LMI buys FringeAI to add AI inspection to 3D portfolio

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LMI Technologies has bought an AI company, FringeAI, to form a new AI solutions group.

FringeAI is an AI and IIoT/5G inspection company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company offers an AI/IIoT solution package that includes inspection pipelines using convolutional neural networks, low-cost hardware for edge deployment, and cloud services for tuning and support.

TKH Group, a shareholder of LMI, has financed the transaction from existing resources and expects the acquisition to have a positive impact on earnings per share in 2021. TKH bought optical metrology firm FocalSpec in 2019 to add to the LMI group of companies.

The acquisition of FringeAI adds AI-driven inspection capability to LMIs’ existing portfolio of 3D sensor hardware, edge accelerators, and web-based inspection software.

'The acquisition of FringeAI widens the scope of solutions LMI offers,' said Mark Radford, CEO of LMI Technologies. 'Today, developers use AI libraries to train and build deep learning models and integrators to deploy those models with various vision and processing hardware to deliver an inline inspection system. With FringeAI, LMI can combine a highly effective AI software solution to deliver the benefits of AI deep learning to the factory that includes sensor hardware and cloud-based support for the most challenging 2D and 3D inspection tasks.'

Chris Aden, founder of FringeAI, commented: 'We started FringeAI to solve the most challenging factory inspection applications using AI technology. We quickly realised that cloud-centric AI solutions by themselves wouldn’t meet our customers’ needs. In addition to AI algorithms we needed new interfaces to vision sensors, robust and portable software for runtime execution, cloud services for data archiving and alerting, and field support to minimise development time and to maximise inspection uptime. FringeAI is a perfect acquisition for LMI Technologies because they make the world’s best 3D industrial smart sensors and edge processors and have a worldwide channel partner and support network. Together with other TKH Group companies, we believe we can develop and support the world’s best inspection solutions for the most challenging applications.'

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