IoT powered Makerspace CRM/ERP platform

IoT-powered cloud-connected platform for makerspace workshops allowing tools and equipment rental. Software system combines CRM and ERP features, multi-user interface and allows makerspace easy scalability.

A new fablab infrastructure facility came up with a whole new innovative approach to manage their ‘hackerspace’ prototyping / co-working facility.

From our manufacturing operational expertise, we understood the deep problems of managing such common workshop space, maintenance and equipment breakdown problems coupled with a large inflow of new users.

EnCata software development team, in collaboration with hardware developers, came up with a bespoke solution, targeting a number of potential issues and weak points of fablabs. To personalise the use of common prototyping facilities (a range of CNC machinery and a large set of tools) we suggested enabling access to all the facilities via the web app. All the equipment and door lockers had to become IoT devices, talking to a server and managed via web application.

The web-based application (to avoid cross-platform accessibility problems) became the key to:

  1. enter the fablab space,
  2. book and use the equipment/tooling,
  3. manage own/fablab components and consumables inventory as in CRM/ERP system.

The software payment system encompassed a tokenised blockchain-powered payment system connected to conventional payment systems. On the backend, all the machinery gain ‘IoT access’ through the intermediate ‘IoT-enabling’ wi-fi power sockets and IoT-connected lockers, talking to the gateway and connecting all the devices to the server. The server side enabled used several user types, allowing ERP/CRM facility access and component stock management to the administrators. The common system users were allowed to book any buy machine time to do self-prototyping and pay for it on a fly.

In a nutshell, the fablab received a complete IoT system with a powerful web application that helps to manage the space and the users. The software solution allowed to reduce administrative expenses and make fablab sustainable in the long run. The is client fablab is now actively pursuing new domestic users and franchising its innovative service thru opening under its own brand new maker space facilities. All enabled by EnCata software solution.