Interview: What are the keys to a successful IoT strategy?

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What are the keys to a successful IoT strategy? Interview

Blogpost – Paris, France – October 17th, 2022

Very few companies understand that the main difficulty in IoT is scaling and keeping OPEX costs down. IoT Proof-of-Concept projects should be focused on achieving industrial quality and stability to scale successfully.

These are not “quick demos” but serious projects and working with an experienced partner is a key success factor. The selected platform should be able to start small but grow to millions of managed devices and should work both on-premises as well as a SaaS service.

When you rely on thousands of connected wireless sensors in the field, the last thing you want is to have to manually reboot or upgrade them one by one every time they stop working. Rock-solid stability is arguably the holy grail for businesses or systems that rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the more you have, the more crucial this is. If a sensor fails only once a month and you have a million of them, that means more than 30,000 failures per day!

Unfortunately, a lot of people will just conclude that the “IoT doesn’t work” after such occurrences. But in fact, more reliable IoT network technologies such as LoRaWAN®   have emerged from the experimental stages and are being increasingly applied in the real world. These technologies make our world more efficient and contribute to the transition of our economies to a more sustainable model.

IoT is about far more than just geeky university experiments. Its real-world applications encompass industrial stability and security at scale, and this requires hard work. At Actility, more than 100 expert engineers have worked for over ten years to make sure that our customers’ projects are deployed on time, within budget, and – above all – able to scale to millions of sensors.

We focus on industrial radio management, as well as providing solid answers to questions such as “how do you upgrade a system with over a million devices without a glitch?”, or “what happens if the network restarts after a power outage?”

Above all, it’s our experience that’s the foundation of our success. For the past 10 years we have been providing commercial customer support worldwide, and our systems support a 120% year-on-year growth in the number of connected devices. We have connected thousands of Smart Office devices, and developed automated meter-reading projects for millions of water or gas meters where LoRaWAN®  is clearly the best communication technology.

But, perhaps, some of our most successful projects involve geolocation and tracking.

The technology developed by our subsidiary Abeeway is a new generation of fused multi-technology geolocation which works indoors and outdoors. Bouygues Construction Group uses it to track more than 20,000 tools and toolboxes, while Volvo Group is greatly improving its supply chain by locating manufactured trucks in its factories globally.

The technology is also very popular with security, safety and health applications, in factories, oil and gas and smart construction projects, using LoRaWAN®  Smart Badges. For instance, a major Japanese manufacturer of optics and reprography products, Olympus Corportation, uses them for proximity detection and contact tracing in factories to fight against COVID-19.

LoRaWAN®  is quickly becoming the “Wi-Fi of IoT” standard, complementing cellular technologies by providing an unlicensed alternative for private networks and use cases which require a power efficiency that’s 10 to 20 times what 4G or 5G technologies can achieve. And Actility is right at the cutting edge when it comes to bringing these exciting technologies into the real world. Our ThingPark® platform supports both cellular and Low-power network (LPWAN) radio technologies such as LoRaWAN®.

Actility Highlights from LoRaWAN World Expo 2022

Actility Highlights from

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The biggest LoRaWAN® event ever. How did it go ?

The LoRaWAN World Expo 2022 has been a success! The event has gathered over 1,400 people from all over the globe, uniting enterprises, device makers, system integrators, distributors, developers, solution providers, educational institutions, IoT alliances, influencers, and many more, making this event the largest global LoRaWAN event of the year. We want to send a big thank you to all our Partners and Customers for having joined us and to the LoRa Alliance for allowing visitors from all around the world come together after two long years of on-line meetings, to finally rejoin and share our common interests.

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“This event really marked a turning point for LoRaWAN: it is now recognized as a dependable technology for large scale operations by major public and private sector organizations, like Total or US Federal, and 5G is no longer perceived as a threat, but rather a complementary technology. As a result, the ecosystem is thriving, and the number of sensors presented was overwhelming. Actility team felt very proud to be at the core of this ecosystem, both at the technology level, as the official network of the event, mediating all data flows to Microsoft and other Partners, mediating between private, public and satellite networks, and at the business level with thousands of devices transacted through ThingPark Market”

Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility 

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Actility Awards

Actility came out as one of the main winners at the expo, after being awarded with 5 prizes! 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Olivier Hersent: Founder & CTO, Actility; Member of the LoRa Alliance Board of Directors.
  • Distinguished Service Award – Ramez Soss: Senior RF Expert and Wireless Product Manager, Actility.
  • Team Award – Actility and Arad Technologies, who worked together over three years to get LoRaWAN approved by the Ministry of Communication in Israel
  • Innovation Award – Actility, for leading the development of LoRaWAN roaming and being the first network vendor to implement, interoperate, and commercially deploy this feature
  • Team Award: Standards Development Organization (SDO) Task Force Team– Olivier Beaujard, Semtech, lead; Olivier Dubuisson, Orange; Dave Kjendal, Senet; Olivier Seller, Semtech; Alper Yegin, Actility

Discover 11 Actility-features Speeches:

We invite you to watch the following speaking slots at which Actility Experts & Partners will bring you details and news about our various exciting projects and deployments around the world. 

“Mind Over Matter” Actility Keynote

By Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility 

We all know about IoT as a technology. This presentation is about it’s purpose. What is the ultimate goal of all this technology ? What is it that energizes hundreds of companies to fight everyday in this extremely difficult market ? Maybe the IoT is not about “Things” at all.

Resuming, deepening roots into matter to elevate into the cloud. This is what IoT and Actility are about.

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How Total Energies is Implementing IoT LoRaWAN Use Cases 

Elyess Kammoun, TGS/TGITS/MTE/IND/SII, Solution Manager, TOTAL Global Services

Total presents multiple exciting use cases deployed on Actility’s ThingPark Platform, using dozens of thousands of LoRaWAN devices for asset tracking, predictive maintenance, environment monitoring and energy efficiency, deploying in 30 factories un Europe already with projects to implement those IoT Solutions on all continents.

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Cisco Use Cases and Deployment Methodologies for Large Enterprises and Governments

By Michel Harttree, Federal IoT Architect at Cisco, who explores how IoT deployments, using LoRaWAN and Actility’s ThingPark Platform, modernize US Government missions. Safety and efficiency improvements have become major concerns for governments and military around the world, but security concerns and scalability issues need to be addressed. The major benefits of LoRaWAN address the concerns, and we have learn many valuable and practical lessons in these deployments.

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Smart Building Use Case Presentation by Beyond Eyes at Microsoft Keynote 

by Tony Shakib, Partner/GM, Microsoft Azure IoT, with guest speaker Remco van Woensel, Product Owner at Beyond Eyes, Heijmans

Microsoft presents various use cases that leverage LoRaWan plus Azure, with compelling customer examples, some of them done on Actility’s ThingPark Platform. For instance, 20,000 Smart Building IoT Sensors deployed by Beyond Eyes, who provides together with, Clickey, Microsoft and Actility, a smart building solution and several data-driven services for clients, based on a wide variety of building types, including offices, museums, universities, hospitals and others. 

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How LoRaWAN Can Help Utilities in Their Journey of Digital Transformation

Birdz and Actility are working jointly on a 3M LoRaWAN water meter deployment through OBS, which use Actility to operate their French nationwide LoRaWAN network, and had agreed with Birdz-Veolia to use it for this project. At this session, Laure Simon, Project Director at VEOLIA, will provide an insight on this massive project, along wiht insights from Remi Demerle , Marketing Director, Semtech), Damien Fresier (Project Manager Greenalp), Juan Villar (Chief Operating Officer,  Nortegas Energía). 

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In conversation with the inventors of LoRaWAN

Nicolas Sornin, Chief Scientist Officer at API-K, Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility, Olivier Seller, Technical Fellow – Wireless IP at Semtech: all three are the true inventors of LoRaWAN. Hear their insights on the development of this technology at this dedicated discussion.

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NNNCo: For the First Time with LoRaWAN

National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo), operator of the Australian national LoRaWAN® network powered by Actility, has joined ThingPark Exchange to cover the most remote parts of Australia. Speakers Rob Zagarella (Co-Founder & CEO) and Tony Tilbrook (CTO/COO) from NNNCo will talk about their deployements and use cases, and, among other things, about roaming and multicast capabilities of LoRaWAN, which, combined with the ubiquitous and sustainable nature of the network and a dynamic ecosystem.

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Scaling LoRaWAN solutions with AWS

In this session, Mike Rohrmoser, Segment Lead at Amazon Web Services and Gaurav Gupta, Sr. Partner Solutions Architect, will cover how the AWS’s 1-click integration with LNS providers like Actility make it easy for customers to simplify deployment at scale and drive business outcome. Actility’s integration with AWS IoT and ThingPark’s availability AWS Marketplace will be highlighted.  

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LoRaWAN End-to-End Security Walk-Through: Ensuring IoT Security Today and Tomorrow

By Alper Yegin, Vice-Chair of the LoRa Alliance, VP of Advanced Technology Development in Actility, Ramez Soss, Wireless Product Manager at Actility, along with Dave Kjendal (CTO Senet), Prasad Kandikonda (Vice President of Engineering, Multi-Tech Systems), Martin Wuthrich (Manager Embedded FW, Semtech). This is a must-watch session for those who want to understand how and why LoRaWAN incorporates and implements security in every step of the IoT end-to-end process. LoRa Alliance member experts will take you through a step-by-step talk of LoRaWAN security from the sensor through to the cloud.

