Canadian company AOMS Technologies provides industrial IoT solutions over the Rogers LTE and LTE-M networks.
Real-time performance monitoring, remote inspection and data analysis can provide valuable new insights that dramatically improve everything from scheduling accuracy and safety to cost efficiency. But industries such as construction and manufacturing often operate in harsh environments. Factors such as chemical corrosion, electromagnetic interference, extreme temperatures and mechanical shocks can disrupt the performance of data collection devices (i.e., sensors) or render the data unreliable.
Ontario-based startup Advanced Opto-Mechanical Systems and Technologies Inc. (AOMS) has a solution. As Dr. Hamid Alemohammad, CEO and co-founder of AOMS says, “These types of environments require a different level of product reliability. Our goal is to help industries dealing with harsh environments increase efficiency, productivity, safety and environmental sustainability while reducing operating costs. We do this by developing and offering the most reliable industrial IoT platform.”
A sensing platform like no other
AOMS has developed different IoT solutions based on fibre optic sensors and wireless sensor technologies. A key advantage to their technology is reliability in harsh environments. As an example, AOMS fibre optic sensing solutions are inherently unaffected by external electromagentic interference. So, they remain effective regardless of environmental factors. Designed to withstand the most extreme conditions, the AOMS sensors and connectivity devices can even be recovered and reused for future projects.
Of course, even the most reliable sensors are only as useful as the information they provide. That’s why AOMS’ IoT platform is a hybrid of sensor technology and cloud-based software. This helps provide data-driven insights to improve performance.
“IoT has become a buzzword, but the value of IoT is the insights you get from data,” explains Hamid. “As one example, our construction technology solution, which generates insight from construction site sensors, makes the construction process more efficient and can advance project schedules by 20%--leading to millions of dollars in savings.”
Reliable technology needs a reliable team
With game-changing technology that hinges on a fast, secure connection, AOMS needs a network connectivity provider as innovative and reliable as their sensors and other IoT devices. After reviewing several providers and solution options, it was clear to AOMS that one partner stood out from the crowd.
“Rogers provides the connectivity between our sensors and devices and the cloud. And this connectivity has to be reliable, with fast speed and the sufficient coverage for mass deployments across the continent,” says Hamid. “Rogers enables our devices to connect and communicate in a very secure way, even in areas where it’s difficult to deploy a localized wireless network.”
The decision to choose Rogers went beyond technology alone. It was a multi-faceted decision-making process. Service capability was important, but so was teaming up with a company that could share their vision.“With a lot of companies, it was just ‘How much data? How many SIM cards?’ It was really exciting for me that Rogers understood our value proposition, realized the potential and saw the bigger picture for IoT deployment at a massive scale.”
Rogers moved quickly to set AOMS up for success, Hamid says. “I’ve found that Rogers is very agile in working with SMEs. They gave us an easy-to-use platform for a demo kit. The whole process was really seamless, pretty fast and very impressive.”
Coverage and technology count
Another key factor in AMOS’ decision was knowing Rogers can deliver the network and coverage they need, both in Canada and the U.S. As Hamid puts it, “Coverage was also very important to us; both LTE-M and roaming in the U.S.A. That was a turning point for us.”
LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) is a low-power, wide-area network specifically designed for IoT solutions. Because LTE-M devices draw very little power, sensor batteries can last up to ten years, making it ideal for AOMS’ needs. “A significant portion of our devices are battery powered, so we’re very focused on LTE-M deployment, though we’re still going to use LTE for large data throughputs,” says Hamid.
“The next evolution in connectivity is low power networks such as LTE-M. They enable devices to send data—independent of any gateway—directly to the cloud or a remote server. That's going to revolutionize IoT.”
For a rapidly growing company like AOMS, the need for coverage doesn’t stop at the border. “When we deal with enterprises, we can require seamless coverage across the border between Canada or the U.S., so it was very important to us that Rogers has comprehensive roaming partnerships and the ability to work seamlessly across the border,” explains Hamid.
Empowered to succeed today and tomorrow
Because of the success of their solutions, AOMS has grown dramatically over the past few years. As they continue to add new customers, they are looking ahead to new technology and new markets.
“5G is transformational for us,” says Hamid. “Most of our fibre optic sensor business needs a very high speed and low latency for data transmission, so the Rogers 5G rollout was important to us. This fall, we’ll be benchmarking and testing our systems through the ENCQOR 5G program in Ontario.” Rogers using Ericsson as their key network technology partner was also an important plus.
“We are expanding globally in Europe, Australia and other regions.”
Hamid is proud of the success AOMS has achieved, and eager to build on it by entering new industries and evolving to meet their needs. “We're expanding our IoT offering into construction sites where we realize our customers require solutions to increase productivity and safety. We see how AOMS technology can be extended to solve those customer needs.”