Anova’s remote monitors operate in over 70 countries – in remote locations, on the road, on rail, at sea and even on rocket fuel tanks in the aerospace industry.
Despite rapid growth over the last year, Chet Reshamwala says there are plenty of potential customers for companies like Anova – rebranded from DataOnline earlier this year – in the remote monitoring and cloud-based scheduling space.
“We’ve heard that only 3-5% of tanks in the world have remote monitoring, just a tiny fraction of the tanks that could be monitored,” Reshamwala told gasworld.
“That number will grow over the next year, especially in the next five to ten years where it will be five to ten times that. You don’t need to put a remote monitor on every single tank but as customers see either cost reduction or revenue opportunities, they quickly realize that huge efficiency gains are being left on the table.”
The New Jersey-based company, which recently announced its acquisition of Portugal-based Intelligent Sensing Anywhere (ISA), now manages roughly 375,000 devices around the world and incorporates the DataOnline, Wikon, WESROC, iTank and ISA brands.
“We have seen turning points each year,” Reshamwala said.
“Last year, we saw significant double-digit growth in our business as a result of increased remote monitoring solutions being deployed by our customers. This year has not slowed down.”
Anova specializes in sensors, remote data collection, global wireless communications and web- and mobile-based applications. It delivers data insights to reduce costs, prevent stockouts, and improve its customers’ service, with industrial gas and propane as its largest market segments.
Reshamwala says more companies are realizing the need to utilize remote monitoring and cloud-based technology in their business, without the need for a sales presentation.
“We don’t convince them, we don’t need to,” he said.
“With such high adoption, companies can’t expect to stay ahead of competition by simply dipping their toe in the water. I was speaking with an analyst at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) recently and he mentioned that 73% of companies are making IoT (Internet of Things) investments today and 47% said it will be the most important technology for cutting costs. When companies reach out to us for remote monitoring solutions, they’re looking for impact in their business either through supply chain cost reduction, mobile asset tracking, health and safety, stockout prevention, transparency of data, or sustainability initiatives.”
“Remote monitoring solutions are helping them provide a better value proposition to their end customers, while increasing revenue and market share. Whereas remote monitoring was historically much more focused on supply chain optimization, we are seeing that shift to improved revenue models.”
“The industrial gas industry has done an impressive job at implementing remote monitoring in a variety of applications. It’s not only tank monitoring but other digitization initiatives where our customers need to monitor remote equipment. These may be in a plant or near the tanks, like compressors or pumps, and greater monitoring will lead directly to predictive maintenance.”
“Without remote monitoring, a tech shows up flying completely blind. He doesn’t know how much is in the tank, how it’s changed, or over what time period, or if it fits the normal usage pattern, along with many other unknowns like temperature and pressure. With Anova, operations teams have that information at their fingertips. The tech can pull up a usage graph on her phone before she even gets out of the truck.”
One of the reasons more companies are adopting remote monitoring devices is due to a swift return on investment, which is “often less than one year, with anything between 15-20% savings on particular logistics routes,” according to Reshamwala. One sweet spot for Anova is carbon dioxide (CO2) and like others, it is seeing an uptick in business related to an increasing number of applications that use CO2 and the focus CO2 is getting in reducing the carbon footprint.
Reshamwala added, “CO2 is definitely growing fast and we remotely monitor bulk and microbulk tanks in this market. Cannabis and the food and beverage industries are buying increasing quantities of food grade industrial gas, which can include nitrogen, oxygen, and CO2.”
But the road ahead of remote monitors is not without its challenges.
“If I had a crystal ball and could ask for anything, I would love to have a ubiquitous telecommunications network all over the world,” Reshamwala said.
“Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist and as we see the telecommunications landscape changing, it is going to impact remote monitoring. We will see innovations on the sensor front and see changes across the telecommunications landscape, so we’re investing in different solutions that remote monitoring companies will need to support customers.”