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Satellite Connectivity Enabled with LoRaWAN

By Alper Yegin, Vice-Chair of the LoRa Alliance, VP of Advanced Technology Development in Actility, along with Remi Lorrain, LoRaWAN Network Director, Semtech,
Telemaco Melia, Vice-President, General Manager EchoStar Mobile, Luc Perard, Senior Vice President, IoT Business, Eutelsat, Rob Spurrett, Co-Founder & CEO, Lacuna Space

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Diversity of Network & Business Models with LoRaWAN 

By Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility and panelists from each operator type; private, public, hybrid, co-op and satellite and panelists from: NNNCo, Everynet, Senet, Senra, Helium, ATC Brazil. Are you aware that LoRaWAN open ecosystem fosters Network Business Model innovation ? Did you know that LoRaWAN Network providers are able to set-up and combine any type of Networks : Public, Private, Community, terrestrial and satellite, applying any service model ?

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 "LoRaWAN in Action" Venue Monitoring Inside the Palais des Congrès!

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During the whole event, an Actility ThingPark Enterprise LoRaWAN private network was reporting live temperature, humidity, light, carbon dioxide and occupancy statuses using data from Elsys, Parametric and Sensative sensors installed around the facility. The sensor values will be transmitted using Motorola LoRaWAN gateways and visualized using IoThink’s KHEIRON Studio. 

Moreover, fifty attendees were equipped with Abeeway smart badges whose locations will be updated on the event floor plan in real time.

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In-depth technical Demos at Actility Booth

Actility Experts & our Partners brought details and news about our various products and solutions, LoRaWAN best practices, features and benefits, ease of deployment,  through dynamic sessions and interactive live demonstrations. 

Simplified device provisioning through standardized QR codes.

Join us to see Actility’s demonstration of how to leverage the standard QR code format specified by the LoRa Alliance to easily provision your devices on ThingPark in just 2 clicks. The live demonstration will use Abeeway devices pre-commissioned on ThingPark Activation service.

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Demo will be presented to you by our experts Ramez Soss, Wireless Product Manager at Actility,  and Norbert Herbert, Head of Solution Delivery & Ecosystem integration

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WMW Hub: Multi-purpose IoT Business Application for data processing and analysis

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WMW will showcase its one single centric HMI/UI application
dashboard showing various data measured at the event: Indoor tracking using Zone detection & triangulation on BLE with Abeeway devicesSet management, geofencing reporting for entry & exits, panic button, live alert map view (NOC / control room) – link with triage system, social distancing. Moreover, it will present data for Temperature, Humidity, Light, CO2 and Presence sensors at the Palais de Congrès. 

Demo will be presented to you by our experts by Bert Vanaken, Founder & CEO at WMW-Hub.

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LoRaWAN Firmware Update Over the Air with STMicroelectronics

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Demo will showcase the benefits of smart delta patch vs full firmware campaigns, the ease to create smart delta patches in FUOTA UI, the scalability of the solution, functional and user-friendly GUI, Reference device code for STM32WL55 (very soon) publicly available, making introduction to FUOTA easy.

Demo will be presented to you by Ael Breton, FUOTA Product Manager at Actility and Jean-Paul Coupigny, Principal Engineer at STMicro. Please contact Ael at ael.breton@actility if you wish to see the demo during the event.

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LoRaWAN over IPV6: Acklio x Actility Demo Electricity Metering

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Demo dedicated to smart electricity metering, showcasing seamless DLMS over IPv6 over LoRaWAN operations between a meter and head and system. This leverages Acklio’s SCHC adaptation layer and Actility’s ThingPark. 

Demo will be presented to you by our experts by Hussein Al Haj Hassan, Standardization & Research Engineer at Acklio, and Norbert Herbert, Head of Solution Delivery & Ecosystem integration, Actility 

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ThingPark LoRaWAN Roaming Demo

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We’ll demonstrate how LoRaWAN roaming works among public, private, and community networks, involving both terrestrial and satellite ones. Demo will include our partners KPN, Helium, API-K, and Kineis, and our products ThingPark Exchange, ThingPark Wireless, ThingPark RAN Connector, and Abeeway trackers.

Demo will be presented to you by  Thibault Bergeras, Technical Manager in Actility  and Alper Yegin, Vice-Chair of the LoRa Alliance, VP of Advanced Technology Development in Actility.

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ThingPark Market, the LoRaWAN marketplace

This demo will give you a tour on ThingPark Market, which is Actlity’s marketplace. You will discover how easy it is to join the community of sellers, onboard your products and boost your sales with us. Whether you are interested in selling your own products (sensors, gateways, applications, integrated solutions, accessories), or looking for a single interface where you can buy the needed items to start your IoT project, this is the right place.

Demo presented by Janani Moreno Nieves, Head of ThingPark Market.

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Murata-Abeeway 1WL Geolocation Module Demo – Unlock the value of Indoor-Outdoor IoT geolocation.

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Abeeway and Murata will showcase the new Ultra-Low-Power Multi-Technology 1WL Geolocation Module with LoRaWAN®, designed as an ideal platform for multifunctional IoT asset tracking, the Abeeway module is co-developed and manufactured by Murata. It is offering ultra-low power design for long battery life, superior sensitivity and high flexibility to build customized low-cost tracking devices.

Demo will be presented to you by  Suman THAPA, Product Engineer at Murata, Rohit Gupta, Senior Wireless Project Manager at Actility and Lode Van Halewyck, Senior Technical Consultant at Actility

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LoRaWAN Private Networks Critical Elements and LNS Architecture Recommendations

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LoRaWAN Private Networks Critical Elements and LNS Architecture Recommendations

Blogpost – Paris, France – 22 April 2022. Read here (in French) the original article by independent analysts. 

Before installing an LNS (LoRaWAN Network Server), it is necessary to ask the right questions. While the prospect of an open-source network may seem appealing, the various factors of satisfactory operability are sometimes not all considered. However, it is not recommended to neglect any of the many aspects that shape it.

Recent studies tell us that IoT adoption tends to accelerate in the enterprise. This has been confirmed during the past two years of health crisis. IoT solutions have once again demonstrated their interest with a strong potential to improve these services on many points. This is the case for predictive maintenance, energy sub-metering, security, tracking, air quality, radio extension of factory SCADA, building BMS, etc. The choice of LoRaWAN network remains a key point in the success of an LP-WAN IoT project. 

Not all private LoRaWAN networks are the same

It is thus entirely advisable for manufacturers to take the plunge and integrate an IoT solution into their operations. However, we can only recommend not to rush into this decision, especially, not to go towards the semblance of ease and lower cost that some solutions can offer. This is the case for solutions based on open-source servers. If they are suitable in certain circumstances, it is imperative to consider all aspects of the deployment of a LoRaWAN network. These are numerous.

There are therefore a whole series of questions that need to be asked when setting up a LoRaWAN network. Before that, we can recall the different elements that make it up. The sensors, at the very end of the chain, communicate the information they collect to gateways. These are connected to a centralized network that includes a Join server, a sensor management service and a LoRaWAN Network Server (LNS). This centralized network interfaces with external application servers that route sensor data.

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What are the essential criteria to consider?

For the LoRaWAN network to be operational, each of the elements mentioned must meet key expectations that condition its proper functioning. Today, the essential notions that these network solutions must integrate are flexibility, reliability, ease of use, uniformity and security.

Agnostic gateways for better compatibility

Flexibility means that the solution must be highly adaptable. This is the case for gateways, which must be agnostic to the choice of LoRaWAN core network. The LNS must be compatible with as many manufacturers as possible. This allows us not to be locked into a relationship with a single manufacturer, even if this may seem more convenient and allow a theoretical time saving. Such openness allows for rapid adaptation to changing conditions such as price, which often cannot be predicted, and to all types of needs (Macro, Nano, Pico, external, internal gateway).

For the LoRaWAN network to be operational, each of the elements mentioned must meet key expectations that condition its proper functioning. Today, the essential notions that these network solutions must integrate are flexibility, reliability, ease of use, uniformity and security.

Resilient software for better reliability

From the point of view of reliability, the primary goal is to reduce data loss as much as possible. Data loss occurs most of the time when there is a break in the network connection, no matter how short it is. To remedy this, gateways must store data in a queue, or automatically switch between networks. For example, the cellular network can take over when the local network goes down.

Many IoT projects start via LoRAWAN LNS network cores embedded in gateways. This type of topology deprives the network of a key function: “micro diversity”. This essential function of the LoRaWAN MAC layer allows the gateways to work together to reduce packet loss through redundancy, thus increasing network reliability and simplifying network administration. With this type of centralized LNS, you don’t have to worry about which gateway the sensor is connected to when setting up, unlike LNS embedded in gateways…

For critical applications, the LNS must provide redundant hot standby in case of a data center outage.

Battery life via the key concept of Adaptive Data Rate (ADR)

The ADR, or Adaptive Data Rate, basically optimizes the data transmission rate to play with power consumption and thus increases battery life. It is a dynamic response to the fluctuating parameters of an environment-sensitive connection. But not all algorithmic implementations of ADR in LNS are equal. It can result in a reduction of the battery life of 20 to 30%!

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Simplifying end-to-end management

Next comes the simplicity of use, but also of deployment of this LoRaWAN network. This implies various elements such as remote and automatic updating, without on-site intervention, of sensors (FOTA) and gateways, to always be on the latest version of the protocol. But also, active monitoring of the proper functioning of each network component.

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Simplifying also means looking at the related tools attached to the LNS. The possibility for example to analyze the coverage of its network (Network Survey) or to analyze the frames in detail in case of radio problems.

A close link between the physical deployment and the connection in the cloud should not be overlooked. A LoRAWAN private network must not only connect to the main clouds on the market, such as Microsoft (Azure), Amazon (AWS), or PTC (ThingWorx). It must also allow decoding and exposing data (Payloads) from all brands of sensors, which are mostly encrypted in a proprietary format, in order to be able to exploit the data in IoT Dashboards and business applications.

