Olsbergs Uses Digi XBee to Make Construction Sites Safer

"There are only a few suppliers in the world that actually can fulfill the ETSI standards and meet our quite extreme requirements. Only a few companies in the world can provide that. The best solution we found was Digi."

John Fröde, head of operations, Olsbergs

Business Problem

With new and more demanding regulations for radio communication in Europe, Olsbergs saw the opportunity to improve efficiency and safety for construction companies and crane operators. Typically, smaller cranes are constructed on the backs of trucks and operated by two workers. One person controls the hydraulics in the truck and the other acts as a spotter to ensure that the crane doesn’t bump into anything.

Olsbergs recognized that the job could be done more efficiently and more safely with remote controlled hydraulics. But to construct such a controller would require a radio module that met both their extremely high standards as a company, and the tough ETSI standards.


Olsbergs found in Digi a partner that could meet both these needs.

The requirements for the radio module that Olsbergs needed were strict. They needed a radio module that would be precise and risk-free. Many cranes that would be operated by these remote controllers operate in cities and others populated areas. To ensure the safety and accuracy of the radio remote control it would have to meet ETSI standards and it would have to utilize the entire ISM band. That means frequencies 863 to 870. By utilizing the entire ISM band it would provide more channels to use and a more secure radio link.

With these requirements in mind, John Fröde said that Olsbergs looked “probably somewhere between six and nine months for a stable partner, and we found it in Digi. Digi is a large and stable company that’s been around for more than 30 years. Their field engineers had really good answers to all of my questions. That’s why I was confident.”Olsberg-inline.png

The solution to Olsbergs’ problem was the Digi XBee 868 Low-Power RF module for Europe.

ETSI standards say that if you want a module that utilizes the entire ISM band then you need to have LBT and AFA. LBT is “listen before you talk” and AFA allows the radio to automatically jump between radio channels. The XBee 868LP uses both. With this module in their radio remote control, it means that Olsbergs can guarantee both the safety, accuracy, and reliability of their radio control hydraulics.


About 70% of Olsbergs’ radio controlled hydraulics customers are in Europe and the other 30% are all across the globe.

There are immense benefits to using Olsbergs’ radio controller instead of traditional controllers. By using Olsbergs’ radio controller, companies guarantee that their hydraulics controller is both safe and efficient. Crane jobs that previously required two operators now only require one. And importantly, where previously the hydraulics operator was dependant on the spotter, now the hydraulics operator knows exactly where he’s going. It’s safer. It saves time. And it saves money.

With the help of Digi, Olsbergs is working to revolutionize hydraulics in construction to make the industry safer and more cost-efficient.