Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox and Alizent partner on industrial asset tracking

Steve Rogerson
May 9, 2017



Sigfox has formed a global partnership with asset interactive company Alizent, a subsidiary of French company Air Liquide, to increase the benefits of IoT in industries across all sectors.
 
The two partners, seeing Industry 4.0 as one of the main growth paths driving the development of the IoT, will combine their respective technologies and capabilities to provide monitoring and tracking of industrial assets on a global basis.
 
Sigfox and Alizent are already working on exploring opportunities in Europe and the USA.
 
In a pilot to monitor gas cylinders and CO2 tanks, Alizent’s tracking product combined with Sigfox connectivity is collecting accurate data from a fleet of returnable containers. This information offers valuable insights on the value chain and at the same time provides real-time inventories to customers. With the support of Alizent, it can also monitor the CO2 mini-tanks that are, for example, used by fast food chains for soft drinks.
 
Animal health vaccines contain active bio-ingredients that must be transported with great care and under specific conditions. Not keeping vaccines at the appropriate temperature would tamper with the quality which, in turn, would result in a large number of animals not receiving a proper vaccination. Thanks to Sigfox connectivity, Alizent is testing a tracking system in the USA that reports container data such as temperature, shock and tilt throughout the entire shipment journey. These metrics are essential for quality control and traceability, leading to greater efficiencies and new services.
 
Large hospitals have the complex task to track portable oxygen cylinders for inventory control and billing purposes. Tracking devices installed in 300 oxygen cylinders in one of the largest hospitals in the Texas medical technology area have during the pilot phase reduced cylinder losses and rental fees for customers while optimising the supply chain.
 
Beer brewers seek to maintain a correct temperature for draft beer or cider, a paramount for customer satisfaction. Alizent’s predictive maintenance service combined with Sigfox connectivity allows beer brewers to monitor coolers and dispensers’ temperature. This prevents breakdowns, expensive repairs, waste of time and money, and ultimately sales loss.
 
“We believe that connecting all industrial assets will generate valuable data for our customers,” said Alexis Duret, managing director of Alizent. “Sigfox, through its unique technology and global network services, support and pricing, combined with Alizent proven ability and rare mix of industrial and technological skills, enables the connection of a whole new range of industrial assets for our clients.
 
Through this partnership, Alizent proposes a new type of connectivity to bring IoT services to its industrial clients, leveraging Sigfox’s capacity to accelerate the deployment of large-scale IoT services. By complementing other types of technologies that Alizent offers to its customers such as 3G, 4G or RFID, Sigfox will enable digital interactions with millions of industrial assets and hundreds of plants throughout the world, as well as real time visibility on operations.
 
“This partnership with Alizent once again illustrates that the IoT space opens up new and exciting opportunities for industries,” said Vincent Sabot, vice president of sales at France-based Sigfox. “Sigfox’s low-cost and low-power connectivity represents a dramatic shift for companies looking to reduce their costs and improve their industrial processes, as well as create new services based on big data.”
 
The two partners believe that combining Sigfox’s connectivity offering with Alizent’s knowledge of industrial customers will bring a unique value proposal to verticals such as oil and gas, primary metals, manufacturing, healthcare, food and beverage, agriculture, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.