Make security a top priority

This ease of operation goes hand in hand with uniformity of functionality so that deployment is independent of the various elements that make it up, such as gateways. Everything must be able to benefit from universal support.

Finally, in terms of security, we note that companies unfortunately tend to neglect this point. However, the news often reports on attacks and the many vulnerabilities that are exploited, affecting many players, both large and small. This has become even more evident during the current health and geostrategic crisis, in the generalized context of remote work. The advantage of an industrial LoRaWAN is that it recognizes this problem and is already providing concrete solutions.

Finding the right provider

Choosing an LNS means not neglecting the services that accompany your project. A very important aspect at Actility is the presence of a support offered by professionals listening 24/7 and internationally if necessary and the size of its R&D.

In addition, you should have a proactive interlocutor within the LoRa Alliance, among its many members and that he is active in the technical committees. Actility is a founding & permanent BoD member of LoRa Alliance, chairing the Technical Committee. with multiple WG/TFs;  to note, Actility is the member with the most contributions to the standard and first to implement latest standards (Class B, FUOTA, public-private-satellite roaming, hub, etc.) Thus, we can only advise studying the different offers proposed by professionals for the installation of an LNS. Preferably a LoRaWAN network that meets all these criteria.

In a recent webinar, we covered these issues point by point and allow manufacturers to see more clearly in the deployment of an LNS: 

How to deploy a reliable network from day one? What are the main caveats and pitfalls? What are the differences between Open Source and professionally supported LNS solutions? The journey from proof of concept to fully functional industrial use case is full of pitfalls. The very high density of sensors and harsh radio environment require extreme care in the network design to meet the stringent requirements for high availability and low packet-error rate.

In this webinar, Actility experts will highlight the critical elements of a LoRaWAN network and provide architecture recommendations as well as detailed checklists to de-risk industrial IoT projects and prevent vendor lock-in.

Often, PoCs which seem to work fine in the lab fail during the scale-up or run phase because the complexity of LoRaWAN ADR, the critical importance of macro-diversity, and the cost of regression testing when upgrading live networks have been overlooked. In this context, the webinar will explain how industrial LPWAN platforms address specifically these issues and help bridge the gap from lab-tests to zero downtime mass upgrades in the field without generating high overhead costs. Such overheads rapidly become prohibitive when trying to build industrial HA and non-regression testing programs on top of simple open-source network servers.

In this video you will also learn about Actility’s platform. ThingPark Enterprise is a LoRaWAN IoT connectivity management platform that helps customers build network infrastructure by managing LoRaWAN gateways, add new LoRaWAN devices, monitor network operations, and control the flow of data to application servers.  ThingPark Enterprise is specifically designed for enterprises: it’s simple, scalable and easy way to operate, and offers a unique low power IoT communication infrastructure to enable an infinite number of industrial use cases.

Revima Adopts LoRaWAN-based IoT Water Metering

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Revima Adopts LoRaWAN-based IoT Water Metering

Blogpost, March 30 2022

REVIMA Group, a leading French aeronautics MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) solutions provider for civil and military aircraft, has deployed IoT solutions to monitor water consumption, using sensors that read its water meters, and to monitor the temperature & hygrometry on its site.

The solutions are based on a LoRaWAN® network infrastructure, provided by Factory Systemes, a major French player in the distribution of hardware and software for computing and industrial IoT, also a long-term Actility Partner. Their powerful Galium IoT Hub, is based on Actility’s ThingPark® Enterprise IoT platform, representing the most industrial and scalable LoRaWAN private network solution on the market today.

Why improve plant water management?

Revima group operates a plant located in Rives-en-Seine, Normandie, France, employing 650 employees that ensure 24/7 production. Revima supports aircraft operators, lessors and repair stations worldwide, positioning this company as one of the most experienced MROs in the world, with extensive understanding of airline expectations, best in class value and services. Their presence is now international as it opened a new plant for landing gear overhaul business in Thailand in 2021, at the Chonburi site south of Bangkok.

Efficient water management is a challenge for the company, as regulations in France impose limits on their water usage for chromium plating operations. On the 4 500 cubic meters of city water and river water used per year, the plant sometimes registers drifts of about 10%. It was important to understand what causes such variations.

Thus, the company adopted IoT in order to accelerate its digital transformation, allowing them to improve what they measure, to get a better traceability of volumes and variations, to have a proper water management study for regulatory purposes, and to comply with environmental objectives like control and reduction of resources, and reduction of environmental impact.

Wireless remote reading became the solution: 30 new wireless water meters have been installed instead of old installations which require manual reading. Each one is equipped with a battery-operated sensor with an autonomy of about seven years and provides much more accurate data. Two gateways ensure the redundancy of the information on two computer systems to avoid any malfunction.

Fully functional since January 2022, the project deployment, including IT installation (software and hardware), plumbing and the installation of new water meters along the 600-meter length of the site, took 4 months.

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What are the solution’s major benefits?

Now, the consumption data is automatically uploaded to Revima’s platform every 10 minutes using Factory Systemes’ Galium IoT Hub and Actility’s ThingPark, instead of monthly manual monitoring. Moreover, Factory Systemes developed connectors to ensure communication in Modbus to the equipment in place and in MQTT and OPC-UA to the platform in order to guarantee the scalability of the project.

“Energy management is an unavoidable need for manufacturers, associated with ISO 50001. Factory Systems has endeavored to build an offer that allows manufacturers to deploy a LoRaWAN network that allows them to collect data and inject it into their existing systems (supervision/SCADA/database) that they control, in order to make IOT accessible to the greatest number of people and with the greatest simplicity. Galium IoT Hub is an agnostic solution allowing to answer multiple use cases where customers want an On premise server.”

says Guillaume OBLIN, IoT Product Manager at Factory Systemes.

Moreover, Revima installed remote reading of temperatures and hygrometry on the site, using 50 wireless sensors. Now the group can better comply with aeronautical regulations that require to guarantee the traceability of the temperature and humidity in the workshops to prevent the seals of the aircraft from aging.

For the success of the project, Revima had a couple of requirements.

On the one hand, Revima needed to first be able to improve the plant’s IT tool and have a unique solution. The plant is using the Wonderware System Platform, also provided by Factory Systemes. Deploying this IoT project on the same system saved hours of development, as the solution works with bricks, making it easy to add new functionalities.

On the other hand, Revima wanted full control of the solution and independence from any supplier. This was possible to achieve with a private, on-premises LoRaWAN network. Revima’s data is now hosted on its own data center, on site.

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“The GALIUM solution allows us to enter the world of IOT and guarantee data control from data production to use in our third-party systems “
confirms Eric Lecuyer, Project Engineer, Industrial IT Manager at Revima.

Now, the plant is enjoying significant benefits of the solution:

  • Management of its own fleet of objects without the intervention of a third-party operator
  • Control of the quality of the radio coverage of the deployed objects and scalability of the park
  • Control of the information collected by an on-premise installation or by a Cloud service
  • Management of data security
  • Data refresh rate
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Inforgraphic: Galium IoT Hub architecture

LoRaWAN® is a widely used wireless protocol that allows battery-operated devices to communicate with IoT applications via long-range, wireless connections, allowing longer battery life, thus lowering the cost of device ownership. LoRaWAN® is especially useful in large-scale deployments because of its availability, cost, and reach, due to its use of unlicensed spectrum, the availability of standardized, low-cost modules with long battery life. 

Galium IoT Hub functiones as a top application layer over ThingPark Enterprise, which centrally manages the LoRaWAN gateways, all IoT sensors and the data exchange with the industrial or IT applications, whether they are deployed on site or in the Cloud. Each component of the LoRaWAN network infrastructure (objects, antennas, processing system…) is managed within a single platform.

This is made possible thanks to ThingPark Enterprise, which is specifically designed for enterprises: it’s simple, scalable, and easy to operate, and offers a unique low-power IoT communication infrastructure to enable an infinite number of industrial use cases. ThingPark Enterprise comes preconfigured with a series of connectors to popular IoT cloud services including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, ThingWorx and many more.

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“Water and energy management is a very important area of improvement for any industrial facility. Together with Factory Systemes, we provide solutions with a high-availability LoRAWAN network, and easy to implement on legacy systems thanks to Modbus compatibility. For Revima, monitored and proactively managed water usage means waste reduction, energy conservation, and sustainability”
says Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility.

Advantech, AWS and Actility Leverage Combined Strengths to Co-Create a Predictive Maintenance Solution

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Advantech, AWS and Actility Leverage Combined Strengths to Co-Create a Predictive Maintenance Solution

Blog Post – Paris, France & Taipei, Taiwan – 18 March 2021

To help a leading crude oil refining company in Asia overcome the growing challenges associated with manual inspections and excessive maintenance costs, Advantech, Actility, and AWS have collaborated to develop an off-the-shelf pre-integrated predictive maintenance solution to monitor your machines vibration 24/7, bringing 25% to 30% reduction in maintenance costs. It is based on Advantech’s WISE-2410 LoRaWAN® Smart Vibration Sensor, Actility’s ThingPark Enterprise platform for LoRaWAN network management and AWS IoT SiteWise application.  

Industrial refineries are very large complexes that involve numerous processing units and auxiliary facilities such as crude oil distillation units, vacuum distillation units, heat exchangers, cooling towers, and other large machines. These facilities are dispersed over a vast industrial area, with some equipment installed in hazardous environments or nearly inaccessible locations, making maintenance extremely difficult.

