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The original item was published from 1/17/2017 3:52:00 PM to 2/15/2017 5:04:50 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: January 17, 2017

[ARCHIVED] The Launch Place invests $75,000 in ProAxion

The Launch Place logo

The Launch Place has announced that it is investing $75,000 in ProAxion. ProAxion is a technology company that will use the money to bring its machine health monitoring system from development to commercial market.

Here is the news release from The Launch Place:

(January 10, 2017) The Launch Place announced today that it is investing $75,000 in ProAxion from the Pre-Seed Investment Program. After completing pilot installations, including two locally at Blue Ridge Fiberboard and Drake Extrusion, The Launch Place decided to invest to help ProAxion bring their TACTIX™ Machine Health Monitoring System to market. ProAxion is defining the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through the development of cloud-connected sensors that bring the benefits of predictive maintenance to industrial machinery operations.

Historically, if an industrial facility wanted to perform remote 24/7 monitoring of a machine asset, a significant upfront investment would be necessary to procure hardware and integrate with existing control systems. Through their cloud-based wireless sensor system, ProAxion helps facilities improve reliability and uptime, helping them avoid costly downtime and reduce the total cost of operations and maintenance by performing service only when necessary. These benefits are very important to thousands of facilities in the manufacturing, water treatment, power and other industries that rely on rotating machinery.

“Our system is truly plug & play, and designed for DIY install, requiring zero systems or IT integration, which bypasses historical cost barriers associated with legacy machine health monitoring systems. Our customers can reap the benefits of data-driven operations and maintenance for all of their machine assets, and help them gain a competitive advantage by improving the reliability and uptime of their facility,” said Justin Rothwell CEO & Co-Founder.

ProAxion piloted the system locally at Blue Ridge Fiberboard in Danville, VA as well as at Drake Extrusion that is located in Martinsville, VA. “When we first met Justin over a year ago, and learned about ProAxion, we could see the potential for their product. However, the company was too early in development for The Launch Place investment,” said Eva Doss, The Launch Place President & CEO. “We are very grateful to these local companies for opening their doors to ProAxion. The product has been tested and reached specific milestones that brought them to become investment ready,” Doss said.

“The system fits well in our predictive maintenance program by providing 24/7 monitoring of the equipment where it is being used,” said Mark Custer, Plant Manager, Blue Ridge Fiberboard. “The hope is that the machine vibration and temperature data will help to identify issues before they result in a breakdown,” Custer said.

“We rely on our machines to operate reliably 24/7 to remain competitive as a U.S.-based manufacturer. The ProAxion system is helping us reduce the risk of unexpected downtime by alerting us when service is required ahead of time, versus after a problem already occurs,” said John Parkinson, Drake Extrusion CEO. “Their system helps us remain competitive by avoiding disruptive downtime and potential missed customer shipments, plus it helps us optimize maintenance activities by servicing machines only when necessary,” said Parkinson.

“The Launch Place funding is helping us pull our product from a development project, into commercial production, and enables us to design attributes related to robustness and durability, which are critical considering the demanding industrial environments where they are installed,” Rothwell said.

“The Pre-Seed Investment program is intended to help companies, like ProAxion expedite the early stages of their startup development process, specifically in product and market validation and business model refinement. We have been impressed with ProAxion’s ability to achieve milestones and look forward to watching them continue to grow in our region,” Doss said.

“Partnering with The Launch Place makes a lot of sense for us. In addition to providing tremendous support and helpful feedback as we cross the chasm from idea to successful business operations, they have also introduced us to early customers. The greater Danville area is home to a significant number of facilities where our system can provide immediate value,” Rothwell said.

About The Launch Place
The Launch Place, from a $10 million grant received from the Danville Regional Foundation in 2012, assists with entrepreneurship and business development, and job creation and retention through its business consulting, mentoring and training, residential and office subsidies, and two seed investment funds in the Dan River region of Virginia and North Carolina.

About ProAxion
ProAxion brings the benefits of Predictive Maintenance to the millions of industrial machines that previously could not afford legacy systems. By leveraging the power of low-power sensor and cloud computing technologies, the company has developed an easy-to-use and affordable solution that helps industrial facilities improve uptime and reliability, and optimize total cost of operations and maintenance. Their first product TACTIX™ is due to be released in Q2 2017.

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