Traction is increasing at West Chester, Pa.-based Fischer Block, so it was good timing to bring on some venture capital and scale up operations, founder Greg Wolfe said.
The company, makers of an internet-of-things platform for system management at power utilities and industrial plants, just raised a $3.4 million Series A round from private investors.
The capital, Wolfe said, will go towards advancing the company’s predictive analytics platform. Through patented wireless devices called “SMART Blocks,” Fischer Block helps management teams at utilities and large industrial complexes get insights into the “health” of equipment like wind turbines and motors, allowing crews to avoid unplanned shutdowns.
“We’re one of very few companies implementing predictive analytics on the grid,” Wolfe said. “Our solution reduces risk and enables the industry to enact condition-based maintenance programs versus scheduled maintenance. It means significant costs reductions for companies.”
Ask Wolfe why his company’s technology getting traction among clients like Exelon (PECO’s parent company) and Dow Chemical and he’ll point to cybersecurity first.
“The data we provide comes from a platform and sensors that cannot in and of themselves cause an outage,” said Wolfe. “If anybody did hack our system, which would be very hard because of encryption, they wouldn’t be able to cause an outage. Our platform is intentionally isolated from the equipment on the ground that way, whereas other competitive equipment could be used to cause outages.”
With the funding from the round, the company will look to expand its relationship with a construction partner in Reading, Pa., and bring some part-time employees to full-time. Out of its West Chester, Pa., hub, Fischer Block currently employs 15 people between full-time and part-time.