Facilities Maintenance with Always Blue

Pilot in Saint-Quentin

How can we use data to optimise public ashtrays maintenance?



  • Project: Facilities maintenance in public spaces
  • Location: Saint-Quentin, France, with 56,000 inhabitants
  • Challenge: Prioritizing interventions to maintain cleanliness facilities
  • Solution: Data-based solution that provide insights to optimize tour for ashtrays’ maintenance


The municipal department in charge of cleanliness needs to be better informed concerning the status of these facilities dispatched in the public in order to improve maintenance operations. Therefore, a solution that enables customized and optimised route scheduling and allows city staff to know when and where it is necessary to intervene is required. An additional request of the department is to detect when a problem occurs to an ashtray (shifting and overturning). In a first attempt to answer these questions, Saint-Quentin wishes to focus the challenge on ashtrays, as this is the more complicated facility for the municipal department to manage. As the ashtrays are not transparent, it is necessary to open them with a key to establish whether they are full or not. Hence, the current monitoring routine is onerous.



The challenge is taking in charge by Always Blue, a start-up creating IoT solutions for smart cities. The company is specialized in IOT for public spaces and geo-located human-machine interactions: hardware, SaaS platforms, data production. Always Blue aims to create a solution based on the value and the virtue of Open IoT. It will take the form of a a connected box that measures the level of public ashtrays dispatched in public space. Measuring this level will trigger alerts collected by a central server which will list the points on which to intervene quickly or soon and will thus facilitate the establishment of intervention planning. A second step is to mix data produced by the box with other ones in order to extrapolate results to other ashtrays located in the neighbors. 



We defined all parameters needed before a real implementation :

  • Consultation of cleanliness department in order to define what are their specific requirements and interests both for technical part with the specification device and for the data part in term of measuring, analyzing and visualizing the results
  • Validation of the specifications of the technical device and the overall architecture in order to be able to capture filling level of ashtrays and then providing this information to city staff (see image below). A big part of the challenge was to define a tailored device that is able to insert in our current ashtrays model and to be effective even in such aggressive environment (high temperatures, smoke).