Author: Rich Novicky

SparkCognition Closes $56.5 Million Series B Funding

AUSTIN, Tex.—The artificial intelligence (AI) startup SparkCognition released its final Series B Funding numbers with an official close of $56.5 million in 2017. In June 2017, the Austin, Texas-based company announced an initial Series B raise of $32.5 million, led by Verizon Ventures and key participation from The Boeing Company, through its Boeing HorizonX unit. Additional investors participating in the final Series B close were CME Ventures, Brevan Howard Investment Holdings Limited, Invenergy Future Fund, and Cisco veterans, former CEO and Executive Chairman, John Chambers, and former EVP and Chief Development Officer, Pankaj Patel. One additional investor, an American global financial services company and one of the largest asset management firms in the world, also participated in the round. “We are grateful for the many successes to date, but SparkCognition is still in the very early phases of realizing its potential as a transformative company,” said Amir Husain, founder and CEO of SparkCognition, in a company release. “We are honored to gain numerous industry leading investors and receive support as we rapidly grow to take our place at the forefront of the ‘AI 3.0’ revolution.” SparkCognition (www.sparkcognition.com), launched in 2014, is deploying advanced machine learning technology to customers in the energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, finance, aerospace, defense, and security industries. “SparkCognition is building leading technology that is relevant on a global scale,” said John Chambers, CEO of purpose-driven...

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Celestica Recognizes Molex with a Total Cost of Ownership Supplier Award

LISLE, Ill.—Molex recently announced it has been awarded a 2016 Total Cost of Ownership (TCOO™) Supplier Award from Celestica, a provider of design, manufacturing, and supply chain services.  Celestica’s awards program recognizes suppliers that provide the best TCOO performance to Celestica and support the company’s overall business objectives. “Molex is proud to be recognized by Celestica with this prestigious award for the third time,” said Allison Hung, vice president of global sales EMS, Molex, in a press release. “The commitment and dedication from our global team to maintain and improve our already high levels of quality, service, and technology directly contributed to Molex again achieving the best overall TCOO score. We remain focused to deliver quality products with the latest innovation and look for continued success with Celestica in the years to come.” Celestica’s TCOO Supplier Awards program evaluates and recognizes the top performers in Celestica’s global network of more than 4,000 suppliers. Celestica’s TCOO system is focused on evaluating supplier performance by measuring the total cost to produce, deliver, and support products and services beyond the supplier invoice price. As such, it considers the following supplier attributes: quality, delivery, price, flexibility, innovation, and technology. Paul Blom, chief procurement officer for Celestica, said that this was the third consecutive year in which Molex won the Best TCOO Award. “Congratulations to Molex for winning the Best TCOO Award,” said Paul...

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Cord Master Engineering Earns AS9100:2016 Certification

NORTH ADAMS, Mass.—Cord Master Engineering has achieved AS9100:2016 certification, the company reported in a press release. The certification allows the company to continue supplying the aerospace, aviation, and defense sectors. Cord Master Engineering (http://cordmaster.com) is an ISO 9001:2015, AS9100:2016, and HUBZone certified build-to-print contract manufacturer. The company, located in North Adams, Massachusetts, makes custom wire harnesses, cable assemblies, avionics box builds, and low smoke zero halogen power cords. “AS9100:2016 is the new table stakes for supplying the aerospace, aviation and defense markets,” said Luis Teixeira, CEO of Cord Master Engineering, in the release. “By moving quickly to earn this new certification, we positioned Cord Master to expand our market share in those key...

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EMC Precision Earns International Quality Designations

ELYRIA, Ohio—EMC Precision has earned certification to the ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 quality management system standards, the company said in a press release. A provider of precision machining services, EMC Precision said that it will better serve customers through the well-defined and documented processes that these certifications require. The company said that it is committed to quality in its products and services, and these certifications ensure a more productive environment through faster identification and resolution of quality issues, among many other benefits. “We partnered with Smithers Quality Assessment, an accredited quality and environmental management systems certification body to achieve our certification,” said Jeff Ohlemacher, CEO of EMC Precision, in the release.  “We are excited to earn these certifications and feel it provides additional assurance to our customers that we are focused on continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. Congratulations to our team for achieving these designations on our first attempt.” The ISO standards include a focus on continuous improvement, which helps ensure a more integrated global focus on initiatives with a specific focus on improving EMC’s OEM and end-user customer experience. The new standards emphasize value for both the company and its customers. Leadership and management commitment are also areas of increased focus in the new ISO standards. Expanding EMC’s focus in these areas helps ensure accountability at all levels of the organization and facilitates the transition of top-level...

