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IoT Enabled Smart Filters

With a solid track record spanning many years, Mann+Hummel is a much admired name in the field of liquid and air filtration. While the quality of their devices was top-notch, they planned on elevating customer experience to the next level with smart capabilities.

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IoT Enabled Smart Filters

With a solid track record spanning many years, Mann+Hummel is a much admired name in the field of liquid and air filtration. While the quality of their devices was top-notch, they planned on elevating customer experience to the next level with smart capabilities.

CONTEXT

Mann+Hummel is a global leader in the field of filtration devices. With decades of experience and offices in over 80 locations worldwide, the company is synonymous with enhancing the purity of air and water. They had a portfolio of solid legacy products which enjoyed the support of millions of patrons. However, as the era of digital transformation dawned on enterprises around the globe, Mann+Hummel discovered an opportunity to engage their customers with the technology of tomorrow.

They approached [x]cube to discuss a connected products strategy that would augment their devices with new abilities, making them easier to monitor and simpler for customers to maintain and take necessary actions.

With over 700 digital solutions in their portfolio and a proven track record of helping enterprises achieve digital transformation, [x]cube sprang to the task and quickly detailed a list of features that would enable Mann+Hummel’s filters to provide extensive diagnostics data. Additionally, the interface and technology to track and act upon the data was also arrived at.

THE SOLUTION WE DELIVERED

We worked closely with the Mann+Hummel team to understand their products, variety, the technology powering them and specific complaints and suggestions the customers had. The company was facing major overheads having to track each device they were selling, their warranty information, service intervals and history. The goal was to find a way to enable the devices to generate key reports which would reduce significant effort and expenses.

 

 

Once the requirements were sorted, we sat down with the team to put a strategy together which would be comprehensive, quick to implement and designed with the highest standards of testing and security in mind. The features were green-lit and the development team took over. Getting the device schematics from the team, we got started on installing the required sensors and writing various conditions which would make the machines think, analyse and report.

From the technical architecture to the eventual logic and tie-ins with Mann+Hummel’s back-end, every milestone was planned in close consultation with their team who provided great support and feedback throughout.

WHAT MADE THE PROJECT SPECIAL

From the outset, we knew we were doing something pretty unique. The regular air and water filters that customers were used to, would be elevated to a level where they’d now be intelligent machines helping the manufacturer as well as the customer solve a lot of problems. Additionally, the mobile app would let people know the quality of air around them and help commercial establishments determine specific areas where air filtration is urgently required. It was a step towards a cleaner environment and helping consumers enjoy a hassle-free ownership experience. It was a testament to what a digital world is capable of and how smart powers can be harnessed to improve experiences.

At the same time, we were also working on the dashboard which enabled Mann+Hummel get a variety of reports on the devices and helped them understand the ways customers are engaging with their products. It involved translating all the new capabilities we were adding to the machines to detailed facts and figures which would open up new dimensions to the workings of the systems which, previously, could only be understood by laborious manual checkup. Overall, it was pretty satisfying to see the vision of the company come alive and our role in helping it materialize, acting as the pivot.

 

 

CHALLENGES

Initially, the challenge involved deciding on the exact features and reports that would make the most sense and enable the organisation to provide the maximum value to their consumers. Also we had to figure out the common problems consumers were facing and tailor the offerings to something they would really like to have. Following this study, we had to figure out the architecture, the sensor positioning, the activities to be tracked and the inferences drawn from them.


SOLUTIONS

In collaboration with the Mann+Hummel team, we converted their vision to the top features required. Also, we engaged significantly with the consumers to understand their desires and what would make the product more useful and helpful to them. All these findings enabled us to narrow the list to few definitive points which we knew people would love. Following that, designing the architecture was simpler and so was deciding the reports we’d want the devices to generate.

  • The UI was designed keeping smartphones and tablets in mind
  • Various numbers such as AQIs and others were represented clearly, so anyone could tell what they were looking at
  • The dashboard featured an intuitive design, easy options for segmentation and clearly detailed reports

RESULT

The products, once launched, were extremely well received. Commercial establishments reported enhanced ease of use as they could easily pinpoint trouble areas and fix them immediately. For customers, diagnosing their devices and determining when services were due was extremely simple and for Mann+Hummel, the entire overhead of sending technicians to check on the health of each of their devices simply disappeared. All this resulted in a significant reduction in costs and a major increase in sales. Armed with this success, the company is now planning the next set of features which would enhance their offerings even more.

 



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