Avon tech company quietly produces game-changing products

Avon

By Nicole Hennessy

Edward Yenni stands in front of a display case full of circuit boards, some small and seemingly simple, some more elaborate. On glass shelves, they sit, and he points out each one.

“Here’s a product we designed that goes in the U.S. Navy nuclear submarine fleet,” he says, picking up a medium-sized board.

Gesturing to different items and explaining their functions, he continues. “We cover a lot of ground here.”

There are coal miner navigation systems, devices that can tell if your toilet is leaking and energy management systems for residences, as well as equipment that allows McDonald’s to monitor its food service devices and equipment that ensures train systems work properly.

The founder and president of LogiSync, located on Avon’s Industrial Parkway, Yenni works along with a small team of 12, providing embedded hardware and software solutions for the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

This, he explains, is the concept of things communicating with things over the Internet.

One of his team’s latest IoT products, the iManifold, is described as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) smart tool.

The winner of six industry awards, the most recent of which won LogiSync a NorTech Innovation Award for Most Innovative Technology Team, the iManifold runs through a mobile app that captures all the expertise of an electrician.

For example, the app will tell a professional how to operate any HVAC system, regardless of make or model.

All aspects of design, development and manufacturing were completed in Northeast Ohio, and the iManifold is now being shipped globally.

“It’s been what we refer to as a disruptive technology,” Yenni says, holding the product. “It’s really been able to turn this industry on its head a little bit.”

Understanding technology and how it works is something Yenni always knew he wanted to do, especially after he got a shortwave radio he’d been admiring for Christmas at the age of 8.

Having gotten the gift working that afternoon, he tuned to the first station he could find, a broadcast from Ecuador.

“Right then it was like there was this bug that bit me. I had to know, How did a radio signal from the other side of the world come through the air and come through this little plastic box and come out that speaker?” he remembers, his hands in the air, illustrating the enormity of that moment. “I just had to know how that worked.”

Soon, Yenni obtained his radio operator’s license and continued working with technology throughout his life, eventually ending up working with fighter aircraft and rocket ships for a living.

It was his position with the company Rocketdyne that led him back to Northeast Ohio, after spending many years on the West Coast. About three years later, in 1993, he founded LogiSync.

“I saw an opportunity, the way the electronics industry was changing, to start a company,” he remembers, sitting at a conference table, the excitement of finding that shortwave radio dissipated somewhat.

“The fundamental change that was happening was … back in the 1980s, people were connecting with people through computers. Then, there was a trend that started where people could connect with things across networks. And the third wave of the Internet, now, is things connecting to things over the Internet.That’s actually going to make this third wave of Internet make the first two waves look really small … because there, of course, are a lot more things than there are people.”

This third wave of the Internet and the idea of things connecting with things is the basis for not only the iManifold, but most of LogiSync’s projects.

Yenni says that within the industry, it is projected that from now to 2020, the IoT industry will grow from just under $2 trillion to over $7 trillion, and that there will be over 50 billion devices connected to the Internet.

“That’s 50 billion things,” he adds, calmly, but with a hint of wonder in his voice.

Global companies continue to seek out LogiSync. Alhough it is a relatively small company, already it completes six to eight projects per year, each of which can sell anywhere from dozens to hundreds of thousands of units. And, at this rate, growth is inevitable.

It is “with a sense of humility,” Yenni says, that he continues to approach the tech business. “At the end of the day, the stuff that we’ve done has generally made the world a better place.”

Contact Nicole Hennessy at nicohenness@gmail.com

 


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