Written by Drew Hendricks.
LineStream Technologies has been putting $1.3 million in loans to use in developing its next generation of software products. The loan, issued in 2014 by Ohio Third Frontier, was just the latest round of funding for the Ohio company, which focuses on creating embedded control software.
The investments are already paying off. Texas Instruments recently introduced a motion control software-powered Launchpad with software from LineStream Technologies built in. TI used LineStream’s SpinTAC velocity and position control suite, a semiconductor that replaces proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers with controllers that offer high performance and position control.
By using LineStream’s SpinTAC suite, Texas Instruments can take its motor controllers to the next phase. Retailing for just $25, the InstaSPIN-MOTION Launchpad comes with the motion control software already loaded.
LineStream signed a licensing deal with TI in 2011, touting the technologies’ value in creating more intelligent, responsive machinery and robotics for use in manufacturing and other industrial applications. By developing more intelligent motors, TI can create equipment that operates more efficiently while also saving energy. This cuts down costs for businesses and helps them get their products to market more quickly, allowing them to bring in more money.
LineStream Technologies’ advanced software came at just the right time for TI, which had already begun to realize the value of software solutions in making more sophisticated, more powerful machinery. The InstaSPIN-Motion technology TI introduced with SpinTAC software built in has applications not only in manufacturing, but also in powering such devices as washing machines and electric cars.
A Winning History
LineStream has come a long way since its beginnings as the project of a college student. Dave Neundorfer was attending Stanford University when he got a call from a venture capitalist in Ohio. While the technology had been in development for more than a decade by Cleveland State University professor Zhiqang Gao, the inventors needed a partner who could help take it to the startup phase.
Neundorfer decided to use the idea to create his MBA final project in 2008. Early computer simulations indicated that the software could reduce power consumption by as much as 50 percent, but Neundorfer was skeptical of those results. After a test at Parker Hannifin Corp.’s ten hose-extrusion lines proved that 50-percent consumption, Neundorfer was sold.
The company’s efforts to replace outdated PID algorithms have captured the attention of industry experts and the media. In 2014, LineStream was named a “cool vendor” by Gartner, which acknowledged the company’s efforts to tackle the two biggest challenges in automated product manufacturing today: design complexity and performance degradation.
Thanks to its partnerships and early support, LineStream is rapidly becoming a major force in the Ohio market. The company’s technology has attracted some of the best minds in industry today to its team, including research and development director Vladan Jevremovic. Prior to his work with LineStream, Jevremovic served as lead architect for Tesla Motors’ electric sedan, the Model S. The company also added former Pavilion Technologies president Greg Jackson as its vice president of sales and marketing.
Thanks to the support of Ohio Third Frontier and TI, LineStream Technologies will continue to thrive. By making manufacturing processes easier, LineStream can help bring products to market that greatly benefit consumers across the world, while reducing energy consumption to preserve the planet in the process.