Between 2006 and 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy reported 1,700 shutdowns at petroleum refineries, of which 46% were due to mechanical breakdowns and 23% were due to maintenance issues. Unplanned shutdowns can be extremely costly, to the extent that preventing even a few shutdowns can save millions of dollars.

Many manufacturers who rely on manual periodic asset health analysis of their machines face a high risk of costly downtime due to inaccurate or late diagnosis. But rising automation in the manufacturing sector resulted in increasing demand for predictive maintenance solutions in sectors like Oil and Gas, Automobile, Semiconductors, Pulp and Paper, food and beverage and more.

Recognizing the oil refining industry’s huge business potential, Actility, AWS, and Advantech leveraged their combined technological strengths and developed an off-the-shelf pre- integrated predictive maintenance solution. By integrating IoT, machine learning, and predictive analytics, the proposed maintenance solution can not only reshape daily operations at refineries, but also increase efficiency, safety, and ultimately profit margins.

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LoRaWAN® network offers reliable connectivity between smart sensors and gateways

A leading crude oil refining company in Asia (brand to be revealed in the future) recently approached Actility to assist with its digital transformation. The refinery was hoping to overcome the growing management and operational costs and challenges related to manual inspections and maintenance.

Because of the refinery’s large premises and long list of equipment that needed monitoring, installing sensor node hardware on local gateways would have proved too costly. Moreover, considering the many metal surfaces throughout the premises that hinder cable installation, all sensors and monitoring equipment needed to be non-invasive and easily installed. Wireless communication technologies also needed to be utilized to ensure reliable connectivity. Furthermore, to satisfy relevant safety requirements, all devices and gateways had to be suitable for use outdoors and in hazardous environments.

Of all the equipment at the refinery, rotating machinery (e.g., pumps, motors, and compressors) is the most frequently used and requires the most maintenance. Indeed, a single crude oil unit may have 30 to 40 different types of pumps. With this in mind, a solution comprising Advantech’s WISE-2410 LoRaWAN® smart vibration sensor integrated with Actility’s ThingPark Enterprise IoT platform was proposed to the customer.

Infographics about Advantech and AWS

Actility’s enterprise-grade LoRaWAN network server is the leading LoRaWAN private networking solution, managing over 35,000 commercial gateways worldwide. ThingPark Enterprise® is a LoRaWAN IoT connectivity management platform that helps customers build network infrastructure by managing LoRaWAN gateways, add new devices, monitor network operations, and control the flow of data to application servers.  ThingPark Enterprise is specifically designed for enterprises: it’s a simple, scalable and easy way to operate, and offers a unique low power IoT communicat ion infrastructure to enable an infinite number of industrial use cases.

Utilizing this server, a dedicated and fully controlled LoRaWAN network was deployed at the refinery. This enabled all network components, including sensors, gateways, and routers, to be managed from an easy-to-use interface. Furthermore, ThingPark Enterprise equipped the AWS IoT cloud platform with various connectivity options to facilitate AI-based analysis of pump equipment and predictive maintenance tasks.

ATEX, IECEx, and ISO 10816-3-compliant turnkey solution for hazardous environments

To assist the refinery with managing its facilities, the innovative predictive monitoring solution was integrated with the AWS IoT cloud platform through digitally twinning. Using the LoRaWAN network server’s built-in network mapping and troubleshooting tools together with Abeeway’s hazardous network checker, site surveying and deployment were completed within a short amount of time. Because installing and calibrating WISE-2410 sensors only required a few hours, the refinery was able to visualize acquired data on AWS IoT SiteWise the very same day.

Advantech’s WISE-2410 vibration and temperature sensors are IP66-rated for ingress protection and ATEX- and IECEx-certified for use in hazardous environments and explosive atmospheres. These sensors were mounted on all rotating machinery to detect operational status through cross-comparisons of RMS speeds and eigenvalues against ISO 10816-3 standards and characteristic vibration values.

Equipped with LoRaWAN, the turnkey predictive maintenance solution offered long-range (up to 15 km) bidirectional communication between sensors and gateways, reducing the number of field devices that needed to be installed.

Photo of Alban Medici

Overall, the co-created predictive maintenance solution improved productivity, reduced staffing requirements, and increased revenue. The refinery is now able to remotely monitor rotating equipment, regularly record utilization data, and conduct centralized management from any location and at any time — all in real time. Regarding the future, Actility and Advantech plan to continue developing ready-to-use solutions for the oil and gas industry and using their extensive distribution networks to appeal to various customers. This will put us in the best position to win future business

commented Alban Medici, Managing Director of Actility Singapore

LoRaWAN Firmware Update Over-the-Air Breakthrough with ThingPark and STM32

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LoRaWAN Firmware Update Over-the-Air Breakthrough with ThingPark and STM32

Blog post – Paris, France – February 1st, 2022

Thanks to our ThingPark® IoT platform, developers can set up a LoRaWAN firmware update over-the-air (FUOTA) campaign using an STM32 LoRaWAN® gateway (STM32F7) and client (STM32WL) in under 10 minutes only. A new video walks users through the process and uses ST development boards to lower the barrier to entry. The content is also highly symbolic as it features Actility’s new interfaces that aim to reduce friction.

This an original blog by STMicroelectronics, you can view it here.

Follow the Getting Started video to setup the STM32WL, then watch the Actility FUOTA Demo to quickly understand how launch the FUOTA campaign on ThingPark:

Firmware Update Over-the-Air and Its Necessity

Why is FUOTA Challenging to Implement?

Sub-Gigahertz networks are increasingly popular but firmware updates over the air remain challenging to set up due to their complexity. Without FUOTA, companies need an army on the ground, physically attending to each device to perform maintenance operations, which is costly and impractical. However, securely pushing small packets to update a device safely demands mastery of multiple communication protocols and low-level coding. Actility thus offers back-end and client infrastructures to shift this burden away from developers. Moreover, as an ST Authorized Partner since October 2018, Actility offers solutions compatible with ST’s LoRaWAN stack.

Actility’s ThingPark Platform and Its Primary Features

What Is ThingPark FUOTA?

Simply implementing a firmware update over-the-air mechanism isn’t always enough. Many are looking for granularity. For instance, some would need to update a subset of a fleet because of constraints or feature requests. However, few solutions allow for such finesse. The problem is that such a system usually suffers from packet losses or out-of-order deliveries. Hence, Actility developed its ThingPark FUOTA multicast server to solve these challenges. A unicast protocol uses one server to talk to one device. On the other hand, a broadcast system uses a server to talk to all devices at once. RMC can target a subset of devices and doesn’t suffer from the usual pitfalls.

What Makes ThingPark’s FUOTA Special?

Actility’s ThingPark RMC server features three critical modules: fragmentation, clock sync, and remote multicast setup. The first one breaks down the update into chunks compatible with the traditional LoRaWAN payload (maximum 255 bytes). The solution also includes a forward error correction system and redundant packets to protect against losses or corruption. Engineers often overlook this aspect, but properly fragmenting an update to send it over the air is complex and a vital part of the process.

The clock synchronization helps switch all end devices about to receive an update from Class A to Class C temporarily at the beginning of the multicast session to coordinate packet reception. Finally, the remote multicast setup programs the FUOTA campaign. Developers can remotely setup the multicast identity and distribution window onto end devices to change the subset about to receive the updates if necessary.

Actility’s ThingPark Platform and Its Primary Features

Using Secure Boot Secure Firmware Update

Processing a FUOTA is also a sensitive mechanism on the client device. The update cannot brick the system or compromise its security. Hence, to optimize the update process, our developers created an update agent that acts as an intermediary between Actility’s modules and our Secure Boot and Secure Firmware Update (SBSFU) stack. Once the software processes the packages from the RMC server, the update agent ensures that the SBSFU system on the microcontroller writes on the correct memory space before the SBSFU module securely updates the firmware. In a nutshell, by working with Actility, we created a complex update agent that ensures the device’s security and integrity.

STM32 Ecosystem

The beauty of this whole solution is that it exists within the STM32Cube ecosystem. The demonstration in the video runs on an STM32WL, but it is possible to use another device. Engineers can also utilize our existing LoRaWAN stack (I-CUBE-LRWAN) to start working on their application, and our tutorials show how to set up a LoRa node in 10 minutes. ST’s  B-L072Z-LRWAN1 and I-NUCLEO-LRWAN1 boards will help them prepare for the upcoming public release of our FUOTA solution in collaboration with us.

LoRa Alliance® and LoRaWAN® are marks used under license from the LoRa Alliance.

Uruguay to deploy one of LoRaWAN’s largest smart street lighting projects in the world powered by Actility

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Uruguay to deploy one of LoRaWAN’s largest smart street lighting projects in the world powered by Actility and NNNCo

Blog Post – Paris, France – 4 February 2022

National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo), operator of the Australian national LoRaWAN® network powered by Actility,  has signed a contract with a European technology provider Wellness TechGroup, to provide IoT network coverage to 70,000 smart streetlights in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo. The infrastructure will include a private LoRaWAN network based on Actility’s platform, and managed on customer premises.

As explained in NNNCo’s press release, the project will cover 200 square kilometers and provide smart street lighting to more than 1.3 million people, improving community and road safety, and reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%. This initiative will also establish an infrastructure-based network that can accommodate other smart city initiatives.

Montevideo’s new public lighting system will be one of the largest smart street lighting projects over LoRaWAN to date. LoRaWAN technology was selected to ensure a low total cost of ownership, advanced technical attributes, high security, flexible network deployment models, optimization of battery life and the ability to access a fast-growing ecosystem of other solutions.

