Remote crack company raises seed funding

News Story
- 10 Aug 2023 ( #1140 ) - Delft, Netherlands
2 min read
Villari founder and chief executive Olivier Baas and chief operating officer Floris Achterberg
Villari founder and chief executive Olivier Baas and chief operating officer Floris Achterberg

Villari, a company that developed sensor technology to remotely monitor fatigue cracks in steel structures such as industrial cranes, has raised seed investment of EUR2.5 million (USD2.7 million).

The Dutch company announced the funding by lead investor FORWARD.one and co-investors InnovationQuarter Capital and Delft Enterprises.

Villari founder and chief executive Olivier Baas developed the crack sensing technology while studying at Deft University of Technology (TU Delft).

“The current standard of monitoring still involves an incredible amount of manual labour,” Baas says. 

“For instance, several specialists are involved for multiple days to reliably examine a harbour crane for cracks. 

“This makes the inspection process expensive and inefficient, not to mention the losses suffered through down-time of an asset that should operate 24/7.

“The industry has seen little innovation because available technologies are unable to detect cracks remotely with a comparable level of reliability.”

Villari’s wireless structural health monitoring technology is patented and already installed at several sites, safeguarding assets including bridges owned by the Dutch Government and several industrial cranes at harbours and steel manufacturing sites in Europe.

“Contrary to manual inspection, our customers can now unobstructedly operate their assets while crack data is continuously being acquired and at much lower costs, thereby optimising their decision-making process with regard to maintenance or replacement,” Baas says.

FORWARD.one managing partner Paul Pruijmboom says: “The growing number of aged bridges and industrial cranes that will inevitably show crack formation demonstrates the need for an alternative that is much more scalable than the current status quo.

“With their installed base of sensors, Villari has proven to hold a feasible and more affordable solution.”

Villari’s sensor units are installed at critical places on the steel structure being monitored, and continuous measurements of the material quality are transmitted wirelessly and analysed by the company’s experts.

The results of the analysis are available on a dashboard, and the user can be warned by e-mail or phone if a pre-defined threshold has been crossed.

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