About

Point energy delivers factory level understanding using component level data via a reduction in energy consumption and detailed condition monitoring of every machine. The solution brings the manufacturing line online, making dumb machines smart.

Energy costs in NI are among the highest in Europe, and have featured heavily in the news recently due to the closure of the Michelin and the uncertain future of Bombardier in Belfast. Our technology, in a bid to make the local manufacturing environment more competitive, gives greater visibility of energy use, increased analytic capability delivering a reduction in this energy use and ultimately improves factory level efficiency using component level data. Having spoken directly with over 85 potential customers and initialised two pilot projects, we have documented the need and desire for local companies to reduce their energy utilisation. It is also clear that SME manufacturers require more analytic capability when it comes to improving overall factory efficiency.
We have developed a method by which to collect energy data from components rather than machines. This gives us very detailed information on what each component in the factory is consuming. This high granularity data enables not only energy efficiency improvements to be targeted, but also enables detailed monitoring of the condition of each component leading to targeted maintenance schedules and reduced downtime. Additionally, an increase in the overall efficiently of the factory due to interaction analysis is also possible.

Our research has led to the development of a universal low-cost interface device that will allow the measurement of a very wide range of data and can be used to provide predictive fault analysis. Based on two previous EPSRC and one POC projects, this novel energy and health monitoring system has been developed for polymer processing and can be directly applied to other manufacturing areas. The system uses the control signal from an existing system to calculate energy consumption precisely and detect any faults. No modification to the existing process is required, providing a flexible and non-intrusive metering solution. The acquired data is sent wirelessly to a remote data server through the 3G/4G network and useful information is extracted. Unlike power meters with current transformers, energy can be monitored from each component of a machine, resulting in detailed monitoring of both the machine and the process. In addition, through data analysis, the customer can benefit from optimised set points, reduced energy consumption, maintenance, and material waste, and improved product quality. This will boost the pace of progress to the next revolution of industrial 4.0 for the polymer processing industry and other areas.

The solution is functioning and feasible. Due to the extensive customer discovery journey we have conducted, and pilot projects with target customers, we have installed MVP versions of our hardware on two client sites. These clients represent two tranches for our target customers: polymer processing and food production. We are collecting both component level data and energy utilisation data. This represents successful completion of the hardware and data gathering development milestones respectively, in addition to proving the need for such a solution in the manufacturing industry. Currently, we are in the data analysis stage of our development, working closely with our clients to deliver value on energy utilisation and component level condition monitoring. We are currently streaming live energy utilisation data to one customer, a service we envisage monetise immediately. As we continue to work closely with our two pilot customers, we believe that further development of the data analysis and insight delivery function of the business enables rapid roll out to other customers in the space making us a high growth potential start up. Our main focus at this stage of development is cementing our value proposition and exploiting in depth analytical capability unlocked via successful data gathering.

The total addressable market is the UK manufacturing industry, worth approximately £148 billion. Average total energy costs are estimated at 5% of this total worth, at £7.4 billion. We believe our technology can deliver a 20% saving in this cost representing a serviceable available market of £1.48 billion. Assuming a 30% market share in the manufacturing energy saving market, the serviceable obtainable market is worth £444 million per year in the UK alone. We believe our product offering is scalable on a global level, since manufacturing is the backbone of the global economy and is worth £8,000 billion.
We have completed a very intense customer discovery journey since concept creation, speaking to over 85 companies in the manufacturing, energy and ICT sectors. Our key customers are those with high volume manufacturing lines and low margins or energy intensive manufacturing operations. Such examples are polymer processing companies, food producers and medical device manufacturers. Energy costs and a desire to increase efficiency have been documented to be a large pain point for our prospective customers. We believe we can deliver savings in energy usage and increase the analytic capability of manufacturers using our product, achieving higher overall efficiency in the production line.

Through our customer discovery, we have found that the majority of our competitors only deliver machine level energy monitoring with very basic data analysis. Feedback from their customers has proved the limitations in energy usage reduction. The reason is lack of detailed information and actionable insights: they rely on information in dashboard type reports. Thus, our solution fills the gap in colleting rich manufacturing data and concentrates on advanced data analysis instead of leaving the hard work to our customer. Our technology is non-intrusive, easy to install and proven to work extremely well. There are no other solutions in the after sales market and a transformation of old machines to next generation of smart and intelligent manufacturing is needed. We believe our data capturing technology and our analytical capability clearly separate us from other players in the market. We aim to be the trusted energy and efficiency consultant of our clients, a niche which is yet to be carved out in the marketplace. Furthermore, competitor’s solutions are not competitively priced for the quality of work conducted. We believe we can charge similar prices, but add considerable value to our clients from the beginning.