Case Study

Flexco

Collecting data and refining it into insights, Flexco is pioneering digital sensor technology for the mining industry.

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A sensor design that endures extreme conditions

The
Challenge

Raw mining materials create significant wear and tear on conveyor belt systems, causing unpredictable maintenance of cleaner blades and costly downtime. Flexco aimed to find a solution to detect these belt-stopping problems before they occur.

Our approach needed to identify abnormal vibration or impacts, notify service teams immediately, and gauge ongoing conveyor belt health—minimizing conveyor downtime while maximizing the cleaner blade lifespan.

Cloud-based apps deliver predictive maintenance + prevent catastrophic failures

Work Summary

In the toolbox:

  • Immersion Workshops
  • Stakeholder Research & Analysis
  • Sensor Design & Development
  • Algorithm Development
  • Edge Device Design & Development
  • User Interface Design
  • Product Design
  • Cloud Architecture & Development

Through a human-centered design process, we learned what mining professionals desired most, from sensor housing and design, to data extraction and environmental needs.

These insights informed features like:

  • Custom algorithms to capture and convert data into insights that prompt user action
  • Durable sensors for remote locations + extreme weather that allows for battery replacement while the conveyor is running
  • Compatible app and cloud-based connection to assign and log maintenance, update schedules and identify patterns and trends

The
impact

Flexco’s Elevate™ is an innovative belt cleaner monitoring system that uses predictive insights to gather real-time data remotely  in extreme conditions. This edge-device has dramatically reduced downtime for Flexco’s customers, reduced product reputation and improved the lifespan of their conveyors by predicting future conveyor failures on-site or remotely 

 

Tech Spotlight:

Edge technology processes data quickly and stores it locally before sending it to the cloud, preserving battery life.

 

Strategy Spotlight:

Immersion in the stakeholders’ world allowed a depth of knowledge, insight, and empathy for their real pain, gains, and needs.

Tech Spotlight:

Flexco’s digital sensor can be retrofitted to tens of thousands of cleaner blades in use without disrupting operations—which offers expansive market potential.

Tech Spotlight:

Cloud-based app pinpoints optimal timing for ongoing maintenance, routes relevant data to the right people, + delivers insights for future improvements.

Positively
quotable.

“Twisthink orchestrated a human-centered design approach to building a data collection device based on real customer pain points and needs.

– Chip Winiarski

Chief Marketing Officer at Flexco

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