Look Up: The World’s First Virtual Factory
Capturing this week's zeitgeist
Machinists, you still have time before chat AI runs your CNC Machine:
I was excited as well but when I dug in further it’s mostly machine hallucinations https://t.co/dodMe9GqQc— Jeremy Conrad (@nomadicnerd) March 19, 2023
From “Factory Visit: Investment bankers tour client’s robot-filled machine shop”
Do you have any robots?
When we posed that somewhat naïve question to the CEO of an extreme high precision machine shop in 2014, we got the response we deserved.
“Look up on the landing.”
There, we saw a hulking industrial robot our client had acquired years before to satisfy his auto industry customer that had a factory full of such behemoths. The unwieldy, difficult to program, creature had no role in the high mix low volume shop and had long been consigned to serve as the firm’s robot museum.
We quickly realized that a high precision shop such as our client’s was actually filled with robots, they just didn’t look like the industrial robotic arms we expected to see.
This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media
🚀🖨️ Relativity Space launches world's first 3D-printed rocket on historic test flight, but fails to reach orbit
The Relativity Space rocket, called Terran 1, lifted off from Launch Complex 16 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 8:25 p.m. EST (0025 GMT on March 23), kicking off a test flight called “Good Luck, Have Fun” (GLHF). Terran 1 performed well initially. For example, it survived Max-Q — the part of flight during which the structural loads are highest on a rocket — and its first and second stages separated successfully. But something went wrong shortly thereafter, at around three minutes into the flight, when the rocket failed to reach orbit.
“No one’s ever attempted to launch a 3D-printed rocket into orbit, and, while we didn’t make it all the way today, we gathered enough data to show that flying 3D-printed rockets is viable,” Relativity Space’s Arwa Tizani Kelly said during the company’s launch webcast on Wednesday night. “We just completed a major step in proving to the world that 3D-printed rockets are structurally viable,” she added.
We 3D Printed a Satellite with Sidus Space.
🚀🖨️ Cheap, fast induction tech enables unlimited-size 3D metal printing
Arizona company Rosotics says it’s ready to revolutionize large-scale 3D metal printing, with a new “rapid induction printing” approach that can print parts of enormous size – with radical advantages in speed, cost, safety and energy efficiency.
Many of today’s metal-printing systems use lasers to heat and melt powdered metal feedstocks. Rosotics founder and CEO Christian LaRosa says there are a number of problems inherent in laser systems. Firstly, those powdered metal feedstocks are expensive and frequently hazardous – for example, powdered titanium is explosive. Secondly, the lasers are an inefficient means by which to translate power into heat. Large-scale laser-based systems can require special energy supply systems. Thirdly, they can be dangerous – even a reflected beam of that kind of power can be enough to blind someone if it hits them directly in the eye. And fourthly, parts created by these methods typically need to be heat-treated afterwards, meaning that you can only print parts as big as the oven you can bake them in afterwards.
Sustainable Business Models for Manufacturing
👷 How smart manufacturing can alter safety standards
An essential component of smart manufacturing is the ability to automate hazardous activities. The evolution of automation in manufacturing has been a game-changer, and it’s why workplace injuries have steadily decreased over the years.
An example of this is at Rolls-Royce, where the adoption of cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies is helping to enhance safety and ensure a safer working environment for employees. With the use of 3D visualisation software, employees can have a better understanding of their workplace, including potential hazards. Meanwhile, machine learning technology is assisting in monitoring personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance, and the deployment of robotic arms is taking over tasks that were once considered dangerous, such as furnace operations, thus reducing the need for manual labour.
🚙 Digital Twins: The Benefits and Challenges of Revolutionary Technology in Automotive Industries
With the advent of Industry 4.0, an increasing number of organizations have implemented digital twin technology to optimize their performance, enhance their educational initiatives, or facilitate advanced maintenance. Even the automotive industry has readily embraced this transformational technology. However, organizations must acknowledge that the adoption of digital twin technology may simultaneously expose them to potential cyber threats. Thus, securing digital twins within an organization should be viewed as an essential priority, on par with their implementation.
One of the challenges of implementing digital twin technology is maintaining consistency between the physical and virtual twins. In the case of a model corruption attack, it can be difficult to detect the issue, as developers may not notice the problem until they inspect the repository or run jobs on an infected digital twin. Running an infected digital twin not only leads to inconsistencies, but it can also compromise the CPS, as the malicious code sent by the infected twin may cause additional harm.
BMW Group Celebrates Opening the World's First Virtual Factory in NVIDIA Omniverse
Weekly mergers, partnerships, and funding events across industrial value chains
🚚 Amogy Secures $139 Million Series B-1 Round of Funding, Moving the Transportation Industry Closer to Clean Energy
Amogy Inc., a pioneer of emission-free, energy-dense ammonia power solutions, today announced its $139 million Series B-1 fundraising. The round was led by SK Innovation, joined by other global investors including Temasek, Korea Zinc, Aramco Ventures, AP Ventures, MOL PLUS, Yanmar Ventures, Zeon Ventures and DCVC. This funding will enable Amogy to continue its organizational development to support commercialization, begin manufacturing of its innovative ammonia-to-power technology, and bring its first product to market in 2024.
After seven years bootstrapped, IntegrityNext takes on €100 million via EQT Growth
IntegrityNext has raised €100 million via EQT Growth in a round that will see the company leverage its investors’ expertise and connections in order to solidify its market position in Germany. Additionally, IntegrityNext aims to expand its product offer in order to meet upcoming European regulations including Germany’s LkSG and the EU’s CSRD.
