Waste Harmonics' iWaste Monitoring System continues to see growth
Remote waste monitoring technology now used by nearly 25 percent of all Waste Harmonics customers
On an otherwise unremarkable day in 2012, Mike Hess, founder and CEO of brokered waste services firm Waste Harmonics, walked out of a meeting with a new client, Pilot Flying J Travel Centers. Looking back, Hess admits there were a few moments of head-scratching among his team as they walked to their car. The reason? The freshly signed Pilot Travel Center contract required a monitoring service that, at the time, wasn't offered by Waste Harmonics. In fact, not only was it not a product Waste Harmonics offered, it wasn't a product that had been created or developed by any other waste services company.
Although several third-party remote monitoring systems existed at the time, they all had a number of drawbacks and deficiencies. While Hess knew these third-party products might have been sufficient, in order to truly keep Waste Harmonics' brand promise of providing top-quality service at a cost savings to all customers, he recognized that the company would have to create a completely new monitoring technology of its own. Waste Harmonics quickly made the capital investment, tackled the development challenge, and worked with an equipment manufacturer through multiple rounds to correctly build and code what would soon become one of the industry's leading proprietary waste monitoring systems — the iWaste system.
"Waste Harmonics is about providing our customers with the highest-quality products and services — not just about being ‘good enough,'" Hess said. "Pilot Flying J and all of our clients deserved to have something as advanced as iWaste, and although it was challenging to develop, it's been a platform that's not only served Pilot Flying J well, but that is now used by nearly 25% of our customers. It's been a huge success."
iWaste: How It Works
iWaste is especially useful for multilocation businesses, for whom increased waste and recycling efficiency often translate into significant cost and time savings.
Internet-based technology forms the backbone of iWaste, enabling it to monitor, measure and optimize companies' waste and recycling processes. An integrated trash compactor monitoring service, iWaste simplifies how companies handle disposal machine monitoring, providing a web-based dashboard that offers a single, secure access point for monitoring trash/recycling equipment, controls status, and alarms. By applying advanced analytics to instrument and software alarms, Waste Harmonics helps companies predict, troubleshoot and repair trash equipment issues, allowing for a quick response time, fast repairs and, most important, minimized machine downtime.
iWaste also provides real-time fullness status for compactors, including pickup and return status, pickup history, upcoming scheduled haul and activity logs. iWaste leverages AT&T's machine-to-machine network across the United States and Canada, using proven industrial components for a stable operating environment. In fact, iWaste is now the largest Siemens modem customer in the United States and one of the waste and recycling industry's largest IoT networks.
"IoT is such a buzzword these days, and many industries are trying to figure out how to use IoT, but in the waste and recycling category, iWaste is already there, and has been since 2012," Hess said. "As adoption of iWaste has grown, it's really become a best practice for how companies can manage their waste processes in the most efficient manner possible."
Additionally, the system eliminates the potential for human error in monitoring and allows the Waste Harmonics team to remote monitor and troubleshoot for customers around the globe.
"Waste Harmonics is at the forefront of solutions that simplify the complexities of waste management, streamlining the process and creating efficiencies," Hess said. "At the heart of iWaste are our customers' waste and recycling goals. By providing remote monitoring and customized service, our customers can better understand their waste flow process and enhance their service quality."
Ongoing Improvements, Future Advances
Since launching iWaste, Waste Harmonics has continually worked to improve the system, collecting customer and internal feedback and reprogramming more than 300 compactors three times over to ensure iWaste delivers maximum innovation and value to customers. The iWaste system now comes standard with all Waste Harmonics compactors and includes remote monitoring of an entire power unit. By monitoring oil temperature, switching controls, safety switches, container connections, system operating performance and fullness, the product gives customers remote customized service.
Hess and his team are testing the product on vertical balers, stand-alone compactors, and small containers to be able to offer iWaste to even more customers. As the waste industry continues to evolve, iWaste and Waste Harmonics are excited to provide additional innovative waste and recycling offerings for multilocation companies seeking to propel their businesses forward.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.