In my 2012 New Year message, I commented on the impressive number of new products the team had introduced during the prior 12 months. I am now more than impressed to announce that this year we have far surpassed that effort by introducing in 2012 seven new product groups and 49 separate model numbers. These include our STR2 low cost stepper drive, the STM-R range of low cost integrated drives and the STM23 Integrated Ethernet drive with Ethernet and EtherNet/IP communication. On the motor side, we have announced IP65 capable steppers and stepper-encoder packages, suitable for wet environments, brushless DC motors and drives and a line of powerful, high torque quad stack stepper motors.
In addition to our technical developments, 2012 has been a year of investment in our marketing and sales channels, working with our customers to better understand their critical needs and offer cost effective solutions to their most demanding motion control applications. Our Regional Sales Managers have been in the forefront of our customer relations effort identifying target markets where our combined expertise has been applied to provide our customers a differentiated competitive advantage by switching to our products.
Thanks to our customers, partners and dedicated employees 2012 has been a great year. There is a growing trend toward automated manufacturing in the USA and a further trend toward advanced high performance stepper motor control systems replacing servo based systems at a fraction of the cost. These factors combined are setting 2013 up to be the most exciting year ever.