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Sensors Midwest, the event for sensors design and industrial IoT, and sister to show Sensors Expo & Conference, announces their partnership with Fraunhofer USA Center for Experimental Software Engineering (CESE) and Sonoma State University to conduct an IoT Enabled Industrial IoT Certification Program. Taking place on October 17, 2018 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, this partnership will host a Workshop designed to inform and guide the top decision makers and executives on how to prepare their organizations for the Industry 4.0 trend and create higher value to customers.

This workshop aims to help attendees understand and respond to the Industry 4.0 trend through lectures, discussions, factory use cases, and industry 4.0 technology demonstrations. It begins with a broad overview of Industry 4.0 concepts, targeting manufacturing executives and decisions makers who want to understand what industry 4.0 is and how they can get their organizations ready for it. Following the introduction, follow-on workshop modules take a deeper dive into industry 4.0 details, addressing the needs of production and technical managers. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a strong understanding of Industry 4.0 and how it can be used to solve business problems and deliver higher value to customers.

“I am very excited and honored to Chair the Workshop,” said Shivakumar Mathapathi, Adjunct Professor, and International Co-coordinator - Sonoma State University. “The IIoT Workshop is designed to help startups, mid-size, and large companies to come together and build world-class industrial IoT solutions. We are very fortunate to work with Fraunhofer USA CESE to bring few real-time Industrial IoT use cases,” added Professor Mathapathi.

“This is a unique experience to work with Sensors Midwest delegates, to share Industrial IoT research, connecting machines with real-time sensor data, making machinery more intelligent to deliver efficient and optimum results,” said Dr. Pankesh Patel, Senior Research Scientist, Fraunhofer USA CESE.

“I am very happy to be associated with Sensors Midwest and Fraunhofer to lead the workshop in evaluating the process,” expressed Dr. Farid Farahmand, Chair, Department of Engineering Science, Sonoma State University.

The IoT Enabled Industry 4.0 Certification Workshop consists of a wide range of technology, building IoT blocks, connectivity, and cloud solutions. The basic framework and examples created by Fraunhofer will further expand building, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and how robotics equipment are in a more secure way of connection. The Workshop also assists attendees plan for digital transformation for various tasks within their enterprise/manufacturing environment. Each attendee receives an IIoT completion certification.

Ogle Models & Prototypes has helped a group of students reach the final stages of a major international aerospace competition.

They were asked to work with a team from University College London (UCL) to create a prototype for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge designed to develop and inspire the next generation of engineers.

The UCL team was asked to design, manufacture and operate an unmanned aircraft which was capable of completing a range of tasks simulating a humanitarian mission.

Rising to the challenge, they developed a tail-less, blended-wing body aircraft, which was to be made from carbon-fibre reinforced polymer. However, when it came to making the actual model the team realised there were issues.

To develop a model capable of enduring wind tunnel testing is often expensive, especially if the specific part requires pressure taps essential to sampling the distribution of air across the prototype. It was when attempting to solve this issue that the expertise of Ogle was sought.

Sam Hiscox, team leader for the project, said: “Following the wind tunnel testing, the results converged across a range of angles of attack and yaw positions. Pressure plots taken from the taps validated the aerodynamic properties of the design, which would not have been possible without Ogle’s expertise.

“With the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations validated, the team received their design report, for innovative use of materials and manufacturing techniques in creating a wind tunnel model.

“Ogle’s support of university projects is indicative of their forward-thinking outlook and investment in the people of the future.”

Ogle recommended using Stereolithography (SLA), a form of highly accurate 3D printing technology, which meant the pressure taps could be built within the model. This led to costs being significantly reduced.

Matt White, Senior Sales Engineer at Ogle, said: “The accuracy of industrial SLA ensured that the complex geometry of the scaled-down aerodynamic surfaces was replicated with precision. For clarity reasons, the team chose ClearVue resin, which allowed the pressure tapping pathways to be seen on the finished model. UCL is regarded as one of the best institutions in the country when it comes to training tomorrow’s mechanical engineers and we were only too happy to help when the team approached us.”