The city will be able to benefit from NNNCo’s N2N-DL IoT data layer that leverages Actility’s state-of-the-art LoRaWAN network server platform. The combination will offer a simple, scalable and unique low-power IoT communication infrastructure that will enable an infinite number of smart city use cases

The proposed solution will replace Montevideo’s existing lighting system with LED technology and include the roll out a powerful and interoperable remote management system, which is designed to reduce carbon emissions by 31,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, a decrease of approximately 80%.  The project will also improve the quality of public lighting services and provide greater efficiency and operations management to the whole city.

Talq certified application

with LED technology using Wellness TechGroup’s CMS WeLight Manager software, LoRaWAN® Actis Nema 7 LPC nodes and NNNCo’s LoRaWAN® network.  Smart Street lighting provides a unique opportunity to improve public and road safety, energy efficiency and customer amenity via network and application management software and the integration with other urban smart applications like waste management and water conservation.

Wellness TechGroup and NNNCo will be able to provide added services to the city of Montevideo as the contract signed includes the opportunity to bring third parties customers across the same gateways into the LoRaWAN network. The Australian network provider will be able to service customers across the whole city, using the NNNCo N2N-DL data aggregation layer and the NNNCo N-Tick device interoperability program.

Wellness TechGroup will roll out 70,000 Actis Plus Nema 7 LCP nodes for remote control of light points. The Actis Plus Nema 7 nodes will connect with WeLight Manager TALQ certified CMS, powerful and leading-edge software that will provide real-time information on all the data from the intelligent public lighting service. Luminaries effectively become a data-enabled lighting server, true central nodes and form part of a smart city IoT ecosystem, beyond lighting.

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“Smart cities leverage connected lights to reduce their energy footprint and cut down on maintenance costs. LoRaWAN is bringing great value by its flexibility, efficiency and easy deployment. I congratulate our great partner NNNco for winning such an impressive IoT project and we are looking forward to bringing our best support to make it a full success”

said Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility.

This is a milestone contract in the establishment of NNNCo’s LoRaWAN® network as one of the world’s leading networks for smart streetlight use cases and we hope to facilitate similar projects in Australia and in other countries in the near future,” explained Mr Zagarella. This is a great example of Australian technology driving global Sustainable Development Goals”

said Rob Zagarella, NNNCo CEO and Co-Founder

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Photo of David Garcia
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We have deployed more than 300 smart lighting projects worldwide, where we are already managing almost 1 million points of lights in municipalities remotely. Our technology must help reduce costs, improve efficiency and environmental impact and provide a better service, but it must also serve citizens by improving their day-to-day. Montevideo will now have a more versatile lighting system, capable of responding to events and unforeseen events, facilitating a feeling of more security on the streets

said David Garcia, Wellness TechGroup CEO

Decathlon adapts to “new Covid normality” using IoT with Proximus and Actility

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Decathlon adapts to “new Covid normality” using IoT with Proximus and Actility

Blogpost, 12th November 2021, Paris.

Decathlon, a leading sports retailer, is putting digital innovation at the head of their priority list to help transform their customer experience and internal efficiency. The worldwide chain has adopted an efficient IoT Entrance Monitoring solution in Belgium to make sure their stores don’t exceed the number of people recommended by health authorities during Covid times.

Decathlon’s stores in Belgium felt the need to evolve during these pandemic times to offer a safer and more gratifying customer experience. 25 of their stores out of 37 in Belgium can now detect when maximum capacity is being reached and movement maps have been developed throughout the shop, also making it possible to visualize traffic in different areas through heat maps and differentiate most used routes and even potential cross selling between departments. This automated solution is provided by Proximus, and based on its LoRaWAN network, powered by Actility.

On a display, visitors can see how many people are in the store. Some stores choose a color code and work with green, orange or red to give an overview of the busy periods of the previous week. This way the customer sees at once how busy it is at any time of the day or week. As an extra option, it is even possible to analyze how long an average store visit lasts, using Wi-Fi sensors.

Decathlon safety device

A low-cost solution offering high-value advantages

The Entrance Monitoring Solution is based on the automatic monitorization of the flow of visitors to a store. Through a multidirectional IoT sensor placed at the entrance or exit of the store, connected to a  LoRaWAN network, the IoT device can detect people entering or leaving, bearing in mind an authorized maximum of 600 people for every 8.000 m2 is allowed in shops in this country, and can indicate if the next customer can enter or not through a screen displayed at the entrance of the store. Without this technology, it is very difficult for large retail operators like Decathlon to know if security measures are being respected.

Decathlon now monitors the flow of visitors in store depending on a maximum authorized number that is calculated based on sales areas. Decathlon stores know that, for example, the average store visit time is 31 minutes, leading to the need to optimize the presence of employees in different areas.

This solution not only helps maintain covid risk at a minimum, but also allows large retail operators like Decathlon to know if health security measures are being respected at each store, with the option to check past data.

Decathlon infographics

LoRaWAN® is a widely used wireless protocol that allows battery-operated devices to communicate with IoT applications via long-range, wireless connections, allowing longer battery life, thus lowering the cost of device ownership. LoRaWAN® is especially useful in large-scale deployments because of its availability, cost, and reach, due to its use of unlicensed spectrum, the availability of standardized, low-cost modules with long battery life. Actility provides the LoRaWAN® network server and a highly reliable and advanced IoT platform for network management – ThingPark™, already powering the vast majority (over 50) of public nationwide LoRaWAN® deployments and hundreds of companies worldwide.

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The power of data

For a leading company like Decathlon, information is crucial to define their strategy, logistics, take care of their environmental responsibility, and to offer the best service to their customers.

Dealing with a high-demand industry, where new players appear constantly, generates the need in already consolidated brands to get better prepared and develop new areas of their business, like Decathlon’s latest “Click & Collect” or their previously mentioned IoT solutions.

The chain has also developed other solutions to collect different types of data through IoT sensors, like a movement detector which allows to visualize traffic in different areas of the store through heat maps. A good example of IoT being put to work for the benefit of consumers, as it allows store managers to simplify store routes, and make their site easier for their clients.

Future is already here

Decathlon is currently working on new advances for their stores in Belgium like electronic self-labeling, to simplify price changes, allowing information to be centralized, managed, and sent to digital labels in stores, or their latest DX Store, Decathlon’s concept store, which is being developed in France, and will be a mix between a boutique and a showroom where all technological innovations will be tested and improved.

Decathlon’s is just one of many examples of how brands are moving forward through the data offered by their stores and shows how this high value information can be recollected and used through minimal costs and operational changes.

Drive an IoT Project from PoC to Scale – Interview with Actility’s CEO

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How to Successfully Drive an IoT Project from PoC to Scale? Exclusive Interview with Actility’s CEO, Olivier Hersent.

Blog Post – Paris, France – September 30th, 2021. 

Due to the hidden and often neglected challenges of deploying IoT projects and the growing urge of knowledge on IoT and LoRaWAN® technology, we felt the need of offering simple answers to questions which you might have asked yourself at some point: what exactly can IoT be used for? Why is LoRaWAN®  the best connectivity to fuel LPWAN IoT use cases? What are the main issues when deploying an IoT project?  

For this we wanted a leading opinion to shed light on various aspects of managing IoT deployments. With Actility being in the forefront of LPWAN development with major deployment experiences around the globe, we naturally turned to our own CEO, Olivier Hersent, who now unveils everything you need to know.  

Through this exclusive interview, Olivier also explains more complex issues like the role cloud data storage plays in IoT, what are the necessary quality checks for a project, how to avoid problems when creating IoT deployments, and Actility’s experience in the field through different use case examples in already up and running projects. 

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Why are so many businesses setting themselves up for failures and what role does the IoT network play in all this? 

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What is happening right now is that bleeding edge mathematical analysis and optimization technologies are getting out of universities more and more and are being applied to the real world. These algorithms make our world more efficient and safer; they contribute to the transition of our economy to a more sustainable model. Of course, PHDs don’t work on actual physical objects, but on computer models from the real world: the “digital twins”.  

The role of IoT networks is to keep the digital twins in sync with the physical world’s data.   
People tend to think that this is simple, and the most common mistake is to handle IoT initiatives like small science projects or experiments assembling bits of open source here and there and forgetting how critical quality is for IoT. 

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What are the consequences of projects aborting at an early stage?

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When you have millions of devices in the field, the last thing you want is to have to revisit or to “reboot” them… perhaps the only real difficulty in IoT is to ensure rock solid stability. 

If a sensor fails only once a month, when you have a million you will have over 30 thousand failures per day… of course the project will stop way before such disaster. And sometimes people conclude that “IoT doesn’t work”.  

But in fact, IoT network technologies such as LoRaWAN® are now mature at scale. However, IoT is not about geek experiments, it’s all about industrial stability and security at scale and this requires hard work.  

This is why we have had over a hundred engineers working on it for over ten years. We make sure that our customers’ projects are deployed on time, within budget, and above all, that they will be able to scale up to millions of sensors. 

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To what extent do companies underestimate the impact of scalability when setting up a project – can you give us an example?

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You need to do it right and from the beginning. Projects are often handled as side jobs by an engineer or an intern who only aims to do a quick demonstration for management. Few devices will be deployed in a lab in ideal conditions, and the focus will only be put on functionality, “can I measure this, can I track that…”. 

Very few companies understand that  the only real difficulty in IoT is scaling and keeping OPEX costs down, the opposite of a quick demo. For example, radio conditions should be the worst expected in the field, and there should not be just a handful of devices here and there, but sufficient density to reproduce the collisions that will happen in real life and test the quality of the radio management algorithms of the network supplier.  

It is only such PoC projects, focused on quality and stability, which will be possible to scale successfully. These are serious projects and working with experienced partners is a key success factor.

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How should companies characterize a system that is likely to scale? What should be their check points?

