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Capturing this week's zeitgeist

From the industrial floors to automation’s lair, Thy presence is felt, ubiquitous and fair. In the language of ones and zeros, thou speak, Binding machines together, strong and sleek.

From “An Ode to Industrial Standards

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This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media.

The Scoop on Keeping an Ice Cream Factory Cool

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Edd Gent

🏭 Vertical: Food

🏢 Organizations: Unilever

Borkowski maintains and updates equipment at the innovation center’s pilot plant at Colworth Science Park in Sharnbrook, England. The company’s food scientists and engineers use this small-scale factory to experiment with new ice cream formulations and novel production methods. Much of Borkowski’s work involves improving the environmental impact of ice cream production by cutting waste and reducing the amount of energy needed to keep products frozen.

In 2022, he was temporarily transferred to one of Unilever’s ice cream factories in Hellendoorn, Netherlands, to uncover inefficiencies in the production process. He built a system that collected and collated operational data from all the factory’s machines to identify the causes of stoppages and waste. It wasn’t easy. Some of the machines were older and no longer supported by their manufacturers. Also, they ran legacy code written in Dutch—a language Borkowski doesn’t speak.

While working in production can sometimes be stressful, “There’s a deep pride in knowing the machines that we’ve programmed make something that people buy and enjoy,” Borkowski says.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

A year after its fundraising failure, Omnirobotic emerges from restructuring as a profitable robot builder

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Josh Scott

🏢 Organizations: Omnirobotic, Genik, ExcelPro

This time last year, the end was approaching for Omnirobotic. Technology market conditions were deteriorating and the venture-backed startup had failed to secure Series A financing. Even after laying off a third of its staff, the Laval, QC-based company was still running dangerously low on cash.

In an interview with BetaKit, Omnirobotic co-founder and CEO Francois Simard said it took three months to accept that he was not going to be able to raise new funding to fuel the company’s recurring revenue platform strategy and half a year for Omnirobotic to secure the buy-in required to restructure and reinvent itself as a maker of autonomous industrial robots.

While this pivot from an artificial intelligence (AI) software firm into a less scalable but more sustainable machine builder seemed like the best path forward for Omnirobotic, Simard acknowledged that it was still a gamble with no guarantee of paying off.

Read more at BetaKit

Modern Aerospace Construction: The Manufacture of a Hightech Plane

TsFile: A Standard Format for IoT Time Series Data

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Susan Hall

🔖 Topics: Data Architecture, IIoT, Open Source

🏢 Organizations: Apache Software Foundation, Tsinghua University

TsFile is a columnar storage file format designed for time series data, featuring advanced compression to minimize storage, high throughput of read and write, and deep integration with processing and analysis tools such as Apache projects Spark and Flink. TsFile is designed to support a “high ingestion rate up to tens of million data points per second and rare updates only for the correction of low-quality data; compact data packaging and deep compression for long-live historical data; traditional sequential and conditional query, complex exploratory query, signal processing, data mining and machine learning.”

TsFile is the underlying storage file format for the Apache IoTDB time-series database. IoTDB represents more than a decade of work at China’s Tsinghua University School of Software. It became a top-level project with the Apache Software Foundation in 2020.

Read more at The New Stack

New AI model could streamline operations in a robotic warehouse

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Adam Zewe

🔖 Topics: Warehouse Automation, Multi-agent path finding

🏢 Organizations: MIT, Amazon

Getting 800 robots to and from their destinations efficiently while keeping them from crashing into each other is no easy task. It is such a complex problem that even the best path-finding algorithms struggle to keep up with the breakneck pace of e-commerce or manufacturing.

The researchers built a deep-learning model that encodes important information about the warehouse, including the robots, planned paths, tasks, and obstacles, and uses it to predict the best areas of the warehouse to decongest to improve overall efficiency. Their technique divides the warehouse robots into groups, so these smaller groups of robots can be decongested faster with traditional algorithms used to coordinate robots. In the end, their method decongests the robots nearly four times faster than a strong random search method.