With its software solution that aims to help businesses meet regulatory ESG requirements, manage ESG risks and improve supply chain sustainability, IntegrityNext (I presume that’s right after SerenityNow?) counts more than 200 clients including Siemens Gamesa, Infineon, SwissRe, Kion, and Hilti amongst its client base, a figure that the company claims makes it one of the leading ESG certification software players in Europe.
💊 Apprentice.io Announces Groundbreaking Product to Centralize Life Science Manufacturing Management and Raises $65 Million
Apprentice.io, provider of one platform for life science manufacturers to turn molecules into medicine, today announced a new addition to the Tempo Manufacturing Cloud, the Connected Manufacturing Network. The leading cloud-native platform for pharma manufacturing execution also announced a $65 million investment led by new investor ICONIQ Growth, with meaningful participation from existing investors, Alkeon Capital Management and Insight Partners.
🚙 Germany-based DeepDrive bags €15M to develop ‘revolutionary’ drive units for EVs
Munich-based DeepDrive, a high-tech company that claims to offer revolutionary drive units for electric vehicles, announced on Tuesday that it has raised €15M in a Series A round of funding. The round was co-led by top mobility investors BMW i Ventures and co-pace GmbH.
🛰️ QuadSAT Secures €9 Million Funding to Scale Up Operations and Expand Product Range
QuadSAT ApS has secured €9 million in funding. The Danish company is revolutionising the satellite industry by making it possible to accurately measure and calibrate antennas and satellite systems anywhere in the world. The funding round was led by IQ capital and supported by current investors, including the world’s leading space tech fund, Seraphim Space, Danish state Vækstfonden, and angel investors Torben Frigaard Rasmussen and Helge Munk.
QuadSAT’s unique testing solution provides a cost-effective, scalable and precise way to test antennas and satellite systems in operation, and anywhere in the world. This approach to testing has already attracted the attention of the satellite industry, helping QuadSAT to cement its position as a major player in the market. With the new funding, QuadSAT will be looking to recruit top talent, to expand its operations, and bring its technology to a wider customer base.
🚀 Frontier Aerospace Corporation Secures $10 Million Series A Funding from AEI HorizonX
Frontier Aerospace Corporation (“Frontier”), a leader in next generation liquid rocket engines for in-space propulsion, announced today it has closed a $10 million Series A funding round from AEI HorizonX. “This latest funding round will accelerate Frontier’s engine development activities, support major expansion of manufacturing and vacuum test facilities,” said Mr. McKinnon, Frontier President. “In the past, test facility availability has been by far the largest schedule driver. With this new investment, a modern test facility will be fully developed for rapid implementation supporting major upcoming development programs.”
ketteQ Raises $9 Million in Series A Funding Led by Vocap Partners and Circadian Ventures to Accelerate Growth and Delivery of Supply Chain Planning Solutions
ketteQ, a global leader in supply chain planning and control tower solutions, has raised $9 million in Series A funding, led by Vocap Partners with co-investment from Circadian Ventures. The funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and enhance its mission to transform supply chain visibility and scenario planning worldwide.
🌱 Windfall Bio Raises $9 Million Seed Funding to Launch First-Ever Methane-to-Organic Fertilizer Solution
Windfall Bio, an agtech/climate startup focused on transforming dilute methane emissions into value-add products, announced today the close of a $9 million seed round led by Mayfield and UNTITLED—a venture fund founded by Magnus Rausing of the TetraLaval Family—with participation from additional investors including B37 Ventures, Baruch Future Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Cavallo Ventures. The newly created company is developing the first-ever solution for capturing and transforming climate-harming methane emissions into living organic fertilizer. Windfall Bio is addressing dilute methane emissions, one of the largest and most underappreciated problems for global warming. Windfall Bio will use the capital to begin pilot deployments on farms while also accelerating R&D activities.
Germany’s ampere.cloud bags in €5M from Point Nine Capital, others to build operating system for renewable energy plants
Berlin-based ampere.cloud, a climate tech startup, announced on Wednesday that it has secured €5M in a Series A round of funding. The round was led by Point Nine Capital (P9) along with Helloworld.vc and Vireo Ventures.
The German company claims that its platform can connect every aspect of the value chain, from local communication and remote control for operators through IoT, to automated monitoring and connecting facilities to energy traders.
NVIDIA Expands Omniverse Cloud to Power Industrial Digitalization
NVIDIA today announced that NVIDIA Omniverse™ Cloud, a platform-as-a-service that enables companies to unify digitalization across their core product and business processes, is now available to select enterprises. NVIDIA has selected Microsoft Azure as the first cloud service provider for Omniverse Cloud, giving enterprises access to the full-stack suite of Omniverse software applications and NVIDIA OVX™ infrastructure, with the scale and security of Azure cloud services.
🖨️ 3D Systems Collaborates with TE Connectivity on Innovative Solution to Additively Manufacture Electrical Connectors
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) today announced its collaboration with TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectors and sensors, to jointly develop an additive manufacturing solution to produce electrical connectors meeting stringent UL regulatory requirements. The solution comprising 3D Systems’ Figure 4® Modular, Figure 4 material, 3D Sprint® software, and services was designed to meet TE Connectivity’s unique requirements for material performance and high tolerance, reliable printing. The foundation of the solution is a newly developed photopolymer 3D Systems engineered specifically to meet TE Connectivity’s requirements.