Strainlabs System monitors the integrity of mechanical applications and infrastructure with unparalleled precision, gathering real-time preload data enabling predictive maintenance


Strainlabs is a tech company focused on IoT for mechanical engineering, more specifically bolted joints. The company has invented, developed, and manufactured the world’s first intelligent IoT bolt providing real time monitoring. The purpose of Strainlabs Bolts is to monitor critical or maintenance demanding application across industries, in infrastructure applications as well as within manufacturing processes. 

Strainlabs Bolts are part of a complete system including bolt, router and an analytical software called Strainlabs Analytics. The analytical software provides condition information that help avoid failures and unnecessary production stops while simplifying maintenance and service procedures. Strainlabs System also collects new insights that can improve future design processes related to bolted connections and mechanical design.

Interview with Csaba Madru, CEO & co-founder of Strainlabs.

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

Csaba Madru: Most companies within IoT focus on specific things – the sensor, the telecommunication, or the data management (resulting data). In Strainlabs case, we take ownership of all three aspects. Overall, Strainlabs is a quite unique company and takes ownership of all processes related to its market offering – from the development, design, manufacturing as well as sales including analytics of bolt data and customer support. The company primarily focuses on providing its customers with their unique preload monitoring system. They serve a wide range of industries where bolted joints are crucial, such as manufacturing, energy, transportation, construction, and more. This diverse application showcases the versatility of Strainlabs’ technology and its ability to improve operational efficiency and reliability across various sectors including heavy industries.

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

C.M: Strainlabs has recently expanded its range of bolt sizes to include M22, M24, and M27 due to high market demand (total range of standard sizes now includes M10-M27). This allows the company to cater to industries that require larger bolt sizes, like railways and general production, thereby enhancing their connectivity capabilities and application scope. Strainlabs was CE marked in 2021 and we are actively working to expand certifications further. We have just achieved IP67 classification for router protection which supports using the complete Strainlabs System in harsh environments since IP67 classification was obtained for Strainlabs Bolts in 2022. We also work with signal amplifying to increase the range between bolt and router or reduce the significance of obstructing objects. In 2023 we wrote a performance article series on how we push the boundary condition of mechanical IoT and smart bolts by using latest technology.

With exceptional accuracy, extended battery life, reliable wireless communication, robust hardware, and advanced analytics capabilities, Strainlabs IoT Bolts offer a comprehensive solution for industrial IoT monitoring

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

C.M: The range of Strainlabs System is mainly focused on bolt size and type which is ISO 4014 and ISO 4017 in the sizes M10-M27. Strainlabs Bolts are available in carbon (according to ISO 898-1) and stainless steel (according to for steel ISO 3506) in all property classes. The product is sold as a system compromising the bolts, a router which is an internet gateway and an analytics software based on an azure cloud. The product is modularly designed meaning customer unique adaptations are possible and we regularly work with customer unique solutions in either software or hardware setup. 

In the marketplace, Strainlabs is actively engaging with innovative collaborations to enable predictive maintenance in various industries. One example partnership is with Vossloh to drive digitization in railway maintenance. This strategic partnership aims to transform the railway industry by integrating data-driven solutions into the existing infrastructure, thus allowing for proactive maintenance and enhanced reliability of rail systems.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

C.M: Because bolts are ever present across industries Strainlabs has a wide market potential. Industrial digitalization is at different maturity levels depending on industries. Since this type of technology has not existed previously our current customers are generally early adopters in industries where ambitions for IoT and predictive maintenance routines are very high. To facilitate adoption, Strainlabs System is truly plug and play. The bolts are installed how it has always been with standard tools, both router and software are preconfigured upon delivery for a simple and easy start. 

The market is investing numerous solutions ranging from simple binary sensors all the way to AI. Strainlabs position is an advanced solution with automatic analogue-digital sensors with advanced analytics algorithms. The system is designed with future implementation of AI in mind. The market is going through a learning experience in how to implement digitalization in mechanical industries. Strainlabs often works with collaborative proof of concepts in cooperation with customers and assist with getting the highest value out of the implementation. 

Csaba Madru, CEO and co-founder of Strainlabs

Csaba Madru has spent his entire career specialised in bolted joints. He has working with problem solving, design and bolted joint technology in a wide range of industrial applications around the world. He has covered every aspect including testing, calculations, dimensioning, characterisation, bolt securing, failure analysis, corrosion, fatigue, tightening, assembly etc, managing global technical teams and collaborated with multiple research institutes. As co-founder and CEO (previously CTO) of Strainlabs AB, he has been involved in every step of developing the next generation of bolted joint technology. The research to create a method to measure preload in bolt started back in 2014.

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

C.M: Industrial digitalization is increasing, more customers are actively working to develop or implementing digitally supported business models. IoT and industrial data is not driven only by potential cost savings and efficient maintenance, it is also about generating revenue and getting a competitive advantage. As for market trends, there is a growing demand for IoT solutions that can facilitate predictive maintenance and the digitalization of bolted joints. This aligns with Strainlabs’ offering of sensor-equipped bolts that provide increased control over asset condition, contributing to safer and more productive maintenance operations.

Naturally in this climate and market condition partnerships is an increasing trend. Commonly market leading entities partner with startups and various levels in scaleup companies to join forces. With an active exchange in expertise, experience and market positions more can be achieved together. An example is Strainlabs close corporation with Vossloh to lead the railway digitalization process and facilitate it with a common interface. 

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

C.M: Within the Strainlabs System comprised of the categories the sensor, the gateway and the software, the most innovative part is the patented sensor measuring preload with light. Measurement occurs completely automatic and preload is measured with high accuracy and high precision over an extended period of time. After the battery is depleted, normally after 5 years, Strainlabs IoT bolts can remain in the joint like traditional bolts or be replaced. As new bolts inherit the data of the previous one in that position, the application data is not affected. Naturally, the bolts are designed to be recyclable in line with the company’s commitment to sustainability.

A bolt is like a spring – it gets longer when under preload. Strainlabs patented LED-sensors utilize the bolt elongation physical law for measuring amount of light.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the remainder of 2024?

C.M: Strainlabs is involved in numerous projects and proof of concept installations with market leading companies. Our focus is to continue our leading position – provide value to customers, maintain our position to drive this type of bolted joint technology forward in the market place. As we work more closely with large companies, we anticipate more investments into standardized guiding systems and certifications. We work with continuous improvements and are committed to further enhancing quality, production, sustainability certifications as a natural part of our business. We will continue to stay at the forefront of technological advancement and support the ongoing need for the digitalization of industrial maintenance processes. For us this also includes exploring possibilities with even larger bolt sizes and continuing our innovation in IoT for mechanical assets​​. For the most current news on Strainlabs’ products and services, it would be best to visit their official website or reach out to their team directly.