The startup was acquired last July aiming at expanding WEG’s digital solutions portfolio
WEG took another step in its project of expanding its portfolio of digital solutions for the industry and acquired last July the startup BirminD. Focused on industrial optimization via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the startup sold 51% of its capital stock to the manufacturer of electric and electronic devices from Santa Catarina. Both companies are members of Brazil Machinery Solutions — a machinery and equipment sector project carried out by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the Brazilian Machinery Builders’ Association (ABIMAQ).
Founded in 2015, in Sorocaba, BirminD focuses on finding potential efficiency hidden in industrial processes. To do it, the company develops software that uses AI to generate strategic information for corporate decision makers.
For WEG’s customers, the acquisition of the startup business will result in services, tools and applications for the extraction of information from the WEG Motor Fleet Management databases and from the MES systems. The company sees new opportunities to be explored thanks to the partnership. To Diego Mariano, CEO of BirminD, the startup will complement the portfolio of WEG Digital regarding Industrial Machine Learning. “We are combining BirminD technology that facilitates the use of AI on the factory floor with the security and support of WEG, in order to make industry 4.0 accessible for industries of all sizes.”
About the negotiations between BirminD and WEG, Diego says: “These types of discussions are always complex. We talked to many people from WEG in many different events, and finally they contacted us for a business relationship at first. Negotiations progressed over months and culminated in the acquisition last July”.
The solutions offered by BirminD meet the needs of the global competitive scenario, in which optimizing outcomes with maximum efficiency becomes a key factor for the survival of companies. Based on estimates from the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency, in 2017 Brazil reduced BRL 72 billion in costs by adopting new industry 4.0 practices, such as IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning and big data. The study also reveals that out of that amount, BRL 35 billion are expected to be saved by reducing costs with repairs and maintenance, BRL 31 billion related to a higher production efficiency, and BRL 7 billion connected with reduced electricity costs.
The startup product focuses on such goals, since it consists of a piece software that uses all types of industrial data, ranging from those entered into Excel spreadsheets to automatic connections with ERP systems. The software uses the information to find potential cost reductions. Also, it ranks the best optimization opportunities for the factory, helps finding the root cause of issues and shows the best industrial operations parameters.
Focusing on strategic needs of machinery and equipment builders and aiming at encouraging initiatives like BirminD’s, ABIMAQ continually makes all efforts to promote, support and guide such sector. The association fosters the research, development and innovation by means of its Machinery and Equipment Industry Institute for Technology Research and Development (IPDMAQ).
“The relationship with the institute has been great. Every time I needed support, they gave me. I can only say good things about the people there”, states the CEO of BirminD.
The company constantly takes part in the activities promoted by IPDMAQ and was one of the manufacturers that participated last year in the “Encontro com Startups” (Startup Meeting). The event was organized by MOVE — the ABIMAQ Program for Industrial Startups — which is linked to the institute. “It was an amazing event. As always, ABIMAQ supported us, so that we could consolidate our brand in the industrial segment. In that meeting, we had the chance of getting informed on the industry 4.0 initiatives in our region and doing networking”, says Diego. The event involved 77 companies and 35 startups that had the chance of exchanging information and sharing experiences. Diego was one of the speakers and presented successful cases about relationships between companies and startups, accompanied by representatives of Votorantim Cimentos and Eurofarma. Startups also had the opportunity to close deals and make pitches during the “Open Mic” sessions, sharing great results they had achieved.