MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

EarlyBirds Contribute to Manufacturing Innovation

EarlyBirds | March 08, 2022

EarlyBirds, the originator of the Open Innovation Ecosystem, published an article on how their organization might assist advanced manufacturing and production companies to close the innovation gap. By exploiting and deploying innovative technology across production sites, most businesses have been able to adjust to the enormous disruption created by the COVID-19 outbreak. Manufacturing and supply chain professionals must now step up their efforts to be competitive in today's market. Numerous reasons are escalating this demand for change.

To begin with, the need for change in advanced manufacturing and production is being fueled by new client demands and a shifting market environment. Second, the epidemic changed many aspects of people's lives, including their preferences for products and services. Third, climate change and the urgent requirement to achieve net-zero emissions compel businesses to drastically reinvent their production techniques to mitigate the catastrophic effects of global climate change. Finally, the digital transition is here to stay, and companies must innovate to thrive in it.

Consumers, the social order, and the status of the planet are posing new problems that require company executives to go beyond operations, productivity, and efficiency improvements. It entails capitalizing on their investments in sophisticated manufacturing to optimize existing operational models and develop and unlock whole new business models that produce and provide value to all stakeholders. This involves businesses and their consumers and their staff, the broader community, and the environment. EarlyBirds' founders noticed a gap in the market for enterprise-wide innovation services that may assist manufacturing and production organizations in rapidly resolving difficulties, seizing new possibilities, and adapting to the new world of business.

To assist businesses in closing this innovation gap, EarlyBirds developed two essential features. The first is their Open Innovation Ecosystem, which connects large corporations in need of innovative solutions with startups, scaleups, and mature businesses that can provide those answers. Along with this platform, which already records over 4 million creative trades, EarlyBirds launched its Explorer and Challenger innovation initiatives. These programs enable large corporations to leverage EarlyBirds' network of innovators and subject matter experts to offer the programs and outcomes their businesses require. If companies have enough money, they can even be taught how to run these programs independently or help adopt a hybrid strategy that includes their programs.

The Explorer Program is for companies that require innovation as a service to enhance their existing innovation initiatives or to perform innovation projects. By contrast, the Challenger Program is designed to address a single business or technological challenge at a time. It enables firms to identify innovators who meet their business, technical, commercial, and risk requirements. In addition, these programs assist early adopters of novel technologies in locating subject matter experts and independent advisors who can help them confidently resolve their difficulties. The Explorer and Challenger programs are particularly well-suited for addressing the drivers of change in today's economic climate and capitalizing on opportunities created by shifting customer demands, the establishment of Net Zero targets, and the relentless progress of digital transformation.

EarlyBirds launched the Open Innovation Ecosystem and the Explorer and Challenger programs to assist major corporations interested in implementing creative improvements to their operations in identifying innovative startups and subject matter experts who can help them accomplish that goal. Anyone who wants to learn more about EarlyBirds' work, whether they are an innovative startup, a company looking for new ways to solve problems, or a subject matter expert who wants to help many businesses, can contact the company or go to their website.

Spotlight

Bionic eyes are one step closer to reality, and in the future, they could replace human eyes and help blind people see. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have 3D-printed light receptors onto a prototype for a bionic eyeball. It’s the first time that light receptors have been successfully printed onto a round surface. The entire 3D printing process only takes an hour.

Spotlight

Bionic eyes are one step closer to reality, and in the future, they could replace human eyes and help blind people see. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have 3D-printed light receptors onto a prototype for a bionic eyeball. It’s the first time that light receptors have been successfully printed onto a round surface. The entire 3D printing process only takes an hour.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

GrayMatter’s Latest Strategic Merger Boosts Its Industrial Intelligence Platform

GrayMatter | January 17, 2023

Industrial intelligence platform provider, GrayMatter, recently announced its merger with Ohio-based system integrator, Phantom Technical Services, Inc., increasing its list of premier industrial technology solution providers. This is the 3rd system integrator GrayMatter has added to its list of industrial technology brands since 2020, which also includes Virginia-based E-Merge Systems,Inc., and Michigan-based, HTSE, Inc. This is part of the company’s long-term strategy to meet the growing requirements of industrial organizations in the areas of skill gaps, safeguard plants, enhance production using in-depth analytics and manage remote assets from constant cybersecurity threats. GrayMatter’s team size swells to 200 spread across Canada, India, United States and other countries with this merger. GrayMatter CEO, James Gillespie said, "Expanding GrayMatter's presence in the industrial automation space is a big priority." He further added, "Phantom's exceptional reputation gives an unfair advantage to our automation and control solutions that our customers are demanding." (Source- CISION) Phantom Technical Services Inc., has built a reputation by providing solutions for the diverse sectors such as automotive, metals, consumer packaged goods (CPG), food & beverage and other discrete manufacturing industries. The company’s provides solutions for UL 508A panel construction, control system design, controls automation, batching, and process, SCADA & MES, and data analytics. "GrayMatter's expertise and comprehensive suite of offerings fits in very well with the growing cyber and analytics demands our customers are facing," said Phantom President William Yates. (Source: CISION) About GrayMatter GrayMatter modernizes and optimizes business processes to help large corporations across the globe to effectively utilize their data thereby improving productivity. The company collaborates with industrial firms in a variety of industries and provides full range of operational technology solutions for a solid technology foundation. The company’s solutions starts with asset connectivity as the first step towards creating the industrial internet, and links new and old machines which is entirely developed from scratch.