The technique also streamlines computation by encoding constraints only once, rather than repeating the process for each subproblem. For instance, in a warehouse with 800 robots, decongesting a group of 40 robots requires holding the other 760 robots as constraints. Other approaches require reasoning about all 800 robots once per group in each iteration.

Read more at MIT News

Inside Micron Taiwan’s Semiconductor Factory

Automated Disassembly of Deadly Weapons

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: James DeSmet

🏭 Vertical: Defense

🏢 Organizations: CRG Automation, US Army

In 2021, systems integrator CRG Automation successfully completed an unprecedented project to automate the process of disarming, disassembling and destroying 70,000 aging rockets filled with deadly nerve agents. The project was so successful that the Army came back to us with another task: Create an automated system to disassemble and destroy thousands of mortar rounds filled with highly toxic mustard agent. The rounds were stored at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) in Pueblo, CO, and would have to be destroyed by the end of 2023.

The system was designed virtually using computational fluid dynamics, quickly proving that the concept would work. This was essential given the finished technology involved five subsystems and more than 2,000 parts.

CRG sent a series of engineers to the Colorado plant prior to installation to train the employees who had been unable to visit during the development. “They lived in our plant,” says Jackson, who had anticipated the installation process would take 60 days. Instead, because of the constant collaboration and the team’s approach, it took just 21. That’s faster than the industry standard of 42 days for just a simple conversion of existing equipment. “We’re talking about brand new systems here,” Ankrom says.

Read more at Assembly Magazine

The Fascinating Evolution of Automotive Wiring

Why Manufacturing Facilities need Software Defined Networks

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Vijay Anand

🔖 Topics: IIoT, 5G

🏢 Organizations: Capgemini

Software Defined Networking, or SDN, involves digitizing all moving parts of the network, so the entire thing can be joined up and controlled through a single user interface. Changes and updates can be made consistently across the network, at the push of a button. With SDN, the entire factory and its IIoT (Industrial IoT) network can be dynamically managed and configured using a single SDN controller, handling all the elements that make a network work and adapting without users even noticing: network monitoring, packet forwarding, networking devices status checks, load balancing, queue management, scheduling and quality of experience (QoE) awareness. SDNs also have far fewer problems than networks made of physical switches and gateways, reducing time spent on troubleshooting and reconfiguring. That creates a network that is flexible, scalable, efficient, secure, and resilient.

Read more at Capgemini Insights

Multi-objective optimisation of a logistics area in the context of factory layout planning

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Andreas Lind

🔖 Topics: Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: University of Skövde

The manufacturing factory layout planning process is commonly supported by the use of digital tools, enabling creation and testing of potential layouts before being realised in the real world. The process relies on engineers’ experience and inputs from several cross-disciplinary functions, meaning that it is subjective, iterative and prone to errors and delays. To address this issue, new tools and methods are needed to make the planning process more objective, efficient and able to consider multiple objectives simultaneously. This work suggests and demonstrates a simulation-based multi-objective optimisation approach that assists the generation and assessment of factory layout proposals, where objectives and constraints related to safety regulations, workers’ well-being and walking distance are considered simultaneously. The paper illustrates how layout planning for a logistics area can become a cross-disciplinary and transparent activity, while being automated to a higher degree, providing objective results to facilitate informed decision-making.

Read more at Production & Manufacturing Research

New Product Introduction

Highlighting new and innovative products and services

First electric cars. Next, electric factories?

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏢 Organizations: AtmosZero

BASF has joined a consortium including SABIC, a Saudi chemicals firm, and Linde, a European engineering firm, to develop an electric furnace that can generate heat intense enough for the chemical reactions that are their bread and butter. These firms are not the only recent converts to the electrification of industry. On February 8th Rio Tinto and bhp, both gargantuan mining firms, announced a joint effort to build Australia’s first electric smelter for iron ore. Fortescue, another mining giant, is introducing all-electric excavators and mining lorries, while Spain’s Roca Group recently unveiled the first electric industrial tunnel kiln for ceramics. Such innovations offer a new path to slowing global warming which may in many cases prove quicker and easier than approaches based on ccs and hydrogen.

