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Manufacturing International

Developing the only system in the world calculating the Residual Steel Lifetime

Executive Summary

Challenge: Our partner was seeking to revolutionise and redefine the resale market in  the heavy industry with the use of Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technologies.

Approach: We partnered with two other companies involved in the project. We evaluated the feasibility of the venture, carried out in-depth business analysis, proposed solution architecture, and prepared technical documentation.

Result: The project received a positive evaluation from the experts and was funded by the Polish National Centre for R&D. In the first year, we provided a robust demo, enhancing Smart Steel’s image among potential clients.

Table of Contents

About the client

Fortaco Group is an international organisation delivering cabins and steel parts for heavy machinery.

Fortaco cooperates with OEM companies that brand products with their own logotypes. Fortaco Group is responsible for the complex production process, from the R&D stage, to prototyping, testing, manufacturing, shipping, and post-sale support.

To carry out the Smart Steel project, a special consortium was established, comprising three companies: Fortaco, Future Processing, and XTrack, which delivers telematic solutions.

Business challenge

The client’s goal was to develop a method of determining the resale value of machinery in heavy industry. Our task was to evaluate the feasibility of this project, propose a solution architecture, and prepare technical documentation necessary to receive a grant from the Polish National Centre for Research and Development.

The client intends to collaborate with as many target groups as possible, in the field both of OEM and FinCo (lessors, banks). The probability of the project success grows alongside the talks which are an opportunity for the client to present verified and tested data concerning each aspect of the work at hand. This refers not only to heavy industry manufacturing but also to the production of electric vehicles.

The perfect tool

Smart Steel is the response to the need for a reliable determination of the residual value of machinery in heavy industry. So far, this parameter has been determined based on simple premises, such as the age of the machine, external appearance, or current transaction prices.

This led to possibly inappropriate resale prices in relation to the offered equipment, while the actual fatigue of the steel components was above any standard.

Reduce CO2
Reduce your CO2 footprint by taking data-based decisions about reuse or manufacturing of equipment.

Limit financial risk
Limit your financial risk by improving knowledge about assets’ status.

Improve your operations
Improve your operations by eliminating operating conditions with pronounced loss of residual lifetime.

Smart Steel ecosystem provides comprehensive information about the analysed machine, not only by wear or usage but also by monitoring the current technical condition, combustion, or just workload. It is the perfect tool to support your fleet management.

Redefining the resale market

Fortaco is planning to redefine the resale market in heavy industry, which is estimated to reach billions of dollars currently.

The feasibility of the project increases thanks to the extended business relationships, cooperation with the OEM sector, and the current position of Fortaco and XTrack.

The project started in 2021 and is meant to be completed by the end of 2023. The first year was mostly focused on the development stage.

Within that first year, a demo was created to present the idea in a nutshell, which helped to make a better impression during the talks with the client in the early phase of the project.

They are a true partner in discussions about customer needs in a
rapidly changing environment, where sustainability plays an
increasingly important role. By combining IoT with blockchain, we
aim at providing our clients and their customers with valuable and
trusted information on the lifetime of heavy-weight machinery in
the off-highway industry.

Dr Rafal Sornek
Senior Vice President, Fortaco Technology

The engaged team

In the Smart Steel project, Future Processing functions as a technology partner. After the initial talks, the client decided that we are a reliable company which can secure the technology aspect of the project, thanks to our established market position, and, consequently, build solutions based on the latest technologies, such as blockchain, IoT, or Machine Learning. All these technologies are used in the project discussed here.

The Future Processing team working on the project consists of five developers and a project manager.

We closely cooperated with XTrack team which was responsible for gathering data, authentication and sending it over (IoT) down the chain.

Effects of our cooperation

The client reached out to us with a problem and asked whether the blockchain technology could be the right solution to the problem. After running a business analysis to understand the problem, we confirmed that the blockchain technology was actually a suitable solution and we were able to develop its potential in the project.

When launching the project, Fortaco intended to receive funds from the National Centre for Research and Development. This meant that a large amount of project documentation had to be created. Moreover, the necessary steps included detailed analysis specifying particular tasks at each stage of the project.

Eventually, the project needed to receive positive evaluation from the expert panel. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023; however, the collaboration potential was already visible at early stages and it is much larger than estimated.

Joined forces of XTrack and Future Processing helped achieve all goals and objectives specified within the initial project scope. The IoT solution delivered by XTrack enabled the possibility to apply machine learning algorithms that were able to find patterns and outliers within data. Their incorporated part of the system offers advancements like edge computing or message signing, which is essential from a data verification perspective and record keeping.

Technologies used in the project