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News

US manufacturing site for wearable camera systems

Kimball Electronics Group : 16 April, 2009  (Company News)
Kimball will serve US markets with the manufacture of the POV wearable digital camera system for a number of industries including law enforcement and security services
Kimball Electronics Group has been awarded a major new contract to manufacture the POV (Point Of View) wearable digital camera systems. This long term business was awarded by VIO to produce current and future models of its highly successful tactical camera platform that will be marketed globally. Kimball Electronics Group (KEG) is a global contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) company that specializes in durable electronics with applications in the medical, automotive, industrial controls, and public safety industries.

VIO, a US company headquartered in Michigan, introduced the POV.1 camera system two years ago. It was the first affordable digital, wearable video camera to achieve global market acceptance across all helmet and motor sports categories with cross-over demand in military and public safety market applications. The company's rugged camera systems have been sold in more than 60 countries. Tactical, wearable camera systems are gaining momentum in the world market as law enforcement, security forces, and the military seek more and better tools.

VIO is moving production of this product from China, citing quality and communication concerns, and awarding the business to Kimball. Specialized optics manufacturing will occur in the "clean room" environment of Kimball's facility in Fremont, California. Full-build production, case-up and packaging is scheduled to begin in September at the Kimball Electronics-Jasper facility in southern Indiana. Initial projected volumes of 15 thousand units include allowances for adjusting to changes in the current economy. However, VIO anticipates increasing production to 30 thousand units, as it grows applications into the fields of fire and police departments, the military and homeland security, and the oil industry. Electronic systems and products for the public safety, homeland security and defense industries are anticipated to grow at a rate above the total EMS industry growth rate the next few years.

Kimball has become a respected supplier in the highly differentiated niche specialty of durable electronics for products with critical reliability demands and "high-cost-of-failure" performance requirements, particularly in the public safety market, which includes law enforcement and emergency response products. Kimball's US and global footprint of operations enable it to provide a range of capabilities and logistics that meet its customers' needs for security in handling sensitive products. Kimball currently manufactures a number of sensitive items at its ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) registered facility in Indiana, including a variety of products utilized in military aircraft diagnostics, communications, counter-measures and jamming, commercial aircraft and maritime security, thermal imaging, airport perimeter security cameras, and sensors/surveillance equipment.
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