According to recent data, almost 90% of all startups fail. Why? Because of common mistakes such as targeting the wrong market or conducting insufficient research, along with a lack of expertise, funding, or a proper marketing strategy.
To a certain extent, every entrepreneur is the pilot of his/her startup, steering the company to success and navigating difficult turbulence. And next to every great pilot is his or her co-pilot. So, why not mitigate the risks of entrepreneurship and let Cemex be your co-pilot and trusted partner as you grow your business and validate your solution in real markets?
For startups, the final product is often very different from the original concept, and the time it takes to get from start to finish can take time, even years. Commercial piloting helps startups reduce the time it takes to get their solutions market-ready, optimizing both time and resources.
For corporate innovators, piloting can help big businesses with complex operations understand how a new solution can be applied in practice and in real-time. Piloting an early-stage solution can also mean working in close collaboration with startups to improve, add, or remove functionalities to personalize the technology or solution to the business’s needs.
Keep reading to discover the pilot outcomes (real solutions for real challenges) of the 1st edition of the Cemex Ventures Leaplab Acceleration Program!
Table of Contents
2022 pilot outcomes
In November 2022, we launched the 1st edition of Cemex Ventures Leaplab, our exclusive accelerator for high-potential early-stage startups. The Leaplab Acceleration Program connected 5 startups (also known as the 2022 cohort) with Cemex business units in 6 countries. The 2022 cohort carried out 14-week pilots to validate their solutions, during which the startups were able to network with one another and maintain a close relationship with Cemex, receiving one-on-one mentoring and educational sessions (Master Talks) from the company’s construction & business experts.
Here are the main take aways from each pilot, but keep reading for an in-depth review of each challenge & solution the startups aimed to solve at Cemex:
Challenge: Many industries face pressure to digitalize to become more efficient and sustainable, and construction is no exception. However, one of the barriers of digitalizing assets and processes is the high cost of wired sensors and the environmental impact of battery-powered monitoring devices.
Solution: AEInnova has developed a solution in response to this challenge and developed a self-powered battery-less IoT wireless sensor network that generates its own energy from waste heat, resulting in a clean and sustainable electricity. By using their patented thermoelectric technology, their solution eliminates the need for costly and resource intensive lithium batteries. Their end-to-end solution, from sensors to software, permits a simple and quick implementation of sensors used for industrial equipment monitoring.
AEInnova x Cemex Pilot Result: AEInnova’s pilot consisted of installing 5 sensors to monitor the functionality and state of auxiliary equipment and quickly detect potential anomalies that can lead to disruptions in the production process if unattended to. As part of the functionality tests in the pilot, Cemex applied different methods to generate tensions in the sensors. This included the opportunity to compare the AEInnova sensor with an existing wired sensor previously installed in the control system. From the results, we confirmed the consistency in measurements and the reliability of the captured data.
By eliminating lithium batteries, AEInnova sensors reduce the environmental impact of such devices up to 90%. Moreover, their technology leads up to a 70% cost reduction in planned maintenance by mitigating the risk of unexpected failures. On average, the system can generate a 40% reduction in downtime, as well as the potential to reduce digitalization costs by more than 80% compared to complex wired systems. The validation enabled through this pilot opens a very interesting field for us by confirming stable coverage of this solution in facilities with large installations where most of the infrastructure is metal-based.
Challenge: Heavy equipment such as trucks, bulldozers, or loaders are essential to construction & mining, but they have some major challenges related to safety, productivity, and sustainability.
Solution: To address these issues, Ception has developed a novel AI-powered system to create a deep understanding of heavy vehicles’ contexts and surroundings in real time by using advanced computer vision, deep-learning algorithms, sensor fusion, and more. Ception’s solution’s in-cabin system helps heavy machinery operators determine the optimal loading approach and receive live alerts about dangerous situations (e.g., near cliffs, obstacles, or disrupted ways). At the same time, site managers can receive a full analysis of safety events, productivity bottlenecks, and site information such as the 3D volume of stockpiles.
Ception x Cemex Pilot Result: Ception’s solution was tested in 6 different Ready-Mix and Aggregates sites in Israel and effectively worked to predict and indicate 3 safety hazard types: person, vehicle, and heavy vehicle. The alerts were only generated in truly risky situations and were prioritized by urgency. Ception’s Collision Warning system proved a 40% reduction in near-miss events, and their Smart Dumping System offers a potential productivity increase of 35% due to maneuver optimization, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The pilot also allowed Ception to further develop and test its mapping and analytics capabilities of non-drivable areas. The most relevant benefit validated from the pilot was the mitigation of safety risks on site. Other benefits included the opportunity to review near misses at the plant, allowing Health & Safety managers to learn from them, and the enhanced productivity of heavy vehicles.
Challenge: In the ready-mix industry, one major challenge is the visibility of the mix conditions when concrete is in transit to the customer’s site, which can negatively affect the quality and usability of the concrete mix.
Solution: Cloud Cycle has developed software and sensors that can be installed quickly in ready-mix trucks, effectively turning them into “mobile labs”. Once Cloud Cycle’s sensors are installed, they can produce accurate and consistent readings in real-time, providing ready-mix teams with data and visibility of the quality of every delivery from batch to pour.
Cloud Cycle x Cemex Pilot Result: The Leaplab program pilot with Cloud Cycle was executed among Cemex’s ready-mix London fleet. Through the online real-time data dashboard, the Cemex UK ready-mix team was able to track 100% of concrete deliveries and ensure they fulfilled the correct specifications before arriving onsite. This was a great opportunity for Cemex to test a cost-effective, reliable, and scalable product tailored to their needs.
Challenge: Enhancing productivity to reduce costs and improve quality, sustainability, and customer experience is a major concern in the construction industry, which has historically been slower to digitalize compared to other industries.
Solution: Qsee’s Software as a Service (SaaS) optimizes production processes through prescriptive analytics and a unique closed-loop technology, powered by Artificial Intelligence.
Qsee x Cemex Pilot Result: The main objective of this Leaplab pilot was to apply and test Qsee’s solution for a real-time prediction of core KPIs in the cement production process and real-time prescription around parameters closely linked to target values for selected KPIs. Qsee’s technology was tested in Cemex cement plants in Huichapan (Mexico), Miami (US), and Castillejo (Spain) to get diverse learnings from different operational conditions. Results from the pilot include learnings around the potential in the application of AI-powered technologies to increase our production processes’ efficiency. Furthermore, Qsee can support Cemex’s operational goals with the live prediction of key variables in the manufacturing journey and precise prescriptions in real-time for correlated variables that can guarantee specific values for targeted KPIs.
Challenge: Tires are fleets’ most important cost after fuel. They represent a significant part of associated expenses due to maintenance, mechanical failures, and purchase inefficiencies that also translate to safety and environmental issues. The tires importance for road safety and cost control makes them an essential piece of successful fleet management.
Solution: Ruedata has created a Software as a Service (SaaS) that uses predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms to understand how tires wear out and based on that optimize maintenance plans, reduce costs, and increase safety.
Ruedata x Cemex Pilot Result: Ruedata’s solution was tested in the entire Cemex Colombia’s supply chain fleet. Some of the proven benefits include up to 30% tire cost reduction. Moreover, their system demonstrated an opportunity for simplifying the tire management process, centralizing the related information and using it efficiently to improve traceability in the operations. The SaaS can also enhance fleet maintenance and tire purchasing plans by using data and indicators from the software to send alerts linked to tire pressure levels, accelerated wear, and possible mechanical failures.