Smart irrigation platform

Deutsche Telekom IoT and Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker roll-out a connected smart irrigation platform

Smart and connected solar powered water pumps enable energy savings for farmers in India. Smart irrigation and cellular connectivity improves productivity and provides sustainable energy with predictable maintenance for reliable clean water in off-grid regions.


  • The leading global tool manufacturer, Stanley Black & Decker, describe their approach to IoT and connectivity to deploy solar water pumps in one of the largest countries, India
  • A model to tackle technology and roaming challenges in a multi-carrier and regionalized country
  • Deutsche Telekom IoT provides IoT SIM cards, roaming and network connectivity and device connectivity is powered by Ericsson IoT Accelerator

Manage, monitor and track assets

As a Fortune 500 listed company, Stanley Black & Decker is a leading global manufacturer in innovative tools and storage, advanced commercial electronic security and industrial engineering fastening solutions.  The company brings up to millions of diverse products to the global market each year ranging from household power tools for consumers, smart solar water pumps, security for enterprises, construction, oil and gas to industrial shears for demolition work. With such a large and varied portfolio, a key focus is to create a digital ecosystem to manage, monitor and track their assets intelligently.  Data analytics and insights provide the intelligence for more innovation and efficiency in what they do, and the way Stanley Black & Decker conducts their business.

Stanley Black & Decker works with the communications service provider (CSP) Deutsche Telekom IoT, also known as Magenta Telekom, one of the largest CSPs in Austria owned by Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom IoT supplies IoT SIM cards, the connectivity and roaming for one of Stanley Black & Decker’s projects and Ericsson provides the underlying platform, IoT Accelerator, to connect and manage devices globally.

With a mission to be a force for good, Stanley Black & Decker focuses on quality, safety and sustainability. In a recent initiative called Stanley Earth, the company provides smart solar cellularly connected water pumps called NADI, to rural farmers in India, an example of IoT for good.

The challenge

Rural farmers in India rely on unpredictable seasonal rains, inefficient grid-connected pumps or pollution generating fossil fueled water pumps for agricultural farms. There are in excess of 30 million of these pumps which consume 20% of the already taxed power grid electricity or government subsidized fossil fuel; taxing the economy and polluting the environment. In collaboration with local farmers, Stanley Black & Decker implemented Stanley Earth’s NADI, a smart solar pump to leverage solar energy and provide a consistent, energy efficient and sustainable water supply. The pumps are cellularly connected with agricultural sensors, combine data analytics, use cloud and mobile connectivity to enhance the livelihoods of millions of farmers in India. This data is shared with the government for useful analysis and measures as well as documentation supporting the requirements of available subsidies.

Since the start of the initiative more than two years ago, the number of smart connected pumps rolled out are tripling from hundreds to thousands. The pump is submersible underwater, can be remotely controlled via a mobile phone and SMS, and enables micro irrigation.  

Stanley Black & Decker has faced two main challenges with cellular deployment:

  1. Different roaming partners throughout a large country like India have been challenging. Deutsche Telekom IoT and Ericsson have been helping to simplify and improve global coverage.
  2. When the project was launched a few years ago, farmers used 2G and this technology was selected. With the evolution of technology and as the needs of the project expand, there is a potential to upgrade.

In rural areas, access to connectivity is a key enabler to help the farmers regulate the pump and collect the much needed data insights to save energy and water.

The solution

As India is a multi-carrier country with various operators in different regions, Stanley Black & Decker works closely with Deutsche Telekom IoT and Ericsson to resolve coverage issues. The pump may be manufactured in one region of India with different connectivity and deployed in another region with a completely different service provider.

To improve roaming coverage as the pumps are deployed and when they are in place, Stanley Black & Decker and Deutsche Telekom IoT collaborate to ensure the agreed coverage and switch configurations are in place with local service providers. This requires due diligence and some troubleshooting to resolve these issues.

Regarding the potential to upgrade to 3G and other technologies, Stanley Black & Decker plans to review their future options.

The results

The Stanley Earth initiative has led to several benefits which have positively impacted the livelihoods of farmers, the community and the environment. The pumps have enabled a complete standalone off grid solution with no electricity or diesel costs and low maintenance costs. With smart and connected irrigation, the farmers can better manage groundwater resources and leverage the seasons to produce up to 3 crops a year, leading to additional income. Farmers can sell excess solar energy to the government grid for revenue.

With mobile connectivity, farmers can operate the pumps with their mobile phone to manage water resources efficiently. With cloud connectivity, farmers can remotely monitor the health of a pump for preventive maintenance. The government has also benefitted as the real time data are valuable insights to implement new policies and measures.

Robert Osterwise
Robert Osterwise, Director, Internet of Things, Stanley Black & Decker
“We are working with the Stanley Earth project to support rural farmers and it is example of an IoT project in its truest form and cellular connectivity is vital. As part of the solution, we provide the data and reports about the number of hours the pump worked, how many liters of water per pump per day, the utilization and the efficiency for every pump deployed. This IoT data serves a critical role to the farmer and government complying to the requirements of the subsidies available. Because of well managed cellular connectivity, we are able to improve the sustainable income for local farmers, increase welfare for the community, saving both water and energy; all of which are positive for the economy and the environment. Using IoT, for good”
Maria Zesch
Maria Zesch, CCO Business & Digitalization, Deutsche Telekom IoT
“Stanley Black & Decker demonstrates what an innovative company can achieve by combining its products with connectivity to have a positive and sustainable impact. As an operator, we are delighted to help them leverage the connectivity and coverage to meet the needs of the local market and their project.”
Sustainable development goals

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

The highlighted Sustainable Development Goals are included in the project.