Fine-Tuning the Factory to Make Almost Anything with Additive

Date:

Shop Talk

Capturing this week's zeitgeist

From Xometry in “Accelerating Reshoring Strategies Spur CEOs To Modernize America’s Vast Manufacturing Industry

More than half of American CEOs (55%) whose companies depend on manufacturing to produce and deliver their goods have plans to reshore their operations – and nearly all of those CEOs (95%) said they would do so this year. The vast reshoring effort is also fueling a new modernization wave, with CEOs investing in robotics, automation, and digital workflow tools as they ramp domestic production.

Assembly Line

This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media

This 3-D Printed Icelandic Fish-Gutting Machine Contains the Secret of a Future, Less-Globalized Economy

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Christopher Mims

🔖 Topics: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing

🏭 Vertical: Food

🏢 Organizations: Curio, Desktop Metal


Tucked away in a nondescript 10,000-square-foot building there is a manufacturing facility that runs 24/7, producing parts for fish-processing machines in a way that was, even a few years ago, impossible. Elliði Hreinsson, the founder of Curio, which owns the building, says the machines he designs and makes would be difficult or in some cases impossible to produce without 3-D printing.

“In Iceland, we are a small stone in the ocean, and we cannot so easily run around to get help,” says Mr. Hreinsson. “You have to be able to do it all in-house.” His machines, which he sells to clients around the world, include more than 100 parts that he prints on seven 3-D printers made by a company called Desktop Metal. Printing the stainless-steel parts this way skips all the steps required for conventional manufacturing, from prototyping to casting or injection molding—the last of which generally happens in Asia, and can add weeks or months to the time between product design and delivery.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Disrupting the Recycling Industry with AMP Robotics and Ansys

Digitally Connecting Hardware and Software – Toshiba's Efforts to Solve Sustainability Issues

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏢 Organizations: Toshiba


Toshiba’s strategy rests on using sensing to collect data in the real world, analyzing it in cyberspace, using the results to make predictions, formulating optimal plans, and returning valuable information to the real world. The reason why Toshiba can pursue this initiative is that almost 150 years in manufacturing has brought with it a deep wealth of experience, technology, and expertise in hardware, while over 50 years of AI research and development have allowed the company to thoroughly refine its software technology.

Within Toshiba’s Virtual Power Plant, IoT is used to control all the equipment in real time, in response to the constantly shifting situation in electricity supply and demand, and it functions as if it were a single power plant. Additionally, its EtaPRO™ plant monitoring software monitors the thermal efficiency and operating conditions of power plants to detect signs of deterioration and abnormality. This makes possible timely maintenance and equipment replace, and realizes stable and highly efficient operation. It also minimizes energy losses due to equipment failures and power plant outages.

Read more at Toshiba Clip

How Celanese uses Cognite Data Fusion to power Digital Factories of the Future

⭐ Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Alan Petrillo

🔖 Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, COMSOL


“The model helps predict how heat and humidity inside a powder bed fusion factory may affect product quality and worker safety,” says Adam Holloway, a technology manager within the MTC’s modeling team. “When combined with data feeds from our facility, the app helps us integrate predictive modeling into day-to-day decision-making.” The MTC project demonstrates the benefits of placing simulation directly into the hands of today’s industrial workforce and shows how simulation could help shape the future of manufacturing.

The team made their model more accessible by building a simulation app of it with the Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics. “We’re trying to present the findings of some very complex calculations in a simple-to-understand way,” Holloway explains. “By creating an app from our model, we can empower staff to run predictive simulations on laptops during their daily shifts.”

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

UVA Research Team Detects Additive Manufacturing Defects in Real-Time

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Tao Sun

🔖 Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Machine Learning, Laser Powder Bed Fusion

🏢 Organizations: University of Virginia, Carnegie Melon, University of Wisconsin


Introduced in the 1990s, laser powder bed fusion, or LPBF uses metal powder and lasers to 3-D print metal parts. But porosity defects remain a challenge for fatigue-sensitive applications like aircraft wings. Some porosity is associated with deep and narrow vapor depressions which are the keyholes.

“By integrating operando synchrotron x-ray imaging, near-infrared imaging, and machine learning, our approach can capture the unique thermal signature associated with keyhole pore generation with sub-millisecond temporal resolution and 100% prediction rate,” Sun said. In developing their real-time keyhole detection method, the researchers also advanced the way a state-of-the-art tool — operando synchrotron x-ray imaging — can be used. Utilizing machine learning, they additionally discovered two modes of keyhole oscillation.

Read more at UVA Engineering News

MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld on How to Make Anything (Almost)

Capital Expenditure

Weekly mergers, partnerships, and funding events across industrial value chains

BioNTech to Acquire InstaDeep to Strengthen Pioneering Position in the Field of AI-powered Drug Discovery, Design and Development

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Acquisition

🏢 Organizations: BioNTech, InstaDeep


BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”) and InstaDeep Ltd. (“InstaDeep”) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which BioNTech will acquire InstaDeep, a leading global technology company in the field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”). The transaction includes a total upfront consideration of approximately £362 million in cash and BioNTech shares to acquire 100% of the remaining InstaDeep shares, excluding the shares already owned by BioNTech. In addition, InstaDeep shareholders will be eligible to receive additional performance-based future milestone payments up to approximately £200 million. The transaction follows BioNTech’s initial equity investment as part of InstaDeep’s Series B financing round in January 2022.

The acquisition supports BioNTech’s strategy to build world-leading capabilities in AI-driven drug discovery and development of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines to address diseases with high unmet medical need. The transaction will combine two organizations with a common culture and is expected to add approximately 240 highly skilled professionals to BioNTech’s workforce, including teams in AI, ML, bioengineering, data science, and software development. Through the acquisition, BioNTech will grow its network of global research collaborators in the field and expand its footprint in key talent hubs across the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Read more at GlobeNewswire

Worlds announces $21 million Series A1 funding round to scale Industrial Metaverse platform

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Worlds, Moneta Ventures, Chevron, Piva Capital


Worlds Enterprises, Inc., creators of a new 4D infrastructure for building the Industrial Metaverse, announces the successful completion of its $21.2 million Series A1 funding round. The round is led by Moneta Ventures with key participation from existing investors Align Capital, Green Park & Golf Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Piva Capital, PerotJain, and Capital Factory. The funding will be used to continue investing in the Company’s AI platform, expand key go-to-market partnerships, and further expand the adoption of Worlds’ technology by industrial companies.

The Worlds Industrial Metaverse platform brings AI-based automation directly into the ground floor operations of large industrial companies. IoT sensors, people, and processes all come together inside a live digital twin that organizations can use to measure and reimagine their operations in ways that were previously impossible.

Read more at Worlds News

Citrine Informatics Raises $16M in Series C Financing

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Citrine Informatics, Prelude Ventures, Innovation Endeavors


Citrine Informatics, the leading provider of artificial intelligence software for materials, chemicals, and manufactured product development, announced the successful close of a $16 million Series C funding round. The round was led by Prelude Ventures and Innovation Endeavors, with participation from Drive Catalyst (Far Eastern Group), Alumni Ventures, ISAI Cap Venture, Presidio Ventures, and others.

This latest round of funding will be used to further accelerate the growth and development of Citrine’s AI-driven materials and chemical design platform, which is already in use by leading companies across materials, chemicals, formulated products, and manufacturing industries to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their product development processes.

Read more at Businesswire

ReelData AI Announces $8M USD Series A Round

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: ReelData, Buoyant Ventures


ReelData AI (“ReelData”), a company leveraging AI to provide customized data and automation to land-based farmers, today announced it has closed an US$8M Series A funding round led by Buoyant Ventures. Additional investment was also provided by S2G Ventures and The Nest Family Office. Funding will be used to advance the company’s vision to bring the world’s most sustainable aquaculture practices to the mainstream.

ReelData’s first product on the market – ReelAppetite – identifies real-time population appetite and adjusts feed levels accordingly to maximize biomass while limiting waste. This technology has helped save companies up to $2-3 million USD on wasted feed per 10,000 MT annual production – in addition to related savings generated from increased growth rate and reduced production risks.

Read more at ReelData Blog

Releaf Secures $3.3m Funding To Drive Manufacturers’ Profitability

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Releaf, Samurai Incubate Africa


Releaf, a technology company that makes it easier for consumer goods manufacturers in Africa to access high-quality ingredients for their factories, has raised $3.3 million in an oversubscribed Pre-Series A funding round.

The seed funding will enable the development of industrial food processing technology in Nigeria’s smallholder-driven Oil Palm sector while the grant will enable Releaf to provide working capital and other value-added services for smallholders and small-scale processors. Grant funding will support the training, recruitment and retention of more women and youth in Nigeria Oil Palm sector through the creation of both digital and technical jobs.

Read more at Releaf Blog

Virginia Tech Receives $800K DoD Grant to Research Friction Stir Metal 3D Printing

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Additive Friction Stir Deposition

🏢 Organizations: Department of Defense, Virginia Tech


The US Department of Defense (DoD) has granted Virginia Tech $800,000 to research a form of metal 3D printing known as additive friction stir deposition (AFSD). Virginia Tech will use the funds, disbursed as part of the 2023 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), to purchase a computerized AFSD machine that will be housed in the university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

AFSD is unique amongst metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in that it can build end-parts using solid state metals as inputs, but without melting them. Instead, AFSD machines work by deploying a hollow, rapidly rotating cylindrical tool through which the materials are fed. The heat caused by the friction of the tool makes the metals pliable, thereby welding the new feedstock to the preceding layer.

Read more at 3DPrint