St. Paul-Based Lab651 & Keystone Automation Form Joint IoT Venture

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Two St. Paul firms, Lab651 and Keystone  Automation, have joined forces on the co-creation of a new industrial internet of things (IIoT) signaling device for small and midsize facilities to measure change.

Called Praeco, it provides ongoing monitoring and real-time updates for various types of machinery and equipment sensors within the environment, configured to generate a simple text message or email alert whenever a certain state or threshold changes.

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UMN Researchers Pursuing 3D Printed HCI Pressure Sensors

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Via NBC News

“Wearable technology may soon be at your fingertips — literally. Researchers have developed a pressure sensor that can be 3-D printed directly on your hand. The device, sensitive enough to feel a beating pulse, is made from soft, stretchy silicone that conforms to the curves of your fingertip.

It’s a step toward a more seamless integration of human and machine, said Michael McAlpine, a materials scientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His team didn’t print the device on a real hand yet — just an artificial one. “But,” he said, “it sets the stage for future work in 3-D printing electronic devices directly on the body.”

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Vibrant Technologies Acquires TechWorks

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS — Vibrant Technologies, Inc. (Vibrant) today announced the acquisition of TechWorks, LLC (TechWorks). TechWorks, LLC, a leading networking remarketer, specializes in Cisco and HP networking equipment. This acquisition represents Vibrant’s increasing commitment to remarketing of networking equipment. Jon Maring, TechWorks Founder, will join Vibrant Technologies beginning immediately and will lead Vibrant’s newly established Networking Division. “

TechWorks brings category expertise and industry leadership to Vibrant in refurbished and off-lease Cisco Networking switches and routers, Juniper equipment, HP ProCurve Networking, Dell PowerConnect Switches, and additional brands of new and used network hardware. TechWorks will be integrated into the existing Vibrant team.

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Investors Sue Duluth Startup GeaCom

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By Brooks Johnson, Duluth News Tribune

“Investors are suing Duluth’s GeaCom Inc. for millions of dollars, alleging the medical device maker fraudulently led them to buy stakes in the company, according to court filings.

Five minority shareholders, who together invested more than $3.5 million into GeaCom, want to “recover the investment induced by … false statement regarding pending sales,” according to court documents filed in February.”

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Sentera Soaring To Next Level With Farm Drones

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By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

“Richfield-based Sentera, one of several emerging makers of drones, sensors and software for America’s farmers, is gaining altitude. CEO, Eric Taipale, an engineer who started working on drones a generation ago for defense contractor Lockheed, said relationships with distributors such as huge farm-equipment manufacturer John Deere have been critical.”

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Stratasys and VA Create The First Hospital 3-D Printing Network

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By Dee DePass, Star Tribune

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 10.10.46 AMStratasys Ltd. has teamed up with five veterans hospitals to create the first three-dimensional printing hospital network in the country, company officials announced Thursday.

Under the partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Stratasys will provide VA hospitals around the country with industrial 3-D printers, 3-D printing plastics, other materials and training that will allow doctors to make customized medical devices for veterans. The first VA hospitals to receive the 3-D printers are located in Seattle, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Orlando and Boston, Stratasys officials announced.”

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Maxxum Acquires Trace Technology Management

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., March 13, 2017 — Maxxum Inc., an IT asset disposal and data destruction firm based in the Twin Cities, has acquired Trace Technology Management, in St. Louis Park, MN.

Maxxum has assumed Trace Technology Management’s technology center in St. Louis Park and will keep the facility running under the Maxxum brand.”

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Digi-Key Electronics Is Planning a 1 Million Square Foot Expansion

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Via News Release

logo_dk“THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn., March 6, 2017 — Digi-Key Electronics, the Thief River Falls-headquartered global distributor of electronic components, announces that it is reviewing several potential options for a one million square foot fulfillment, value-added manufacturing and warehouse center with an investment value of between $200-$300 million. While multiple options are under review, Thief River Falls would be its preferred location, contingent on both local approvals and legislative changes required.”

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