Vi4Crane automates the intelligent management processes of material storage pits
Article written by Spri
Vi4crane, founded in 2015, provides solutions for bulk material movement processes using overhead cranes. To do so, the startup from Gipuzkoa controls and manages all the variables and actors involved in the operation of a material storage pit, specialising in advanced technologies and knowledge of the process. "We bring technology and ´smart´ layers to processes related to materials management, mainly waste," explains Ander Treviño, Vi4crane´s Technology Director.
The Azpeitia-based company specialises in the automation and knowledge of processes related to the management of materials in pits. To do so, it relies on artificial vision "because of the advantages it gives us when it comes to capturing the relief of the material stored in the pit as well as in the characterisation of the material", says Ander Treviño. In addition, it is also based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) layers to generate predictive models and optimise different process variables.
Environmental sustainability and the circular economy
Among the Basque startup´s priorities are environmental sustainability and the circular economy. In this sense, its main market of action is the recycling and energy cogeneration sector. In addition, it is committed to "providing intelligence to systems in use and plant resources without replacing them if they are still operational", stresses the Technology Director. In this way, it prioritises remanufacturing, complementing it with wireless technology for a faster and more economical deployment in the plant.
The first step in his activity is to get to know the pit´s operations in detail to analyse which modules or functionalities of his product are needed. From there, the software and modes of operation are pre-configured and finally the hardware is deployed on site for calibration and validation testing. "We are capable of monitoring parts of the process, acting on them by semi-automating or automating their operation or even optimising their efficiency by analysing data, generating predictive models, creating digital twins, etc.," says Ander Treviño.
The firm is currently focused on the national market, although it is already offering some automations in the European market. "In the medium term, we believe that Europe will be our natural sphere of action due to the number of energy cogeneration plants available and the rapid return on investment offered by our product", predicts the Technology Director. He is already working for large firms in the field of waste management, such as Urbaser and FCC.
The technology company from Gipuzkoa, which currently has a staff of four people, hopes to expand its structure "to 8-10 within 2-3 years", says Ander Treviño.
In order to promote innovation among Basque companies, from SMEs to large companies, the SPRI Group has various programmes and grants such as Hazinnova, BDHI Konexio and Innobideak, which can be consulted here.
Source text: Spri