FLIR Systems pays $200mn for UAS manufacturer Aeryon Labs
Oregon-based sensor systems manufacturer FLIR Systems today completed its acquisition of Aeryon Labs, a leading designer and manufacturer of small, unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Used for global military applications, public safety and civil infrastructure solutions, Aeryon’s drones are currently deployed by 20 militaries in over 30 countries around the world, including the United States Department of Defense.
FLIR, which manufactures thermal imaging and adjacent technologies with security and surveillance, environmental and condition monitoring, outdoor recreation, machine vision, navigation, and advanced threat detection applications, has paid US$200mn for Aeryon Labs.
“The acquisition of Aeryon Labs reinforces our long-term strategy to move beyond providing sensors to the development of complete solutions that save lives and livelihoods,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR Systems in a press release.
“This acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Prox Dynamics in 2016, greatly increases our unmanned systems solutions capabilities, expanding beyond nano-UAS into Group 1 UAS solutions for military. We intend to continue to invest and build this area of our business and broaden our capabilities as we view unmanned and autonomous solutions to be a significant opportunity for organic growth in the coming years.”
Aeryon’s vertical takeoff and landing quad-copter airframes already use FLIR’s thermal imaging technology, among other sensor formats to provide immediate high-resolution intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. The company’s flagship UAS is the SkyRanger, which is able to be transported and operated by a single user in inclement weather and at high altitude. The system is also designed with a modular and open architecture, allowing for further customization by users and third-party developers.
“We’re thrilled to join the FLIR family and to have a large, growth-oriented technology company as our new home,” said Dave Kroetsch, Co-founder and CTO of Aeryon Labs. “As drone technology and its markets evolve, customers are seeking UAS as just one component of a broader solution. While Aeryon has been evolving in that direction for the past few years, being part of FLIR Systems brings a path to include our hardware and software technologies in much bigger solutions than would have ever been possible on our own.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.