– We needed to take a technology leap. We needed to add something to our existing premium batteries to make them smarter and more interactive. Our director of product development contacted WSI since he knew the company from before. Now, approximately half a year later, we are launching our first intelligent battery, says Per Werin, CMO at NorthStar, eagerly.
The company NorthStar describes the journey of developing the new battery not only as a technology project but also as a development of their business model.
– We have previously been a product company. We have been successful in our field when it comes to high-performance battery solutions. There are many out there selling batteries, but few know how long they live and what performance they have during the whole lifetime. We needed to take the next step into the future and add value to our batteries and thus continue on to become a product- AND service company, says Per.
How has the project been working from your perspective?
– The driving force of all involved has been clear. I feel that everyone has been driven and dedicated to contribute with their expertise to finish this project. Obviously, sometimes we have had to take a break and think. WSI has made us feel important. To be able to do an IoT-project with our battery as a starting point, together with WSI and the other companies involved, has felt tremendously rewarding.
Per Werin speaks enthusiastically about the new solution, but he is also clear about that a battery is something that is expected to work no matter the indented usage. Although the smart solution adds some cost to the batteries, he is convinced that it’s paid back several times to the end customer in form of control and management. In the end, this results in lower maintenance costs and a longer life of the battery, which in addition is beneficial for the environment.
– Furthermore, our customers can constantly monitor the state of health of the battery. We have also extended the service in the field for the installers. The mobile app developed for the battery can check the status and at the same time have all installation instructions available for the installer. When the battery is installed and ready, all data is sent via the installer’s phone back to the cloud. The end customer can thereafter follow the battery directly in its’ portal.
Where will the batteries first be used?
– The telecom industry will be the first in using them in their base stations. Then we will release them for other industrial applications. And since we are active in the transportation industry, I can also see us using intelligent batteries there, Per says.
Now that the battery is finished and ready for being delivered to customers, what are your and NorthStar’s feelings?
– I feel excited and pleased that we turned to WSI in the beginning of the year. They have made us think in new ways about our products and what they can do. We are no longer only a battery company, NorthStar is now a company with intelligent batteries that deliver an additional value to our customers.
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