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5 posts from June 2010

06/24/2010

Crossbow Technology - ASSET VISIBILITY: LARGE SCALE MANUFACTURING & ASSEMBLY

Companies that build or assemble large items, such as aircraft, helicopters, ships, cars and the like, bring into their manufacturing plants large components. Very often these components are “parked” until needed. However, due to space constraints and other factors they may be parked wherever there is adequate space and not in an assigned location. When the line calls for the item it can be a time consuming exercise to locate it. Time equals cost in the manufacturing setting. Crossbow’s Asset Visibility Solution delivers a real time location feature to identify where the desired item is located in your plant or yard.

Those who support the production line, purchasing and suppliers, can have real time visibility of items as they leave the supplier’s dock, while in-transit and final arrival to the production site. Location and condition information means constant management of critical parts and components and the ability to respond in real time if schedules are in jeopardy due to delays or conditions, i.e. tilted, dropped. Crossbow’s technology gives you a “response buffer” through real time reporting rather than responding after a deadline is missed or the item is found to be damaged upon arrival at the production site. If you do not know you have a problem until you see the item at the production site it is too late.

  • Peel and stick
  • No physical infrastructure
  • No significant changes to existing processes
  • Manage exceptions in near real-time
  • Reduce man-hours needed to expedite replacement parts and components
  • Reduce the risk of shutting down the manufacturing line
  • Ensure items are on time to meet delivery and production schedules
  • Near real-time alert to possible damage if item is subjected to tilting or excessive shock
  • Reduce your cost of doing business

06/23/2010

Crossbow Technology - SHIPMENT VISIBILITY: SHIPPERS

In today’s competitive business climate it is no longer a matter of your product competing against someone else’s. It is also your supply chain competing against someone else’s. If you ship high value products, you need to minimize your exposure to theft. If your product does not get delivered, your customer may buy your competitor’s. The same can be said about products that are vulnerable to environmental conditions, such as temperature and shock, or that can not be tilted beyond a certain degree.  If your shipment is compromised or damaged while in-transit the first notification you will receive is from an irate customer. Crossbow provides shipment tracking and visibility solutions that allow you to maintain close surveillance on the location and more importantly the condition of your shipment. In-transit alerts mean you have time to react and can manage by exception. So, if you are shipping product to meet your customer’s ad date, if you are shipping items to keep a manufacturing line running, if you are shipping an expensive, built-to-order piece of equipment, Crossbow provides you the most detailed status and condition of your shipment.

  • Real time notification and alerts: not on time to make delivery expectation, temperature change, opened, tilted, dropped.
  • Ability to respond and react more quickly
  • Minimize impact of delayed or compromised shipment
  • Record conditions and location from origin to destination
  • Neutral and independent carrier performance monitoring
  • Re-useable
  • No significant changes to existing processes
  • Manage exceptions in near real-time
  • Traceable chain-of-custody
  • Information can be routed automatically to all interested parties to expedite escalation response
  • Monitor in near real-time: shipment security, shipment integrity, shipments environmental conditions
  • Drive accountability to supply chain participants
  • Reduce cost of product loss
  • Reduce man-hours dedicated to watch-dogging shipments
  • Ensures a response buffer ahead of final delivery commitment.

06/18/2010

Crossbow Technology

Crossbow’s asset tracking solution is unique in providing customers with instant global monitoring capabilities while requiring very little initial investment. This is accomplished by combining a variety of established technologies with state of the art hardware and software development. The following list describes some of the key technologies used:

  • GPS/AGPS worldwide location tracking with special provisions for orientation independent GPS reception
  • GSM/GPRS worldwide cellular radio communication
  • GSM based worldwide location tracking in GPS denied environments
  • Environmental sensor suite to monitor acceleration, temperature, humidity, and other conditions
  • Ultra low power system processor to enable long battery life
  • Optional µWlan radio for P2P and local communications
  • Standards based communication (IP/XML) to back end server
  • Scalable cloud based device management as well as data processing, visualization and storage server
  • Browser base user interface for PCs and mobile devices including real time alerts

