Sirman’s IoT: smart equipment and technical support
press-room | 31st March 2023
La Digital Transformation is a cultural and organisational challenge of our times. Companies can simply adapt or be proactive and integrate change to seize new opportunities. Sirman pursues and anticipates the latter option.
Sirman was already an early proponent of digital transformation long before it became a trend, when the Italian entrepreneurial system wasn’t even supported and promoted yet.
How it all started
Today, Sirman is a leading manufacturer of food-processing equipment for professional kitchens and the retail industry. But before getting here, it had to face various difficulties and challenges, as Luca Marzaro, Sirman Group’s CEO, told us.
“Sirman was established in 1969, almost by chance. The previous company of one of the founders had a rival that manufactured the same equipment plus slicers, giving it a significant advantage in the marketplace. Therefore, Sirman’s three co-founders – two brothers and their brother-in-law – decided to manufacture slices as well. However, it wasn’t as easy as one could think because of the shortage of sub-suppliers in that area. The real challenge was starting the supply chain and many processes that weren't even available in the area yet. After years of difficulties, only one of the co-founders decided to keep the business running, using the commissions he earned from his commercial activity for other companies to pay the employees. ”
Things started to change in the 1980s when Sirman expanded commercially, structuring the production by drawing heavily from the upper Milanese industrial district.
“We relied on the Lombard district we had been collaborating with for several years. However, little by little, we achieved our autonomy by manufacturing almost everything in-house, avoiding the adverse effects of the crisis that hit the upper Milanese industrial district. ”
In the 1980s, the company had the possibility to enter the international market, which was quite uncommon for a small-medium enterprise like Sirman.
“Sirman started attending trade fairs and events looking for international partners and clients. At that time, it was more common to see foreign operators coming to Italy to get to know its entrepreneurial system. But we decided to reverse this trend by going abroad. Then, from the late 1990s, the company established its branches in the United States (1999), Shanghai (2005), and Brazil (2016), covering major markets while adapting to their different dynamics. This international presence allowed us to speed up delivery times and manage the stock and business relationships directly, bypassing intermediaries and local brokers. ”
The first IoT ideas
Initiative, problem-solving, and determination helped Sirman consolidate and expand its business and approach the Internet of Things. It started integrating its appliances with the first rudimentary applications, even before the IoT era, progressing to today’s cutting-edge technologies.
Sirman approached this matter about 15 years ago, even if, at that time, the applications weren’t that well-defined. However, the goal was clear: controlling the appliances remotely to be more efficient and effective.
That’s how the first project came to life. Because Sirman couldn’t rely on a widespread internet network, this project was based on airwave technology having minimum impact on the appliances, which communicated via the power cable. However, more advanced mechanisms soon made this system obsolete, but the company kept experimenting and researching, focusing on remote-control technologies.
“These smart appliances emitted signals. The system was based on conveyed waves, i.e. a technology that transmits data via the power supply network. We called it Sirman’s Remote Control System. More than once – Luca Marzaro continues – I was asked to show our system, which became a real case study. We also invented the Sirman Track, an after-sales tracking system installed on our appliances. This software allowed technicians to draw digital reports through a palmtop. The technology improved as the Internet became more popular and WI-FI chips became more affordable, making the old remote control structure outdated. We at Sirman manufacture 100% aluminium and steel appliances. However, we believe that ease of use and a close relationship with our clients must develop alongside technology. ”
We provide smart, safe, and efficient appliances connected to the Internet to exchange data and, thus, make them reactive, speeding up the after-sales service, which has always been our flagship.
“We have always focused on remote-control technology, applying it since it was invented. As a result, our after-sales service has improved, becoming more timely and effective. Over the years, this service has become more expensive, and technicians are not always available to work on weekends. However, with IoT, we can obtain a massive amount of data, solving problems even before they occur. ”
The advantages of IoT
The Internet of Things makes appliances smart as they can activate and function autonomously. It also allows technicians to collect data, helping them prevent wear and solve problems. Thanks to IoT, recipes can be started and saved autonomously, making life much easier for professionals who want to simplify the procedures or start longer, complicated preparations. Continues the in-depth study by reading: All the advantages of Kitchen 4.0
IoT has made Sirman appliances more sophisticated but still user-friendly. Technological innovation has just changed their potential to help professionals organise their kitchens more efficiently and prepare more complex recipes.
Sirman’s smart kitchen is ideal for small businesses and restaurant chains alike. For example, by remotely updating recipes, the headquarters can oversee the menu and recreate it in the other restaurants. This way, menus can be changed quickly and, in some cases, without even having to train the staff.
Moreover, IoT updates the operating systems autonomously without the technician’s intervention.
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