Heidenhain acquires Austrian encoder company AMS

Heidenhain has recently acquired AMO, an Austrian specialty encoder company and moved AMO North America sales operations and products coordination to Heidenhain Corporation in the US. Encoder production and engineering will remain in Austria.

AMO is well known for meeting the precision feedback requirements in applications where high resolution is needed, particularly in highly contaminated machine environments, such as in automation, medical and semiconductor applications, as well as some metal forming, bending, and manual machine tool applications.

AMO encoders are inductive based, and can survive many types of rough environments including coolants, slurries, heavy dust particles, high vibration and still maintain accuracy and high resolution.

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iQuest releases augmented reality app for manufacturing and industry

iQagent, app creator for industrial applications, has released iQagent AR for IOS on the App Store. iQagent AR is the next evolution of the award-winning app iQagent, first released in 2012.

This new version leverages Apple’s ARKit to allow off-the-shelf creation of persistent augmented reality scenes containing process data and resources from existing plant systems. Once created, the scenes can be accessed by other devices running iQagent AR.

iQagent uses QR codes as ‘Point Of Interest’ (POI) markers to identify equipment. Users create POIs for equipment and process areas and associate relevant data points and resources.

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Innoviz Technologies launches InnovizPro automotive Lidar sensor

Innoviz Technologies has launched InnovizPro, a stand-alone, solid-state, MEMS-based scanning LiDAR solution, which the company claims offers the most accurate and reliable performance of any LiDAR sensor available on the market today.

A CES Innovation Awards winner in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology category, InnovizPro is claimed to deliver 3D sensing at a significantly lower cost.

The company says that InnovizPro is the only LiDAR currently available that delivers on all of the automotive industry’s needs for performance, reliability, cost, compact size and product maturity.

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AGI acquires two companies in agricultural material handling field

Ag Growth International (AGI) Inc. has acquired CMC Industrial Electronics (CMC) and Junge Control Inc. (JCI).

CMC is a supplier of hazard monitoring sensors and systems used in agricultural material handling applications. It also manufactures commercial bin monitoring sensors and systems.

CMC has strong relationships with domestic and multinational customers and provides AGI with new products to better serve its customers in an environment of increasingly stringent safety standards.

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Sharp Intellos robot protects US speedway venue

The Sharp Intellos Automated Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) has been named as the ‘Official Security Robot of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS)’, providings an added layer of safety and security protection for the ‘highest capacity sports venue in the world’.

“Sharp Electronics’ outdoor security robot is ideally suited to help safeguard the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s expansive, fenced property”, states Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development.

The robot is a multi-terrain, mobile sensor, data-gathering robot that can capture video, audio, and environmental information, while providing a visible deterrent without the aid of a human driver, says the company.

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Omron Microscan to show new traceability products at ATX West

Omron Microscan will show new products for incorporating traceability into machine design this coming February 6 – 8 at ATX West 2018 in California, USA.

The company will showcase several new products that facilitate the integration of track and trace capabilities into industrial automation systems at Booth #4395.

Highlighted demos will include the PanelScan® PCB Traceability System, a user-friendly solution for in-motion traceability of multi-array PCBs that keeps production lines moving, claims the company, and the MicroHAWK ID-30, ID-40, and ID-45, claimed to be the world’s smallest high-performance barcode readers.

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Canvass Analytics partners with True North Automation on industrial automation

Canvass Analytics, a provider of AI-enabled predictive analytics for the Industrial Internet of Things, and True North Automation have announced a new partnership designed to enable industrial companies to achieve predictive industrial automation in the manufacturing plant environment.

The Canvass Analytics software ingests millions of operational data points from a plant’s connected machinery and leverages industrial artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the entire data analysis process, creating predictive data models that continually adapt to data changes in real-time.

Together, True North Automation and Canvass Analytics take process automation one step further by taking the outcome of the predictive model and automatically applying the prediction to the control system.

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Nexteer launches new auto design and manufacturing system

Nexteer Automotive has introduced Digital Trace Manufacturing, which it claims is one of the most advanced, holistic, integrative approaches to design and manufacturing systems ever seen in the auto industry.

