PragmaTech is an innovative waste management consulting firm that offers waste management organizations, retailers, mall owners, and residential property owners the ability to monitor and manage waste equipment with real-time data.
PragmaTech’s proprietary software, Pandora Intelligent Networks (Pandora), helps its customers save as much as 60% in haulage costs by monitoring the performance of on-site equipment, ensuring all services are provided in a timely and efficient manner. Today, the company has more than 3,400 systems deployed across all of North America.
The average customer receives a weekly pickup of their solid waste containers, costing around $7,800 per year. Because of PragmaTech’s deep understanding of the industry, the company knew there was an opportunity to reduce those costs by eliminating unnecessary haulage trips by monitoring container levels in real time.
“We started with our knowledge of the industry and added technology to provide a new service to our customers,” said Danny Mauti, CEO of PragmaTech.
To more efficiently monitor and manage waste containers, Pandora utilizes wireless communication to allow individual machines to remotely indicate fullness and that the units are working correctly and efficiently.
The software, which was developed in-house at PragmaTech, accesses onboard computers with the Digi TransPort® WR21 3G/4G LTE M2M enterprise router to collect and deliver data.
“The Digi TransPort WR21 gives us access to the brains of the Pandora system, the software program that accesses the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) on the compactors,” Mauti explained.
“The WR21 also gives us the ability to program in Python, enables power inside of the panel itself, and has extended operating temperatures for rugged environments, which is incredibly important for our solution,” added Salam El-Khechen, development manager of PragmaTech.
The data supports services, production, purchasing, sales, and marketing functions and enables organizations to achieve cost savings. Pandora schedules pick-ups only when compactors reach a specified fullness level, eliminating the cost of unnecessary collections.
The system tracks parameters that communicate equipment health and system performance over time. By tracking compactor performance, service calls can be scheduled well in advance of an actual breakdown, reducing repair costs and leading to fewer replacements. It also enables the customers to detect and rectify compactor misuse, which is a common cause of breakdown.
“With Pandora, our customers have the ability to see all of their compactors in one place,” added Mauti.
PragmaTech offers two hardware systems; one external system that’s connected to the power pack of an existing compactor, and another system that can be built into the actual compactor and offers additional capabilities. As Mauti and the PragmaTech team know, it’s putting the data to work that makes Pandora so valuable for their customers. “You can collect as much data as possible, but if someone isn’t doing anything with the data, it can’t drive big cost savings and change.”
The PragmaTech team has now deployed over 3,400 systems in North America. The combination of the Pandora platform and monitoring services has helped hundreds of customers decrease the number of compactors needed and put the compactors they do need to full use.
Customers have seen a reduction in scheduled pickups from every seven days to every 13 days. This saves money for customers, but also for the waste and recycling programs that serve them, as hauler trips to collect containers have been reduced by 360 miles in the first year.
“Our customers save as much as 60% of current haulage costs through simple, easy to manage waste and recycling programs, and we see a reduction in the number of vehicles required to service them drop by 30-40%,” added Mauti. “We are able to detect and report operational faults and reduce unnecessary service calls by about 20%—all because we can see the problems on a computer. Just one avoided service call and truck pick-up can save hundreds of dollars, not to mention the obvious benefits to the environment.”