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ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

3D Systems & ALM Announce Partnership to Accelerate Materials Adoption, Drive Additive Manufacturing Industry Growth

3D Systems | November 11, 2022

Today, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) and ALM announced they have entered into a partnership to expand access to industry-leading 3D printing materials. ALM will add 3D Systems’ DuraForm® PAx material to its portfolio, providing its customers access to a unique copolymer specifically designed for use with available Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technologies. As a result, ALM’s customers will have access to an expanded materials portfolio enabling them to choose the best material for their application. This partnership is the first step between 3D Systems and ALM to address the material needs of customers who may use SLS technologies from a variety of equipment manufacturers for their application needs. “We’re excited to announce this collaboration with ALM, not only to expand access to this game-changing copolymer but to also show what’s possible when two industry leaders work towards a shared goal, By joining together, 3D Systems and ALM are not only helping manufacturers innovate more rapidly, but we’re also able to redirect our innovation pipelines to create more first-to-market materials. I believe this in turn will also foster future 3D printing technology innovations thus creating additional options for manufacturers to procure the optimal solution for their application.” -Dr. David Leigh, EVP and chief technology officer for additive manufacturing, 3D Systems. 3D Systems unveiled its open materials strategy earlier this year with the announcement of DuraForm PAx. This material can be used to manufacture tough, lightweight, production-grade parts for applications such as orthotics, tooling handles, splints, and braces, ducting in rugged environments, living hinges, liquid reservoirs, and enclosures requiring high impact and high toughness. DuraForm PAx possesses properties similar to injection molded plastics and features high impact resistance with high elongation at break in any direction. “We have long pursued a strategy of using our engineering expertise in formulating and producing high quality powders for Additive Manufacturing, providing the broadest portfolio of SLS materials on the market for all OEMs, Now, our collaboration with 3D Systems expands the market’s material options opening up new applications and opportunities for AM industry.” -Donnie Vanelli, president at ALM. About 3D Systems: More than 35 years ago, 3D Systems brought the innovation of 3D printing to the manufacturing industry. Today, as the leading additive manufacturing solutions partner, we bring innovation, performance, and reliability to every interaction - empowering our customers to create products and business models never before possible. Thanks to our unique offering of hardware, software, materials, and services, each application-specific solution is powered by the expertise of our application engineers who collaborate with customers to transform how they deliver their products and services. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications in healthcare and industrial markets such as medical and dental, aerospace & defense, automotive, and durable goods. About ALM: Advanced Laser Materials (ALM) specializes in material research, development and consultation for industrial 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Founded in 2004, ALM remains focused on providing customers with application-specific, quality-tested materials and engineering support to meet the most complex product specifications and production requirements. ALM offers the largest selection of laser sintering solutions with onsite capabilities to produce standard and specialized materials in varying quantities.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Interlink Announces Acquisition of SPEC Sensors and KWJ Engineering

Interlink Electronics | December 20, 2022

Interlink Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq: LINK) announced today that it has acquired the businesses of SPEC Sensors and KWJ Engineering ("SPEC/KWJ"), two industry-leading designers and manufacturers of gas, air and environmental quality sensors, for approximately $2 million. "We are excited to add SPEC and KWJ to Interlink's already-robust sensors portfolio and capabilities, We view this as the first of many acquisitions that will enable Interlink to create a world-class diversified portfolio of cutting-edge sensor technologies. This acquisition meaningfully advances Interlink's resources and product offerings, gives us a significant presence in Silicon Valley and adds engineering talent and intellectual property in gas and air quality sensing that is difficult to replicate." -Steven N. Bronson, Chairman, President, and CEO of Interlink. SPEC/KWJ bring with them a multi-decade portfolio of gas sensor intellectual property as well as an accomplished engineering and product development team. SPEC/KWJ's trailing twelve months revenue was over $4 million through November 2022. "Our team is very excited to join the Interlink family, and we look forward to building on our history and leveraging Interlink's expertise and global reach to expand our markets and our product offerings." -Ed Stetter, CEO of SPEC and KWJ. About Interlink Electronics, Inc Interlink Electronics is a world-leading trusted HMI, sensor, and IoT solutions provider. In addition to standard product offerings, Interlink utilizes its expertise in materials science, manufacturing, firmware, and software to produce in-house system solutions for custom applications. For 35 years, Interlink has led the printed electronics industry to commercialize its patented Force Sensing Resistor® technology. It has supplied some of the world's top electronics manufacturers with intuitive sensor and interface technologies like the VersaPad and the new VersaPad Plus, which boasts the largest active surface area of any resistive touchpad. It also has a proven track record of supplying technological solutions for mission-critical applications in a diverse range of markets—including medical, automotive, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and industrial control—providing standard and custom-designed sensors that give engineers the flexibility and functionality they seek in today's sophisticated electronic devices. Interlink serves an international customer base from its headquarters in Irvine, California, and its world-class materials science lab and R&D center in Camarillo, California. They are supported by strategic global locations covering manufacturing, distribution, and sales support.

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