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Grundfos drives innovation in water technology with global connectivity

Efficient water delivery management requires an agile IoT ecosystem to collect intelligence from millions of connected assets.

The Challenge

Denmark- based Grundfos began manufacturing and shipping water pumps in 1945. The first customers were local farmers, but since then the customer group and the range of products sold have expanded vastly. The company has always been on the technological forefront of its business, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has allowed Grundfos to achieve even greater innovation and evolve the products and systems they sell. They provide critical solutions to regions’, cities’ and buildings’ entire water infrastructure. They are now leaders in water management.

Grundfos makes roughly 17 million pumps a year. Sensors relay data on pump health and performance, such as pressure, temperature and velocity. By gathering this data, forward-thinking Grundfos could take more responsibility for the functioning of their products. The intelligence gathered allow them to predict when pumps need repair or replacement, resulting in fewer unplanned outages and more effective maintenance – something greatly valued by their customers.

To accomplish this, Grundfos selected Ericsson as one of the partners to help create an IoT ecosystem that could manage water infrastructures all over the world and maintain their position as a global leader of advanced pump solutions.

Supporting sustainability goals

From pumps to advanced solutions

Grundfos delivers advanced water technology solutions to e.g. factories, buildings and critical water infrastructure operators. They needed to connect assets locally and globally. Fredrik Östbye, chief digital officer at Grundfos, explains how collaborating with partners such as Ericsson allow them to collect valuable data from all their water management solutions.

Highlights: A global water management ecosystem

  • Grundfos wanted to collect data from their next generation of water pumps
  • They needed a robust and agile IoT ecosystem to support their transformation
  • Grundfos selected Ericsson for 3 main reasons: established industry expertise and consulting, a deep, proven portfolio of technical offerings and respect for building environmentally sound solutions
  • Grundfos deployed  the connectivity management solution from Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator platform
  • Ericsson also advised on items like eSIM (eUICC) and use of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), which has deeper penetration into buildings
  • Grundfos can now collect health and performance data from their network of pump solutions, enabling them to be proactive about maintenance and reducing system downtime
  • Ericsson’s platform allows Grundfos to collect actionable insights from their assets and not just sell pumps; but evolve to sell them as-a-service.
  • The collaboration also enables Ericsson to gain a better understanding of industrial end user needs. The mutual value gained will benefit OEMs across all industries

The Solution

As a recognized IoT industry authority, Ericsson counselled Grundfos as they devised their connectivity strategy. It advised on a myriad of topics, including selection of eSIM (eUICC), country-by-country regulations on cellular roaming and use of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), whose signals reach deeper into buildings.

Grundfos deployed the connectivity management solution from IoT Accelerator to track and control networked assets at local, regional and global levels through a single, unified and intuitive device connection platform. 

Data regulations such as GDPR often prevents data from leaving its country of origin, making geolocations a relevant concern. To address this, Grundfos implemented de-centralized clouds so that data would remain in compliance with regulations.

Gaining control of connected assets with IoT

When managing an expansive network of devices, transparency is critical. Ericsson IoT Accelerator gives enterprises the power to control and track all of their IoT devices and networked assets at a national, regional or global level with one unified and intuitive device connection platform.

The Results

The data collected will be turned into actionable insights that immediately delivers value to Grundfos’ customers. Predictive analytics can determine not only when a pump may need to be replaced, but it can also show how to optimize the flow and delivery of water. These analytic capabilities also put Grundfos in a position where they can successfully evolve their business from selling pumps to selling them and their maintenance as a service.

Grundfos’ expertise and role in water management continues to grow, so will their role in the establishment of smart buildings and cities. As a global leader in water management systems, the company will be paramount in the creation of smart water networks and related critical infrastructure. The digitalization of assets and capitalization on industry transformations will ensure Grundfos can adapt and evolve to the preferences of their customers, as they’ve been doing for nearly three-quarters of a century.

By entering the IoT ecosystem, Grundfos will remain an innovative leader in water management technology and hold true to their core values of providing ground-breaking technology and improve the quality of life for people and take care of the planet.

Fredrik Östbye, Chief Digital Officer at Grundfos
We have been working closely as a team to find a setup for global connectivity and what technology to use in our pumps. I see Ericsson and Grundfos working very closely as strategic partners in our ecosystem of our smart pump to get access to the best connectivity solutions and create future solutions together.

- Fredrik Östbye, Chief Digital Officer at Grundfos

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