Some companies are betting that what works in the home can work in the factory, too. One such is AtmosZero, a startup that aims to reduce emissions at New Belgium Brewing, an American beermaker. AtmosZero is installing a heat pump that will soon replace one of the gas-fired boilers at New Belgium’s brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. Like most industrial firms over the past 150 years, New Belgium burns fossil fuel to produce steam, which in its case then heats the ingredients required to make beer. AtmosZero’s heat pump will allow it to produce that steam without any burning. Since the electricity used to run the pump will be renewable in the future, that eliminates most greenhouse-gas emissions from the process. It is also more efficient, consuming less energy overall. And because the heat pump transfers warmth to water, just as in a conventional boiler, the equipment can be slotted into New Belgium’s existing factory, without the need for a complete overhaul.

Read more at The Economist

Bechtel and Five Point Energy Announce Sustained Pilot Operations of Innovative Water Conservation Technology

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability, Desalination

🏢 Organizations: Bechtel, Five Point Energy

Bechtel, a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, and project management, announced the sustained pilot operations of its proprietary Low Energy Ejector Desalination System (LEEDS) – a long-awaited economic solution that creates a valuable new supply of water for customers and communities, which in turn reduces stress on limited freshwater resources.

LEEDS is an efficient, cost-effective, end-to-end solution that converts produced water from oil and gas fields into usable, end-marketable products. The recovered water can be used for agriculture or grassland irrigation, feedstocks for industrial uses such as hydrogen production, fertilizers for agricultural uses, and clean water for industrial and community applications. By transforming a costly byproduct into a useful resource, LEEDS allows customers to handle produced water responsibly while also alleviating water scarcity.

Read more at PR Newswire

Yokogawa Releases OpreX Carbon Footprint Tracer to Support Decarbonization in the Process Manufacturing Industries

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa, SAP

Tracer, a solution in the OpreX™ Transformation lineup that targets the carbon footprint management needs of companies in the process manufacturing industries. OpreX Carbon Footprint Tracer is a cloud service that calculates CO2 emissions based on measurement data and other types of primary information collected from instrumentation systems, power monitors, and other systems, and a consultation service that aids in the formulation of strategies for calculating and reducing CO2 emissions. This is a total solution for the process manufacturing industries that enables the visualization and reduction of CO2 emissions.

For the calculation of CO2 emissions, this service realizes seamless integration with the SAP® Sustainability Footprint Management service and ERP solutions offered by SAP, enabling the visualization and management of product carbon footprint (PCF) based on European standards. The support for European standards and linkage with the SAP Sustainability Footprint Management service is a world first, giving companies in the process manufacturing industries the ability to both visualize and manage their PCF.

Read more at Yokogawa News

Onto Innovation’s 4Di InSpec™ Automated Metrology System Receives 2024 Innovative System of the Year Award from FANUC America

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Metrology, Nondestructive Test

🏢 Organizations: Onto Innovation

Onto Innovation Inc. and its Tucson subsidiary 4D Technology today announced they’ve been named winner of FANUC America’s prestigious 2024 Innovative System of the Year award for the 4Di InSpec automated metrology system (AMS). The system enables automated surface defect and feature metrology for aviation, aerospace and other applications in the industrial manufacturing market. The patented, vibration-immune technology enables the unique capability of using non-contact, three-dimensional optical metrology on the production floor, providing new levels of defect inspection with micrometer-level resolution. In partnership with OptiPro Systems, the 4Di InSpec AMS systems were delivered in the second half of 2023 to several leading aerospace engine manufacturers.

