Inspecto is a start-up from Nice (French Riviera), France, offering a new digital tool for carrying out industrial inspections remotely, thus avoiding the “physical” visit of an inspector on site every time. We met Christophe Renaud, the founder of Inspecto, who presented his project to us as well as the added value of the participation of ADVANS Group.
The story behind Inspecto
Christophe Renaud pursued an international career in the industrial field, including at Alstom Power in the 2000s.
Manufacturing equipment intended for sale and installation in power plants requires very strict and continuous quality controls throughout the manufacturing process.
For example, a heater weighing 200 tons, operating under 200 bars of pressure, with 5000 tubes to carry out the heat exchanges, must be meticulously checked each month throughout the year that its manufacture will last before being integrated within the final equipment.
In March 2020, Christophe Renaud was the director of a factory in Italy that manufactured equipment for electricity suppliers.
This factory was in Milan, right in the European epicenter of the first wave of Covid. Europe was confined, and the independent inspector in charge of carrying out checks on one of its equipment could not travel, making the situation perilous: without this inspection, the power plant that was the final destination of the equipment could not be delivered, and the plant was shut down (generating major financial difficulties, as the equipment worthed several million Euros).
Following detailed discussions, Christophe Renaud and his client agreed on an inspection via Teams, which allowed the situation to be temporarily unblocked.
Realizing the full potential of this innovative idea, Christophe Renaud decided to launch a proof-of-concept solution intended to carry out industrial inspections remotely.
The first tests took place in the Milan factory, and were very successful: Christophe Renaud decided a few months later to devote himself 100% to the project and founded the company Inspecto SAS.
The market need
Manufacturing complex equipment for industry requires setting up a complex global supply chain with many stakeholders, which must be audited throughout the process.
Each time, an inspector from the “assembly” factory of the final product must travel around the world, or else an independent inspector must take care of it.
An inspection mission in Asia will thus require three days of travel for barely a few hours on-site, the whole work being invoiced several thousand Euros.
Of course, this need is not limited to the world of power plants, it is common to all companies that have supply chains with several players.
The global inspection market is estimated at $220 billion per year and of course, this is a recurring market.
The solution proposed by Inspecto
Inspecto has developed a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution to perform remote controls. It includes the history of past inspections, the tasks to be carried out, the management of non-conformities to be dealt with, or the possibility of writing a report and signing the document.
In a nutshell, you just need an employee on the site of the factory to be controlled to launch the solution from a tablet or smartphone; thousands of kilometers away, the inspector Will be able to carry out his inspection.
However, the idea is not to digitize all inspections because some missions require a physical presence (at the start and end of the project, for example).
However, Christophe Renaud estimates that 50 to 70% of controls could be carried out remotely.
The result is substantial savings in inspection costs (up to -75%), the reduction of CO2 emissions related to inspector travel (up to 80%), and finally a significant increase in quality thanks to the optimized monitoring of operations made possible by digital technologies.
The contribution of ADVANS Group
Inspecto already has customers, including factories in Italy, China, and the United States; we are talking about entities with thousands of workers.
Christophe Renaud was looking for partners to join his company, but not only from a financial point of view, he especially wanted each newcomer to bring useful know-how and skills to develop the company.
ADVANS Group thus joined the adventure in the fourth quarter of 2022.
For Jean-François Béraud, director of ADVANS Lab, the ADVANS Group entity responsible for steering its innovation projects:
“We are glad to participate in this project which offers development opportunities on the international market. AViSTO engineers are currently working on the second version of the software, which will offer new features with high added value.”
At the same time, Inspecto is strengthening itself at the marketing and sales level to grow the sales of its solution worldwide. The product roadmap is dense:
“Beyond remote inspections, Inspecto aims to digitize industrial processes and manage supply chains. Current technologies represent an important source of productivity gains in many areas, and Inspecto aims to help industrial players adopt them”, underlines Christophe Renaud.
“The ADVANS Group’s technical expertise and international commercial footprint are assets that will help us make Inspecto a must-have solution for the global industry.”