Rockwell invests in PCB motor firm in $40m funding round
Rockwell invests in PCB motor company in a $ 40 million funding round
Rockwell Automation has taken an equity stake in Texan engine developer and manufacturer Infinitum Electric as part of a $ 40 million funding round that brings total funding in the company to $ 55 million to date. Infinitum’s integrated motors, which use PCB stators (printed circuit boards) instead of the copper wire and laminated iron cores of conventional motors, are said to be 10% more efficient, 50% lighter and smaller, and much quieter than standard motors.
Based on a patented air core stator technology, the motors integrate variable speed drives (VFDs) and embedded IoT in a compact package. They use lightweight materials and a modular design to generate the same power in half the size and weight, and with a fraction of the carbon footprint of conventional engines.
Infinite plans to use the new investment to expand production of its IEs series motors for commercial and industrial applications and to complete development of its IEm series motors for the electric vehicle market.
since infinity launched its engines in 2020, they have sparked the interest of HVAC, industrial and automotive suppliers who develop products for environmental sustainability, efficiency and serviceability.
The new investment round has been led by Energy innovation capital and includes Infinitum’s existing investors Cottonwood Technology Fund, Chevron Technology Ventures and Ajax Strategies, as well as Rockwell.
Ben Schuler, founder and CEO of Infinitum Electric, says: “We are pleased to ramp up production of our motors after seeing significant demand in the commercial HVAC and industrial markets, as well as growing interest from electric vehicle suppliers. who see the potential to perform a highly efficient, lightweight engine.
“By partnering with Energy Innovation Capital, Rockwell Automation and our existing investors, we can scale and power machines more efficiently and sustainably.”
According to Bob Buttermore, vice president and general manager of Rockwell AutomationRockwell views Infinitum’s work as “a natural extension of our growing business to help our customers be more productive and sustainable.
The new funding round allows Infinitum Electric to scale up production of its highly efficient, lightweight, PCB-based motors.
“Infinitum Electric covers the entire life cycle of the combined motor and variable speed drive – from the materials to the way it is tested, manufactured, shipped, assembled, used and maintained,” he adds. “Their motor and variable frequency drive packaged solution offers superior performance and efficiency, with an emphasis on usability, which is a key differentiator.”
Kevin Skillern, managing partner of lead investor Energy Innovation Capital, believes that “Infinitum’s innovative technology approach and pragmatic design have resulted in a motor built for the next 100 years”.
With the world adding 800 million engines annually, Infinitum is “positioned to make machines we rely on more sustainable,” he adds. “We are delighted to welcome Infinitum Electric to our portfolio of companies addressing the world’s greatest energy challenges and look forward to partnering with the company’s incredibly talented team of industry experts.”
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is currently evaluating Infinitum engines as part of the Green Proving Ground program being conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of a quest for resource-efficient technologies that can improve health and build resilience.
GSA tests the performance of the motors in HVAC systems, both in a federal government-owned building and a private commercial building, with the goal of reducing heating and cooling costs. More efficient motors will be needed in the US as the energy needed to heat and cool buildings is likely to increase after the publication of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines aimed at increasing outdoor air ventilation and running HVAC systems for extended periods.