Read more at Onto Innovation News

Technical tour to Europe’s largest solar industrial heat plant at Heineken Spain

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏭 Vertical: Beverage

🏢 Organizations: Heineken, Engie Espana, Azteq

The HEINEKEN Company in Spain has officially launched the largest industrial solar thermal plant in the world using ‘Fresnel’ technology, at its brewery site in Valencia. The park is composed of highly reflective mirrors that use sunlight to heat water, following the sun’s path. All light is concentrated onto a tube that heats the water in the circuit up to an exceptional 220 degrees Celsius, generating the necessary steam for making beer. With this solar thermal plant, almost half of the energy used to produce beer in Valencia will be renewable - a crucial step towards having all four of our breweries in Spain run on 100% renewable energy.

Read more at Solar Thermal World

Industrial Policy

How governments are shaping the future industrial landscape.

🇩🇪 How Germany’s steelmakers plan to go green

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Patricia Nilsson

🔖 Topics: Sustainability

🏢 Organizations: Salzgitter, Thyssenkrupp, SMS Group

Global steel production today accounts for at least 7 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In Germany, it emits more than a quarter of the country’s total industrial carbon dioxide. Salzgitter has said that once its revamped steel plant is run entirely on green hydrogen, its annual CO2 emissions, which currently stand at 8mn tonnes, will drop by a staggering 95 per cent.

German authorities have pledged more than €6bn in subsidies to steelmakers in a bid to shore up Europe’s largest industrial base, which is already struggling with high energy prices and falling global demand for its cars and machinery. The full implementation of the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism, a tariff regime intended to give Europe’s basic industries protection from cheaper, dirtier imports while they decarbonise their own operations, has opened a window of opportunity for such heavy investment.

Read more at Financial Times

🇺🇸 US offers $710 million in loans for EV technology projects

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Joseph White, David Shepardson

The U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday it gave preliminary approval for nearly $710 million in loans to electric vehicle (EV) technology manufacturing ventures, although the Biden administration still has $221.8 billion in loan capacity to fund clean-energy projects.

South Korean company SK Siltron CSS is set to receive $544 million to expand a plant in Bay City, Michigan that produces high power silicon carbide wafers used in electric vehicles. Those components are critical EV drivetrains, including inverters, and electrical distribution systems, the department said. American Battery Solutions separately received conditional approval for a $165.9 million loan to expand its EV battery pack assembly operations in Springboro, Ohio and Lake Orion, Michigan. Both facilities could employ up to 460 people.

Read more at Reuters

🇯🇵 Tokyo pledges a further $4.9 bln to help TSMC expand Japan production

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Tim Kelly

Japan said it will give TSMC up to 732 billion yen ($4.86 billion) more in subsidies to help it build a second chip fabrication plant as the Taiwanese company on Saturday marked the opening of its first Japanese factory. The latest financial commitment, which will add to money given to the world’s biggest chipmaker for its first factory, could push taxpayer-funded subsidies for TSMC beyond 1 trillion yen.

When completed, monthly capacity across the two factories will exceed 100,000 12-inch wafers that TSMC will supply to technology firms and carmakers including Sony and Toyota Motor.

Read more at Reuters

🇦🇺󠁡󠁵󠁮󠁳󠁷󠁿 $275 million investment sparks Net Zero manufacturing and jobs in NSW

📅 Date:

The NSW Labor Government is announcing $275 million in grants under the Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative, to secure NSW as the place to develop and manufacture clean technology and create new jobs in the process.

The Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative will offer the following grants:

  • Renewable Manufacturing – increasing capacity to make the components for renewable energy projects, which will alleviate supply chain constraints and increase local content capability.
  • Clean Technology Innovation – helping businesses get scalable low-emission technologies, market-ready.
  • Low Carbon Product Manufacturing – establishing industrial facilities and manufacturing capabilities that can take advantage of investment in new and emerging low carbon industries.

Read more at NSW Government

🇬🇧 Funding agreed to secure £350 million inward investment project

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Sumitomo Electric

A funding package has been agreed to secure an estimated £350 million inward investment project for Scotland from Sumitomo Electric UK Power Cables Ltd (SEUK), a subsidiary of Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (SEI). Now the Scottish Government, along with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise, have approved up to £24.5 million in public sector support to secure the project. This comprises £19.37 million in Scottish Government funding, £4.6 million from HIE and £530,000 from Scottish Enterprise.

