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Chicago AI firm buys ABQ’s Asset Performance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Chicago-based predictive analytics firm Uptake has acquired Albuquerque’s Asset Performance Technologies for an undisclosed price.

Asset Performance, which launched in 2004, offers proprietary equipment-maintenance software that helps industrial operators efficiently plan for upkeep and maintenance of heavy machinery. Uptake is an artificial intelligence firm that helps predict system failures before they happen.

By combining their technologies, the companies expect to offer a more complete set of tools for industrial users to ensure equipment reliability, said Asset Performance CEO Mark Benak.

“We’re combining preventive maintenance with predictive maintenance,” Benak said. “At the end of the day, companies want a single solution without having to purchase different things from multiple vendors. Together, we offer a comprehensive solution that can meet all of a customer’s needs.”

Asset Performance’s software offers a broad database of information on all types of heavy industrial equipment, including extensive detail on components to help managers determine which parts will most likely fail first, calculate costs of downtime, and recommend schedules for replacement of parts and maintenance. Company co-founders David Worledge and Glenn Hinchcliffe originally developed the software under contract with the Electric Power Research Institute to provide tracking and planning information to the energy industry.

They later formed Asset Performance to sell it throughout the energy sector and to expand to other industries, including mining, oil and gas, petrochemicals and steel production. Today, 84 percent of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. use its software, including the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona.

The company reported about $800,000 in revenue in 2016, earning it a Falcon Award, or honorable mention, among last year’s Flying 40 list of fast-growing technology companies.

Uptake, meanwhile, is one of Chicago’s fastest-growing startups, reporting a $2.3 billion company valuation as of last November with less than four years in operation, said Uptake spokesman Matthew Lehner.

“We’re an industrial artificial intelligence company,” Lehner said. “We collect data from machines and combine it with our AI platform to predict failures.”

Asset Performance’s software platform will enhance those capabilities, Lehner added.

“There are thousands of ways machines can fail,” he said. “Asset Performance’s database will help our AI platform learn faster and better to make predictions and recommendations for industry, leading to more uptime and improving productivity and safety.”

Asset Performance’s six current employees will all join Uptake and remain based in Albuquerque.


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