The More We Connect, the More We Advance: Powerhouse Dynamics Keeps IoT Real

By Special Guest
Cynthia Artin, Special Correspondent
July 25, 2016

Earlier this month at the IoT Evolution Expo, Martin Flusberg, CEO, Powerhouse Dynamics, had five minutes to share one of the most interesting and successful implementations of IoT we’ve come across. Flusberg was accepting the Business Impact award for the system they created by Powerhouse Dynamics; a platform connecting a range of commercial equipment via a unified platform that enables predictive equipment maintenance, and results in substantial reductions in energy and water usage. The solution, rolled out at over 1,000 Arby’s restaurants, also raises the bar on food safety management.

Flusberg is no stranger to the development of technologies that are today helping organizations conserve natural resources. Before captaining Powerhouse Dynamics, he built and sold Aclara Software, a pioneer in bringing smart grid software solutions to the utility industry. Aclara addresses smart grid, energy efficiency and demand-response and pioneered the area of customer engagement. Before that, Flusberg ran the commercial information systems division at defense contractor TASC, also developing innovative software for the utility industry.

“It’s motivating to come to work each day when the work we are doing is directly benefiting customers’ bottom lines while also making a real difference for the planet and for people,” Flusberg said in a recent interview. “Our value has always been focused on helping companies like Arby’s save money by operating more efficiently and driving a more profitable business, but our vision has also been to reduce, in the aggregate, consumption of limited natural resources. The expansion of our product line to address food safety and food waste further adds to the value we help create.”

Courtesy of Powerhouse Dynamics
Courtesy of Powerhouse Dynamics

After creating smart metering technologies, the Internet of Things was naturally attractive to Flusberg.

“As the cost of sensors continues to fall, while the quality of those sensors including battery life continues to rise, we can add intelligence to almost everything,” Flusberg explained. “Now, with the advances in cloud capabilities, more pervasive and affordable networks, and the wireless interconnection of those networks – our opportunities are limited only by our imagination. It’s been a great journey working with our clients to find new ways to connect everything from refrigerators, fryers, and HVAC equipment to doors, staff operations reporting and more, and to bring them a unified and granular view of how every location is operating.”

Powerhouse Dynamics is proving that the IoT has gone beyond the “proof of concept” stage into real-life, really big deployments. Arby’s has reported more than 15% energy reduction in these facilities since 2011 while also achieving significant water savings. And Arby’s is just one of numerous restaurant, convenience store, and retail chains using SiteSage across North and Central America.

“Our team, along with our customers and partners, has worked hard to develop and expand our platform and services and with seven years of commitment, we are now seeing significant growth in both functionality and customer base, and looking to broaden what we do, where we do it, and who we do it for,” Flusberg said. “Not only have we mastered the physical side of the implementations, but our cloud-based granular monitoring and patented analytics make it possible to continually improve results. We’re continuing to invest in software development, including adding increasing cognitive processing through algorithms that can, for example, help predict when maintenance may be needed to reduce downtime of equipment.”

The company, along with some of its ecosystem partners, was also recently selected by Environmental Leader as a winner of the fourth annual Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards, a program that recognizes excellence in the fields of environmental, sustainability and energy management. Arby’s, Ecova, Powerhouse Dynamics and Weathermatic together were able to save over 7M gallons of water.

“Addressing energy and the environment has always been a team sport,” Flusberg said. “That’s part of what makes it so fun and satisfying. Consider the energy grid and everything it touches. We’re now moving into an even more interesting world with an IoT grid where many different kinds of sensors, hardware, networks, clouds and platforms are being integrated to solve big challenges, at scale. And when we do that? The value for everybody truly adds up.”

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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