The £25.4 million in funding will support the project as it begins to invest in its plant and equipment, construction of a new purpose-built factory, and long-term land leasing and associated costs.

Read more at Scottish Development International

🇧🇪 How to Fulfill the Belgian Federal Learning Account Requirements With Azumuta

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Ariq Dmitri

🏢 Organizations: Azumuta

From April 1, 2024 at the latest, private sector employers in Belgium with at least 20 full-time employees (FTE) are legally required to provide at least 5 training days/year for each employee. Meanwhile, employers with 10-19 FTEs must allocate at least 1 training day/year.

Azumuta’s Skill Matrix & Training is a suitable employee training tool for fulfilling your organization’s FLA requirements. The Skill Matrix & Training module keeps track of your employees’ training activities – and gathers them into individual employee reports. You no longer have to spend hours compiling this data and drafting an individual employee report for each employee.

Read more at Azumuta Blog

Business Transactions

This week's top funding events, acquisitions, and partnerships across industrial value chains

Amazon to invest in start-ups that combine AI with robotics

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Camilla Hodgson

🔖 Topics: Warehouse Automation

🏢 Organizations: Amazon

Amazon’s $1bn industrial innovation fund is to step up investments in companies that combine artificial intelligence and robotics, as the ecommerce giant seeks to drive efficiencies across its logistics network. The industrial innovation fund is seeking to invest in start-ups that can support the ecommerce group’s aims of becoming “more efficient, safer for our associates, and increase the speed of delivery to our customers”, Bossart said.

Amazon has innovated in robotics before: in 2022, the company said it had invested more than €400mn in technologies that include industrial robotics and sorting systems in its European warehouses. It has deployed 750,000 mobile robots across its operations network.

Read more at Financial Times

🏴󠁵󠁳󠁣󠁡󠁿 Figure Raises $675M for Its Humanoid Robot Development

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Evan Ackerman

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Figure, Microsoft, OpenAI, NVIDIA, Intel

Figure is announcing an astonishing US $675 million Series B raise, which values the company at an even more astonishing $2.6 billion. Figure is one of the companies working toward a multipurpose or general-purpose (depending on whom you ask) bipedal or humanoid (depending on whom you ask) robot. The astonishing thing about this valuation is that Figure’s robot is still very much in the development phase—although they’re making rapid progress, which they demonstrate in a new video posted this week.

This round of funding comes from Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, Nvidia, Jeff Bezos (through Bezos Expeditions), Parkway Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Align Ventures, and ARK Invest. Figure says that they’re going to use this new capital “for scaling up AI training, robot manufacturing, expanding engineering head count, and advancing commercial deployment efforts.” In addition, Figure and OpenAI will be collaborating on the development of “next-generation AI models for humanoid robots” which will “help accelerate Figure’s commercial timeline by enhancing the capabilities of humanoid robots to process and reason from language.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

🏴󠁵󠁳󠁴󠁸󠁿 Fervo Energy Raises $244 Million to Accelerate Deployment of Next-Generation Geothermal

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Fervo Energy, Devon Energy, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Fervo Energy, the leader in next-generation geothermal development, announced that it has raised $244 million in new funding led by Devon Energy, a pioneer in shale oil and gas. This financing will unlock Fervo’s next phase of growth, deploying proven technology adapted from the oil and gas industry at scale to deliver commercially viable 24/7 carbon-free energy. Galvanize Climate Solutions, John Arnold, Liberty Mutual Investments, Marunouchi Innovation Partners, Mercuria, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also joined the round alongside existing investors Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Congruent Ventures, DCVC, Elemental Excelerator, Helmerich & Payne, and Impact Science Ventures.

