Startup Of The Week

Startup Of The Week: IPercept

IPercept Technology, a spin-off  from Sweden’sKTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, has reinvented how  maintenance  and operational improvement can be performed for complex industrial machines. The company is one of the select scale-ups that pitched to attendees of  the Deep Tech Entrepreneurship conference in Stockholm June 1st and 2nd.

“Think of us as an  AI-enabled  fitness tracker for heavy industry machinery,” says  CEO and co-founder Karoly Szipka, PhD. He and his colleague KTH Professor Andreas Archenti, founded the company in 2019 and commercialized  the  solution  in 2021. The company  uses a combination of IoT and AI to avoid expensive breakdowns of the machines that serve as the backbone of manufacturing in sectors such as aerospace, automotive and mining.

While predictive maintenance solutions that focus on attaching sensors to simple machines have been around since the 1970s   IPercept targets complete and complex machines that can’t use one-size-fits all approaches. The Swedish startup focuses on production machines  used for metal cuttin  and forming, industrial robots and industrial cranes.

“We are coming at this from a mechatronicsengineering perspective and then adding in data science,” he says, helping to ensure that customers are served up the right data.

IPercept’s devices are tailored to the needs of specialized machines and can be installed under an hour by the customers themselves . Data is sent to the Cloud where  AI built on domain knowledge is used to provide actionable insights    via a user-friendly dashboard.  Whereas traditional solutions  require one sensor per component, IPercept’s  technology uses only one sensor per mechanical system or machine.  The IPercept sensing device, which is about the size of a deck of cards, can detect and identify  micrometer-sized mechanical degradation that could lead to bigger problems or complete system shut-downs.

Szipka says that nearly half of Sweden’s largest manufacturing companies  are currently using its products “and within a year we expect to work with nearly all of them.”

Competitors include large traditional industrial measurement companies. Tools offered by these companies are highly manual, require high levels of training, long machine downtime to carry out tests and aren’t scalable, says Szipka. For that reason,      manufacturers usually do only two inspections per year. I     Percept’s solution allows quick and automated testing every week without special training, he says.

IPercept received support from KTH Innovation on applying for patents, market verification, prototyping, writing its business plan, developing its go-to-market sales strategy and with grant applications, said Szipka.  The company has received several grants from the Swedish government and has raised private capital to accelerate the roll out of its innovation.

Lisa Ericsson, the founder and head of KTH Innovation, was a speaker on a panel about  new models of collaboration moderated by The Innovator’s Editor-in-Chief.  KTH is experimenting with new ways of working with startups and Ericsson says she believes Europe’s universities can and should play a bigger role in the Continent’s deep tech ecosystem.





About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.