ETFA'2016 is sponsored by:  IEEE IES Fraunhofer IOSB-INA  

Business start-ups - topocare, how to make flood protection smart

topocare sees itself as a disruptive innovator in the field of flood protection. The start-up company was founded in October 2012. The initial idea was to design a machine which could produce and lay down huge sand-filled geotextile tubes. They could be used as flood barriers instead of the filling and laying of sandbags which usually consumes a lot of time and ties up capacities.

After the successful market introduction of the tube laying technology one thing became very obvious: a machine which is not fully integrated in the process chain brings very little advantage. There are waiting times, unused lorry capacities or other obstacles which can be usually qualified as the basic problem of logistics. Everything has to arrive at the right time, in the right quantity and to the right place to build a flood barrier.

A solution came when topocare was introduced to “it’s OWL”, a technology network based in Germany. The agricultural manufacturer CLAAS together with the FHDW (University of Applied Science) had developed a simulation model for highly dynamic harvesting processes. Topocare in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IPT and the FHDW adopted the solution and developed a system to 1) find an optimal process chain configuration and 2) to control the actions of the physical process.

The conference presentation will give insights into the flood protection process and focuses on the prototypically installed CPS. Multi-agent-based simulation as well as “internet of things” are components of getting control over the supply chain and integrating the topocare machines.

Simon Jegelka studied Industrial Engineering at the Technical University Berlin. He is doing research in the field of logistics with special interests in lean and smart logistics solutions. Simon Jegelka is a founding member of topocare and is leading the company as the managing director.

Keywords: IoT, CPS, flood protection, smart logistics, agent-based-simulation, industry 4.0