Since its last fundraise, Fervo has successfully brought its first commercial project online, establishing Fervo’s system as the most productive enhanced geothermal system (EGS) in history. Fervo has also begun drilling at Cape Station, a 400 MW project in Beaver County, Utah. Early drilling results show reduced drilling times and lower costs that significantly exceed Department of Energy expectations for EGS. The fundraise will support Fervo’s continued operations at Cape Station, which will begin delivering clean electricity to the grid in 2026.

Read more at Business Wire

🇯🇵 Tsubame BHB procures 5.3 billion yen through Series C

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Tsubame BHB, Heraeus, Yokogawa

Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd., which strives for the social implementation and commercialization of small, distributed ammonia production plants, has announced that it has undertaken capital procurement on a total scale of approximately 5.3 billion yen in a Series C round of financing through third-party allocation of shares to both new and existing investors worldwide. In the second round of this Series C funding, capital procurement was undertaken with Heraeus Beteiligungsverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH as the first overseas investor receiving shares, and with Yokogawa Electric Corporation and Energy & Environment Investment, Inc. as new investors receiving shares in Japan.

The synthetic ammonia catalysts offered by Tsubame BHB, which are produced at low temperatures and low pressures using electride catalysts, can be manufactured at small ammonia production plants, and so can be produced and consumed locally. Transport and storage processes are reduced in comparison to current procurement methods involving high-volume production at petrochemical complexes, enabling a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

Read more at PR Newswire

🇩🇪 RobCo raises €39.1M from Lightspeed, Sequoia, others

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event, XaaS

🏢 Organizations: RobCo, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Technical University of Munich

RobCo, a provider of affordable and connected robotics automation solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has secured $42.5M (approximately €39.17M) in a Series B round of funding. The investment came from global VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners along with existing investor Sequoia Capital. Kindred Capital and Promus Ventures also participated in this round.

RobCo facilitates SMEs’ entry into automation and addresses challenges such as skilled labour shortages, production scalability, and the transition to Industry 4.0. The company’s platform allows remote configuration, implementation, and management of robots via a digital twin, using a low-code approach that eliminates the need for complex programming or specialised personnel. In addition, RobCo combines its proprietary patented platform approach with a novel business model – Robot-as-a-Service (in short: RaaS).

RaaS allows small and midsize manufacturers to pay for robotic services on a monthly basis instead of buying hardware. Manufacturers see an immediate return of automation, while avoiding large upfront investments, and they’re able to transform robotics budgets from CapEx to OpEx.

Read more at Silicon Canals

🇨🇦 Elevated Signals Raises $7.9 Million in Series A Funding

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Elevated Signals, Yaletown Partners

Elevated Signals Inc., a company pioneering modern manufacturing software, is pleased to announce that it has secured CAD$7.9 million in Series A funding. The investment was led by Yaletown Partners, with participation from Third Kind Venture Capital, WGD Capital, Colin Harris, Raiven Capital, and Pareto Holdings.

Elevated Signals’ cloud-based platform automates and simplifies the capture of real-time manufacturing data, providing a unified source of truth that is accessible company-wide. This data also lays the foundation for companies to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for continued process optimization. Elevated Signals serves a growing list of sectors ranging from controlled environment agriculture to natural health product manufacturing, critical minerals recovery, mining, and more. Its technology was pioneered in one of the most regulated industries in the world, setting it apart in the market with its real-time precision and flexibility to support new process innovation.

Read more at Business Wire

🇩🇪 Assemblio raises €2.1 million to create the future of assembly planning

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Assemblio, LEA Partners

Assemblio, a software company that helps to intelligently plan assembly and generate fully automatic assistance systems for production, has completed a €2.1 million seed funding round. The lead investor is LEA Partners, joined by Mätch VC, Cross Atlantic Angels, Silver Scale, and Integra, as well as other business angels. The Assemblio team plans to use the fresh capital to expand further and drive forward product development. The big goal is to make assembly processes easier, faster, and more cost-efficient.