Crossbow Technology Company Overview

Crossbow Technology has been at the vanguard of smart sensor technology for more than a decade, and has shipped hundreds of thousands of smart sensors to more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Today, Crossbow is a leading supplier of wireless sensor technology and inertial MEMS sensors for navigation and control. 1995 – The company is founded by Richard Newton and Mike Horton on the idea that small, solid-state sensors will revolutionize the fields of sensing and control. 1996 – Crossbow begins shipping a line of high performance Tilt and Acceleration sensors, which have been used in safety systems for construction equipment, aerial lifts and cranes. The product line today includes the CXTD series devices, which are used in pointing and tracking systems for airborne cameras and munitions platforms. 1997 – The company raises financing from the Cambria Group and industry angel investors to fund a more ambitious smart sensor project – the world’s first precision Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) based on MEMS sensors. 1998 – The company releases the IMU300, the first complete inertial navigation system based on MEMS sensor components. It provides true six-degree-of-freedom sensing (x, y, z, roll, pitch and yaw) with a precision previously seen only on complex, costly and large mechanical systems. 1999 – The company raises financing from Morgenthaler Ventures and existing investors to realize two more ambitious ideas. The first idea is to take the company’s proven IMU technology into manned aviation, which requires the rigors of FAA review and certification. The second idea reflects the growing role of the internet in society: What if Crossbow’s smart sensors shared data wirelessly? 2000 – Crossbow’s IMU line enjoys commercial success due to its small size, light weight, low power requirements, and low cost compared to competing solutions with comparable performance. The product line today includes the VG series devices, which are used in a variety of applications, including the flight control systems of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). 2001 – The company becomes the first commercial provider of Wireless Modules using the Berkeley-invented “mote” standard – a smart sensor device, which includes processor, memory, sensor, power source, and radio in a package that can be as small as one’s palm. 2002 – Crossbow becomes the supplier to a DARPA program for creating the largest real-world test of Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology that had ever been made. The company raises strategic financing from Intel Capital and in-licenses certain wireless technology from Intel Corporation. 2003 – Crossbow releases the AHRS500GA, the first ever FAA-certified MEMS Attitude & Heading Reference System (AHRS) for the general aviation market segment. 2004 – The company begins to see design wins for its AHRS in retrofit “glass cockpit” applications, where the classic dial gauges for pilot instrumentation are replaced with LCD panels and computer-driven graphics. 2005 – Crossbow AHRS are used as the guidance system in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which sets a world record for fastest non-interrupted circumnavigation of the world. BP recognizes Crossbow with the Helios Award for its innovative work in delivering the first-ever installation of a WSN aboard a commercial tanker. Crossbow raises a final round of financing, which adds Cisco Systems and Paladin Ventures as new investors. 2006 – Crossbow achieves FAA certification for the AHRS510, which is standard OEM equipment on the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet (VLJ). That aircraft is the lowest fuel-consuming commercial jet aircraft ever made. 2007 – Honeywell selects Crossbow to jointly develop a revolutionary glass cockpit device, the KFD840, which is now sold as a Bendix-King device. Crossbow releases the Imote2.Builder Kit, the first-ever kit for developing a WSN application using Microsoft’s Visual Studio programming environment. 2008 – Crossbow releases the ēKo PRO line of environmental monitoring products, a revolutionary wireless platform whose first target is precision agriculture. That award-winning product becomes the number one WSN research platform for environmental monitoring. 2009 – Crossbow reaches an agreement to sell its Commercial Inertial Systems and WSN Product lines to MEMSIC, Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at $18 million. This enables the company to focus on its high-performance inertial products for defense and security, as well as launch a revolutionary line of M2M asset tracking products using the GSM/GPRS network that began stealth development in 2007. 2010 – The sale to MEMSIC closes. Stay tuned for the latest!

06/11/2010

Welcome

Welcome to Crossbow Technology’s new 2010 blog.  This blog is all about the latest breakthroughs, trends, and industry happenings for advanced navigation and sensor communications technology. The blog focuses on technologies for location/positioning in GPS constrained or partially denied environments, as well as various communication and radio protocols for delivering both location and sensor information in easy to integrate ways -- without the borders and barriers of traditional systems.   The stories are written by our engineering staff, which has deep technical experience and works everyday on the front lines of navigation and machine-to-machine (M2M) related sensor communication technology for real world customers in Asset Tracking and Military/Defense Applications. 

Crossbow Technology has for almost 15 years focused on the development of products which leverage advanced MEMS sensor technology, wireless communications, and a deep appreciation for applications.  We have delivered over $150M in cumulative revenue, received numerous patents, and won several key industry awards during this period.  In January 2010, we made a strategic decision to divest certain product lines to MEMSIC (www.memsic.com) and focus on more significant technology investment in a few key areas.   We are currently developing significant new breakthroughs in technology relevant to two particular market areas:

  • Asset Tracking and Location for the Global Supply Chain
  • Positioning, Heading/Azimuth Determination and Inertial Navigation Subsystems for Military and Defense Applications

Our business within these areas is growing rapidly with a forecast of approximately 100% growth during 2010 for these segments.   To support this growth, we are also looking to expand the engineering team rapidly.   Current open requisitions are always listed on the Careers section of our website.  Open positions include

  • Hardware Engineer
  • Software Engineer and Algorithm Designer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • QA/Test Engineer

Resumes are always welcome, and Crossbow offers competitive compensation, a strong benefits package, and a dynamic and collaborative work environment.  We particularly value relevant industry and technology expertise as well as strong personal motivation and a must-win attitude.   Check back to the blog shortly, our next story covers a very popular new device and the way this particularly famous company has worked to embed both communication and navigation technology in a handsome consumer product.

-- Mike Horton | President, CEO & Co-Founder