Delft, 11th of August 2021 – IMSystems has raised a 3-million-euro Series A investment from Finindus, Linamar and InnovationQuarter. The Series A round supports the commercial launch of IMSystems’ revolutionary transmission technology, the Archimedes Drive™. In addition, it enables the company to scale up for mass production via a long-term manufacturing partnership with Linamar, one of the world's largest independent gear manufacturers. This investment complements previous investments from ABB Technology Ventures and InnovationQuarter in 2019.
While robots are becoming much more capable and diverse, the speed reducers - the parts that make a robot move – haven’t changed much in the last 50 years. Therefore, robotic hardware has only seen incremental improvements, unable to significantly reduce the system’s complexity, weight, and cost. Additionally, current speed reducers set a limit on the controllability of a robot, which needs to be overcome using sophisticated software. With the Archimedes Drive™, IMSystems has introduced the first major transmission innovation in half a century. The company together with its robotic partners believe that to revolutionize and grow the industry, new fundamental drive technologies must be introduced to advance the existing solutions.
With a key technical milestone – the operational life - now demonstrated, IMSystems’ plans to disrupt the automation industry with their patented Archimedes Drive™. The technology enables robots to operate smoothly with higher efficiency and precision, increasing the robot’s production throughput while reducing the energy consumption (lowering the total cost of ownership). In addition, the drive’s inherent mechanical transparency results in smooth controllability. These advantages combined, give robot producers the opportunity to tackle new fields in automation, like allowing robots to operate in new environments or being inherently collision safe in human/robot collaborative working spaces.
Linamar plans to start setting up production lines for the Archimedes Drive™
Linamar will use its world-class engineering team (McLaren) to assist IMSystems in the development, testing, and production of the drives. Linamar plans to start setting up production lines to produce and assemble drives from small batches up to mass production. This long-term partnership provides IMSystems the necessary support, resources, and credibility to become a reliable partner for large robotic producers all over the world.
Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar’s CEO said: “I am very pleased to announce this manufacturing agreement and the investment in IMSystems. This strategic partnership is a great collaboration between our two companies in order to pursue the expanding industrial robotics market. Given the growing global trend of industrial automation and the ongoing demand for better, more accurate robotic systems, we expect to scale quickly. IMSystems is truly a leader in this area, disrupting a technology field that hasn’t seen significant innovation or improvement in decades.”
After years of development in partnership with leading robotics manufacturers, IMSystems starts commercial production from 2022 and will be backed by a long-term manufacturing commitment from Linamar. In addition to production capability, the Series A investment will allow IMSystems to access in-house expertise provided by the new strategic partners, facilitating further development.
To accelerate customer adoption of this disruptive power transmission technology, IMSystems has designed “development kit’s”, which make it easy for future clients to evaluate the technology first-hand and experience why it sets itself apart from traditional drive solutions (kits can be ordered directly from IMSystems today via https://imsystems.nl/development-kit/).
Starting with the “development kit”, IMSystems plans to bring an assortment of drives to the market and set-up an application support team, making it more accessible for customers to evaluate the technology. This investment will facilitate the design, production, testing, and customer support of these drives to ensure that IMSystems can deliver on the quality requirements while allowing for the technology to be applied in a variety of use cases.
IMSystems’ CEO Jack Schorsch on the new investors: “This consortium brings a lot more than just capital to the
table. From Finindus’ roots & relationships in the Flemish steel industry, to Linamar’s global ability to
manufacture high quality, high performance parts, to the industry leading insight of ABB, we have deep access
to the entire process, from raw steel to our client’s robots on the factory floor. That’s a competitive advantage
that is hard to replicate.”
New investors Linamar, a Canadian based global manufacturing corporation, and Finindus, a Belgium-based
early stage and growth investment company, will be joined by a new capital contribution from
InnovationQuarter, from their IQCapital fund. InnovationQuarter is a Dutch regional economic development
agency who has supported IMSystems since a very early stage. Hans Maenhout, Investment Director at Finindus says “Leading up to this investment, we have been following IMSystems for quite a while and are impressed with the team’s execution of the technology roadmap, demonstrating the performance and durability of their innovative drive system. It is not often you encounter a truly cutting-edge idea in hardware development. This investment round further complements the team by bringing together world class manufacturing capabilities (Linamar), product and application know-how (ABB) as well as materials expertise (Finindus/OCAS), all this combined with very strong ties to the local robotics network and experience with growing deeptech companies like IMSystems (InnovationQuarter).”
IMSystems is a 2016 spin-out of the Delft University of Technology and is based in Delft, The Netherlands. The
Company develops, produces, and markets the patented Archimedes Drive™, a new standard in highperformance gearbox technology. Instead of inherently imprecise gear teeth, the Archimedes Drive™ uses tractive contact to transmit torque, resulting in a more efficient and precise movement. With a product that is more accurate, robust, efficient, and scalable than existing technologies, the Archimedes Drive™ will cause a revolution in the robotics industry.
Finindus is a Belgium-based investment company funded by ArcelorMittal and the Flemish Region and is linked
to OCAS, a world class metal research centre with campuses in Zelzate and Zwijnaarde (Belgium). Finindus
provides early stage and growth financing (both equity and debt) to innovative technology companies active in
the field of materials (including material processing), sustainable manufacturing and industry 4.0. Finindus
invests across Europe, with Flanders as a home base and sweet spot, and across the globe for investment
opportunities in technologies at the center of our core domains and in line with the strategic interests and areas of expertise of our shareholders.
About Linamar Corporation
Linamar Corporation (TSX:LNR) is an advanced manufacturing company where the intersection of leading edge technology and deep manufacturing expertise is creating solutions that power vehicles, motion, work and lives for the future. The Company is made up of 2 operating segments – the Industrial segment and the Transportation segment, which are further divided into 5 operating groups – Skyjack, Agriculture, Machining & Assembly, Light Metal Casting and Forging, all world leaders in the design, development, and production of highly engineered products. The Company’s Skyjack and MacDon companies are noted for their innovative, high quality mobile industrial and harvesting equipment, notably class-leading aerial work platforms, telehandlers, draper headers and self-propelled windrowers. The Company’s Machining & Assembly, Light Metal Casting and Forging operating groups focus on precision metallic components, modules and systems for powertrain, driveline and body systems designed for global electrified and traditionally powered vehicle and industrial markets. Linamar has 27,000 employees in 61 manufacturing locations, 10 R&D centers and 25 sales offices in 17 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia which generated sales of $7.6 billion in 2018. For more information about Linamar Corporation and its industry leading products and services, visit www.linamar.com or follow them on Twitter at @LinamarCorp.
InnovationQuarter is the regional economic development agency for the greater Rotterdam - The Hague area. InnovationQuarter finances innovative and fast-growing companies, assists international companies in establishing their businesses in this region, and facilitates (international) collaboration between innovative entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes and government. In this way, and in cooperation with the business community, InnovationQuarter supports the development of the greater Rotterdam-The Hague area to become one of the most innovative regions in Europe. As a lifecycle financier, InnovationQuarter offers companies financing at various stages of growth.