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I believe that Project Managers should clearly state what the main objective of an IoT PoC is. It should be designed to check the reliability of communication and bring the failure rate low enough to allow mass deployment with controlled maintenance costs. This is much, much harder than a quick demo.  

In addition to radio management quality, I can give you two examples of check points that are frequently overlooked:  

  • Network upgrades. How do you upgrade a system with over a million devices without a glitch? What is the supplier’s strategy to minimize risk? For example, not only do we provide fully replicated HA, but we also supply so called “Canary Upgrade” strategies, where small groups are updated at a time.  
  • Network restart after power outages.  
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Everything is going to the cloud, is that the case for IoT? Are people comfortable having all their items managed by the cloud?

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That really depends on each customer, but IoT is one of the domains where customers do not always want to use a cloud system, particularly in Industrial IoT.  

When IoT becomes a mission critical system, you cannot really depend on a cloud system, and you need to deploy edge networks and edge computing.  

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Where does Actility fit into this picture, in between Cloud and local solutions?

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We offer both cloud and on-premises solutions. Commercial IoT projects, serving hundreds of buildings tend to go for fully managed networks in the cloud.  Comcast’s MachineQ, Orange, or Swisscom are very successful by deploying these private managed networks. However, industrial sites tend to prefer local infrastructure. 

Our ThingPark platform can be deployed locally or in the cloud. We also allow these networks to collaborate with the ThingPark Exchange peering platform. For example, all warehouses in a logistic chain can cluster and form a seamless network and handover to satellite or terrestrial LPWAN networks between warehouses.

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Companies should be looking for trust and experience. How did you build your experience? 

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There is no shortcut or compression algorithm for experienceFor the last 10 years we have been providing commercial customer support for clients on all continents. We have always been first to introduce new technologiesstandard evolution, and to accumulate experience.

We have performed hundreds of live network upgrades on both small enterprise scale networks and nationwide public networks. Our systems support a 120% YoY growth in connected devices. That’s a lot of accumulated experience! 

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What does that experience provide for Actility customers? 

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The IoT is a long tail market, with an extreme device diversity. Besides the network robustness, our customers want to leverage our experience on devices, because many of the potential problems when scaling up to multiple use cases come from interoperability issues. By being present in the market for such a long time, I believe we have already connected every possible device type and brand. 

We provide test networks for free on our ThingPark Community page, as well as automated test tools for device makers to eliminate interoperability issues. Lately, we are also collaborating with device makers to provide ready-to-go drivers so data can be immediately analyzed on Microsoft Azure, AWS IoT, ThingWorx and many other platforms. All this enables our customers to focus on data analytics, while we take care of the plumbing.  

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If a company has set up a system, without the quality checks in place and so it fails, how easy would it be to move to your system? 

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LoRaWAN® is a standard, so fortunately it’s easy.  Recently there was a hospital with a demanding RFID application which had been using an open source based IoT network, but under load they achieved only a 65% communication success rate, with high power consumption of the devices.   

Typically, those kind of projects head for failure, but we were able to reconnect the sensors to our ThingPark infrastructure and we now achieve a 100% success rate with a much-improved power consumption, which means longer sensor battery life and lower OPEX. This was possible because of sophisticated radio optimization algorithms which took years to develop and stabilize at scale.  

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Can you give us a case study of a client that you helped make the shift and the benefits they experienced?  

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Our projects are very diverse, and many of them belong to industrial IoT. For example, we have automated meter reading projects for millions of water or gas meters, where LoRaWAN® was clearly the best communication technology. We have also done predictive maintenance sensors based on vibration analysis, but perhaps our most successful projects involve geolocation.

The technology from our subsidiary Abeeway is a new generation of “fused multi-technology geolocation” which works both indoors and outdoors. The Bouygues Construction Group uses it to track over 20,000 tools and toolboxes, KPN uses it to track hundreds of thousands of bikes in the Netherlands, Accenture uses it in many Oil & Gas and smart construction projects to improve safety and increase productivity,  Volvo or Mercedes uses it to track cars and trucks on large parkings, and this technology is also used to protect endangered species in Africa.  

Many health-related projects have also been deployed, like during Covid-19, it was used to allow patients of large field hospitals to call nurses from their beds, and Philips is also using it for patient recovery at home with their “health dot” project. 

If you are interested in getting to know more information about LoRaWAN® and IoT projects, head to our Newsroom to find all the latest updates or contact us here. 

Photo of Olivier Hersent

About Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility 

Recognized telecom and technology expert, who founded 
NetCentrex, a leading provider of VoIP infrastructure for service providers, then became CTO of Comverse after the acquisition of NetCentrex in 2006. Olivier is a recognized thought leader in Telecoms and Energy markets and is the author of several books on networking technology, VoIP, M2M, Internet of Things(IoT) and the Smart Grid. Olivier graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and has later on, in 2010, founded Actiliy, IoT solution provider. Via its ThingPark Wireless platform, Actility uses the LoRaWAN technology to enable LPWA IoT networks for countless applications. 

About Actility   

Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.  

Contact us here: 

Swiss Post Transforms its Services with IoT and LoRaWAN®

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Swiss Post Transforms its Services with IoT and LoRaWAN®

Blog Post / Press Info – Paris, June 1st 2021.

SwissPost digitally transforms Switzerland’s postal services through LoRaWAN® technology, by rolling out over 100,000 SmartButtons, allowing an on-demand delivery service in villages throughout the whole country. To connect them all, SwissPost is using the Swisscom’s nationwide LoRaWAN network, deployed and operated on Actility’s ThingPark platform since 2015.

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Carrying out postal transactions at people’s front doors

Nowadays, more and more competitors have come into the postal landscape during the past few years, obliging competing companies to up their game, having to offer the best service possible, including fast deliveries, lower prices, and exceptional service. Swiss Post makes sure to stay ahead of the game. Also, the postal Services Act issued recently, requires Swiss Post to ensure access to a basic universal postal service to citizens in all areas of the country, making the need for effective delivery in unpopulated areas crucial.

To solve these challenges, Swiss Post created a four-year business strategy in which digital development was required.

400,000 Swiss households now do their postal business conveniently at their doorstep with the home delivery service. Swiss Post has now digitized this service and, in addition to an online solution, is also providing its customers with a new “order pen” – with a button that has it all.

Anyone who lives in a community with home service and has previously done their postal business with a clipboard will have two options in the future: Customers with a digital affinity can place their orders using their smartphone, tablet or PC. In turn, customers who do not want digital services can use the new order pen – the SmartButton. Although it is not connected to the internet, it is highly innovative. With this option, Swiss Post is responding to the different customer needs in the population.

The mail carrier is ordered at the push of a button

Swiss Post came up with a perfect solution of the Internet of Things era – the Smart Buttons: battery-operated LoRaWAN®-connected devices, which incorporate Semtech’s LoRa transceivers and optical identification code (OID Codes), Learn more about it on Semtech’s white paper, in order to optimize the postal service ordering process by allowing people to place orders for postal supplies and services in the easiest possible way, through just one click. A solution which especially benefits villages lacking postal office branches.

Swiss Post assembled an innovation team which worked with Miromico, a Zurich-based technology services design company with more than 17 years of market experience designing hardware and creating tailor-made solutions for customers including IBM, Infineon, Roche, and Coop Group, and after several tests, the devices have proved to be very convenient, as they are easy to work by people who are not used to smartphones or ordering products online.

As a user, if you want to sending letters and parcels, order stamps, withdraw cash or pay bills – you can simply scan the right code with the pen and place the order. The postman receives a message straight away.

The order pen is basically suitable for all customers in a home service area who do not want to order home service with their smartphone, tablet or PC. In this way, you can carry out the desired postal transactions easily and conveniently at the push of a button. Neither a login nor a password is required. The order pen is very easy to use. The digital home service is sustainable because it eliminates the need for additional routes for the postman and reduces CO2 emissions are reduced. The postman receives the order message directly on the hand scanner and sees immediately whether a customer needs something from him. As a result, there are no more empty trips. Until now, the postman only saw this on the sign on the mailbox. And thanks to the accessibility, the solution is also fully available to people with disabilities.

Unlike competing order-on-demand solutions, the Smart Button reader does not need to be connected to a household’s Wi-Fi nor to be configurated, allowing users to use them without previous configuration. Smart Buttons run on batteries which can last up to 10 years, and don’t need any SIM cards. These devices also overcome one of the biggest challenges in this use case, connectivity. Smart Buttons can also reach up to 10 kilometers, eliminating the options of using Wi-Fi or 4/5G.

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The network technology behind it all

The order pen sends data via the low-frequency radio network for the Internet of Things – LoRaWAN®  (Long Range Wide Area Network). This open standard connectivity technology is a proven leader for smart applications, delivering solutions that are easy to scale, optimizing operational cost and reducing utility waste. It allows to leverage its extremely long-range and low-power capabilities to cover thousands of kilometers at low cost, especially in remote areas which are challenging to reach, and to install LoRaWAN® devices providing data in real time, while lasting for years on one battery charge.

In contrast to most other technologies, the order pen only sends when the button is pressed and every 72 hours for between 26 milliseconds and 1.4 seconds, depending on the location. This is the only way to keep the order pen running for years with a battery.

After carefully considering building its own LoRaWAN® network, Swiss Post decided to collaborate with Swisscom, a national telecom provider. Both companies agreed to develop a plan to ensure the expansion of LoRaWAN® network coverage. Swisscom has deployed Switzerland’s only nationwide LoRaWAN network, powered by Actility, which covers 97% of the Swiss population.

