Correct machine operation, regular maintenance and good customer service are an essential part of a reliable brand – but not possible without an intelligent IoT service.
- TP Silva, the world's leading manufacturer of firewood processors, has harnessed IoT technology to transform a traditional industry.
- The company deployed IoT-TICKET® for the global management of splitters, enabling real-time data collection and customer service optimization.
- The collected data can improve product quality, manufacturing efficiency, and create new services for the products, such as extended warranties, remote diagnostics, and product usage optimization.
We all have an idea of how a firewood processor works. But IoT is not the first thing that comes to mind.
TP Silva is the world’s leading manufacturer of firewood processors and log splitters. Achieving a leadership position has required doing things differently, constantly improving operations. For TP Silva, the manufacturer of Hakki Pilke, Japa and Palax firewood processors, this has meant harnessing modern technology to serve a traditional industry.
We realised that our business was making firewood processors, not coding.
Timo Jussila, Director of Development
”Factory connection” is becoming a common requirement for products, for example when applying for support from the EU. The Japa firewood processors that were brought to TP Silva as a result of a merger had a previously developed remote control system, but it only worked between the machine and the factory. “When three firewood processor manufacturers representing the Hakki Pilke, Japa and Palax brands merged into one company, TP Silva, the number of machines connected to the remote control system increased in a short period of time. At the same time, our customer service was overloaded with contacts from importers. Our importers receive service requests for the machines, but because remote control only worked between the machine and the factory, the importers always had to contact us to see the machine’s details in case of a problem. Further development of the system turned out to be a difficult task, and we realised that our business was making firewood processors, not coding,” recalls Timo Jussila, Director of Development.
“The Japa firewood processors that were brought to TP Silva as a result of a merger had been equipped with a remote-controlled logic unit since 2016. We had already had good experience of using remote access in the past. The transition from a self-made system to IoT-TICKET® seemed like a natural step as the number of machines increased and the company was merged,” adds Lauri Kälviäinen, Export Manager for Japa.
New boost for product development
Having learned about IoT-TICKET® from the products of Movax, also part of the Terra Patris group, TP Silva set out to explore the potential of IoT-TICKET® for the global management of splitters and further business development.
It turned out that it is our own imagination that limits the possibilities, not IoT-TICKET®.
Timo Jussila, Director of Development
As importers have been able to see for themselves the real-time data of the machines in the field, product development has also accelerated. Fortunately, the strengths of IoT-TICKET® lie in its scalability to large data volumes and the ease of further development: no coding skills are required.
“Ideas have now started to come from the field, like could such and such information also be included in the system. But that’s how the whole thing evolves, based on customer needs, towards a better customer experience. IoT-TICKET® is a flexible environment for such cooperation. Developing our IoT services is as easy as making a PowerPoint presentation,” Timo Jussila of TP Silva describes.
For the Japa splitters, IoT-TICKET® was deployed in spring 2023, and the first regular production machines are now being delivered.
“In the test phase, Japa machines had been delivered to customers in autumn 2022. Product development for IoT will continue at a fast pace when we get the first machines into the field. Based on customer feedback, we will be able to tailor our services and the functions of the machines to better meet our customers’ needs,” Lauri Kälviäinen of Japa explains.
How will IoT change the firewood processor? What new value will it create?
“When the data collected can be put to more diverse use, a whole new business can be created. By building on the data collected about the product and its use, we will be able to improve product quality, increase the manufacturing efficiency, and create new services around the products. New services for this type of moving machines could include extended warranties, various types of maintenance services based on product usage data and remote diagnostics, as well as product usage optimisation and automated performance reporting. At best, a completely new kind of business is created, where the product is just one part of the package, or the product is sold as a service,” says Kimmo Karimäki, Director of Revenue & Growth of Wapice Oy’s IoT-TICKET® service.
Jussila is also pleased with practical cooperation: “The IoT-TICKET® team has managed the process very well. Juho Jokinen has done a great job in steering the cooperation forward, kudos to him. Meetings have not always been necessary, as things move ahead steadily. Everything has also been carefully documented, which has been particularly important as people have changed within the company,” Timo Jussila reflects.
“Cooperation with Timo has been smooth. At the beginning, we discussed a lot about what kind of data could be extracted from the splitters, and then we brainstormed what could be done with the data, how it could benefit TP Silva’s customer groups, such as importers and end users, and how the data would be technically processed. By sparring together, we have built new types of services around IoT-TICKET®, and new versions are already under development. The IoT-TICKET® service is used in many industries and our consultants have experience in many different sectors. We can use the accumulated solutions and best practices in our design work. The most interesting innovations are often created at the interface of different fields,” IoT-TICKET® consultant Juho Jokinen adds.