Yokogawa acquires Danish AI-tech startup Grazper

This is the second of three partnerships so far this month.

Tokyo-based electrical engineering and software company Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced in a statement yesterday that it had acquired Danish artificial intelligence (AI) startup Grazper Technologies ApS for an undisclosed amount on 20 March 2020.

Founded in 2015 in Copenhagen, Grazper’s investors include Danish venture capital firm Promentum Equity Partners.

The five-year old startup uses AI-powered technology to analyze images, which Yokogawa aims to incorporate into its business, the statement said. It added that Grazper’s technology allows AI to run on field-programmable gate array (FGPA), a type of integrated circuit that is programmable even after manufacture.

The software uses algorithms and 3D modeling to enable image recognition, the statement said.

Yokogawa already plans to embed Grazper’s FGPA tech into an industrial gateway that Yokogawa’s subsidiary amnino Inc. is currently developing, the statement said. It added that this is useful for smart city projects and security at public transport places. Amnimo Inc. is a service provider for industrial Internet of Things (IoT) ventures.

Yokogawa also plans to use Grazper’s technology in plants and public infrastructure projects. The statement elaborated that the company aims to use the AI image analytics technology to capture image information for robots, detect abnormalities at plants, and monitor security using cameras.

The acquisition fits in neatly with Yokogawa’s Transformation 2020 plan, a two-year old mid-term business plan formed to increase the company’s profitability. Digital transformation strategies using AI and IoT are part of this plan.

In more recent news, Yokogawa and amnimo Inc. have agreed to a partnership with Hitachi Capital Corporation, it announced in a statement today.

The partnership aims to combine Hitachi’s lease equipment infrastructure with industrial IoT data measurement services provided by amnimo Inc., allowing all three companies to provide new comprehensive industrial IoT services, the statement said.

Some examples of what the partnership aims to achieve are tracking digital traffic using a dynamic monitoring sensor to feed the analysis back into customers’ marketing strategies, and using an industrial IoT device to measure mold temperatures in a plastic manufacturing machine.

Yokogawa announced in another statement earlier this month that it had acquire a stake in another Tokyo-based company, APB Corporation. APB develops a lithium-ion battery which it calls the ‘All Polymer Battery’.

Yokogawa plans to use this technology in its energy management system business, and in return, has agreed to provide energy management technology for battery-storage needs.

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