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'Meta-Company' Relaunched Nationwide

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LX Innovations  is an innovative contract electronics design company specialising in the design of embedded systems and wireless technologies.  

In the early part of 2010, four companies met in the Australian Technology Park in Sydney and agreed to form something rare in Australia: a collaborative company for creating electronic products.  

“The common perception now is that every technology product comes from overseas, and increasingly China,” says Mike Gamble, Atamo's business development manager.  

The truth is manufacturing technology allows most of the process to be economically done here in Australia, and there are many reasons why this is advantageous.  

“Over the past few years we have inherited a number of ‘project rescues’,” continued Mike, “where too much of the design went overseas and the client lost control. Many businesses are recognising they can get their product ideas to market sooner, reduce travel and supervision costs as well as avoid costly reworking of designs by using Australian engineers and manufacturers in the first place.”  

CAPPRO was originally formed in 2004 with a variety of companies from lawyers to materials specialists, and over the next few years landed contracts, notably with Rio Tinto.  

But the spread of disciplines also caused the group to lack focus. The new CAPPRO includes two of the original members, manufacturers HE Tech and Intellidesign, both from Brisbane in addition to electronics designers, LX Innovations from Sydney and the Perth-based Atamo.  

“The concept of potential competitors working together in technology seems to be rare in Australia,” says Mark Steiner, managing director of HE Tech.  

“It is much more prevalent in Europe. The companies that now make up CAPPRO recognise that a critical mass of resources is needed to land the larger projects.”  

The companies are looking at targeting the growing 'smart meter' space, with the right mix of manufacturing many intelligent sensors in a wireless network.  

LX and Atamo are both helping HE Tech's subsidiary Techome with its push in home automation using the ZigBee protocol.  

LX founder Simon Blyth says, “Smart meters allow us to use all of our skills, from complex central processing through communication networks to intelligent low-power sensor devices. But a look at our combined portfolio shows we can deliver a wide range of embedded products.”  

The portfolio is impressive.  

LX has applied the new tiny technologies to telemedicine and sports science including a 3-D holographic user interface and an ultrasonic guidance system for the visually impaired.  

Intellidesign has created an aspiration pump for the Cook Group, the largest privately owned medical devices company in the US.  

Atamo is known for communications and telecommunications products, including rugged gear for the security and resource sectors.  

HE Tech supplies remote controlled gear to residential and commercial buildings.  

All companies have process control applications on their books.  

CAPPRO is currently working on getting the word out that there is a regional player that can provide medium-to-large corporations with industrial devices to exactly suit their requirements.

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