The initiative aimed not only to streamline operations but also to fit seamlessly within the limited space of retail restaurants, a challenge in the bustling food service industry.


Case Study from | CIMON Automation

Project Summary:

CIMON partnered with Infinity Industrial Controls Inc. (IIC) to provide advanced PLC and HMI solutions for Panera Bread, focusing on enhancing their control panels. The project utilized CIMON's HMI CM-iXT10CD-D and PLC CM3-SP16MDCF for controlling various functionalities within Panera Bread stores, such as ovens, lighting, and soup stations. The initiative aimed not only to streamline operations but also to fit seamlessly within the limited space of retail restaurants, a challenge in the bustling food service industry.

In this collaboration, we played a direct role, working hand-in-hand with IIC. We leveraged our technical expertise to ensure that our products smoothly integrated with Panera Bread's operational framework, thereby elevating their efficiency and functionality. Our involvement went beyond mere supply; we engaged in active problem-solving and technical customization to meet the unique demands of a fast-paced restaurant setting. This partnership underscored our commitment to delivering solutions that are not just technologically advanced, but also tailored to the specific needs of our clients. 


In this project, Panera Bread faced some key challenges that required targeted solutions. The limited timeline presented a significant constraint, demanding rapid development and deployment without compromising quality. The lead time dilemma was also a critical issue; the extended duration traditionally required for panel building and integration was not compatible with the fast-paced demands of the restaurant industry. Our goal was to address these challenges effectively, ensuring a smooth and efficient implementation of the new control panel system within the tight constraints of time and resource availability.


To overcome the project's challenges, a key strategy was our ability to rapidly deliver PLC and HMI products. Unlike competitors, who needed several months, our efficient production and supply chain enabled us to deliver to IIC in just a week or two. This quick turnaround not only resolved the lead time issue but also underscored our dedication to promptly meet client needs.

In addition, we provided a solution with our PLC and HMI products that integrated smoothly into IIC’s control panel systems. Our products were tailored to monitor and control key functions like ovens, interior and parking lighting, soup stations, and AC systems, providing Panera Bread a reliable and efficient way to manage these aspects.

Our technical support team provided extensive support and played a crucial role, actively troubleshooting applications related to our products and ensuring smooth operation. Additionally, we offered technical consultations, providing Panera Bread with a complete suite of technical support and guidance. This holistic approach not only solved the immediate operational challenges, but also laid a foundation for sustained efficiency and ease of use in the future.



This project has led to great customer satisfaction with the CIMON products and our custom programming, streamlining operations and achieving significant cost savings for our end-user, Panera Bread, by reducing panel building lead time from 6-8 months to 1-2 weeks. Furthermore, CIMON’s tailored products and new software for the panels have significantly reinforced IIC’s position in the market. This level of customization makes it tough for competitors to match what we offer. Our work in developing and tweaking software for IIC has played a key role in their success. The efficiency and cost savings achieved through our collaboration have solidified Panera Bread's trust in IIC, leading to direct purchases by their franchisees. This further expands IIC's reach and impact.


Project Scope:

  • Tags: 400
  • Screens: 6
  • Client: 1
  • Alarms: 20
  • Devices used: 10-in HMI CM-iX10CD-D and PLC CM3-SP16MDCF
  • Architectures used: Standard


The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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