Ignite Stories: IPercept & Toyota Material Handling

From their initial meeting at Sweden Innovation Days to a successful POC, learn how IPercept’s solution helps minimize the risk of unforeseen breakdowns at Toyota Material Handling’s factory in Mjölby.

First Meeting at Sweden Innovation Days 2020

IPercept Technology met Toyota Material Handling digitally in a meeting facilitated by Ignite during the first edition of Sweden Innovation Days in November 2020. It was one of the 440 tailored matchmaking meetings between 135 AI startups and 68 corporates and public organizations held during the day.

“AI has been one of the most demanded technologies in Ignite since our start, but at the same time it has also been one of the most difficult areas for the startups to actually get collaborations in because of the quality of data and lack of know-how within the large companies,” explains Stina Lantz, Program Manager at Ignite and VP at SISP Swedish Incubators & Science Parks.

She highlights that the result of the startup-corporate matchmaking with focus on AI held during Sweden Innovation Days in 2020 proves that we have now entered the era of enabled AI.

“An important aspect of this specific case, is also the environmental impact when successful digitalization leads to concrete climate action,” she adds.

Stina Lantz (Ignite Sweden & SISP)

IPercept Technology is a deeptech spin-off from KTH Royal Institute of Technology developing plug & play automation of diagnostics and condition monitoring of industrial machinery to increase control and transparency of factories.

The startup was at that time part of our Founding Partner Sting’s incubator program and it was through their business coach Magnus Rehn that they first heard about the possibility to meet potential customers through Ignite.

“As part of our incubated companies’ business development, the earliest possible interaction with real potential customers is an important part. In this way the proposed solution can be validated with the market top of mind. This leads to both more optimized technological development, a verified business model and a stronger relationship with the future customer. All of this is what Sting sees as the key to success,” says Magnus Rehn, Business Coach at Sting and also Chairman of the Board at iPercept Technology.

It was another Ignite Founding Partner, Lead, an incubator with locations in Linköping and Norrköping in Östra Götaland, that invited Toyota Material Handling Europe to meet AI startups at the event. iPercept was one of the seven startups the corporation was matched with.

Magnus Rehn (Sting)

Toyota Material Handling is the world leader in material handling with a product range that includes manual hand trucks, autonomous self-driving 1.5 tonne vehicles and innovative energy solutions. Its European headquarters are established in Mjölby, also in Östra Götaland, where approximately 4,000 employees work with material handling from development concepts to produced vehicles, sales and service.

From Matchmaking till Successful POC

After their initial meeting, the two companies quickly realized that what IPercept Technologies had to offer could fit very well with the needs and ambitions of Toyota Production System.

After the summer of 2021, a Proof of Concept (POC) began at Toyota Material Handling’ factory in Mjölby. Targeting two large robots, the objective was to explore how IPercept’s solution could minimize the risk of costly, unforeseen breakdowns on these mission-critical machines.

The POC concluded this spring with positive results.

“IPercept’s novel technology has shown that it is capable of tracking mechanical degradation on a level that we have not been able to see before. We can now follow exactly how each critical component trends over time. This not only allows us to achieve smart maintenance but also reduces downtime and energy consumption in alignment with our ISO 50001 certification,” says Mattias Dahlgren, Maintenance Manager at Toyota Material Handling.

Toyota Material Handling Europe’s factory in Mjölby, Sweden.
Photo credit: Lasse Hejdenberg

The solutions deployed by IPercept can best be described as a fitness tracker for industrial machines. It features a new type of sensor technology with market-leading sensitivity, self-tuned digital twin simulations, and advanced data analytics based on long years of research.

“It is a privilege to work with a company like Toyota that has really invented modern industrial manufacturing. We thoroughly enjoyed the creative atmosphere of working and evolving together,” says Károly Szipka, CEO of IPercept.

The POC has now been converted into a commercial service contract and the companies are jointly exploring further opportunities together to build up a long-term strategic partnership. For Toyota Material Handling, this constitutes one more step in its continuous work towards smart maintenance and Industry 4.0.

Károly Szipka (IPercept)

“The team at Toyota helped us to understand the importance of implementing a fully automated process that is completely streamlined with their operations. Today, this is an important and integrated part of our offering. We look forward to continuing to develop this partnership for our mutual benefit,” concludes Károly.

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