Minol Press Release

Partner for the Internet of Things

New company Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH helps businesses from various sectors with digitalization by offering IoT network consulting, planning and operating services.

January 2019: The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown rapidly in recent years, with some 20.4 billion networked devices worldwide being forecast by 2020. In industry as well as the energy, municipal and real estate sectors, many companies are currently working hard to create their own IoT networks with a view to digitalizing their services and business models. Their solution of choice is the Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) with its low power consumption and impressive range – the ideal basis for smart factory, smart utility and smart city applications. Help is at hand thanks to a new Minol-ZENNER Group company. Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH advises businesses on setting up LoRaWAN networks, helps them with planning and startup, and takes care of all network provider services, including all obligations vis-à-vis the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

Aiming for a comprehensive LoRaWAN network

"Unlike its European neighbors, Germany has so far had no LoRaWAN provider that operates nationwide with a comprehensive network. As the digital transformation progresses, the demand for a network operator of this kind is growing – so we’re plugging a gap at exactly the right time," says Marcus Kirchdörfer, who runs Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH together with Dr. Hartmut Ritter. The new company plans cooperation arrangements with customers and other network operators to link the individual LoRaWAN infrastructures. Roaming partnerships are designed to enable the parties involved to use each other’s networks for their own customers. This means network coverage grows organically and in line with requirements.

Caption: LoRaWAN technology networks municipal infrastructure and creates the conditions for a smart city. Image from Minol/ZENNER

IoT solutions for various sectors

Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH’s portfolio is aimed at those groups of customers who are looking to obtain particular benefits from IoT networks, especially LoRaWAN. Industry, for example, uses these networks for tasks such as proactive machine maintenance, setting up ISO 50001-compliant energy management systems, and locating goods and mobile equipment at any time (asset tracking). IoT is also ideal for the logistics sector, because it can be used to monitor and manage supply chains. Agricultural businesses integrate units such as ground and irrigation sensors into an IoT network as part of their precision farming strategy. Among other things, energy providers, public utility companies and municipalities use IoT for remote monitoring and management of the urban infrastructure. The Minol-ZENNER Group is already working with a number of municipal authorities and energy providers on projects in areas such as remote meter reading, smart parking and smart schools. “Many public utility companies and energy providers are keen to take control of ongoing network maintenance – complete with installation and technical field services – while also retaining ownership of the gateways. They consult us as early as the conceptual design phase to advise them on planning and implementing a customized network, and also to subsequently operate this network on a long-term basis,” explains Dr. Hartmut Ritter, CEO of Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH. Minol’s main target group, the real estate sector, makes particular use of IoT solutions to digitalize billing and other processes. The company has already installed over 1.000 LoRaWAN gateways to take remote readings from measuring equipment, smoke detectors and, if the customer so wishes, many other units located in and on buildings. Meters that can be read remotely and monthly usage data will be standard solutions for householders in the future. They are now covered by the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) that was recently approved by the European Union.

Group acts as full-service IoT provider

As the Minol-ZENNER Group sees it, the new company is the missing piece of the puzzle for its IoT portfolio. In addition to designing and developing networks, and equipping them with all the necessary components as before, it can now also operate them with and for its customers. For over three years, the Group has been transforming from a supplier of measuring equipment and billing services into a full-service IoT provider. With its IoT subsidiaries and holdings, the Minol-ZENNER Group offers its customers end-to-end LoRaWAN solutions – from meters, sensors and the technical data transmission infrastructure in the form of networks and gateways to a Germany-based IoT data cloud, advice on developing individual IoT networks, software platforms, applications for specific utilization of data and now also network operation.

Further information is available at: www.mz-connect.com

Minol ZENNER Connect at E-world energy & water:
From February 5 - 7, 2019 in Essen, at ZENNER’s booth 5-208 in Hall 5

Caption: Marcus Kirchdörfer (left) and Dr. Hartmut Ritter are the CEOs of Minol ZENNER Connect. Kirchdörfer has spent the past eleven years with Minol, most recently as Technical Manager System Solutions. Ritter has been with the Group for eight years and will continue to retain overall responsibility for systems engineering and electronics. Image from Minol/ZENNER


About the Minol-ZENNER Group

The family-run group of companies offers measuring equipment, billing services and IoT solutions for global markets. It has a global workforce of more than 3.500 and maintains a local presence through subsidiaries and distributors in more than 40 countries. Minol is a world-leading service provider for the real estate sector. Headquartered in Germany, in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, it maintains a nationwide presence through 20 branches. The company is helping the real estate sector to digitalize its processes and implement scenarios for the future such as smart home, smart care and smart city. Also headquartered in Germany, in Saarbrücken, ZENNER develops, produces and sells measuring equipment and system solutions based on Internet of Things technologies. It offers a full range of IoT services – from project development and the recording and processing of measurement data to end-user applications. The Minol-ZENNER Group also includes a number of other companies operating in areas such as IoT.

Further information is available at www.minol.de/minol-zenner-gruppe

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