Making it Work

LvLogics plans to get the measure of the European silo sector

The Co Meath-based company is aiming to expand into 40 countries within three years with the device which monitors real-time levels of anything that is stored in a silo

Barry and Eileen Finnegan of LVLogics at their workshop in Carnaross, County Meath. Picture: Barry Cronin

LvLogics, a Meath-based hardware business, plans to expand its operations in Europe substantially over the next year.

The firm provides real-time level measurements for silos. A device is placed on top of the silo which can monitor the levels within it, providing data to the user on their smartphone while also being used by suppliers to improve logistics efficiency for managing refills.

The business is based in Oldcastle and was founded in 2019 by husband and wife team Barry and Eileen Finnegan. It has nine staff and has raised €1.2 million in funding.

“Everything that is stored in a silo – wheat grain, feed, wood pellets or anything else – we can monitor it. Traditionally it has been difficult to get that information, it involved looking through fogged-up windows or banging the silo with a stick,” Barry Finnegan told the Business Post.

“There are 7.5 million silos in the world but only 0.3 per cent have monitoring. If you have 200 cows and milk them twice a day but run out of feed for 24 hours, that’s €2,200 of milk lost for the farmer. They need to keep feed in front of cows because that’s what pays the bills.”

The duo came up with the idea while both were working together at Kingspan. Barry is an electronic engineer and ran a sensor business for oil tanks with Kingspan, while Eileen worked in the financial side of the business. They decided that remote monitoring could be applied to other sectors.

“We applied everything learned in oil tank monitoring to silo monitoring, which essentially hadn’t been done before. The numbers are staggering when you realise how many silos aren’t monitored,” Barry Finnegan said.

“We’ve had good uptake, we’re quadrupling our business every year since we started. We expect to keep growing significantly over the next four to five years. We have an EU patent for our technology, it covers 33 countries in total.”

The business is supported by Enterprise Ireland and is part of the high potential start-up unit (HPSU).

“They have been a great help from the start. We started with the innovation process and they helped us to develop the sensor. We joined the HPSU at the start of this year and they have supported us with investment,” Barry said.

“They provide valuable insights as well. We’ve met many country representatives from them, which has helped us to develop our presence in 12 countries. We’re always utilising their substantial knowledge base across the world.”

The ambition, he said, is to serve 10,000 units, up from 1,000 today, across 40 countries within three years.

“This is a big area and it’s a blue ocean market, we’re learning more every day. Our solutions will be better as we develop as we are investing in research and development,” he said.

“The core of the problem for customers is that logistics piece and we are seeing ways to reduce the overheads for clients significantly.”

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland