Machine Health has Birthed A Unicorn

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Augury's machine health monitoring sensors circa 2019

AI-driven machine health solution provider, Augury, announced a $180 million Series E round bringing the company to unicorn status (Over $1B valuation). While CB Insights now lists 884 unicorns, unicorns are rare within the industrial technology space. When serving industrial firms, the uniqueness of each manufacturing process can limit scale opportunities and cap late stage venture capital. Augury bucks this trend through their unique technology and providing as they say, “Industry 4.0’s Killer App.”

Augury’s journey is one of determination and prudence:

  • The company get’s its start around 2012 and takes on its first round of funding in late 2014 after proving “the technology works and to validate that there is a real business opportunity for Augury before bringing in outside investors.”
  • After developing a small handheld device that can capture the sounds of commercial equipment such as large air-conditioning units and transmit the data to the cloud for analysis, Augury raises its Series A in Q3 2015. It’s next challenge is to figure out how to get customers to see the value and pay for it.
  • By mid-2017, Augury is able to raise a successful Series B on the backs of adoption within a large set of leading industry players: Grundfos, Johnson Controls, Trane, Carrier, Mueller, Aramark and AECOM. The business and technology strategy starts to coalesce with industrial trends of IIoT and intelligent predictive maintenance. At this time, artificial intelligence was starting to take off and Augury maintained a data flywheel within their product that lends well to scale. They would “exponentially grow their mechanical malfunction dictionary, thus improving their diagnostics capabilities” and thus provide more value each subsequent customer.
  • A year and a half later, Augury raises a Series C round bringing their backing to more than $51M in funding. Augury also acquires Alluvium at this time to bolster their technology and engineering teams. Augury begins to differentiate themselves by orienting the brand around “machine health.” As far as I can tell, they seemed to have coined the term.
  • In late 2020, Augury announces another funding round of $55 million. With this round, they discuss scaling “a powerful ecosystem for Machine Health” through their partner and alliance network including OEMs and services providers. The value creation of their data flywheel feeding AI-technology becomes evident at this time, with claims of “delivering 3-8x ROI for customers, usually in a matter of months.”
  • Today, October 2021, Augury believes machine health is just getting started. Their revenue grew 150% and its team doubled as they made their 100-millionth machine recording.

In Augury’s words:

Transforming an industry takes time. It takes talented people working tirelessly to bring their mission to fruition. What made this journey possible? Friendship, curiosity, determination, trust, belief, hard work, partnership and, above all, team.

Not only is machine health just getting started, but so is the transformation of factories across the world. I look forward to tracking the developments and building the technology alongside them.

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Assembly Line

Augury Becomes a Unicorn But Machine Health is Just Getting Started

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Topics: machine health

Organizations: Augury

Augury went into overdrive in 2021. Our revenue grew 150% and our team doubled as we made our 100-millionth machine recording. We saved one customer a million pounds of snacks and another 2.8 million tubes of toothpaste. We are helping our customers make medicines, produce clean water, and deliver so many products that make our life better, from diapers to construction materials, snack foods to vaccines. With this new funding we can continue to expand globally, innovate in Augury’s core manufacturing market and step into new ones.

Read more at Augury Blog

How Construction Robotics Are Transforming Risk Management

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Author: Mark de Wolf

Topics: Building Information Management, robotics

Vertical: Construction

Organizations: Scaled Robotics, Autodesk

“We’re starting to move away from purely tackling deviations on the site,” Maggs says. “It’s obviously valuable to define problems, but the quicker you find a deviation, the more valuable that data is. The destructive impact of a deviation increases the longer it goes unnoticed.

“Finding an off-spec element late in the game can be damaging for the project, so we’re moving more towards risk mitigation and risk allocations,” he continues. “We can also analyze data to identify trends within the construction process and then deliver back insights. That’s much more valuable than raw data alone. It’s providing actionable information around project risks that can help mitigate them.”

Read more at Redshift by Autodesk

An Automated Approach to Detecting Corrosion Under Insulation

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Topics: corrosion, nondestructive test

Organizations: Gecko Robotics

Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is corrosion that occurs in the base metal of piping, storage tanks, pressure vessels, and other assets when moisture penetrates the outer insulation. Corrosion and damage to the insulation are difficult to detect without the costly process of removing portions of it and performing an inspection. Standard techniques help identify damage in isolated areas but are resource intensive if prioritizing the overall condition of the asset.

Alternatively, robotics-based NDT techniques, such as Rapid Ultrasonic Gridding (RUG), reveal CUI through an internal inspection without the need for scaffolding or removing insulation. This technique utilizes ultrasonic testing to measure the thickness of the insulated metal. When paired with data visualization tools, the readings are used to generate 2D or 3D corrosion heat maps of the entire asset.

Read more at Gecko Robotics Blog

CFO on why Bright Machines is going public via SPAC

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Organizations: Bright Machines, Diagnostics for the Real World

Manufacturing automation company Bright Machines is going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with its sights set on two goals — raising money quickly to fuel its capital expenditure-heavy business model and broadening its reach at a time when companies are struggling with supply chain issues, something it can help them with. The company integrates the hardware side with the software side of the business through a micro-factory setup, which can make it easier for companies that are working through supply chain issues to replicate their operations elsewhere.

The company, which generates about $35 million a year in sales to some two dozen customers, including medical diagnostics company DRW, attracted a $1.6 billion valuation in the spring when the merger was announced. It’s expecting to generate $435 million in cash through the merger, split almost evenly between the money held by the SPAC, SCVX Corp., and capital from a private investment in public equity (PIPE).

Read more at CFO Dive

Evolve or die: How nimble Keyence grew into a $140bn titan

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Organizations: Keyence

Keyence, a sensor and factory control equipment maker, has risen to be Japan’s third most valuable listed company. Through product leadership, a lean business model of outsourcing production, and working directly with buyers instead of dealers, Keyence has found a recipe for success. Additionally, their teams of data scientist analyze marketing and sales data to spot trends and develop ways to win orders more effectively than competitors. Lastly, it’s high compensation has helped the company attract and retain talent.

Read more at Nikkei Asia (Paid)

Surge Demand

The United Kingdom’s battery gigafactory is getting a major expansion by Chinese owner, Envision. GitHub claims about 30% of newly written code is being suggested by its AI programming tool. Postman released their 2021 state of the API report. The port of Savannah is seeing unprecedented growth.