Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

NB4WASTE Report Summary

Project ID: 782670

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NB4WASTE (Narrowband IoT for Waste Collection in Rural Areas)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The NB4WASTE Project, developed by SYLTEC, will put on the market an integral IoT solution for municipal waste collection management in rural areas using the new NB-IoT communication standard, for the first time in this type of market, including a specific developed low cost unit ultrasonic sensor technology with low energy consumption and 10 years battery life. Thanks to NB4WASTE solution municipalities will increase yield and profit per service (30%) and will save on fuel costs (25%). Additionally waste bin companies business will increase by 40% offering the NB4WASTE solution. Exploitation of Big Data obtained by means of the NB4WASTE in order to decrease operating costs will be one of the main objectives. Thus, by route optimization and predictive operations thanks to Big Data exploiting will result in 25-50% costs and 25% CO2 savings. The main alternatives to NB-IoT as competitive solutions available on the market of Low Power Wide Area technologies are LoRa and SigFox but both of them are worse considering market flexibility implementation and coverage. Only NB-IoT ensures business scalability expansion and reliable service. If we add market flexibility (open standards) and coverage (spectrum efficiency) to the main properties scored by experts (low power, bandwidth, supplier breadth, security and deployments) it is the most competitive alternative. NB4WASTE will contribute to Circular Economy by increasing recycling targets due to more optimized selective collection implementation for smart waste management in rural areas. It will also promote competitive rural business and help European Members for digital inclusion ensuring that everybody can contribute to and benefit from the digital economy and society.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the Technical Feasibility Study, SYLTEC has attained to implement, in collaboration with ITCL, a new design of the surrounding capsule for ergonomic adaptation to the bin surface and a PCB specifically designed for NB4WASTE called Ultrasonic EVB v3.0. This pilot product will be used as the prototype for manufacturing 303 units that will be installed in the containers for the validation tests. We have also designed a detailed plan for the validation tests (phases and containers mapping areas with location details) that will be carried out in Palencia City Council (25 units) and community of municipalities of the Alto Henares (278 units) in Spain. SYLTEC has also defined a technical plan with a detailed description of 10 functional requirements and 7 non-functional requirements that NB4WASTE will have as well as a client-server structure for the software architecture. For the design pattern of the application, we have opted for the for the Model-View-Controller (MVC) Pattern, which is the most recommended for the most sophisticated software design. We have also defined the operational requirements for NB4WASTE hardware in terms of dimensions, weight, temperature, design, sensors, communication and battery. And finally, SYLTEC has carried out an analysis to identify 5 main technical risks and has defined their mitigation measures.
In the Financial Feasibility Study SYLTEC has carried out an analysis of competitors comparing existing solutions to evaluate the overall economic benefits and viability of NB4WASTE concluding that IOTSENS and URBIOTICA are the two main competitor companies in terms of similar business model, market approach and economic viability but our solution is the most competitive one with a selling price between three and four times lower depending on the number of units sold. This will be attained thanks to a cost optimization strategy (55,7 million euros for the first five years) and “marketing mix” definition of the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) that SYLTEC has defined in the Feasibility Study. We have carried out a 5 years´ forecast cash flow for investment estimation and quantification of financial necessities showing that SYLTEC will recover investment in the third year with an Operating Profit of 5.412.989€ and a calculated ROI of 3,05.
The benchmarking study that we have carried out in the Commercial Feasibility Study has shown that SYLTEC is in a situation of strength and will continue the strategy of diversification between Engineering & IT Consultancy including NB4WASTE as a new technology solution inside the renamed “Technology Solutions and Consultancy” business line. Other important conclusion is that we must focus our efforts on the bin selling companies because public entities and waste management companies are main clients of our competitors already. We have also an in-depth market study concluding there are an estimated number of end – user companies for NB4WASTE project of 2.552 in the established target countries and a total amount of 1.019.705 potential bins for our solution in rural areas. Our commercialization strategy in rural areas of these countries with expected market penetration target of 45% for the fifth year will allow SYLTEC to sell a total amount of 823.986 NB4WASTE units. For the full implementation and launch to market of NB4WASTE we have identified 6 types of partnerships in the supply chain that we will formalise during Phase 2 of the project. Finally, the main conclusion of the regulatory analysis carried out is that we will do the attainment of the CE Marking during Phase 2 and SYLTEC has defined in the Feasibility Study the phases that we will follow for that purpose.
The Business Model defined in the Feasibility Study for NB4WASTE allows to conclude that the project is an opportunity to increase SYLTEC products portfolio and turnover as well as introduce NB-IoT technology into the waste management market. The total budget of the project is

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The NB4WASTE Project will develop the first implementation of NB-IoT standard communication protocol for a monitoring system of municipal waste collection in rural areas. There is a growing demand for LPWA technologies but, as the market grows, there are mobile IoT use cases, as NB4WASTE, for which existing cellular networks are not suitable due to three main reasons: 1) Coverage: existing cellular networks already offer very good area coverage in mature markets. However, many potential “connected objects” are located in vast remote areas, far away from the next cellular base station. If there is coverage, it is often weak which requires the device transmitter to operate at high power, draining the battery. In addition, cellular networks are not optimized for applications that occasionally transmit small amounts of data. 2) Battery life: a battery life of several years combined with an inexpensive device cannot be realized on existing cellular standards, as they do not support the required power saving mechanisms. 3) Device cost: mobile devices working on GSM, 3G and LTE (4G) are designed for a variety of services, including mobile voice, messaging and high-speed data transmission. However, NB-IoT applications do not utilize any of this; they just require low-speed but reliable data transfer, and an appropriate level of reliability. Therefore, using cellular devices for NB-IoT applications means using devices that are too expensive for the application. Many of the NB-IoT use cases require a low device price, not just in order to have a positive business case for the service operation, but also due to practical aspects such as ease of installation or risk of theft. In summary, there are strong market trends pointing at growing demand for NB-IoT applications.
The main alternatives to NB-IoT as competitive solutions available on the market of LPWA technologies are LoRa and SigFox but both of them are worse considering market flexibility implementation and coverage. As a result, only NB-IoT solution ensures business scalability expansion and reliable service. If we add market flexibility (open standards) and coverage (spectrum efficiency) to the main properties scored by experts (low power, bandwidth, supplier breadth, security and deployments) NB-IoT is the most competitive alternative.
NB4WASTE unit solution will include a low power specific ultrasonic sensor designed for waste environment and durability. It will be completely enclosed and protected against dust and water. The surrounding capsule has been specifically designed for best fitting to different material surfaces bins, mainly plastic or metal.
NB4WASTE will translate all the user needs covered in social and economic benefits: 1) for urban services companies increasing more than 30% their profit per service and hence increasing savings for municipalities 2) for waste bin companies growing by a CARG rate of 40% over 5 years. 3) route optimization and predictive operations thanks to Big Data exploiting will result in 25-50% costs and 25% CO2 savings.

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