It is not the first time Ogle has worked with a team of students to help them compete within a high-level engineering competition. In 2016, the prototyping company has helped bring to life a unique racing car which had been designed by another UCL group entering the IMechE Formula student event.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge is an international competition run by the prestigious Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Aerojet Rocketdyne and Northrop Grumman together recently achieved a significant milestone with the successful completion of electric propulsion orbit acquisition operations on the Al Yah 3 GEOStar-3 spacecraft. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s XR-5 Hall Thruster system operated for more than 600 hours (over 25 days of firing) to propel the spacecraft to the intended orbit, which aided recovery from a launch insertion anomaly.

“Mission success is always our priority at Aerojet Rocketdyne,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “Working with our customer Northrop Grumman to ensure their spacecraft reached its intended orbit with our XR-5 Hall Thruster system speaks to our core value of teamwork.”

This mission is the first Northrop Grumman GEOStar-3 spacecraft to fly the Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 Hall Thruster system, and the first time the system has been utilized in a commercial mission. Electric propulsion orbit acquisition operations of the XR-5 subsystem and all checkout operations of the spacecraft were recently concluded, and the spacecraft is now operational.

Each Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5 subsystem aboard a GEOStar-3 spacecraft consists of four XR-5 Hall Thrusters and two power processing units to drive the thrusters. GEOStar-3 satellites are used to provide a variety of communications services, including direct-to-home TV broadcasting, broadband connectivity, cable program distribution, business data network capacity, regional mobile communications and similar services.

“The first commercial operation for the XR-5 is a significant milestone for Aerojet Rocketdyne,” added Drake. “Electric propulsion technology can greatly increase the revenue-generating potential of commercial satellites by replacing propellant mass with communication transponders.”

The Al Yah 3 mission is the fifth flight mission to utilize Aerojet Rocketdyne’s XR-5 Hall system. All four previous missions were commissioned by the U.S. Government. Multiple XR-5 commercial missions are already scheduled for 2018.

Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. has named GF Machining Solutions as an Official Technical Partner. After adding GF’s high-performance manufacturing and automation technology, TRD has accelerated production of key aluminum and cast-iron components for their 800-horsepower racing car engines — including the engines used in the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver and 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr.

Approximately 200 TRD employees in Costa Mesa, California design and build race engines for NASCAR teams that field Toyota Camrys in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. To keep pace with a grueling 38 race annual schedule, strict series regulations, and a highly-competitive racing environment, TRD designs, develops, manufactures and builds more than 300 engines in-house, annually. Precision, quality and speed of manufacture are the pillars of performance for TRD’s manufacturing operation.

TRD began their initial relationship with GF Machining Solutions in 2014 when they added a fully-automated production cell to their manufacturing facility. Comprised of seven 5-axis machining centers (six MIKRON HPM 800 U HD machines and one MIKRON HPM 1350 U) connected to a shared pallet pool system, the system uses a rail-guided robot to load the machines from more than 80 open pallets along a 32-meter track.

Machining an individual part at TRD can take only a few minutes or in some cases up to 15 hours; with part sizes ranging between 1" and nearly 20" in a single dimension, and tolerances at or below 5µm. Complex contoured surfaces require full simultaneous 5-axis production, which also provides better accessibility and fixturing for other parts. By using the automated cell, TRD is able to reduce component lead times, boost machining capacity and achieve a 22-percent increase in productivity.

“GF Machining Solutions is honored to be an Official Technology Partner for Toyota Racing Development,” says Scott Fosdick, President GF Machining Solutions North America. “We look forward to developing alongside TRD to improve processes and efficiencies for both companies while advancing newer technologies for the future of manufacturing and racing.”

