Martin Thunman, Co-founder & CEO
Crosser designs and develops real-time software solutions for Edge Computing and next-generation real-time Enterprise Integration. The Crosser Edge Computing solution offloads Cloud services, provides real-time data processing and decision-making capabilities close to IoT sensors and IoT devices.
Years ago, when Uffe Bjorklund, a pioneer in smart factory solutions, started a hobby project to build solutions for real-time data communications, little did he know that the future had bigger things in store. A few years down the line when Bjorklund met Martin Thunman and Johan Jonzon, they realized that, amidst the rising trend of edge computing and hybrid architecture, the combination of edge, on-premise, and cloud processing of data is the future of smart factory solutions. They understood that they needed to process data where it makes sense due to the use case-specific requirements such as time, security, processing capabilities, and costs. Together at Crosser, they set out to build a solution that is the most user-friendly smart edge analytics and integration solution in the industry. While doing so, they learned that although there are huge benefits of processing close to the data source, it was not without significant challenges. The challenges were specifically around management over the lifecycle of deployments when having multiple software installations in the field.
The three great minds at Crosser set their sights on developing a high-performing and smart real-time engine that leverages the benefits of modern web technologies, cloud computing, and local data processing. The company name was inspired by their vision of moving intelligent real-time data processing to the ‘cross-road’ between OT and IT, between machine data, enterprise data, cloud providers, and SaaS applications. Crosser is perfectly suited to be the glue between the new and the old technologies in smart factory solutions as a new technology stack emerges with Industry 4.0.
Within the Industry 4.0 megatrend, there are three sub-trends growing rapidly for which Crosser offers a fantastic fit and provides great value to its customers. The software can run on the edge, on-premise, or in the cloud, and answer to all the needs of the edge computing and hybrid architecture trend. Secondly, in line with the emergence of low code platforms and citizen innovation, Crosser makes it easier to innovate by enhancing the low code concept with pre-built code modules, drag and drop functionality and configuration instead of programming. “Not only have we empowered a much larger audience but our customers can innovate faster and at a lower cost than ever before,” says Martin Thunman, CEO and Co-Founder of Crosser.
Finally, in the area of applied machine learning, Crosser enables customers to deploy and maintain custom machine learning algorithms at the edge.
Not only have we empowered a much larger audience but our customers can innovate faster and at a lower cost than ever before
The solution is built in two parts with a real-time engine, the Crosser Node, installed locally on the shop floor or in the field, connecting to all the machine data and processing that data. The other part is a centralized control and management system called the Crosser Cloud, where users log in and use it.
In a time of great technological advances, the Crosser team believes that agility, flexibility, and ease-of-use are key concepts for succeeding in rolling out new use cases at a fast pace. The stellar technology platform’s pre-built modules connect to and transform the data, apply intelligent analytics and logic, create workflows and automations and modules to connect back to the machines, enterprise systems or cloud applications. Then Crosser’s drag-and-drop interface allows customers to build data flows. As all of this is managed centrally, it is a one-click operation to deploy or update across multiple locations, allowing customers to cut down on manual costs over the lifecycle of project deployments.
Additionally, the company has recently launched FlowApps, a smart way to save specific use cases as predefined applications, making it easier for customers to roll-out use cases over multiple sites and make minor adjustments if needed. The Crosser platform is also an ideal solution for calculating operational KPIs and feeding that back to storage and BI dashboards. Moreover, the company’s “Bring Your Own AI” concept enables customers to easily combine pre-built modules and deploy their own code and algorithms in distributed environments.
Crosser’s unique combination of simplicity, flexibility, and enterprise scalability has played a major role in the digital transformation of customers in numerous instances, with a noteworthy one being GEBHARDT Fördertechnik, a mechanical engineering company. GEBHARDT’S architecture is based on the idea of processing data directly at the edge, transferring only relevant data to the back-office system or the respective cloud solution. It was important for GEBHARDT to use standard components, which can be configured easily. With Crosser’s innovative solution, GEBHARDT’s leading logistics automation was able to process data at the edge, which helped them address concerns about data security. Furthermore, pre-processing the data minimized the interface and storage costs of GEBHARDT’s cloud and back-office systems.
Even in these demanding times of the covid-19 pandemic, Crosser’s self-service software allows customers to implement and use it themselves without the need to travel, attend endless onsite meetings and personal interactions with implementation consultants. Customers have been able to use Crosser to address a variety of use cases, such as in condition monitoring of machines and assets where both connectivity to legacy systems and data transformation of raw data to structured information are part of the requirements. “With the incredibly flexible Crosser platform, it is very much up to the customers to innovate based on their unique environments,” concludes Thunman.