Recently, Grundfos and Augury signed a strategic partnership to develop smart diagnostics solutions and services for Grundfos’ customers. The partnership was branded as a step toward digitizing water and utility infrastructure worldwide.
Grundfos is a pump and water technology company. Augury is a data analytics company and digital machine health solution provider. Saar Yoskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Augury, took time recently to answer questions about the partnership.
Yoskovitz has appeared on the Pumps & Systems podcast, discussing the future of predictive maintenance. Click here to listen.
How did this partnership come about?
"In Augury's early days, when we were envisioning the fastest paths for us to provide the largest impact to the world, we identified OEMs as a critical piece of the puzzle. Since then we have been working tirelessly to identify the best partners, aligned with our view of the world, that are in the best position to make that vision a reality. Once we met the Grundfos team, we knew immediately that they were the right partner for us. Our initial discussions started with the vision and potential of embedded machine health diagnostic capabilities into assets, specifically pumps. Pumps have been historically overlooked / left out of predictive maintenance programs due to their perceived criticality and the cost of performing traditional vibration analysis. We firmly believe this should not be the case. Pumps are a critical component of our daily lives. There is a better way to manage and maintain them—and we're going to build it together."
What are the immediate benefits?
"The immediate benefits will be combining Augury's knowhow in IoT (internet of things) and AI (artificial intelligence) with Grundfos’ domain expertise and global footprint to create new digital service offerings. Grundfos’ customers will be able to retrofit their existing Grundfos assets, or other applicable assets, with Augury's Machine Health solution. The partnership will bring Grundfos closer to the end customer and enable them to offer better and more proactive services to their clients."
What does this partnership mean for pumps?
"Pumps are becoming smarter and digitally enabled. Smart and connected pumps, capable of letting users know when they are not in optimum condition, are necessary to achieving global sustainability goals and innovations such as smart buildings, smart factories and smart cities. In the longer term, smart pumps will evolve to play a crucial role as sensors of the larger system that they are in."
What are some hurdles that must be overcome in the short term?
"The market rapidly changing and yet it will take it years to mature. In the meantime, the onus is on Grundfos to educate users on the benefits of adding digital capabilities to their existing install base. We will be enabling Grundfos’ sales team to begin selling digital services while the water industry itself is changing. From our experience working with the Grundfos team, they are by far the best positioned OEM to success in this endeavor."
What does it mean for end users in five to 10 years?
"In 5 years, unexpected critical failures will become a thing of the past and our relationship with machines, and our expectations from them, will completely change. We will expect streamlined operations - where if bearing wear is detected on an asset, a new bearing will be automatically ordered and a technician will magically appear on time to install it. Ten years from now, we will focus more on the impact that the whole system is providing and not individual components. This will open the door for new business models such as outcome as a service and optimize the whole value chain round new ecosystems."