“TRD is very excited to see how this relationship will push the boundaries of our on-track performance,” says Greg Ozmai, Group Vice President of Operations at TRD. “The results of our collaboration with GF Machining Solutions were immediate and have exceeded our expectations. The Mikron cell’s flexibility allows TRD to put over 100 different parts through the cell and the added precision has improved the overall engine performance, which propelled TRD to the winner’s circle in 2017.”

To highlight this winning partnership, GF Machining Solutions will display the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry at IMTS 2018 (Chicago, Illinois) in booth 338754 (South Hall), alongside a cutaway powertrain demonstrating TRD's engine and design for the car.

RÖHM Products of America Inc., has announced that it has acquired Master WorkHolding Inc. The acquisition enables RÖHM to combine its 100 years of workholding experience with Master WorkHolding’s 30 years of experience to deliver a truly complete range of standard and custom workholding products and automation solutions for all CNC equipment.

“With Master WorkHolding joining the RÖHM team, we will be able to deliver even more comprehensive workholding and automation solutions,” said Matthew Mayer, chief executive officer for RÖHM Products of America. “Both companies have prioritized helping manufacturers obtain quality solutions that maximize productivity and throughput, and this acquisition will make it even easier for our customers to obtain the highest levels of efficiency in turning, milling, grinding and robotic applications.”

Established in North Carolina in 1988, Master WorkHolding has specialized in the design and manufacture of custom prismatic workholding for manufacturers across the continent and around the world. Following the acquisition, the company will serve as RÖHM’s North American manufacturing entity and provide the company with prismatic clamping fixtures.

“This year marks Master WorkHolding’s 30th anniversary, and we are thrilled to celebrate it with our merger with RÖHM,” said Mike Powell, the company’s founder and president. “Together, we will be able to provide custom and standard lines of stationary and rotating workholding and automation, offering our customers a complete range of solutions.”

An active member of the Society of Manufacturing Technology (SME) and the Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the latter of which he served as director, Powell has more than 40 years of experience as a strong supporter of the manufacturing industry. His company, which began as a two-man operation, is widely regarded as one of the premier workholding suppliers in the industry. Prior to the acquisition, the ISO 9001-2015-certified Master WorkHolding sold and delivered thousands of projects over the last 30 years.

CORE Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Hayes Manufacturing Services, Inc., a rapid prototyping manufacturer of precision-machined plastic and metal components, by CORE portfolio company Prototek Sheetmetal Fabrication LLC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Hayes offers rapid prototyping and low-volume precision machining services for a blue-chip customer base primarily in the medical, aerospace, robotics and electronics end markets.  Founded in 1991, Hayes has nearly three decades of experience working closely with customers to manufacture products meeting the most stringent dimensional and aesthetic requirements, including tolerances as tight as one ten-thousands of an inch.  Hayes holds a variety of certifications and compliance designations, including ISO 9001, ITAR, FDA and CDPH.

John May, Managing Partner and Founder of CORE, said, “Our investment in Hayes is a great example of our continuing interest in building market leaders in the industrial sector that can benefit from CORE’s resources and expertise to enhance their growth and strategic position. We are very pleased to complete this strategic acquisition and look forward to working collaboratively with the Hayes and Prototek teams.”

Matthew Hayes, President and Founder of Hayes said, “On behalf of myself and all Hayes employees, we are very excited to join the Prototek team.  Both Hayes and Prototek are widely recognized for our outstanding customer service, and we are excited to leverage our complementary capabilities, customer bases and geographic footprints to accelerate the growth of the combined businesses.”

Matthew Puglisi, Partner of CORE, said, “Hayes’ consultative customer service approach and leading technical capabilities have engendered a recurring, loyal customer base that values the Company’s accessibility, flexibility and insight regarding everything from materials to manufacturability.  The acquisition of Hayes serves as a representative example of our intention to build a leading rapid prototyping service provider, in part, through highly complementary acquisitions.”