The system uses the latest technologies and data analytics within one common, global architecture. For customers, this will help deliver high-quality product performance while boosting value and global capacity optimization across all of Nexteer’s 24 manufacturing locations worldwide, claims the company.

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AirSpaceX unveils electric aircraft in Detroit

Airspace Experience Technologies has unveiled a sub-scale model of its autonomous, electric VTOL aircraft, MOBi-ONE, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

MOBi-ONE is designed to autonomously take off like a helicopter, fly like a plane, and transport passengers or cargo between urban centers, suburbs, and airports within 60 miles. MOBi-ONE will fly at a top speed of 250 mph leveraging existing Electric Vehicle (EV) architecture and autonomous technologies.

Recent advances in electric propulsion, automation, and lightweight materials now make the development of this new class of aircraft possible.

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Acromag and Ctek partnership for remote asset management and cloud-based monitoring solutions

Acromag has announced a strategic partnership with California-based Ctek, Inc. to offer complete monitoring and control solutions for customers to manage their remote assets.

Combining Acromag’s broad offering of signal measurement and conditioning products with Ctek’s expertise in cellular communication and autonomous controllers provides a simple, yet powerful distributed control system without all the integration hassles, says Acromag.

Users can quickly and cost-effectively deploy these systems without programming to connect endpoints to the enterprise, enabling visual access to operation status from anywhere, claims the company. Menu-based configuration speeds setup of data collection, reporting, and alarm functions.

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MachineMetrics wins IoT breakthrough award

MachineMetrics, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the winner of the 2018 “Smart Manufacturing Solution of the Year” award from IoT Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global Internet-of-Things (IoT) market today.

“A great deal of hesitancy still exists for manufacturers to embrace the technology that addresses the new challenges presented by digital transformation,” said Bill Bither, CEO of MachineMetrics.

“With installing cloud-based monitoring systems being the first and perhaps most important step toward data-driven manufacturing, we designed MachineMetrics to help companies overcome these challenges and create a roadmap forward so they can take this initial and crucial step. We are proud to be developing the future of manufacturing alongside them.”

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New 3D image sensor for smartphone face recognition from Infineon

One trend in mobile communications is to unlock smartphones by 3D face recognition instead of fingerprint or PIN.

Making authentication more convenient and more secure, it may soon become indispensable for mobile payment applications and mobile ID.

Infineon Technologies claims its new 3D image sensor chip, with unlock-with-your-face feature, makes the process smarter, faster and more reliable.

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Maxim introduces smart car battery safety device

Maxim Integrated Products has introduced a new 12-channel, high-voltage smart sensor data-acquisition device to improve safety for car lithium-ion battery packs, called the MAX17843.

Electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid EVs, and plug-in hybrids rely on large lithium-ion battery packs filled with hundreds or even thousands of individual battery cells.

With industry experts predicting that 25% of cars sold by 2025 will have electric engines, automotive OEMs and Tier 1s need an intelligent battery management system to enable safe, low cost solutions with robust communications.

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Smart Ag delivers first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors

Iowa, USA, technology company Smart Ag has developed the first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors.

The company is releasing on a limited basis, the first application for the platform, called AutoCart. This software application fully automates a grain cart tractor, which provides farmers with assistance during the demanding harvest season.

Colin Hurd, the founder and CEO of Smart Ag, said the innovative technology will allow farmers to automate their existing equipment and maximize its efficiency and capacity – regardless of manufacturer.

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Misty creates developer edition of home robot

Misty Robotics, the personal robot company spun out from Sphero, the creator of the BB-8 toy robot, announced, at CES 2018, the limited availability of the Misty I Developer Edition prototype robot and software tools.

The robot will be made available to a select group of developers and inventors who will help create useful skills for the next generation robot, Misty II, coming later in 2018. The Misty I Developer Edition robot will begin shipping next month and is priced at $1499.

“We believe that by creating an affordable and highly programmable robot for developers first, we can accelerate towards a future of helpful personal robots in our homes and offices,” said Ian Bernstein, Founder and Head of Product, Misty Robotics.

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