By Quincy Preston
Smart motor maker Linear Labs, founded in 2014, plans a new advanced manufacturing and research headquarters that can support thousands of jobs over the next decade. The partnership aims to further Fort Worth as “the next tech innovation hub.”
Today marks the official start of a new public/private partnership between smart electric motor company Linear Labs and the city of Fort Worth. The agreement includes an economic incentive package that’s worth up to $68.9 million to create a smart electric motor manufacturing facility with advanced automation and a research-development facility in Fort Worth, according to Linear Labs.
Linear Labs, which was founded in 2014, intends to secure a 500,000-square-foot facility for advanced, smart manufacturing, the company told Dallas Innovates via email. A research and production center, which will create electric motors for industries as diverse as electric vehicles (EVs), robotics, HVAC, and last-mile micromobility, in addition to various industrial applications, will also support thousands of new, skilled jobs over the next 10 years.
“Fort Worth is our home and we can see the strategic moves the city is making to shape its infrastructure into the next major technology hub,” Brad Hunstable, co-founder and CEO of Linear Labs.
Hunstable says the area is rich with resources, noting a “highly skilled talent pool with world-renowned universities and innovative companies including Lockheed Martin, Bell Flight, and American Airlines.”
That, combined with the city’s endorsement, “shows us we have chosen the right place to build the foundation for our future,” he said.
Linear Labs has created a new form of electric motors with twice the torque of competitive motors or equal torque in half the size, Hunstable says. The brand-new technology can provide increased power, “while potentially reducing costs in applications including the EV automotive market,” according to the company.
“The “Electrification Capital of the World”
The company, which says it has a strong portfolio of patents with 21 issued and 29 pending globally, wants to usher in a new era of smarter energy use. The Dallas-Fort Worth region has “an opportunity to be the electrification capital of the world,” Hunstable said last year to a group of investors in Dallas. “We have the pieces if we brand it properly to stake it, name it [and] claim it as a region.”
The company calls one of its core products—the Hunstable Electric Turbine—”revolutionary.” Linear Labs’ high torque electric motors and generator products have broad application in mobility, HVAC, and many industrial uses. Last year, the company partnered with Abtery, a Nordic startup that aims to “disturb conventional transportation” in fields from marine solutions to electric airplanes
The formal agreement between Linear Labs and the City of Fort Worth, which was approved today in a majority vote by the Fort Worth City Council, is notable as the first-ever partnership of its kind in the city.
The public/private partnership is Fort Worth’s first with a private entity “that’s centered around research and development and an economic incentive package aimed to stimulate U.S. employment within Texas—specifically in the fast-growing Fort Worth metropolitan region,” Linear Labs said.
Linear Labs’ new facility will serve as both a manufacturing location and an R&D center. The company intends to make electric motors through advanced processes including automation. The company says it will “continuously evolve as manufacturing technology evolves.”
Industry 4.0: Linear Labs will use ‘dark factory’ methodology
“‘Dark factory’ methodology will be implemented to allow for robotic automation with human oversight, increasing efficiency of production and personnel safety, while also creating additional jobs for skilled workers,” the company said in a statement. Dark Factory methodology, also known as lights-out manufacturing, refers to a form of manufacturing that’s automated where machines can function in the dark.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price says the city is thrilled to add Linear Labs’ new research and production facility to its list of technology innovators, as the city continues “to establish itself as a hub for technology and innovation companies.”