Reducing emissions by means of oil condition monitoring
The heavy industry and the logistics sector use new lubrication oil more than 40 million tons a year. This corresponds to 1.5 million tanker truckloads of oil, and a large share of this ends up as waste oil.
Traditionally, industrial oil changes have been major projects, implemented on a regular basis in accordance with an annual plan. Throughout the whole process, the machines stand idle, which means substantial costs. Very often the quality of the removed oil, ending up as waste oil, almost corresponds to new oil.
– The life cycle of lubrication oil can be multiplied from the present level, once you produce reliable data that directs oil performance maintenance and oil change activities. Oil performance can be maintained in the same manner as people maintain the condition of their houses, says Mika Perttula, CEO of Fluid Intelligence.
Perttula is working inFluid Intelligence, established in 2016, which aims to halve the amount of waste oil generated by the heavy industry and logistics, thus helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
– We have developed a service that consists of the real-time monitoring, analysis and maintenance of oil performance. The service allows customers to give up scheduled oil change tasks and to plan the servicing of machinery in a more flexible manner than before,” Perttula says.
Digitization of oil condition monitoring took place in a CleanWeb key project
At the beginning of 2018, Fluid Intelligence took part in Business Finland’s CleanWeb program. During the project, the focus was strongly on research: the project studied digital alternatives for extending oil change intervals, sampling and analysis, and tested methods for producing real-time data on oil condition.
– Based on the project, the Fluid Eye system was created, enabling the monitoring of the oil impurities quantity and composition in real time. The system automatically analyzes deviations in oil composition, such as impurities, and proposes measures based on the data, Perttula explains.
The support provided by Business Finland helped in carrying out extensive research projects: the participants in the project included Finnish universities and top specialists within the field from various technology companies.
– Without this support, we would have needed to phase some of the external work over a longer period, which would have meant a risk of delayed market entry, Perttula says.
Fluid Intelligence aims to global markets – major environmental impact achievable in Asia
Fluid Intelligence has major market potential, since lubrication oil is used extensively in the heavy industry, logistics and practically in all industrial sectors with rotating machinery that need lubrication.
At the moment, lubrication oil and relevant services cost more than EUR 200 billion to industry and logistics. On a global scale, the costs related to the use of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid amount to more than EUR 500 billion annually, when also taking account of machine failures and production downtime.
The Business Finland project aimed at internationalization of the company: a part of the project was to build a partner network and to make preparations for an international funding round.
The first client projects have already been implemented in Central Europe. The intention is that the main market area for Fluid Intelligence would be established in the Nordic Countries and Central Europe.
“The United States is also an interesting market, where we have local partners. Asia and China also have major industrial clusters, which interest us from the perspective of impact. The system offers an opportunity to change maintenance practices, and that has extremely important environmental impact,” Perttula points out.
The sector renewing service that is developed in collaboration with clients
The Fluid Intelligence team has wide-ranging expertise: the persons involved in the company are specialists in the sector, business management and the ICT world. According to Olli Penttinen, Senior Advisor, Business Finland, the company’s strength lies specifically in this high-level combination of competence.
– Furthermore, Fluid Intelligence is willing to build networks and to also seek the best know-how outside the company from, for example, research institutes. The service provided by Fluid Intelligence actually renews the sector, Penttinen says.
According to him, things making it easier for Fluid Intelligence to conquer the world include the company’s scalable business model and products based on cutting-edge competence. The company has also invested in its business planning. These factors enable the company to grow even quite rapidly, while maintaining its competitive advantage.
– During the product development process, Fluid Intelligence has had patience to hear their clients’ views in various phases, and the company has worked in close collaboration with both Finnish and foreign clients. It is important to pay continuous attention to confirming the clients’ actual needs, even if the company did have a good preconception of the customer needs, Penttinen says.