Device Charging Stations Problem Solved as LTTS Deploys an Effective Solution

By Sharada Prahladrao

Category:
Project Success Story

Client and Industry:  LTTS’ (L&T Technology Services Limited) client, a leader in switches and sockets, has a network of device charging stations across the globe.  Lack of monitoring and control over these charging stations had resulted in over/underutilization of these stations and provided zero visibility into damaged or broken stations.  This resulted in significant revenue loss.

Challenges:  The client faced challenges on multiple fronts:

  • Utilization: After installation, there was no mechanism to track the utilization of these stations.  Hence, some were overutilized and some underutilized.
  • Higher energy costs: Energy bills were mounting, but the client did not have the analytics to identify and decommission underutilized stations to reduce energy costs.
  • Maintenance: The client’s service model entailed a service engineer to manually visit each location and check up on the charging stations.  This created massive overheads and inefficiency in service operations.
  • Customer experience: Not knowing when the station is down meant that people were unable to use the charging stations until a service engineer physically checked, discovered a non-functional unit, and repaired it.  This resulted in poor customer experience.
  • Business model: The existing business model did not yield enough revenue, and the client was looking for a newer revenue model to gain profit.

Key Objectives: The three key objectives that the client wanted to meet for its charging stations were optimization of Device Charging Stationsusage, costs, and performance.  The client wanted to achieve these objectives without changing the structure, size, or power ratings of these charging stations.  Hence, notifying the charging stations seemed the best option available.

From connected drink dispensers to digital plant workers, LTTS has proven expertise across industries in creating custom IoT solutions.  Hence, LTTS was the partner of choice to design and develop a connected IoT solution to enable real-time monitoring and predictive analytics for device charging stations.

LTTS’ Solution: After engineers conducted a thorough analysis of the client’s product, LTTS proposed a connected IoT solution on the MS Azure platform.

Sensors: Existing charging stations lacked sensors that could track power consumption and utilization.  LTTS incorporated a host of sensors to track various activities and transmit the data for further analysis.

Modules: Several communication modules were deployed: RF module for connectivity; Measurement module to monitor, and control 6LowPAN router module to transfer data.

Mobile application: An iOS-based, mobile application was developed to track and service these stations by a service engineer.  The application enables the client to control and monitor the charging station’s light, door, power, USB connections, power consumption, and GFCI connections.

Business Benefits: LTTS’ next-gen connected solution enabled seamless connectivity to cloud solutions without changing the structure or size of the charging stations.  The benefits include:

  • Real-time remote monitoring & control of the vast network of charging stations
  • Breakdown notifications helped in faster servicing
  • Insights on the consumer usage pattern
  • Predictive maintenance helped in unexpected breakdowns
  • Massive energy gains by remotely switching off stations that are not in use
  • With always-on stations, customer satisfaction significantly improved

Realizing the benefits of this solution, the client rolled out an all-new “Analytics-as-a-Service” revenue model to transform the way these charging stations are operated.

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