Ensuring Flawless & Secure Communication of Industrial Equipment

The Westermo and Tele2 IoT case

Westermo is one of the leading players in the field of industrial communication. In this tough environment, the company partnered with Tele2 IoT to ensure flawless and secure communication of industrial equipment.

Founded in 1975, Westermo is today one of the leading companies in the sector of industrial-grade data communications. As the industry continues to grow, there is more and more demand for mission-critical systems, especially from transportation, energy, mining, and petrochemical companies, all of whom are working in physically demanding environments. Westermo has more than 200 employees, with sales and support offices around Europe and in the USA, Singapore, China, and Australia. All R&D activities are based in Sweden, and the company spends 14% of their annual budget on research activities. On this journey of becoming the leader in industrial grade communications, Westermo was looking for a connectivity partner as well as an IT partner, ensuring secure communication between nodes via an easy software platform. Luckily, they found both of those qualities in Tele2 IoT.

Tele2 IoT – an essential IoT starting partner

“IoT is still immature in the sector of industrial data communications,” says Jan Hellgren, Managing Director at Westermo Sweden. “We had just started moving into the everything connected paradigm, we can already see a lot of benefits for our customers.”

Hellgren said this when Westermo was starting to look for an IoT partner who could be flexible enough to adapt the services depending on customer’s requests. Westermofound all of those qualities in Tele2 IoT.

Today, the partnership between the two companies has several different aspects. First, Tele2 IoT provides connectivity solutions for Westermo’s wireless industrial routers and gateways. Second, in order to secure industrial-grade communications between the nodes, Westermo has also white-labeled Tele2 IoT 2SECURE solution, which is now called WeConnect.

“WeConnect is an important part of our value proposition,” says Jan Hellgren. “In the age of digital technologies, with a number of hidden security risks, our secure industrial communications solutions ensure peace of mind of the end-customers.

“What we have seen as a key point in the joint development is that together we develop the services that allow our customers to start small and scale fast. Tele2 IoT is without any doubts an essential partner for us on this journey.”

Industrial solutions – from metallurgy to water utilities

Westermo’s use-cases cover a wide variety of industrial spheres. Jan Hellgren believes that most companies are adopting IoT solutions to either improve their service or get more data about their devices.

“Today typical manufacturers are creating more and more revenue from providing various services and support for their machinery. To be able to access the data from their machines and manage them efficiently, they start using Westermo gateways, powered with Tele2 IoT connectivity. On the other hand, there are a lot of service providers, especially in the utility sector, who want to be better informed about their assets. This is the reason why our solutions are extremely popular with companies focusing on water, power, and district heating applications.”

One of Westermo’s more interesting customers comes from metallurgy industry. The company manufactures highly specialized industrial ovens for hardening steel, and asked Westermo for a connected solution to remotely access their ovens in case of service issues. Westermo came up with a solution, installing extremely durable and robust mobile routers to the devices, that were temperature and vibration proof. Using the routers together with Tele2 IoT connectivity and WeConnect, the platform based on Tele2 IoT 2SECURE, the manufacturer is now able to remotely access the oven installations regardless of their location. What is more, other Westermo network products can be connected to this mobile router, as advanced metallurgy processing requires rigid control using a multitude of automation equipment that all need to be interconnected.

Another good example comes from the water utility industry. Together with Westermo and Tele2 IoT, a local Swedish water utility company has developed a solution that allows them to monitor a number of parameters from the pumping station when processing sewage water. The data coming from the pumps gives an overview of valuable metrics such as temperature, pressure, flow, and vibration, giving the water utility company holistic information about the status of their infrastructure. As in the previous case, secure access to this information is provided by WeConnect.

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In the future, we will see the enormous potential IoT brings. My advice for customers beginning their IoT journey: start small and scale from there. Build an island in your organization, where a decision to start is taken, and then gradually expand your company and your operations.

Jan Hellgren Managing Director Westermo Sweden
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