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EVS Metal Receives New Turret Punch Press at Texas Facility

RIVERDALE, N.J.—EVS Metal recently took delivery of its latest piece of high-tech fabrication equipment at its Pflugerville, Texas, precision metal fabrication facility—the Amada EMK 3612 M2 turret punch press. EVS Metal said in a press release that with four built-in tapping stations, the EMK is one of the most efficient turret punch presses available. It is able to process 10-foot by 5-foot metal sheets without repositioning and is said to have the highest real-world hit rates and ram positioning accuracy of any similar machine on the market. The EMK also features electrical power savings of as much as 70 percent over typical hydraulic machines, and twin servo drives offering a sizable reduction in maintenance and repair expenditures. The EMK will be used in concert with the ASR 3015N TK material handling system. This means EVS operators can now take a traditionally labor-intensive fabrication process and automate it almost entirely as one continuous operation. “Now, instead of manually handling parts, the ASR simply places them back into the tower so they’re ready and available for secondary fabrication or finishing processes,” said EVS Metal General Manager Bob Evans. Another powerful benefit of the ASR, the company said, is that it eliminates the need for operators to wait for an entire sheet to be processed before a part can be handled. Sheets of different metal types can now be run concurrently because...

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ETCO Automotive Division Earns IATF 16949:2016 Certification

BRADENTON, Fla.—ETCO Automotive Division earned the IATF 16949: 2016 quality certification after an audit of ETCO’s Bradenton, Florida facility, the company announced recently. The certification confirms that ETCO Automotive Division has achieved the most stringent of international standards for quality management in the automotive industry. ETCO’s policies and procedures have been shown to conform to ISO 9001 and the new IATF 16949, reaffirming the company’s longstanding commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality products in a cost-effective manner. The audit inspected the physical facility and documentation,  including the quality manual, design responsibility, context of the organization, the QMS, and quality and corporate responsibility. In a press release, ETCO Automotive Division (www.etco.com/industries/automotive) said that its Quality Management System is the result of more than 70 years of experience in the manufacturing space and an expert team dedicated to quality, integrity, and advancing the field. The new IATF 16949 standard was issued in October, 2016. The new standard has adopted the ISO 9001 standard as its base model and added new requirements to create a new, higher level commitment to the Quality Management System (QMS). The IATF 16949 compiles 11 sections detailing the requirements for a qualifying QMS, including leadership, support, and improvement, among others. ETCO has long stood by its tagline “Old Values, New Ideas.” This accomplishment by the Automotive Division confirms this commitment to innovation and development while continuing to cater...

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Protolabs Expands Manufacturing Capacity with New Building, Added Machines

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn.—Protolabs has purchased a new manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, the latest step the digital manufacturing company has taken to expand its prototyping and low-volume production capacity. The company has also recently invested in additional manufacturing equipment for both its American and European facilities to support business growth, Protolabs said in a press release. The new 152,000-square-foot Brooklyn Park facility will be expanded by another 50,000 square feet, and used primarily for CNC machining. About 225 jobs at Protolabs’ Plymouth, Minnesota, plant will relocate to the Brooklyn Park building, enabling the company to expand the injection molding capacity in the Plymouth facility to support increased customer demands. The new Brooklyn Park plant is scheduled to become fully operational by the end of 2018. Beyond the new machining facility, Protolabs continues to expand its manufacturing capacity with the addition of new equipment. Over the past 12 months, the company purchased more than 75 CNC mills and 25 injection molding presses in the United States. Additionally, Protolabs’ European operations purchased 25 CNC machines and six injection molding presses that are now in use at the company’s facility in Telford, U.K. These investments expand Protolabs’ worldwide manufacturing capacity to more than 1,000 presses, mills, lathes, press brakes, laser cutters, and 3D printers, the company said. “We are excited about the growth we’ve experienced in machining,” said Rob Bodor, vice...