Actility offers a network solution for Swisscom that includes ThingPark Wireless platform, base stations, central network controllers, and management platforms for low-power sensor provisioning and network monitoring. The full ThingPark solution is a key element in the roll-out of LPWA and LoRaWAN® networks by operators. Today, over 50 global operators are managing their LoRaWAN networks using ThingPark.

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Today, the solution has not only been expanded beyond rural areas and been adopted by Swiss citizens but has also been introduced and utilized for new market opportunities. Other businesses are using Smart Buttons to efficiently order items of any kind. The on-demand usage of the button is a useful alternative against time-consuming order processes and helps coordination with suppliers.

Swiss Post uses the LoRaWAN network for other services and is developing many new applications, like Smart ordering in warehouse logistics, Smart Parcels or even the Smart Postbox:

About Swiss Post

Swiss Post is committed to progress, development, and digitalization. They offer their outmost to make everyday life even easier for their customers in the future. Be it in the communication, logistics, retail financial or passenger transport market, Swiss Post offers private and business customers high-quality products and services. By developing innovative dialogue, document, and e-business solutions, they connect the physical and digital worlds.

In terms of modern technologies, they are one of the world’s leading postal companies. Their commitment to sustainability is embedded into everyday corporate culture at Swiss Post. They operate according to a clear set of principles and take social, environmental, and economic responsibilities seriously. Find out more about Swiss Post and their services on their homepage

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About Actility   

Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.  

Contact us here: 

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Indoor Air Quality – why does it matter and how to measure it with IoT?

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Indoor Air Quality - why does it matter and how to measure it with IoT?

Blogpost, May 31st 2021

In the last few years, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has received increasing attention from environmental governance authorities and IAQ-related standards are getting stricter. People spend about 90% of their time in indoor environments, and IAQ has been proven to have a significant impact on health and quality of life in general. Poor indoor air quality is known to be harmful to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children or those suffering chronic respiratory and/or cardiovascular diseases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought IAQ Monitoring to the front stage, as it plays a crucial role in minimizing viral transmission in schools, offices and restaurants. Besides enacting social distancing behavioral change, building owners and operators need to leverage a range of tools and strategies to optimize the operational performance of buildings in order to give their tenants confidence in returning to the workplace safely.

Enhancing indoor air quality (IAQ) could be as effective in reducing aerosol transmission of viruses as vaccinating 50-60% of the population according to scientific research. Monitoring carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM), and also humidity and temperature, require installation of new sensors in facilities that usually do not have pre-existing wiring for IAQ. Such retrofit installations are greatly facilitated by wireless IoT networks and the fast-growing LoRaWAN standard has become the preferred infrastructure for IAQ monitoring.

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The importance of Co2 measurement

CO2 concentration is a key indicator of air quality. As people spend more time in their homes, and even more during the pandemic crisis, indoor CO2 concentrations are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. The optimization of air quality in rooms is essential for healthier and more productive indoor living and working conditions. Spaces with high CO2 percentages can cause headaches, drowsiness, and poor concentration, often resulting in a reduction of productivity. From 2.000 ppm onwards, humans can even loose cognitive abilities and can have significant health risks at higher levels.

On the past 2nd of May of 2019, a BE Royal Decree for the well-being at work was issued, stating that employers must take the necessary technical and organizational measures to ensure that the concentration of CO2 in workspaces is generally less than 900ppm. High amounts of CO2 also means that there is a high number of aerosols in the air, elevating infection risk for people in the room. This becomes especially relevant during the pandemic times we are living. When a person infected with Coronavirus coughs, speaks or sneezes, a spray formed of drops and aerosols is generated, penetrating the air in the room and spreading. Non ventilated indoor spaces have been proven to increase Covid-19 infected aerosol transmission.

Co2 measurement allows to know if the ventilation system is sufficient. The maximum CO2 recommended depends on the room, its occupation and the activity carried out inside it, but generally studies conclude that the risk of concentration rises when the Co2 in the open air is doubled, this being approximately 420 ppm.

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Latest IAQ IoT Solutions overview

McCool Controls deploys solutions against COVID-19, which allow to create occupancy heat maps, proximity detection and contact tracing, virus contamination mitigation, keeping within hand hygiene compliance or environmental and temperature monitoring.  

Abeeway Smart Badge have been used in various Smart Health related use cases like to protect Zoeti’s workers in Japan from COVID-19.  This was done by equipping each employee with a compact wearable badge, which enables easy monitoring of interactions within the common areas, also working alongside security badges for access control. 

Indoor and outdoor tracing is also possible through these solutions, which also offer the possibility of patient wayfinding, medical devices tracking or patient ER/OR tracking, easily creating panic buttons so that patients can be localized in case of having an emergency, or pharma refrigerating tracking, to keep in the know of location, tracking and temperature control of medicines. 

Actility, in joint work with and WMW, now offers a new Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Monitoring Starter Kit to help enable safer and healthier indoor environments, helping protect employees, students and workers by meeting air quality regulation levels. The solution also seeks to protect against COVID-19 spread, by controlling and monitoring CO2 levels and people’s presence in closed areas.

This Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Solution, now available on ThingPark Market, Actility’s IoT solutions marketplace, allows to control and monitor CO2 concentration, temperature, humidity, light and people’s presence in real time. The IAQ Monitoring Starter Kit provides the required hardware, software and connectivity services to assess this integrated plug-and-play solution.

The solution has an extremely easy configuration. It can be used for any indoor space like, for example, classrooms, offices, meeting rooms, shops, industrial facilities, public buildings, and much more.

Axenova , an Actility Solution Partner in Argentina, created a solution for ventilation management to fight Covid-19 transmission. When ventilation isn’t frequent enough, aerosols are kept lingering in the air. The longer the area is kept without ventilation, the more compacted the air will get with aerosols.

The solution presented by Axenova collects the CO2 data from meters positioned in rooms, allowing to send the information to a metering center, an app with online information or an online platform with reportings, alarms and other settings. For this, the building needs to have a LoRaWAN gateway for devices to communicate.  Actility offers the possibility to deploy a private LoRaWAN network using ThingPark Enterprise. The network server sends the data to the Axenova platform to later convert it into understandable insights shared on the app or platform.

This solution allows to gather real time information and set alarms offering the opportunity to act at the right time to avoid contagions, also giving access to historic data to refine protocols, reducing risk of contagion.

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Veolia also offers air quality monitoring solutions. Their first offer around IAQ is Air Control, where Veolia assesses air quality, identifies potential sources of pollution, and recommends suitable solutions. Another one of their offers is Air Performance, for ventilation system evaluation and practices and installation improvement to guarantee results in air performance. Their third offer, called Air Human, makes information about air quality accessible and understandable, involves users into problem solving and takes the perception of people involved into account.

NanoSense, leading French company and winner of two AirLab challenges for the creation of IAQ monitors, is creating IAQ modular probes for indoors and outdoors. These monitors, which can also check humidity, ventilation conditions, RH, OTC, VOC, and other parameters, can connect to different protocols as well as LoRaWAN. These multi sensors monitor every 2 to 5 minutes, sending new information every 10 minutes, and can follow multi criteria remediation control algorithms, have a 10-year lifespan, a low life cycle cost and are easy to maintain.

Solutions like these have already been implemented in many fields which can easily benefit from air monitoring. These solutions are already running in public buildings, like government buildings, at the Environment Agency, for example, in airports like those belonging to the Aéroports de Paris (ADP), or in hospitals, like in St Luke’s Hospital in the United States. Also, in smart buildings like offices, co workings or in logistics, and even in services like shopping centers, hotels and restaurants, as an example we have the solutions implemented in Hard Rock restaurants, AMC Cinemas or Accor Hotels.

What’s IAQ’s impact on school performance ?

Schools have a big potential for IAQ and monitoring solutions should be installed in every classroom. Studies carried out in the United States have concluded that there is a real impact between children’s performance and attendance rate at schools and the quality of the air they breathe during class hours, and this issue gets even more relevant with COVID-19.

Veolia, NanoSense and Birdz joined forces to create a solution which would cater for schools in Raincy, France. The solution needed to solve the challenges of improving and guaranteeing air quality, while also installing the necessary equipment for it, and making the information accessible to people in charge of the school’s installations and parents.

The solution was carried out by placing NanoSense’s real-time monitoring sensors in each classroom, which were installed in only two weeks during school holidays. These sensors are equipped with LED indicators marking green, yellow, or red for the different levels of ppms, making it easy to visualize if the room needs to be ventilated. Veolia also installed IAQ probes in the ventilation systems to meet the highest CO2 control standards.

Once the sensors gather the data, Birdz, a company focused on environmental smart solutions for digital cities and a provider digital solution for Industrial and environmental IoT, performs the data collection and translates it into understandable insights, which can be consulted through apps, mail, sms real-time alerts, and automatic reporting and data visualizations to facilitate taking action.

Lastly, Veolia, through their Veolia Ofis IAQ experts, performed an audit evaluating all the results and raised awareness amongst the school occupants. This guaranteed indoor air quality for all pupils and parents, and children were informed and aware of the positive impacts of air quality, while getting to know about all the parameters which influence virus transmission risk.

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Why LoRaWAN as the ideal technology for IAQ ?

The connectivity choice for this and most IAQ use cases is LoRaWAN for various reasons. Often a building just needs one gateway for a private network. If available, a public network can also be used. LoRaWAN specifically caters for IoT use cases that require battery-operated sensors and network coverage well beyond hundreds of meters.

LoRaWAN provides a low power and long-range connectivity, while most technologies like Bluetooth LE, Zigbee and Z-wave provide low power solutions, they aren’t designed to cover long-range distances, this feature is normally left to technologies like 2.5/3/4G, but on the other hand, these technologies haven’t been designed to cover the low power aspect needed for IoT solutions.

