the smart devices will also allow multifamily-housing providers to adapt their service level to the occupants’ budgets by setting up and piloting their smart equipment remotely. The programme also will help users to control their energy consumption and save money by managing their boilers directly through a mobile app.
The SIGFOX connectivity solution allows e.l.m. leblanc, a Bosch Group company, to relaunch a project it created several years ago to remotely monitor boiler performance and optimise required and preventive maintenance.
That project, which was based on broadband cellular connectivity, was put on hold because it was too costly for applications that do not require frequent, large data transfers. But the concept is an ideal fit for SIGFOX’s global IoT network, which is designed for billions of devices that only send small amounts of data, as needed.
“e.l.m. leblanc early on recognized the value for our professional customers, channel partners and for end users of equipping and installing smart boilers,” said Frédéric Agar, e.l.m. leblanc’s president.
“Thanks to the Internet of Things and to SIGFOX’s dedicated connectivity available nationwide in France, the technology has caught up with our vision. This partnership brings efficiency benefits to everyone involved, simply and affordably.”
Stuart Lodge, SIGFOX executive vice president, global sales & partners, said: “e.l.m. leblanc, one of the biggest boiler suppliers in France, provides a classic use case for demonstrating both the IoT’s potential to save water users time and money, and enable equipment providers and their service partners to open new business opportunities.
“The new offer also illustrates how SIGFOX’s simple connectivity greatly improves the final user’s experience: as soon as the boiler is installed, it is instantly connected to the network without any setup or pairing and without requiring local Internet service.”
The new programme, which will connect at least 100,000 boilers in France, will be launched in September 2016. It is already seen as a reference within the German group, where other business divisions could benefit from the simple, low-cost and low-power SIGFOX connectivity solution.