MOVUS: Aussie smart technology driving efficiency in UK manufacturing

17 December 2021

Around 2.4 billion industrial machines and electric motors consume almost half the world’s energy (43–46%). It’s a statistic that MOVUS CEO and founder Brad Parsons and his team are focused on dramatically improving.

The idea is to make machines run fitter and in turn use significantly less energy. This will deliver both productivity and planetary benefits.

Globally, the ability to improve the efficiency and life of industrial assets, and transform dumb machines into smart ones, guarantees a hearing.

Parsons recently shared the MOVUS story with 200 UK manufacturers, introducing its smart FitMachine sensors.

These ‘world-first’ sensors are cased in plastic and physically mounted by magnet, avoiding cyber-attack threats. This means it passes the security tests of multinationals with flying colours (100+ multinationals to date).

These small sensing devices track ambient temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, sound and speed. An AI and machine learning layer uses this data to build the machine’s unique profile.

Businesses can monitor their equipment’s health 24/7 on a dashboard or on their phone. Maintenance teams can focus efforts on equipment that requires attention rather than wasting time on redundant inspections of healthy machines. They can take pre-emptive action if any changes to a machine’s operating profile is detected.

The Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement underpins the expansion of MOVUS into the UK

Parsons explains the regulatory hurdles for a tech smart scaleup like MOVUS can be complicated. It has to consider trademarks, patents, hardware certifications, Wi-Fi clearances, and other regulatory ratifications.

As the Australian and UK bilateral trade in goods accelerates, Australian ICT is one of the fastest-growing sectors. At the same time, Australia is also the UK’s largest supplier for its off-trade wine sales.

This is a nice combination for MOVUS.

It has partnered with one of the world’s leading premium wine companies, Accolade Wines, to trial FitMachine at its Berri Estates facility. Berri Estates is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest grape processing facility. It is the first example of the wine industry using an AI-driven equipment maintenance solution in this way.

Accolade Wines is one of Australia’s largest suppliers of wine to the UK. Its award-winning bottling plant in Bristol is the largest production, warehouse, distribution and innovation centre for wine in Europe. FitMachine sensors will soon be installed at this facility too.

‘The installation of the FitMachine at Berri Estates is a new chapter in machine learning for the wine industry and extends our commitment to manufacturing excellence in Australia and around the world,’ says Derek Nicol, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Accolade Wines.

‘Accolade Wines’ investment in artificial intelligence is a clear indication of the company’s commitment to introduce new technologies to our production processes to help deliver some of the most efficient production of wine anywhere in the world,’ he adds.

‘As an export-focused company, this latest development helps bring more Australian wine to consumers in Australia, the UK and around the world.’

FitMachine Hero-400 

Austrade and the Australian Government offer vital help

Parsons says having Austrade’s help on the ground in the UK has been enormously valuable. Not being able to jump on a plane has meant relying on Austrade’s support in the company’s 14 export markets.

‘Austrade has been more than helpful,’ he says. ‘They know the markets well. Its teams are willing to jump on the phone any time - in Australian time zones. That’s gold.’

Brad describes Austrade as an invaluable conduit between industry players across the world.

Parsons also acknowledges the help of Austrade and Trade and Investment Queensland. The two agencies helped unblock Chile’s marketplace, and worked out MOVUS’ teaming agreement in Singapore.   

‘By transforming machines across their lifecycle, we can dramatically improve industries for the benefit of the planet,’ says Parsons.

Pandemic forces pivot to digitisation

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the speed with which big and small businesses pivoted to digitisation.

In the process, it changed the way people are managing their businesses.

In Parsons’ view, ‘people are rethinking Industry 4.0. Like us, they are trying to avoid putting people in harm’s way. Smart technology like MOVUS can help people manage their businesses remotely, more smartly and overcome supply chain issues.’

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