Fire detection co. axonX moves to Sparks, Md.

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Monday, May 1, 2006

SPARKS, Md.--It was not the name of the town, rather the opportunity to build a new state-of-the-art facility that drew fire detection hardware and software developer axonX here to open new headquarters.
A start-up founded in 2002, axonX received a $2 million capital infusion from Johnson Controls late last year (see "AxonX gets on the A-list," in the Feb. issue of Security Systems News). At that time, the companies entered into a one-year partnership, where axonX licenses its software to Johnson Controls while retaining the right to sell its hardware to other customers.
Since that time, the company has hired four new employees: a vice president of operations, fire science engineer, global products manager and an administrative assistant.
The 6,000 square-foot new headquarters is 10 miles north of its previous location at the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore and about six times the size, said Mac Mottley, chief executive officer.
The company moved at the beginning of the year, and Mottley said they're wrapping up the finishing touches on the facility as press time approached in mid April.
Fire science engineer Andy Lynch built a new laboratory with a "large hood and ventilation system," that the company will use to "burn small fires for testing its equipment."
The company's signature product, SigniFire, uses algorithms to analyze live video images, obtained by a standard security surveillance system, to detect fire and smoke.
AxonX currently has five installations planned or underway, including a Canadian pulp and paper mill, a uranium processing plant, the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore, and the Navy's Fire Test Ship, the USS Shadwell in Mobile, Ala., Mottley said.
Jeff Cassidy, product manager-fire alarm for Johnson Controls Fire & Security Solutions of Milwaukee, said local JCI branches will install SigniFire in three locations, the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, the JCI corporate jet hangar and at JCI corporate headquarters. "The projects are in the design phase ... and should be completed this summer," he said.