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SIFCO Earns NADCAP Metallic Materials Manufacturing Accreditation

CLEVELAND—SIFCO Industries, Inc., has obtained the Nadcap Metallic Materials Manufacturing certification (MMM). The company reported in February that last December, its Cleveland location became the first U.S.. forging manufacturer to obtain the certification. The scope of the audit undertaken to obtain the certification included forging equipment and processes to ensure consistency of manufacture. Other processes that were audited were billet cutting, preparation, and heating, as well as post-forging operations. With mandates on the horizon from aerospace industry leaders, SIFCO said that it proactively obtained the accreditation to ensure alignment with customers’ supplier quality requirements. This certification provides confirmation of SIFCO’s continued efforts at technical excellence and ability to manage varying customer expectations within a robust and stable quality system. It brings confidence to customers that SIFCO’s forging processes are standardized and aligned with stringent aerospace and defense specifications. SIFCO (https://sifco.com) provides forged and machined parts for aerospace and energy applications that include airframe, landing gear, and engine components. Its global foot print includes components on most major military and commercial programs, the company said in a press release. Materials forged by SIFCO include: nickel, super alloys, titanium, aluminum, and alloy and stainless steels. Die forgings produced range from one pound to 1,200 pounds. In addition to Nadcap, the company is AS9100 and ISO9001 approved. SIFCO continues to maintain Nadcap certifications in heat treating, chemical processing, and non-destructive testing. SIFCO...

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Spectrum Plastics Group Acquired by AEA Investors

ALPHARETTA, Ga.— Spectrum Plastics Group, a medical extruder with complementary injection molding, silicone, and assembly capabilities, announced at the end of January that affiliates of AEA Investors have acquired the company from Kohlberg & Company, LLC. Less than two weeks later, Spectrum announced that it has acquired Apex Resource Technologies, Inc.

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Flexible Printed Heater Technology Kept Team USA Athletes Warm at Winter Olympics

NEW YORK—The opening ceremony parade uniforms worn by members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics introduced a unique wearable heat concept that is said to seamlessly integrate fashion and the latest in apparel innovation. Ralph Lauren’s limited-edition opening ceremony parka and limited-edition closing ceremony bomber jacket included a streamlined heating component, designed with the intent to keep Team USA’s athletes warm in PyeongChang’s cold temperatures. In a process developed exclusively for Ralph Lauren, the heating system is made from electronic printed conductive inks, printed in the shape of an American flag in carbon and silver ink and bonded to the interior of the jackets. The printed conductive inks are flexible and stretchable, and connect to a battery pack with three settings. They provide wearers of the jackets with immediate heat and 11 hours of heating time at full charge. Polo Ralph Lauren’s 2018 Team USA opening ceremony uniform is made in the United States and combines traditional American references refreshed with modern touches and techniques, interpreted in an all-American color palette. The look includes a heated red, white, and blue down parka, a slim jean with moto-inspired seaming, and a patriotic intarsia-knit wool sweater. “Ralph Lauren has effortlessly woven style and functionality into the opening ceremony uniform for the 2018 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams,” said Lisa Baird, chief marketing officer for...

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Arm-based Embedded Computers Are Designed for Demanding Industrial Applications

TUALATIN, Ore.—VersaLogic Corporation (www.VersaLogic.com) has introduced a new line of production-ready, Arm-based embedded computers starting with the Tetra, a power-efficient, quad-core single board computer (SBC). Featuring a quad-core i.MX6 Cortex®-A9 32-bit processor, a Tetra typically consumes about 4W of power when operating (not idle). It is ready for off-the-shelf deployment into demanding industrial applications requiring rugged, long-life, power-efficient, industrial temperature rated (-40° to +85°C) capabilities. Unlike many Arm-based “modules,” VersaLogic’s new line of Arm-based EPC (Embedded Processing Card) products are complete board-level computers. They do not require carrier cards, companion boards, connector break-out boards, or other add-ons to function, according to VersaLogic. For ease of mounting, and future upgrades, VersaLogic’s Arm products are designed around the size and mounting points of COM Express products. Unlike proprietary-format Arm products, VersaLogic Arm boards provide a standardized mounting pattern now, and simplified upgrading in the future, the company said in a press release. The Tetra is COM Express Basic size (125 x 95 mm) and offers a variety of I/O options for rugged, industrial applications. The three quad-core Tetra models feature a wide (8 to 17-volt) power input, making it well-suited for 12-volt automotive applications. Many applications that require lower power or lower heat dissipation still need very high levels of reliability. VersaLogic’s 10-plus year formal life-extension program is said to ensure long production cycles, free from expensive changes and upgrades that...

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