KMC Controls: Open, Secure, and Scalable Building Automation Systems

Internet of Things (IoT) allows physical household and office devices to connect with networks. These devices can work in tandem with other connected elements, and through that connection can be monitored, managed and controlled remotely. Although building systems have grown more unwieldy and disparate, with the implementation of IoT they are also becoming smarter and more technically advanced. Furthermore, CIOs and IT directors have become more responsible for these systems, and their expectations for the IT capabilities of these systems is often higher than what is thought possible. To help make this transition easier, KMC Controls offers a solution, KMC Commander, which makes IT integrations possible and IT departments more comfortable with taking OT systems under their wing.

About KMC Controls

KMC Controls is an American manufacturer of open, secure, and scalable IoT and building automation solutions. From secure hardware devices to smart and connected software, KMC delivers embedded intelligence and optimized control. KMC is located in New Paris, Indiana, and is committed to providing innovative products. By teaming up with leading technology providers, KMC’s solutions help their customers increase operating efficiency, optimize energy usage, maximize comfort, and improve safety.

Ken Kreuter founded the company in 1969. At that time, KMC specialized in pneumatic HVAC controls for the OEM market. Over time, the company became an industry visionary – looking for voids and developing and building on new technologies to fill these needs. This led to expansion of the KMC product line, such as the addition of digital controls in the 1980s and configuration software in the 1990s. Under the leadership of CEO Richard Newberry, KMC Controls continues this spirit of innovation and market awareness with KMC Commander, the company’s IoT solution for building automation.

KMC Commander: An IoT Solution Providing Real Data in Real Time

KMC Commander began as a vision to unite building systems across networks, protocols, and locations in a single cloud-based, mobile-focused platform. Committed to making the solution truly open, affordably scalable and as secure as possible, KMC set out with tech leaders Intel and Dell to promote IoT and prove that collaboration is the only way to be successful when approaching this new connected concept. After advising Dell on what to include in an IoT gateway, the 5000 and 3000 series Edge Gateways, with Intel inside, were born. All the while, KMC developed the cloud platform that would drive the solution and finally make IoT a solid possibility for real-world companies.

Referring to the continuous innovations carried out in the solution, Newberry says, “KMC doesn’t believe KMC Commander will ever be a complete solution – meaning we will always be improving and adding features. It’ll never be pronounced ‘done.’”

Building Customer Centric Solutions

As the mission statement of KMC goes, “Innovative and intuitive solutions; responsive and supportive people,” the company develops products that are customer-minded, using state-of-the-art technologies. KMC looks and listens to the customers, working with them to fill their needs with solutions that are easy to purchase, install, and use. The customer commitment doesn’t end there. KMC products are backed by a knowledgeable team that supports the client and ensures successful implementation and use of the products.

For KMC Commander, that means working with IT and OT customers as they each have diverse needs. The team at KMC further looks at individual verticals and strives to best begin the IoT strategy. “Once you get a foot in the door, so to say, IoT implementations just keep happening,” says Newberry. “And since KMC Commander, like most of our products, is an open solution, interoperability and data ownership far exceeds our competition in the IoT field.”

Factors Leading to the Success of KMC Controls

KMC Controls has helped facilities achieve higher levels of energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality by automating and controlling building systems for nearly 50 years. The company attributes the following factors to its success, and with these factors, looks to achieve further heights in the business.

  1. Strong Corporate Leadership Support: The KMC Leadership team is dedicated to emerging technologies and providing innovative and intuitive solutions to KMC customers.
  2. Strong CEO Vision: Richard Newberry has provided a strong and consistent vision for the company in its IoT initiatives and strategy.
  3. History of a Commitment to Open Solutions: IoT will only be successful when vendors use and provide open solutions. KMC has always been committed to providing open solutions, so transitioning to a new mentality wasn’t necessary.
  4. Customer Commitment: KMC Controls views its customers as partners, and strives to provide products that are innovative, reliable and easy to use with personalized support and training.
Future challenges for KMC

KMC anticipates great amounts of growth in a number of channels. The company’s current and most successful channel historically has been the OT channel of Systems Integrators and OEM customers, focused primarily on HVAC solutions. The team expects that their IT markets of IT managed service providers and CIO/IT Directors for midsize enterprises will grow dramatically, easily doubling current customer and revenue projections. Excited to face these challenges, Newberry says, “We couldn’t be more thrilled with what the future holds for KMC, and we’re excited to experience all of this growth with customers and partners alike.”

Newberry’s Advice for IoT Newcomers

The market is ripe for innovation, and there are huge amounts of potential in numerous segments. IoT is the biggest thing to happen since the industrial revolution, even bigger than the mobile revolution. We’re entering a phase of digital transformation that will change the way we run our businesses in the future.  So for someone entering the industry, pick a lane and hold on… it’s going to be exciting. Our lane is Smart Building IoT and it’s been an adventurous few years.