Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox connects oil and gas cylinders in Australia

Steve Rogerson
September 27, 2016
More than one million tank and cylinder monitoring devices for the oil and gas industry in Australia and New Zealand are to be connected to the Sigfox network.
This follows an agreement between Silicon Controls, a provider of tank and cylinder monitoring devices, and Thinxtra, the exclusive Sigfox network operator in Australia and New Zealand.
Already working in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, the scope of the agreement includes the focused development of Silicon Controls’ IoT monitoring equipment, leveraging Sigfox’s connectivity and know-how, network expansion, development of joint go-to-market products and SLA-based operational support to customers.
By delivering critical tank level and other operational data, remote monitoring of tanks and cylinders eliminates run-outs and emergency deliveries and improves resource planning and route optimisation. The monitoring technology resulting from this cooperation should address the needs of the oil and gas industries by driving down the cost of remote-monitoring equipment, reducing maintenance through extended battery life and lowering monthly communications fees.
“This collaborative partnership is aimed at reducing the total cost of ownership of contents and usage monitoring, allowing our customers to monitor many more tanks and cylinders than current cellular solutions allow," said Mike Neuman, CEO of Australia-based Silicon Controls. “Sigfox’s network availability today, its global business model, long battery life, equipment and data costs make it the logical first choice in Silicon Controls’ IoT monitoring strategy.
Most remote monitoring devices that will be connected to the IoT will require very simple, low-cost and low-power connectivity to transmit or receive data. In addition to meeting those requirements, Sigfox says it supports a guaranteed service level and competitive pricing, which underpins Silicon Controls’ service. These advantages, packaged in a single global agreement, will allow Silicon Controls to offer end-to-end tank and cylinder monitoring wherever the Sigfox network is available today and tomorrow.
"We are very excited about the potential of our strategic partnership and about being a partner of choice for Silicon Controls’ IoT device connectivity," said Loic Barancourt, Thinxtra's CEO. “With this agreement, we signal to the ANZ market that we are officially open for business.”
Thinxtra was launched in 2015 and is backed by a consortium of strategic investors, including cornerstone investor Rakon, an NZX-listed high-tech company in innovation of communications technology. The network roll out in Australia and New Zealand has commenced and is on track to meet its target of covering 85 per cent of the Australia and New Zealand population with Sigfox connectivity by the end of 2017.
“Thinxtra and Silicon Controls’ strategic, global partnership demonstrates the seamless IoT connectivity that we provide via local Sigfox network operators to global companies like Silicon Controls, and their customers operating across Europe, Asia, the Americas and, of course, Australasia,” said Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan. “Our local SNOs provide quick and simple access to global network services, support and pricing, as well as to their local network.”
Silicon Controls provides equipment, applications and services aimed at helping gas suppliers reduce the cost of distribution and improve customer services. It specialises in integrated systems for remote monitoring applications.