What started as an undergrad project at the University of Waterloo is now modernizing the industrial business sector - an industry that has seen virtually no innovation in decades.
In 2018, Thomas Uhlenbruck founded Pulse Industrial - an IoT company with the primary goal to reduce fuel consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve safety in industrial plants, through the use of artificial intelligence and machine-learned analytics. Its innovative technology and cloud-based AI software system monitors and analyzes the efficiency of the equipment and determines whether it's working efficiently. If a problem is detected, the system automatically notifies the team that immediate maintenance is required.
"Pulse Industrial brings a practical application of AI to an old industry, which has measurable benefits in both environmental and economic savings. As an environmental engineer with a background in software and AI, it’s a very exciting mission. I want to send a huge thanks to the AC, all their mentors and supporting staff, who have helped us out tremendously in the early days of Pulse and our scaleup journey," said Thomas.
In 2020, Pulse Industrial applied to AC:Incubate through the TD Sustainable Future stream to begin the process of going from startup to scale-up. The AC mentors were able to guide them through creating a sales process, developing a hiring strategy, and building out the team. During its first round of funding, Pulse Industrial received $3.5 million CAD in non-dilutive funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an organization the AC has a close partnership with. Now, as the product has entered the market, Pulse Industrial had become a mature, successful company with a bright future.
Pulse Industrial’s first product is a real-time, steam trap monitor - a small device that attaches to a steam trap and senses changes in temperature, sound, vibration, as well as data from the surrounding environment. Steam traps are extremely prolific in the industrial sector, as well as universities, hospitals, and many others. They are small mechanical valves that release condensation from steam lines when there is a buildup of water. Unfortunately, it's very common for a steam trap to fail, creating a leak that is undetectable until a maintenance check of the plant is performed, which only happens once or twice a year. In the meantime, more energy is required to boil more water to make more steam resulting in substantial losses in finances, energy, and efficiency.
If the monitor detects any abnormalities, it analyzes the issue using Pulse Industrial’s cloud-based AI software to determine if there has been an equipment failure. It then notifies the user that maintenance is needed, saving time, and reducing excess carbon emissions.
“In the past, maybe every year at best plants would perform manual maintenance checks on all steam traps around the entire building,” said Bryan Fedorak, Partner & COO of Pulse Industrial. “So, if a steam trap failed between checkups, it could leak up steam for up to a full year, wasting a ton of energy and money. Technology allows them to take immediate action, and function as efficiently as possible.”
Now at 26 employees, Pulse Industrial continues to grow rapidly and will soon be expanding its product line! Join us in person or online to celebrate the amazing journeys of Pulse Industrial and our other graduates joining our alumni network!
Pulse Industrial participated in AC programming through the TD Sustainable Future stream of AC:Incubate. The program is operated in partnership with TD Bank through The Ready Commitment and funded by the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.