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ABB invests in ‘disruptive’ 3D motor technology

07 March, 2014

ABB’s venture capital arm, ABB Technology Ventures, has invested in a US company, Persimmon Technologies, which is developing a 3D deposition technology for producing motor components.

Since it was launched in 2011, Persimmon has been developing a new approach to making motor components using 3D deposition processes with the aim of increasing power densities, eliminating manufacturing steps and cutting component costs. The company’s first prototype motor concept increases the stator’s effective area and produces a higher output than motors of a comparable size and material cost.

To date, Persimmon’s work has been funded largely by four US National Science Foundation grants. The new funding will help it to expand both its existing vacuum robotics product portfolio and to invest further in the development of the hybrid-field motor technology which ABB describes as “disruptive”.

The ABB investment will also codify joint development of many new Persimmon products, allowing for the exchange of research and development information on industrial motors that Persimmon is developing.

“ABB has been extremely impressed by Persimmon’s team and its r&d efforts to date,” says Grant Allen, principal at ABB Technology Ventures in North America. “Its innovations in the motor component manufacturing arena are especially exciting for ABB and we look forward to working closely with Persimmon to build the next generation of motor componentry.”

Excited: Persimmon CEO, Michael Pippins

“We are excited to begin working with a global motor technology leader like ABB,” adds Persimmon’s CEO, Michael Pippins. “The addition of such a strong partner to an already impressive investor list puts Persimmon in a great position as we continue commercialisation of our hybrid-field motor technology.”

ABB’s investment in Persimmon follows a $6m investment round earlier this year from other investors including Intel Capital and Nidec Sankyo.

As well as the hybrid-field 3D printed motor technology, Persimmon supplies vacuum robotics products for semiconductor, solar, LED, and flat panel display applications. Headquartered outside of Boston, Massachusetts, its management team has more than 60 years of experience of developing, manufacturing and distributing advanced robotics and automation systems.

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