It was exactly 30 years ago, in 1992, that Algorab was born, from the deep passion for cutting-edge technology shared by its two founders and current partners. At first, the company developed control systems for industrial automation. Later, Algorab became well aware of the potential offered by digital wireless technology applied to the remote control of television sets. The innovative nature of its solutions immediately attracted the interest of the main Italian radio and television networks, with whom the company formed a strong partnership that continues to this day, testifying to the excellence of its service.

Over the years, Algorab has expanded its reach and developed a unique set of skills, the result of an organic and in-depth knowledge system that can provide accurate answers to the articulated and complex needs of its clients.

Interview with Paolo Santambrogio, Advisor to the Board at Algorab.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Paolo Santambrogio: Today, Algorab is a market leader in the remote control and IoT sector. Thanks to a constant research activity and a strong push for innovation, Algorab produces state-of-the-art hardware and develops powerful and reliable software that guarantees fast data acquisition and high security standards. Algorab’s deep experience in a wide range of industries ensures that its knowledge and expertise can be transferred into innovative solutions for a multitude of different applications. Algorab is now a company that operates on international markets, offering dedicated solutions for various sectors: Smart Lighting, its core business (urban, suburban and tunnels); indoor energy efficiency (corporate, industrial and large-scale retail trade); remote control of infrastructures (broadcasting, railways, aqueducts) and industries (supervision and control of production plants, data centres); cutting-edge Smart City and IoT services.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

P.S: Algorab’s offering is centered around 3 main layers:

Communication nodes. Our P5 control nodes can be placed inside the luminaire or outside, either with a Zhaga or with a NEMA interface. They are multistandard and multiprotocol remote control devices, capable of implementing both mesh and “star” network architectures. They can be supplied with a 2.4 GHz antenna and/or with a 868 MHz subgiga antenna (915 MHz where required). They support the major transmission standards and protocols, such as IEEE 802.15.4, Bluetooth 5.0 and LoRaWAN, and can also be equipped with a Cat M1 LTE Modem, with global certification.

Gateways. Our RIO set of modules has been developed to be able to communicate on the one side to the control nodes and on the other side to the central application SW through 4G Network, Ethernet or optic cables. Additional I/O modules are available to connect and control other devices in the street cabinet.

Application SW. Auge-G4 is our central SW platform that allows managing the Smart Lighting and Smart City system, with numerous features and functions, among which: dimming profiling of groups of lamps, data management, alerts and maintenance, data analysis and reporting.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

P.S: Thanks to the technological evolution of wireless remote control systems, public lighting systems are increasingly playing a key role in Smart Cities. Algorab systems allow not only to manage public lighting, with all the advantages of energy savings and better maintenance, but also to create a widespread network across the city capable of interconnecting with different sensors, so as to, for example, monitor weather conditions, detect environmental and noise pollution levels, remotely manage public irrigation, analyze traffic (TAI/FAI), report flooding, manage parking, track people, and manage electric vehicle charging stations. These are just a few examples of what can be achieved today thanks to a connected infrastructure capable of receiving and sending signals, information and commands. But once this infrastructure is in place, more functions can be added in the future.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

P.S: On the market side, the most relevant trend is toward the extension of Smart City logic and products to other fields, for example: to tunnels (Smart Tunnel), an environment subject to high regulation requirements and difficult access; to buildings (Smart Building), where wireless systems offer ease and flexibility of installation, thus reducing costs; to infrastructures such as electricity transmission lines, aqueducts, railways (Smart Infrastructure), where the geographical extension can be cancelled out by the flexibility of wireless technologies. Further sectors will certainly benefit from this potential.

On the offering side, a relevant trend on the market is certification. With the increase of market players, being able to proof the quality of the offering is becoming very relevant. Algorab has always been particularly attentive to the issue of quality, having begun over 20 years ago receiving ISO 9001 quality certification. With regard to the products, in addition to the mandatory CE certification, Algorab has received the voluntary certification from ENEC, a third party certifying compliance with a number of harmonized electrical safety standards (EN).

Furthermore, Algorab is the first Italian company to have certified remote control products in accordance with the innovative global D4i standard of the DALI Alliance, created to promote widespread use of IoT connectivity in the lighting sector.

Finally, Algorab is a member of the TALQ Consortium, which has defined a globally accepted Smart City protocol to configure, control and monitor networks of heterogeneous smart city devices via a single central management software package.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

P.S: On the market there is still no clear convergence between the different technologies supporting LPWANs, each with its own characteristics, pros and cons. 

Algorab is the first, and so far, the only, manufacturer to offer to the market the DualBand node, a highly innovative product which can support at the same time mesh and star topology, 2.4 GHZ and 868/915 MHZ antenna and IEEE 802.15.4 and LoRaWan communication protocol.

This allows to implement effectively and efficiently a communication infrastructure for the benefit of Smart Lighting and Smart City.

DualBand nodes have been developed with the aim of exploiting the benefits of each of the two frequencies to offer a product capable of giving excellent performance under all conditions of use. Algorab’s unique DualBand technology is positioned at the top of the range in terms of reliability, flexibility and compatibility.

This innovation is part of the Algorab philosophy of offering flexible and open systems, so that the investments made today, also thanks to the possibility of Overthe- Air (OTA) updating, can be highly performing throughout the life of the systems.

Massimo Borsi at Algorab

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

P.S: 2022 will probably going to be a difficult year in general. We are already coming from 2 years during which the pandemic has slowed downs quite a few projects, since the final users of our systems, municipalities and the public administration in general, were rightly focused on tackling the effect of the pandemic itself.

A second negative effect of it has been the slowdown in the supply chain, with delays and strong increases in purchase prices.

Additionally, the outbreak of the war in East Europe has made things more difficult, with increasing inflation and a looming recession.

On the positive side, the increased attention to climate change and energy saving makes wireless remote-control systems, especially adaptive and dynamic lighting, useful instruments to reach these goals. And the overall drive towards Smart City and IoT, though slowed down by the problems just highlighted, is here to stay for the future.

Algorab, thanks to its variety of products and deep knowledge in different markets, is nevertheless ready to compete successfully in this market.