Monroe Capital LLC provided financing for the acquisition. Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal representation to CORE and Prototek in the transaction.

Taking part in the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) recent Leadership Summit, the SME Education Foundation has announced a partnership with NC3, Snap-on Inc., and the L.S. Starrett Company to provide custom training in precision measurement for schools in the SME PRIME Schools network.

SME PRIME Schools work with industry to tailor technological and manufacturing curricula offerings available to high school students to prepare them for manufacturing career pathways. The network of schools reaches 50,000 students in 46 schools across the country.

The new partnership will make available to participating schools the equipment and tools, curriculum, and teacher training necessary for certification in precision measurement and quality control, as well as student credentials.

“This important partnership will create opportunity for schools, teachers, and especially students through important training and hands on experiences in precision measurement – a skill so necessary for manufacturers,” said Roger Tadajewski, executive director of NC3. “We’re pleased to partner with Snap-On and Starrett to make this opportunity available to the SME Education Foundation PRIME Schools network.” Ira E. Friedman, education manager of Precision Tools for the L. S. Starrett Company, noted that “Precision measurement is the cornerstone of quality in the vast array of products and services many people rely upon each day.”

Schools in the SME PRIME Schools network will launch the program this fall. In partnership with manufacturing companies and partners, SME PRIME School teachers from Grand Haven (MI), Central Columbia (PA), Wadsworth (OH), Anna (OH), Romeo (MI) and Worcester Technical High School (MA) schools are already taking part in in the training and certification process.

“Our goal with the SME PRIME Schools initiative is to prepare a qualified, competent, manufacturing workforce that contributes to sustainable communities that attract and retain manufacturers and provides bright young students a future in advanced manufacturing,” said Josh Cramer, interim executive director and director of K-12 programs for the SME Education Foundation. “Working with great partners allows us to make those opportunities available.”

Altair announced the immediate availability of its simulation-driven innovation™ software to qualified startup companies through its newly formed Altair Startup Program. Tailored specifically to the unique needs of the startup community, the global program offers preferential pricing for its simulation-driven design, computer-aided engineering, cloud computing and Internet of Things software solutions. The program also provides no-cost expert consulting to quickly ramp-up startup organizations with the industry’s leading multi-physics optimization platform, Altair HyperWorks™, used by thousands of manufacturers worldwide.

“The startup community has always been at the forefront of innovation in new and high-growth markets of shared interest,” says Michael J. Kidder, SVP of Corporate Marketing of Altair. “This program provides a powerful vehicle for Altair to connect more directly with hardware startups to help mitigate product performance and financial risks early, realize a successful exit and cost-effectively scale for growth with Altair’s open-architecture simulation solutions.”

The program includes full-featured access to all Altair software titles, more than 150 Altair Partner Alliance software applications, instructor-led / online / self-paced training courses, expert consulting support and numerous co-marketing opportunities to build startup brand awareness.

“My business could not exist were it not for Altair and our working relationship has been absolutely fantastic,” says Adam Wais, Owner and Startup Co-founder of Rolo Bikes. “We chose HyperWorks because it offers us the most powerful tools for our optimization and development tasks all within one suite.  I’m not sure we’d have been able to take what we had to market without Altair.”

The Altair Startup Program is also available and can be customized for business incubators and accelerators who are interested in expanding the resources available to support startup portfolios. SMB companies falling outside of the Altair Startup Program qualification criteria may still apply for incentivized offers to get started with Altair solutions.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s advanced tactical booster program recently completed two successful hot-fire tests of a motor that had been conditioned to mimic extreme cold- and hot-soak conditions for air-launch application. The tests took place at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

“Aerojet Rocketdyne has been the leading supplier of missile technology for decades and pioneered the development of liquid-fueled hypersonic propulsion systems,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “In addition to tactical and strategic solid rocket booster motors, Aerojet Rocketdyne provides divert and attitude control systems, warheads and scramjet propulsion systems that support a wide variety of weapon systems and development programs. We also provide ballistic missile targets through our Coleman Aerospace subsidiary.”

