Undaunted by the recent hype about the internet of everything, SK Solutions has been quietly revolutionizing industries since the inception of its groundbreaking anti-collision system Navigator in the early 1990s. CEO and inventor Severin Kezeu fascinated audiences at SAPPHIRENOW with a real-time demonstration of his company’s newest solution. The SK Asteroid platform solution powered by SAP HANA uses sensors on machinery to capture and analyze big data, dramatically boosting safety and efficiency across some of the most complex industry landscapes.
When Kezeu invented the Navigator technology in 1991 after completing his Ph.D. in Industrial Computer Science, his vision was to save lives with anti-collision technology even before the modern internet emerged. “It’s unacceptable that people die daily in industrial accidents, and I wanted to create a solution to prevent it. To make it happen we needed a global networking infrastructure in the cloud, and an in-memory database for the large-scale processing of big data. Today I’m very happy because thanks to our co-innovation partners, SAP and Cisco, we can use connectivity and software to help save lives.”
Going beyond real-time to predictive analytics
Headquartered in Dubai, SK Solutions are installed in 11 countries worldwide at construction sites, airports, ports, shipyards, oil and gas facilities, mines, nuclear plants, aerospace hangars, and transportation hubs. A network of sensors located on machinery throughout each customer site monitors contextual details about every activity in real-time. These encompass the machinery’s position, movement, weight, and inertia along with wind speed and direction, temperature, and more. Potential collisions are detected before they occur. An auto pilot kicks in to make immediate adjustments eliminating operator errors. The information is delivered on dashboards and mobile devices, visualized with live 3-D images with customizable views. It’s also incredibly precise.
“If you were my customer, the system could tell you that you will have a collision on your construction site next Thursday around 4 p.m. based on the information collected from sensors on your machinery, the weather forecast, the supply chain data coming from logistics, the attitude of the crane driver, and the predictive maintenance of the equipment,” says Kezeu.
Originally focused on collision avoidance, SK Solutions is expanding to become a risk management platform, another reason why the company selected SAP technology. SK Solutions is able to help customers manage site safety and security. “Our customers wanted to know their KPIs like asset saturation, usage rates, and collisions avoided. With SAP HANA, they can get this information in real-time as opposed to waiting weeks for a report. It’s impossible to do this in a classic database,” says Kezeu.
Decision-makers using SK Solutions on a daily basis span the entire organization. Besides health and safety officers, people responsible for logistics, human resources, operations and maintenance are among the typical users. With demand growing for its products, especially in the construction, mining, port, and airport industries, SK Solutions is expanding to open a second headquarters in Palo Alto, California this year.
No doubt the internet of everything will take some well-deserved lumps as the hype continues during these early days of its emergence. But as more companies like SK Solutions demonstrate what’s possible in the networked economy, substance will replace hype, revealing the actual benefits in this new era of innovation.