LoRaWAN is also an open standard technology, ensuring that there is no vendor lock-in, which can be key for long term assets, and an unlicensed band, providing flexible options to connect assets via public connectivity services, private networks, or both, leveraging LoRaWAN roaming capabilities. LoRaWAN also ensures that all devices connected to this technology in one same building or complex can connect to the same technology and coordinate. If the coverage isn’t enough for the area, antennas can be easily installed. 

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LoRaWAN-connected Asset Tracking Solutions Now Available in Ireland and the UK

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LoRaWAN-connected Asset Tracking Solutions Now Available in Ireland and the UK

Blogpost, May 2021 

If you need to improve the management of your various mobile assets, to ensure the safety of your employees while operating an industrial facility, a construction site, a building or a hospital – we invite you to check out the solutions offered by McCool Controls & Engineering, a leading system integrator in Ireland, an Actility & Abeeway Partner joinlty working with us to spread smart IoT solutions for different industries and verticals such as Construction, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and Smart Buildings.

Smart Buildings 

McCool Controls offer end to end solutions, making smart buildings easy for their clients.

Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) are now fundamental for Smart Buildings, enabling applications like indoor and outdoor tracking. These features open possibilities like safe returns to work after the COVID-19 crisis by creating occupancy heat maps, contact tracing and virus contamination mitigation, Indoor Air Quality Monitoring (IAQ), real estate optimizations or booking systems to reserve rooms, desks or EV chargers and staff shifts planning.

As an example, the city of Gießen now monitors air quality in schools to control the spread of COVID-19, and McCool Controls is now making buildings safer, dynamic, responsive and intelligent, whilst reducing their environmental footprint and simultaneously delivering a safe and comfortable space for employees which enhances their well-being and productivity, without the reduction of floor space. 

Smart Health

McCool Controls deploys solutions against COVID-19, which allow to create occupancy heat maps, proximity detection and contact tracing, virus contamination mitigation, keeping within hand hygiene compliance or environmental and temperature monitoring.  

Abeeway Smart Badge have been used in various Smart Health related use cases like to protect Zoeti’s workers in Japan from COVID-19.  This was done by equipping each employee with a compact wearable badge, which enables easy monitoring of interactions within the common areas, also working alongside security badges for access control. 

Indoor and outdoor tracing is also possible through these solutions, which also offer the possibility of patient wayfinding, medical devices tracking or patient ER/OR tracking, easily creating panic buttons so that patients can be localized in case of having an emergency, or pharma refrigerating tracking, to keep in the know of location, tracking and temperature control of medicines. 

Smart Construction

Gain complete fleet visibility, worker protection on construction sites, keep equipment secure and localized and gain operational efficiency through IoT!  
McCool Controls solutions are based on Abeeway tracking devices that allow multiple operating modes like motion tracking and geo zone detection, also managing other features like geofencing, edge computing for proximity detection and exposure assessment, leak detection, cloud connectivity, and many more, while being waterproof, rechargeable, and including long-life batteries,  

These devices versatility is making them perfect for countless use cases like the Red Sea giga project in Saudi Arabia, where more than 39.000 badges have been deployed to connect construction workforce and 3.000 vehicles in real-time, or also the Bouygues Construction’s projects, where 20.000 trackers have been deployed. The use cases are using:  the Abeeway Smart Badge, a portable multi-mode tracker in ID card format with embedded sensors, ideal for tracking, zone notification and monitoring of workplace safety and security, the Abeeway Compact Tracker, a highly versatile multi-mode tracker, with embedded sensors, designed to resist harsh surroundings enabling you to perform seamless asset tracking and management in any industrial environment, and the Abeeway Micro Tracker, the ideal product for numerous tracking applications with a minimal size and long battery life.

Smart Manufacturing

Worker safety and operational efficiency are two fundamentals when it comes to smart manufacturing. Through devices like the Abeeway Industrial Tracker, designed to resist harsh surroundings, workflow can be controlled in real-time, fire, flood, smoke, and many other issues can be monitored, or anti-theft notifications can be set up. 

In combination with the Quuppa platform McCool Controls can also achieve precise sub-metre accuracy of people and products to provide data for clients to increase efficiency, productivity and work flows.

The Abeeway Smart Badge and Compact Tracker are also frequent choices to use for related use cases, as all these solutions offer multiple operating modes, geofencing zone detection, edge computing for proximity detection and exposure assessment, predictive maintenance sensors, cloud connectivity, connection to BMS or SCADA, while being ATWZ rated, waterproof and have rechargeable batteries. 

Smart Data Centers

Gain control of your data center assets in real time by introducing IoT solutions. The Abeeway Smart Badge, Compact Tracker and Micro Tracker, will allow you offer your employees a Covid-19 safe return to work by implementing access controls, density policy enforcement in common areas and proximity notifications. These solutions also offer temperature and humidity monitoring, indoor and outdoor people tracking, anti-theft detection and many more options.

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“McCool Controls & Engineering and Actility are committed to help create more digitalized operations and to bring significant benefits to their customers. By adopting these new data-based solutions, companies will not only save money and time, but also protect their workers and avoid temporary shutdowns.”

Says Nicolas Jordan, COO at Actility. 

Zoetis joins Actility in the battle against COVID-19 by adopting Proximity Detection and Contact Tracing Solution

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Zoetis joins Actility in the battle against COVID-19 by adopting Proximity Detection and Contact Tracing Solution

Blog Post – Press Info – Customer Testimonial,  Paris & Tokyo, March 5th 2021.

Zoetis, an American drug company, the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock, which employs almost 10.000 workers globally, has implemented Actility’s LoRaWAN-based Detection and Contact Tracing Solution for COVID-19 , for its workers in Japan.

Zoetis has experienced the fear of being temporarily shut down due to COVID-19 worker infection, as many other companies around the globe. In Japan, as in many other countries, in the event of finding an infected worker by COVID-19, the Public Health Department may request all of the employees to stay home for 14 days, involving great losses for the whole company as business gets stopped, and pushing Zoetis to find a solution for their Japanese subsidiary, based in Tokyo. 

Covid-19 sanitary policies focus on two main goals: enforcement of distancing policies, and rapid and immediate identification of contamination clusters in case of confirmed infection. This was obtained by equipping each employee with a compact wearable Abeeway Proximity Sensor which enables easy monitoring of interactions within the common areas, also working alongside security badges for access control. When the sensors record that two or more people have exceeded the safety limit, it warns them with an audible or visual alarm. The solution also allows to instantly trace workers through the data provided by the connected Proximity Detection Tags which ensure that the potential contamination cluster can be immediately back-traced around the infected employee, limiting the impact to only this cluster.

Zoetis & micro-tracker

At the time of considering different solutions, Zoetis first investigated app-based solutions like Cocoa. Officially provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (MHLW), this app notifies you of close contact with COVID-19 positive users to help the government and healthcare organizations contain the spread of COVID-19. However, this great app, essential for the big public usage, had to be completed with another solution on order to avoid shutdowns, as the company needed a solution showing which specific workers were in close distance with the ability to alert workers if they are not respecting distancing policies, and in consequence, to quickly identify the covid clusters and minimize the impact on the workers who must work from home. 
After considering these factors, the reasonable cost of the Actility solution and the battery lifetime of the devices, Zoetis decided to adopt Actility’s Proximity Detection and Contact Tracing Solution, allowing to daily check the dashboard and, due to the strong accuracy of the solution, talk directly to any employee who might be infected and those who have been in direct contact. 

“Zoetis needed a solution to show the Public Health Department objective data evidence to minimize the amount of people staying at home and consequently avoid temporary shutdowns of their business. With the Actility LoRaWAN Safety Solution, Zoetis was able to automate the monitoring of new safety policies, while empowering employees as part of the new normal in business operations”

said Hideo Kato, Director, Customer Service and Operations at Zoetis Japan

This compliance solution protects workers by ensuring secure social distancing, but it is also protecting the continuity of corporate operations and – by avoiding costly full shutdowns- provides instant RoI

Added Takashi Matsubara, Asia Region Sales Director at Actility

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About Zoetis

Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 65 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines, vaccines and diagnostic products, which are complemented by biodevices, genetic tests and precision livestock farming. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2019, the company generated annual revenue of $6.3 billion with approximately 10,600 employees. For more information, visit

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About Actility   

Actility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.  

Contact us here: 

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McCool is Making Buildings Safe & Comfortable in Ireland with LoRaWAN®

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How McCool Controls is Making Buildings Safe & Comfortable in Ireland with LoRaWAN®

McCool Controls, an innovative master systems integrator, specialising in Smart Buildings, Real-Time Locating Systems and Building Management Systems and one of  Actility Channel Partners, has recently commenced a pioneering Smart Building project for a confidential client in Ireland. This project aims to reduce the client’s Real Estate ecological footprint by 40%, whilst maintaining an even growing staff numbers for a successful enterprise, reflecting the changed flexible work practices of the company.

It was critical that the remaining real estate was very different from the traditional building. The client required their new 6 storey, 8000 sq. metre building to be a dynamic, responsive and intelligent building, whilst simultaneously delivering a safe and comfortable space for employees that enhanced their well-being and productivity, without the reduction in floor space compromising the overall occupant experience.

McCool Controls has been chosen to deliver the “Turnkey” Smart Building platform, incorporating Indoor Mapping, Wayfinding, Room/Desk Booking, Geolocation Services, HVAC Controls, Lighting Controls, Room Control Apps, Real Estate Occupancy Data and Heat Mapping, Smart Metering and Predictive Plant Maintenance Sensors amongst other things, for which Actility’s LoRaWAN® network infrastructure was used: ThingPark, already operating over 35 000 network base stations worldwide.