The solid rocket motor will be used to accelerate a vehicle during its initial phase of flight. The motors were tested at extreme temperatures to verify they will perform as expected across the full range of anticipated operational conditions.

"These ground hot-fire tests demonstrate the robustness of our motor technology to enable the next generation of air-launched boosters,” said Drake. “Data from these tests will be used to confirm our ballistic, thermal, structural and ignition models as we develop the next generation operational booster rocket motor.”

The solid rocket motors tested recently were designed and fabricated by Aerojet Rocketdyne for AFRL under a contract aimed at developing advanced booster technologies for use on future vehicles.

Mantis Vision announced the closing of its Series D round of $55 million with a total investment of $84 million to date. New funds will serve to extend the company’s technological edge, accelerate Mantis Vision’s go-to-market strategy, expand its international workforce and support external growth opportunities. The Series D investment was led by Luenmei Quantum Co. Ltd., a new investor in Mantis Vision, and Samsung Catalyst Fund, an existing shareholder of the company. Mantis Vision and Luenmei Quantum Co. also announced the formation of a new joint venture, "MantisVision Technologies", to further strengthen Mantis Vision’s position and growth in the Greater China Market.

Founded and headquartered in Israel, Mantis Vision offers advanced 3D content capture and sharing technologies for a wide array of applications – from 3D cameras for smartphones, industrial/professional grade 3D camera/scanners, and up to a live 3D Volumetric studio. Under this new round of funding, Mantis Vision will be able to extend its R&D efforts by advancing today’s state of conventional 3D technology to new heights with its 3D sensing technology.

The creation of "MantisVision Technologies" will strengthen Mantis Vision's position in the Greater Chinese market. With operating offices in Beijing and Shanghai, the JV will further support the introduction of Mantis Vision’s products and technology and provide localization, local sales and support functions in the region.

Mantis Vision is planning to double its global workforce with an additional 140 employees in Israel, U.S., China and Slovak Republic by the end of 2020. As part of the latest series funding, Mantis Vision will expand its pool of talent engineers for advanced R&D algorithmic research in computer vision and deep learning, advanced optics experts, mobile camera engineers, 3D apps developers and 3D Volumetric studio experts amongst other open positions in program management and business development. Opportunities for global scale are already underway with Mantis Vision and smartphone maker Xiaomi’s latest partnership to implement Mantis Vision’s 3D camera technology in recently announced Xiaomi's new premium flagship smartphone, the Mi8.

According to Mr. So Chong Keung, Luenmei Quantum Co. Ltd. President and GM: "Luenmei Quantum is closely following the Israeli high-tech industry, which creates outstanding technology. Mantis Vision's versatile and advanced 3D technologies is well positioned and suited for mobile, secure face ID applications and entertainment industries in China. We found that Mantis Vision is the right match for Luenmei Quantum, combining hi-tech, innovation and passion".

According to David Goldschmidt, VP and Managing Director of Samsung Catalyst Fund: "We humans sense the world in rich 3D. However, current camera technology is 2D, limiting the ways we communicate and create content. It also limits capabilities of machines to do more for us. Mantis Vision is leading the way toward 3D sensor tech that is small in form factor and low-cost enough to be widely deployed in devices of all kinds. In the future, high-resolution 3D imaging will make for everything from smarter vacuums and safer vehicles, and everyday consumers will become 3D content creators. The possibilities are practically limitless.”

According to Gur Arie Bitan, Founder and CEO of Mantis Vision: “This latest announcement is another proof of Mantis Vision's meteoric advancements in this recent period, technologically and business-wise. We regard our continued partnership with Samsung Catalyst Fund and Luenmei Quantum Co. as a strategic partnership and thanks to our new joint venture, we will be able to further strengthen our grip in the Greater Chinese market."

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