Case Study

Losant + Knode

Knode founder Richard Wildman was aware of the increased time pressure on his family farm and was looking for ways to reduce the daily operational burden, including the ability to remotely manage the water supply.

After learning that Internet of Things (IoT) network technology could collect data from multiple sources and deliver it over long distances, he created Knode. Knode uses sensors, the Sigfox low power wide area network (LPWAN) and the Losant Enterprise IoT Platform.

Farm Land

Knode

Established in 2017, Knode is a tech start-up that integrates new and emerging IoT technology for New Zealand businesses and consumers to monitor their critical assets. Knode enables its customers to collect, store, analyze, display and transfer data related to their infrastructure. Information can be consumed on demand, or proactively through conditional user alerts.

Initially, Knode focused on the New Zealand agriculture market where it has proven itself as one of New Zealand’s first IoT solution providers. The company is now applying their tech solution to other industries.

The Problem

A farm can’t function without water. In order for a farmer to keep an eye on supply, water tanks, troughs and pumps must be checked at every opportunity. If not monitored, thousands of dollars can be lost in revenue, electricity and wasted water if a leak develops on the property’s supply infrastructure.

For instance, if a farm developed a leak at a water trough fed by two water tanks containing 50,000 liters each, the supply could be drained in less than eight hours. It could take 1-2 days for the system to restore itself during which time, animals could go for an extended period without a sufficient water supply. If a herd of milking cows are restricted from their daily required water intake, this can have a negative impact on the animals and the subsequent days’ total milk production.

The Breifing

Flow meters were installed on each of the animal water distribution lines and tank level indicators on the Wildman family farm. These were then connected with telemetry hardware communicating with the Sigfox low power wide area network (LPWAN) gateways and the data was manipulated through workflows on the Losant IoT platform.

Knode is now able to track the flow rates on water lines and the water level in each of the bulk storage tanks using dashboards with conditional alerts for management to monitor water activity. The solution has saved countless hours of driving around the farm. Most importantly, the farm was able to reduce the electricity bill and improve animal conditioning with a reliable water supply.

“Losant was about the third [platform] we trialed. We found it to be really user-friendly. [It’s] a straightforward and easy to use IoT platform which allows us to continue to build on our offering and meet the needs of our customers.”

Knode Dashboard

No two businesses are the same. One reason we partnered with Losant is the flexibility it gives us to customize both the data manipulation and delivery to our end users. Providing a bespoke smart interface to our customers makes the application of their data more valuable.

Richard Wildman

Co-Founder

The Results

The dashboards provide a time-series graph of water flow rates, daily consumption metrics and storage tank levels. The workflows incorporate basic and advanced leak detection principles with an alert condition triggering email and SMS notifications. Reporting of the water supply over time is also included, which helps with compliance and gives a deeper insight into the seasonal changes on-farm.

The Next Objective

Having proven its water solution in farming, Knode is expanding its horizons. The company continues to test new use cases on-farm and applies IoT technology across other industries with a focus on asset location and monitoring resources such as water and power.

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