M2D: Holistic solutions for renewable plant efficiency
It’s difficult to imagine a world where technology does not play an essential role in our daily lives. From the way we live to the ways in which we work, digital solutions have made everyday tasks more efficient than ever before. The 21st century has given leeway for innovation to transcend, especially with regard to technology that can autonomously perform complex tasks, sparing employees from avoidable risks.
The autonomous robot revolution has had a global impact and its market share is expected to reach $145.5 billion by 2026. These robots have a vast array of uses: they have been utilized for entertainment, human companionship, vehicles, medical surgeries, industrial sites and many more applications.
In the energy sector, these novel solutions help humans reach difficult spaces or remote locations in order to optimize the quality of our operational plants through seamless monitorization. M2D is one of the notable startups that has been contributing to robotic development in this field. The company has collaborated with us since 2017 to automate the supervision and maintenance of photovoltaic systems through the use of autonomous robotic systems and intelligent control software. We recently caught up with CEO Davide Marano to learn more about the company, its technology, their commitment to sustainability, and how they have continued to evolve despite the global health crisis.
Solutions that evolve business data
Building a startup can be a long journey, but once you start to achieve your company's goals, it is truly rewarding. Founded in 2009, M2D Technologies was “driven by passion in software development and robotics systems as well as a vision for a highly technological future in automation”, reveals Marano. Now, 10 years later, M2D has grown from its original consulting business model to a product-based company that focuses on the development of smart monitoring platforms that combine artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous robots to improve the efficiency of renewable plants. Marano acknowledges that “preventing system failures and acting fast are two of the biggest challenges we are aiming to solve”. By improving production efficiency through their customized robotic solutions, M2D provides cost-efficiency and value-driven results.
More recently, the company has been working on enhancing its predictive maintenance solution, Helios Pro. This product focuses on improving quality control of renewable plants by “combining big data analytics with AI technologies to predict inverter failures and inefficiencies”, asserts Marano. He adds that “the platform will also be integrated with autonomous driving systems and data acquisition on renewable plants to generate savings in time and resources”. Helios Pro is currently being launched globally and is already being used in Chile, Peru, South Africa, Greece and Mexico.
In addition to the challenges M2D helps companies to solve, Marano and his team are also conscious of their social responsibility as a startup. “By putting people at the center of continuous development and growth, we strongly believe that AI and autonomous robots are key elements to a sustainable future and a better life”, indicates the CEO. By using cleaner energy and a more efficient production processes we can continue to progress with the energy transition.
Change is vital and the future is clear
The year of 2020 was undoubtedly a year of change, acceptance and adaptation, but it also brought out the best in many people and companies alike. For M2D, this past year strengthened their resilience and has allowed them to grow and innovate. Marano notes: “We have gained even more awareness of how the world is moving rapidly towards a sustainable and digital future”. He adds that “through our AI platforms and autonomous systems, we aim to make our contribution by improving inefficiencies, reducing waste, and being drivers of development and change”.
For Enel, working hand-in-hand with M2D to co-create these sustainable solutions has proven successful in increasing the efficiency of our renewable plants worldwide. As Marano says: “Enel has been fundamental in our growth process by guaranteeing access to the data and infrastructures necessary to be able to tackle big data issues and to create a sustainable business case”.
As the startup scales up and extends its solutions to wider markets, we will continue to work together, gather quantitative and qualitative data, and test new technologies through our Catania Innovation Hub and Lab. With a shared goal in mind and M2D’s holistic view of renewable plant efficiency, we will drive the necessary changes for a more autonomous future.