Assemblio offers an AI-based software solution for time- and cost-efficient assembly planning. Its Assembly Information Models reduce the planning effort from weeks and months to a matter of minutes, actively contributing to cost reduction. This has already convinced various large industrial customers such as Krones and Bosch.

Read more at EU-Startups

🇬🇧 Sonichem secures €1.4 million to convert sawdust into high-value bio-based chemicals

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏭 Vertical: Pulp and Paper

🏢 Organizations: Sonichem, ACF Investors

Sonichem, an East Midlands-based startup that converts low-value forestry by-products into high-value, renewable biochemicals, has secured €1.4 million in Pre-Series A funding including a follow-on investment by ACF Investors. The investment will be used to further develop its technology and finalise plans for a biorefinery plant — the first of its kind.

Only 55% of logs that enter a sawmill become usable construction timber. The other 45% end up as low-value by-products such as woodchips and sawdust. Sonichem breaks down this feedstock through its novel patent process — combining chemistry and ultrasound technology — into three main constituent natural bio-based chemicals: sugars, cellulose and lignin. For every £1 of sawdust, Sonichem’s technology can create £8 worth of bio-based sustainable chemicals.

Read more at EU-Startups

Boeing in Talks to Buy Troubled Supplier Spirit AeroSystems

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Lauren Thomas, Sharon Terlep

🔖 Topics: Acquisition

🏢 Organizations: Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit has hired bankers to explore strategic options and has had preliminary discussions with its former owner, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks might not result in a deal. Spirit is also exploring selling operations in Ireland that make parts for Boeing’s chief rival, Airbus.

A deal would be a strategic reversal. Boeing sold the Wichita plant in a push to focus on final assembly. In recent years, that facility has been plagued by production problems and quality lapses that have slowed production and left the plane maker short of jets it promised to deliver to airlines.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Capgemini to acquire Unity’s Digital Twin Professional Services arm to accelerate enterprises’ digital transformation through real-time 3D technology

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: Capgemini, Unity

Capgemini and Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and growing real-time 3D (RT3D) content, announced an expansion of their strategic alliance that will see Capgemini take on Unity’s Digital Twin Professional Services arm. Per the agreement, Unity’s Digital Twin Professional Services team will join and embed within Capgemini, forming one of the largest pools of Unity enterprise developers in the world. The transaction will accelerate the iteration and implementation of the market leading real-time 3D (RT3D) visualization software for the industrial application of digital twins. It will allow end users to envision, understand, and interact with physical systems – a key enabler for intelligent industry. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

Read more at Capgemini Press Releases

NTT DATA and Schneider Electric Join Forces to Drive AI Innovation at the Edge

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: NTT DATA, Schneider Electric

NTT DATA, a global leader in IT infrastructure and services, and Schneider Electric, a pioneer in digital transformation for energy management and automation, have unveiled a first-of-a-kind co-innovation that empowers enterprises to harness the power of edge computing. The strategic partnership introduces a unique solution that seamlessly integrates Edge, Private 5G, IOT, and Modular Data Centers, providing unparalleled connectivity and supports the computational demands of Generative AI applications deployed at the edge.

The joint offering combines NTT DATA’s Edge as a Service, which includes fully managed Edge to Cloud, Private 5G, and IoT capabilities, with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure, a modular data center that fuses OT solutions with the latest in IT technologies. This powerful combination enables companies to maximize energy efficiency and meet the demands of compute-intensive tasks such as machine vision, predictive maintenance, and other AI inferencing applications at the edge.

Read more at NTT Data Newsroom

Michelin North America, Inc. Selects Cosmo Tech for Supply Chain Simulation

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: Michelin, Cosmo Tech

Cosmo Tech announces it has been selected by Michelin North America, Inc. to help improve its supply chain simulation and optimize operations. The overall aim of bringing onboard Cosmo Tech’s solution is to help supply chain and marketing managers anticipate the impact of variable demand and predict the future state of Michelin’s complex supply chain, with the objective of improving supply chain agility and efficiency.

Read more at Cosmo Tech News