Hermes Smart Control, innovative logistics for the industrial sector

The start-up from Vigo designs products to facilitate the monitoring of machinery and the tracking of containers

Xabier Barra (left) and Manuel Rañal, heads of Hermes Control.

The BFAuto (Business Factory Auto) accelerator, promoted by the Xunta through the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN), the Galician Institute for Economic Promotion (Igape) together with the Cluster of Galician Automotive Companies (CEAGA), Stellantis, the Consortium Zona Franca de Vigo and the venture capital company Vigo Activo, was a decisive factor in the start-up of Hermes Smart Control, a start-up from Vigo that during its short existence (it was born in 2018) was already able to develop and market innovative products with solutions for monitoring machinery and improving logistics in companies, especially in the automotive sector.

Xabier Barra, one of the company’s founding partners, explains that the Covid-19 pandemic made the company’s path to consolidation more difficult, but little by little they are making progress with the products they are developing. The main one is Whimcom (Where is My Container), a solution focused on the logistics of the automotive sector and that allows knowing the location and status of the containers at all times.

“It is a solution that has a very important impact for customers. We have finished the development phase of the project and now we are starting the pilot test. We also hope that the sector can recover little by little from the crisis experienced and that we can market the product with several clients who are already very interested,” says Barra.

The solution developed by Hermes is based on the implantation of a chip in the container that allows its location to be known at all times. The system uses geolocation with GPS coordinates on commercial networks, which means that its coverage could be worldwide and the costs are very low. Battery life is another of the elements solved by Whimcom, which makes it an open platform solution, strong and adaptable to each client. “It is a product that mixes hardware and software and also has a platform in the cloud, which means that the client does not have to install an application,” says Barra.

Another of the products that the start-up from Vigo is already marketing is the Qair, a high-quality CO2 meter that can be used in both public and private areas such as restaurants, homes, offices or libraries. The device was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic just at a time when this type of product began to have a very high demand.

Mobocen is another of the solutions developed by Hermes and in this case it is a device that allows the operation of machinery to be controlled. It allows to monitor the vibrations and the temperature of the machines, so that the clients can anticipate failures in the diverse elements of the devices. With this it is possible to avoid unforeseen failures and reduce the costs of line stoppage, as well as better planning the maintenance of the machinery.


Barra points out that the company is currently located in the facilities of the Vigo Free Trade Zone business incubator in Porto do Molle and both the BFAuto accelerator and the CEAGA automotive cluster continue to provide important collaboration in various aspects of its development, such as training and also customer acquisition.

Internationalization is a natural process for Hermes, since its proximity to Portugal makes it a natural market for the company. “For now, we don’t plan to go any further because we are working with neighborhood circles and Porto is much closer than Madrid for us,” says Barra.

Looking to the future, Barra points out that monitoring is going to be a very important activity and his company works in a sector that is the first step before starting artificial intelligence. “Data is essential to advance in this type of process and we are like the bees that build the honeycomb so that later someone can get the honey from there,” says the Hermes manager.


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