Agustín Torres, Product Manager of Suez: "Kunak's technology has allowed us to position ourselves with a value proposition against the competition" - Kunak
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Agustín Torres, Product Manager of Suez: “Kunak’s technology has allowed us to position ourselves with a value proposition against the competition”

Agustín Torres de Suez talks with us about his experience and impressions with Kunak's technology
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Last Thursday, November 5, 2020, we had the opportunity to talk with Agustín Torres, about sensors and monitoring needs.

Agustín Torres is currently Product Manager at SUEZ, responsible for the development and update of the technological map and the identification of technologies and solutions that respond, with its innovative character, to the market challenges and opportunities.

Currently, he is leading several innovation projects related to the implementation of new technologies, maturing the new services while developing business plans for their transfer to the market and production lines. He is actively collaborating with the sales force and the production line in strengthening both the sale and the delivery of the product.

SUEZ, with over 80,000 employees, serves cities and industries in 70 countries on all five continents, offering integrated solutions for water, the environment, water treatment, engineering, sustainable development and innovation.

Suez uses innovation and collaboration in the development of intelligent and sustainable resource management solutions, optimising the way water is used thanks to information technologies, creating alternative hydraulic resources and recovering energy or new materials from waste.

SUEZ plays a key role in the circular economy.

Here are some of the questions we posed to Agustín and his thoughts on them:

QUESTION: Given the current needs for environmental, economic and social sustainability, do you consider it necessary to make a commitment to sensor technology?

ANSWER: In order to advance in sustainability solutions and achieve more sustainable development, it is necessary to measure and quantify environmental, economic and social variables.

For this, it is necessary to integrate sensorization techniques in this type of project that allows the evaluation of these trends and changes that are generated by the policies that are being developed.

A greater distribution of control and monitoring points will allow a more complete vision of the behaviour of air quality or any other environmental variable.

We are advancing with technologies that, although being a low-cost concept, are offering us a high enough quality of data to be able to compare them with official methodologies, and this is something that must be taken advantage of. Kunak’s technology with intelligent sensors and much lower cost than official equipment, offers us a very high data quality and allows us to offer our clients solutions of great value.

Kunak’s technology […] gives us a very high quality of data and allows us to offer our customers valuable solutions.

Q: As an innovative company, why did you decide to opt for a technology such as that offered by Kunak?

A: At Suez, we have extensive experience with sensor technologies. We have come across sensors of different brands and technologies, but none of them was convincing. We even proposed internal developments, until we were able to start using Kunak technology.

We are really satisfied with the results, both with the response of our clients and with the capacity of this technology to offer a very high quality of information, its capacity to be deployed, the lowest cost, the interoperability of information, the new cloud computing communication technologies, and even the algorithms that can be integrated, which has allowed us to position ourselves with a value proposal in relation to the competition, and this is something that we value from Kunak.

Kunak’s technology has allowed us to position ourselves with a value proposition against the competition.

Q: From your point of view, what added value do you think this type of technology offers your clients?

A: Nowadays, the smart city concept is tending towards a sensorization of the city as a general concept with all kinds of variables.

For us, the added value that we offer to clients is the ability to expand knowledge about the city’s situation, about air quality behaviour, noise and other meteorological variables that we can add in the projects we work on.

The interrelation of this information sometimes is not enough to be able to establish policies or new urban plannings. Therefore, what we offer is the ability to diagnose the air quality in the city and to access data in real-time alerting of pollution events or episodes and even the ability to transfer that information directly to the citizenry.

Thanks to the interoperability between the smart city platforms and the data that Kunak offers with the devices deployed in the city, it allows agility in communications and, therefore, this offers a complementary value.

In the industrial field, the ability to sensor directly within a plant is something that offers added value for the manager or operator of industrial facilities so that they can have an early warning network of the effects of pollution on the environment. This relationship between industry and citizens is key to preserving over time.

[…] the added value we offer our clients is the ability to expand their knowledge of the city’s situation, air quality behaviour, noise and other meteorological variables.

Agustín Torres, Product Manager in Suez, during a conference at COP25 (Madrid, December 2019)

Q: Nowadays, there is a boom in devices to measure air quality, but what criteria should end-users (cities, ports, infrastructures) evaluate when betting on one technology or another?

A: For me, there is one fundamental: the quality of the data. Putting in operation equipment of these characteristics involves many difficulties and many years of work and development, such as that carried out by Kunak, offering equipment that could be perfectly approved as a concept of indicative measures established by air quality regulations.

Today anyone wishing to deploy a monitoring network should not focus on distributing a large number of sensors that do not provide valid information, but rather on deploying a smaller number, giving priority to the quality of the data.

Another key aspect is the capacity to be maintained over time while maintaining those same quality levels. To this end, Kunak’s technology offers us plug & play solutions, high-quality data and advantages in the operation and maintenance line such as the ability to replace sensors in situ in a very agile manner, remote calibration and configuration or early detection systems for anomalies, all of which lead to an optimisation of the system.

Another basic aspect is the ability to be maintained over time while maintaining those same levels of quality.

Q: Finally, can you give us a “party-fact” or a sentence that summarizes the value of the Suez-Kunak collaboration?

R: For us, what is giving us the most benefit from this relationship is the co-creation of solutions adapted to the needs of our clients. This has boosted many of the benefits of the solutions we have in the portfolio and is giving us success and will give us more success in the future.

Sensores de calidad del aire en el puerto de Ibiza-Eivissa
Air quality monitoring project for Ports de Balears in collaboration with Suez-Labaqua (click on image for more information)