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Looking Back @ 2019 with Ai

2019 is coming to a close, and we find that the end of a year provides an excellent opportunity to reflect.  This year has brought us new faces, new products, and exciting new opportunities within the machine vision industry.  You may have noticed some of these changes, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey! 

In case you missed anything along the way, we decided to take this time to gather what changed for us in 2019 and what we’re looking forward to in the new year.

New Team Additions

To start 2019, a fresh face was added to the Advanced illumination Sales Team.  Rob Scharges, Ai’s Inside Sales Lead, joined the team in January with thirty years of sales experience. “At the end of the day, what I love most is working with people to help solve their applications,” says Scharges.  “Ai provides me with a ‘best in class’ opportunity to work with our customers and foster lasting and prosperous relationships.”  Scharges will be an active member of our future trade show appearances, so be sure to visit us at the Boston Vision Show and the Vision Show Stuttgart to meet him!

Shortly thereafter, the Marketing Team received a new addition.  Katie Barnes joined Advanced illumination as the Marketing Manager, bringing previous marketing experience in the manufacturing industry.  “Joining such an established brand within the machine vision industry has been a privilege; I couldn’t have been more excited to become part of Advanced illumination,” says Barnes.  “The creativity, innovation, and drive within Ai’s culture is so evident in the products and services we provide – it’s made my job effortless, and I’m thrilled to see how we’ll connect with the industry and our partners in the years to come.”

The Marketing Team grew again in September, gaining Sydney Starkman as its new Creative Marketing Specialist.  “I’m excited to join the dynamic team at Advanced illumination, and I look forward to the creative new endeavors 2020 will bring,” says Starkman.  Industry partners can find Starkman’s creative skills on display in our social media posts, with even more design content releasing soon in the new year!

The new personnel on the Ai Team have enjoyed getting to know the industry, our customers, and our partners throughout the year, and they look forward to continuing building relationships in the future.

Company Updates & Product Releases

In July, we were thrilled to announce that we extended the warranty for our products from two years to five years.  We believe in the quality of the products we engineer, and this Ai Warranty is one change from 2019 of which we are extremely proud.  To read more on our Ai Warranty update, please click here.

Shortly after the announcement of our warranty update, we released the brand new Ai UltraSeal Washdown Backlights!  The UltraSeal Backlights are engineered with a sealed, flush surface, making them virtually crevice-free and dramatically different than competitive washdown backlights on the market.

“With the release of the UltraSeal hygienic washdown family of lights, we were able to address a challenge in an underserved and growing market that really needs these new solutions,” says John Thrailkill, CEO and Co-Founder of Advanced illumination.  “They’re ideal for aseptic manufacturing, food and beverage inspection, and they’re IP69K certified.  To have designed and engineered these lights this year, and with other UltraSeal products on the way in 2020, it’s a great accomplishment, and I’m very proud of our team.”

Website & Social Media Activity

This year has also brought a renewed focus on Advanced illumination’s digital presence.  This summer, we rejuvenated our social media profiles and are regularly posting updates on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.  On these social channels, visitors will see industry articles, blog post shares, and even pictures of company events – we encourage you to follow Ai on these social channels to stay up to date!

Along with social media, Ai established another digital priority: increased sharing of our 30+ years of industry knowledge with new “Lighting Techniques and Education” blog posts!  Daryl Martin, Ai’s Technical Sales & Product Specialist, has spent years educating members of the machine vision industry – and this year, we focused on harnessing his knowledge, organizing the information, and sharing it with the industry through our News & Events section of the website.  Thanks to your support and positive response, we will continue to share lighting techniques, application notes, and other industry information in that section of our website.

Another area of our website that was renovated in 2019 is the Case Studies & Testimonials section.  We were thrilled to share genuine customer feedback on our website, as well as detailed application examples of our products in machine vision environments.  If you have an experience working with Ai lighting solutions in the past and you’d like to have your application featured on our website, please send us an email and we’d love to work with you!

With all of our company updates, new blog posts, and product announcements, we needed to find an effective way to communicate this information to our customers and industry partners.  To achieve this, we launched our monthly Ai Newsletter this fall.  If you’re interested in receiving Ai updates directly in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.

Looking to the Future

With all of the exciting changes occurring at Ai this year, we have even more in store for 2020.  We have new products slated for release, exciting updates to our website planned, tons of new blog posts and videos to share, and we will be participating in the Vision Show in Boston and in Stuttgart.

The new technologies within the machine vision industry are also giving us anticipation for the new year. Says Daryl Martin, “Given the impressive growth of factory automation over the last few years, we expect machine vision, and specifically LED-based lighting technologies, will guide Ai along a similar trend. It’s an exciting time to be in machine vision lighting!”  The rest of the team at Advanced illumination couldn’t agree more.