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As steel structures age, their integrity becomes a concern. These structures – bridges, cranes and other industrial assets – are continuously subjected to intense loads and environmental factors that can cause small fractures or fatigue cracks over time. The detection and monitoring of these cracks are critical to prevent catastrophic failures. This is where Villari, a Dutch startup, makes its mark, revolutionising the steel industry with its innovative sensor technology. Recently, Villari secured a seed investment of €2.5 million from, along with co-investors InnovationQuarter Capital and Delft Enterprises.

  • Dutch startup Villari secures €2.5M funding for revolutionary steel monitoring sensors.
  • Villari’s innovative technology replaces manual crack detection, enhancing safety and efficiency.
  • Magnetic field-based sensors offer real-time assessment for steel structures, minimizing downtime.

A leap from the traditional

Villari’s technology is a step away from the traditional, often inefficient, methods of crack monitoring that involve manual labour. The current standard process is not only expensive but also leads to unnecessary downtime for assets. Olivier Baas, founder and CEO of Villari, developed the technology during his graduation project at TU Delft, seeing the need for a more reliable and cost-effective solution.

The company’s sensor solution uses magnetic field variations in a steel structure to correlate data with crack growth. This real-time data can be monitored through a dashboard, providing an immediate and accurate assessment of the steel structure’s condition.

Since its inception in 2019, Villari has already made significant strides. Its sensor solution has been installed at various customers, including bridges owned by the Dutch Government and industrial cranes at harbours and steel manufacturing sites across Europe.

Fatigue cracks

The fact that cracks are appearing in bridges and other steel building sections is not in itself alarming. However, it is important to constantly check the formation of cracks and take appropriate action. Fatigue cracks can actually be tolerated to a certain extent. And that is exactly what Villari’s sensors do, which is mainly to monitor how damage is developing.