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Smart products

Making products smart and connected is everything but obvious for companies, nor are many companies still experiencing problems with these new technologies or implementing them. Sirris helps these companies in their transition to smart products. We have several experts within our organisation who can give them guidance . In 2019,  they partook in several initiatives and collective research projects, in which a number of demonstrators have been developed, in order to untangle smart product development  for companies.

Assisting manufacturers in the transition to smart connected products

More and more smart products and enabling technologies for Internet of Things (IoT) are available on the market. Many companies that manufacture physical products are asking themselves whether and if so, when they should join in. Manufacturers planning to take action are faced with various challenges and unanswered questions. Sirris and Agoria helped these companies navigate the world of smart connected products in the Wat Slim project.

 

We have organised information sessions and themed workshops, issued publications and provided individual guidance. From these we have compiled the ten key challenges for manufacturers aiming to transition into smart connected products, in a guide for companies. The e-book helps manufacturers to get started with smart connected products. Download the e-book free of charge.

Smart product innovation supported by Sirris experts 

Manufacturers who want to know how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be deployed to expand their business and add value for their customers were invited to join us at our Liège site on 10 December 2019. Participants to the event discovered how the IoT can create new opportunities in terms of both the product and new business models. The Sirris experts in smart products, mastering fields from physical product development to data analysis, shared insights on proven product strategies and how to build proof-of-concepts to minimize risk before moving on to the industrialisation and market introduction phases. We provided demos on how Sirris can support innovations towards smarter products in various fields, starting from the ideation phase.

Improving products and services offering by acquiring qualitative product data

Despite the fact that the industrial impact of the "Digital Transformation" and "Industry 4.0" are already evident, many companies are still facing issues regarding the implementation and/or integration of new technology, especially when it comes to taking advantage of product data. These companies, most of them manufacturers, want to learn how to collect, analyse and use their product data to optimise the services they provide. But they lack the necessary insights into the underlying technologies and how it can be implemented and deployed.

 

The gathering of qualitative product data is based on a optimised selection and utilisation of sensor systems that are adapted to the infrastructure, the configuration and the operational environment. Sirris, Hahn-Schickard and Forschungszentrum Informatik have set up ‘InsightProducts – Actionable Insights into Product Service Delivery’, a joint research programme aimed at helping companies with the transition, thus increasing their competitiveness.

Optimal use of detection and communication technology

InsightProducts targets the enhancement of digital products, based on actionable insights into their design, operations and performance, using the knowledge gained from collected data on the connected product. The objective is to support companies in achieving optimal use of sensor and communications technology to gather qualitative product information, resulting in actionable insights into product requirements and customers’ needs. 

 

This should lead to three results: first and foremost, optimised product design and performance, leading to higher product value based on product insights from data gathered from sensors. Second, it increases product quality and reduces down-time based on qualitative data captured by the sensor systems adapted to the product environment. Last but not least, a detailed analysis of the impact of the delivery of product services on overall product management, the organisation, the business and the marketing strategy in the industry.

AddSmart demonstrators clarify development of smart connected products

Many companies would like to make their products smart and connected, and are looking for an appropriate development approach. There is no magic formula. With the support of VLAIO (the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), Sirris and Fraunhofer IEM have jointly set up the AddSmart research project, to draw up a specific approach aimed at helping companies with the concept development of their smart connected products. 

 

There is no better way to validate insights than by making proof-of-concepts. Sirris has developed two demonstrators: a smart suitcase and a smart milling machine. The selection of a consumer product (B2C) and an industrial machine (B2B) enabled us to discuss various applications with very different requirements. In this way the project  takes into account the diversity of manufacturers in the broad target group. 

 

The two demonstrators were launched at general events and themed workshops. The target group will continue to be informed also after the closure of the AddSmart project.

AddSMart

Add Smart demonstrator

ValSmart demonstrator shows companies the opportunities of smart connected products

The smart connected product market is booming. For many businesses, it is important to make the most of the trend and develop quality products by building up the required competencies.

 

In response to a requests of various Walloon stakeholders, Sirris launched the ValSmart project, as part of the European Cornet programme, in partnership with Germany’s Hahn-Schickard research centre and supported by a group of users made up of Walloon and German SMEs. The aim of ValSmart is to develop tools to assist industrial companies designing IoT products. These tools help businesses to objectively set out product specifications and identify the best configuration to implement, based on needs and constraints. The tools also enable businesses to improve their understanding of the fields of expertise associated with this type of development, and to identify the required in-house and third-party competencies.

ValBOX

ValBOX is the project’s flagship demonstrator. This connected and configurable object demonstrates the many  capabilities of smart connected products. This object includes various sensor, actuator and communication solutions to demonstrate the advantages and possible limitations of these solutions.