CIMCON Digital: Giving Industrial Assets the Edge Advantage

Anil Agrawal, CEO

Anil Agrawal was one of the very few people who came back to India after having the opportunity to go and study in the U.S.A. some 30 years back. "I wanted to take my learnings back to India and spread that among the bright engineers there to make something that will change the world," Agrawal says. Time would prove that he stood to the promise.

After attaining his Masters’ degree in engineering, Agrawal returned to his homeland, built a team of young and talented engineers, and founded CIMCON Software (India) Pvt. Ltd., to help water and electric utilities automate their geographically distributed assets such as substations, generating stations, water wells, and water treatment plants just to name a few.

"We did that successfully for a decade and then, for some family reasons, I had to go back to the U.S. again," he recalls.

Agrawal's second chapter in the U.S. started with diversification into the financial services space by setting up a US entity CIMCON Software, Inc. Agrawal led this for about 10 years before it was acquired by a Boston-based private equity firm. Agrawal then founded and led CIMCON Lighting, Inc., a leader in smart lighting and smart city space that was eventually sold to another Silicon Valley firm. After this exit, Agrawal started exploring other verticals. He ultimately laid the foundation of CIMCON Digital, a company dedicated to accelerating digital transformation and making Industry 4.0 more viable.

"At CIMCON Digital, our mission is to connect the industrial world. We envision a world where all industrial assets are connected and can be monitored and controlled in real-time for maximum productivity and improved bottom line,” Agrawal says.

A Leap toward the Next Phase of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is reshaping how companies manufacture, improve, and distribute products. The next big thing in the space is edge computing, which allows manufacturers to ingest, process, and analyze data in real-time at the machine itself.
As a result, manufacturing processes align quickly and intelligently to changing factory floor conditions, effectively reducing operational costs and downtimes. Unfortunately, many plant owners still operate without real-time visibility into their operations, adversely impacting their bottom line.

CIMCON Digital challenges this status quo with its modern, powerful, and easy to use industrial platform, CIM 360 and a preventive maintenance solution using VIBit.

CIM 360 has been designed from the grounds up to do as much edge processing as possible without requiring the data to be communicated back into the cloud.

“We take the data directly from the machines, process it, and leverage Machine Learning to produce actionable insights right at the machine. And all this is done on the edge. We want to own the edge,” says Agrawal.

The intelligent edge platform can offer plug-andplay connectivity to various industrial assets, including machines, sensors, cameras, vibration sensors, and SCADA systems, through different protocols and interfaces. This plays a vital role in delivering the insights that customers need. The platform comes with a powerful edge device that has all the computational resources to ensure intelligence and control/command functionality at the edge using ML algorithms. CIMCON Digital also focuses on the enterprisewide deployment of the CIM 360 with its iCloud. It ensures the quick provisioning, authorization, and authentication of edge devices from a web-based, centralized management platform.

"We support hundreds of protocols so our customers can be assured that they can connect and talk to almost all their machines right away," says Agrawal.

CIMCON Digital’s preventive maintenance solution using VIBit, on the other hand, is an intelligent, powerful, and compact sensor. It easily attaches to rotating assets, including pumps, motors, blowers, gearboxes, etc., and utilizing cutting-edge AI/ML algorithms offers insights into the condition of machines based on vibration, temperature, and acoustic data. This provides clients with early warnings before their machines fail reducing planned and unplanned maintenance activities.
These capabilities enable CIMCON Digital to serve many industries alongside the manufacturing sector, including smart water and smart buildings. In one instance, a large automotive manufacturer in Asia was struggling owing to the lower efficiency of their production plant. They were also losing a significant amount of money on unscheduled maintenance operations. Working in liaison with the client, CIMCON Digital installed the preventive maintenance solution, which flagged the high-priority areas requiring immediate attention. This reduced maintenance and asset lifecycle costs, resulting in greater asset performance. In another instance, a water utility implemented CIMCON Digital’s solution to make their water treatment equipment more efficient with real-time data.

We connect industrial assets to help clients become more efficient and achieve desired outcomes

Helmed by Strong Leadership

There is no doubt that Agrawal's leadership style has been the most prominent force behind the success of CIMCON Digital. Having spent decades in the industry, he understands that technology comes with its own challenges. As a result, he always leads by example to help his people understand how to deal with a specific problem. This has enabled him to build a team that is always ready to tackle the challenges head-on and never succumbs to pressure.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach. We need to have relentless focus on our customers and put every possible effort to make them successful. In our company, failure is acceptable but “not trying” is not an option,” Agrawal says.

CIMCON Digital understands that the advancements in IoT and sensor technologies have made smart manufacturing a reality. Simultaneously, today’s contactless economy has heightened the need for remote machine provisioning and maintenance. CIMCON Digital is truly addressing the requirements of the modern manufacturing world with its smart solutions. The company's primary objective in the coming years is to make its solutions ecosystem more robust and global.