Kalyan Ram B, chief executive officer, Electrono Solutions
Kalyan Ram B, chief executive officer, Electrono Solutions

Q. Could you introduce us to your organisation?
A: Electrono Solutions Pvt Ltd is a research infrastructure management solutions (RIMS) provider. Weoffer consultancy services, right from selection of appropriate technologies and products needed to establish a research laboratory with optimum automation, data analysis, upgrading to integrating legacy systems with state-of-the-art technologies, to providing customised solutions that are required for a specific research project.

Electrono Solutions Pvt Ltd specialises in extending an existing laboratory or building a new laboratory with remote access capability, wherein a given laboratory activity could be accessed by the user from a remote location. Users would have the flexibility to perform tedious, time-consuming tasks while on the move, from anywhere and at anytime, thereby breaking the shackles of time and space. We provide all of this with enhanced safety and security measures.

Q: Is the remote laboratory access set-up already functional?
A: Yes, the remote labs solutions is extended to labs in engineering colleges, allowing students to access their laboratories and perform all the experiments as conducted during their college lab sessions, at their convenience 24X7, over 365 days, with as many repetitions as desired. These solutions are currently functional in a leading university in Sweden for their biotechnology laboratory, at a premier institution of national importance in India in their electrical machines lab and many other institutions for their process control trainer set-ups.

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Q. What are the key technologies you are working on?
A: The key technologies we work on are computer control and data acquisition, sensors and actuators, graphical system design, embedded control system design and data analytics. We also work on computer networks, cloud computing and Web services.

Q. Are there any niche industry applications that you focus on?
A: We focus on remote access for research labs, machine data acquisition, non-destructive testing and customised automated test equipment.

Q. What are the major circuit or system design projects that you are currently working on?
A: We are currently working on a sonic analysis system, a remote lab for electric machines, one for hybrid power conditioning unit (PCU) with solar, wind and electricity board supply characteristics, a research lab for internal combustion engines and another for engineering software.

Looking at the Internet of Things (IoT)

Q. How do you see the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon? Do you see it driving business growth for India’s independent design houses (IDHs) or is it more of a marketing gimmick?
A: IoT is a tremendous technological opportunity offering diverse possibilities, just like any piece of technology opening up a huge number of possibilities. It is providing access to technology and solutions like never before with great pace and reach. India has caught up well with this technological upswing, as is the case with mobile and Internet connectivity providing a multitude of opportunities for engineers and designers to explore. With great pace and reach, and the awareness among the majority of the population, business growth is normally a natural progression. However, being able to position appropriately and sustain the unknown market conditions remains a challenge. In my opinion, all that matters is how we enable and empower the needy with this amazing new capability that we have in front of us.

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Q. Is this a priority area for your firm for future growth?
A: Certainly. Looking at the academic-employable divide in the skill-sets of students today, there is a need to match the learning pace of students with the technological development. In this regard, providing access to engineering labs throughout the year, at all times of the day, becomes important and the IoT could play a serious role and facilitate the solution to this critical need.

Q. What kind of projects does your team work on, in the IoT arena?
A: We provide remote access to streamlined branches of engineering, identifying important laboratory infrastructure in each branch. We have projects lined up for power electronics and drives (PED) labs, electrical machines labs in electrical engineering, internal combustion engines (ICE) lab in mechanical engineering, strength of materials lab in civil engineering, process control trainers lab, sensors and actuators lab in instrumentation engineering, embedded controls lab and digital signal processing (DSP) lab in electronics and communication engineering.

The marketing aspect…

Q. Who all have you partnered with for technologies and components?
A: We have partnered with National Instruments for tools, technologies and devices as they facilitate seamless integration and quick turnaround time.

Q. Do you target both Indian and global customers?
A: Since remote access is a key unique selling proposition (USP), it crosses geographical boundaries seamlessly. The remote lab in Sweden has been working successfully for over a year now and it has helped them in accessing the system for monitoring the status and activities of their tedious and time-consuming processes with ease and flexibility. The process now is also well-managed and safe in its operation.

Q. Can you name some of your leading international clients and the kind of work you have done for them?
A. For an innovative biotechnology company in Sweden, we provided turnkey automation solution for their plant and successfully executed remote monitoring and diagnostics capabilities. This plant is meant to produce various biotechnological substances (e.g., recombinant proteins or enzymes, organic acids, osmolytes) in a remote location with very limited presence of operators on the plant floor. Hence, it is critical to monitor and control the production parameters within its tight operating limits, which demands precise automated control systems. Our solution has facilitated our customer to effectively address the challenges in maintaining the tight operating limits of their production and safety parameters. The remote monitoring and diagnosis feature helps the users to check the status of the system and its parameters on their mobile phones.

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This turnkey solution has helped our customer to remotely monitor their system and take actions at the right time appropriately, for safe and hassle-free operation of their biotechnology infrastructure, to avoid and eliminate human errors, depend less on operators and supervisors and for timely and fault-free operation.

We have provided remote access to some of our international users to access our engineering laboratories.

Q. Can you also name some of your leading Indian clients and the kind of projects you have done for them?
A: Coming to the Indian market, we provide services to a leading virtual instrumentation company. We have designed and developed several automated test equipment in the field of aerospace for the defence sector and in the field of component testing for organisations under the Department of Atomic Energy and automotive component manufacturing companies. We have also provided skilled LabVIEW/ TestStand programmers for engineering design/ testing of automotive infotainment systems for a leading European luxury carmaker. Designing and developing remote lab set-up for electrical machines, IC engines or process control trainer kits for leading engineering institutes of national importance and deemed universities is also part of our profile.

Q. What is your marketing strategy to reach global clients? Is it the same for Indian clients too?
A: Our marketing strategy extends to both Indian and global clients. For a start-up such as us, it is important to explore partnerships with those who are already working in related fields, as they could facilitate us to position our technologies in the right space.

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We attend conferences, network and publish the outcome of our research in international journals. We recently participated in REV 2015, a leading international conference on remote engineering and virtual instrumentation.

Our innovation labs team develops intuitive solutions that we then try to pitch to our prospective clients. We also attend domain-specific events where we network. We build innovative solutions that facilitate remote access to engineering infrastructure for aspiring engineers to enhance their engineering capability. In the current context, social media is a platform that we intend to leverage to reach out to prospective users of this technology. We offer trail access to our remote labs for interested users. Interested users can write to us at [email protected]

The main resource of a company…

Q. How many design engineers would you have for circuit/ system design and chip design?
A: For circuit/ system design, we have 15 engineers. Currently, we do not have any chip designers. However, since the organisation is growing, we may recruit chip designers based on specific business demand or requirements. We are looking at entry-level designers and those with two to three years experience.

Q. Do you offer training or internship programmes?
A: Yes, we do. We have internship programmes, which include two categories – campus entrepreneurship orientation programme and campus technical employment orientation programme.

We do not necessarily hire from tier-1 or tier-2 colleges. We have had great teams grouping in from almost any engineering institution that we could think of. We are open to candidates from other industries too. However, currently our focus is on academic institutions as we believe that they need us the most.

Q. What are the skill-sets you find lacking in freshers?
A. The main factor would be exposure. It is not that freshers lack skill-sets. It is just that they have not got enough opportunities to explore and utilise their skill-sets. We would like to facilitate smooth transition in this process.


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