Record Efficiency in Renewable Energy Production


Shop Talk

Capturing this week's zeitgeist

Kaizen Blitz

  • 📋 TIME and Statista have named 250 companies reducing environmental impact
  • 🚙🔋🔌 EV charging speed, drive distance, and thermal management remain challenges
    • LG Energy and Qualcomm form collaboration for battery management
    • Samsung SDI to mass-produce batteries that can be 80% charged in nine minutes
    • Volvo Cars has partnered up with Breathe Battery Technologies to “reduce the time it takes to charge your fully electric Volvo from 10 to 80 percent charging state by as much as 30 percent”
    • Stanford, MIT and the Toyota Research Institute conducted experiments applying machine learning techniques to battery testing
    • In large-scale systems like DC EV chargers, real-time temperature monitoring facilitated by control systems plays a crucial role in active thermal management
    • Breakthroughs, fundamentals, status, and promise of sodium-ion batteries
  • 🏭💰 Factory investments remain strong in energy infrastructure, semiconductors, and aerospace
    • Schaeffler to Build E-Axle Factory in Ohio
    • Siemens Energy will spend $149.8 million to build a large power transformer factory in North Carolina
    • Vishay Intertechnology on plans for its acquired Welsh chip making factory
    • Silicon Box to Invest €3.2B in a Semiconductor Fab in Italy
    • GE Aerospace plans to invest $650 million in its manufacturing facilities

Assembly Line

This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media.

How Infinited Fiber Raised $43m Amidst Textile Recycling Uncertainty

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Brooke Roberts-Islam

🔖 Topics: Circular Economy

🏭 Vertical: Textiles

🏢 Organizations: Infinited Fiber

In the wake of Renewcell’s bankruptcy announcement, some concluded that fashion brands weren’t ready to make the leap to adopting ‘circular textiles’, but IFC’s financing round hinged on brands purchasing in advance the majority of the recycled fiber capacity from the first years of the scaled factory’s output. So, how do Renewcell’s and IFC’s technologies and business models differ? How might IFC avoid the commercial challenges faced by Renewcell (who also count H&M as an investor)?

Infinited Fiber Company’s Co-founder and CEO, Petri Alava, went on to point out significant differences in the feedstock sources, funding and commercialisation model of IFC, compared to Renewcell. Regarding feedstocks, he explains: “we are obtaining post-consumer textiles discarded clothing, as well as dust airborne textile fibers from mechanical textile recycling factories in Turkey and North Africa. IFC has secured it’s used clothing and textile waste from Europe-based garment collectors and sorters.

Read more at Forbes

2024 Cosmo Tech GenAI & Simulation Product Demonstration

How We Are Building a Self-Sustaining Open-Source Business in the Cloud Era

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Open Source

🏢 Organizations: Timescale

Back in 2018, Timescale first announced how we planned to build a self-sustaining open-source business in the cloud era and that we had started developing features under a new, source-available license called the Timescale License (TSL). At the time, the TSL was a radical idea: a source-available license that was open-source in spirit but that contained a main restriction: preventing companies from offering software licensed under the TSL via a hosted database-as-a-service.

The TSL, like the Elastic License before it and the Confluent Community License (coincidentally launched around the same time), are examples of what we call “Cloud Protection Licenses.” These licenses attempt to maintain an open-source spirit but recognize that the cloud has increasingly become the dominant form of open-source commercialization.

Read more at Timescale Blog

Take a tour of the Rivian EV Manufacturing Plant, and go behind the scenes with founder RJ Scaringe

How to Implement a Remote Validation Process

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Christina Fuges

🔖 Topics: Virtual Commissioning

🏢 Organizations: Accede Mold Tool, OBS Studio, Zoom

Here is how a Rochester, New York-based, family-owned mold builder, Accede Mold & Tool, innovated to overcome obstacles presented by travel restrictions and customer budget constraints by developing and implementing a remote mold validation process. While born out of necessity during the emergence of the pandemic, the process persists and has delivered considerable time and cost savings for its customers and benefits for the mold builder.

For remote mold validation, Accede has a carefully curated kit that contains a decently powered computer for graphics, cam links to turn regular high-performance cameras into webcams, a USB microscope for inspecting plastic parts under magnification, studio lights, mounts and noise-canceling headsets for the production environment. This kit ensures Accede is always prepared for remote mold validations.

Read more at MoldMaking Technology

The Future of Sustainable Design with Mars and Ansys

Magnetic Levitation on a existing rail

New Product Introduction

Highlighting new and innovative facilities, processes, products, and services

Covariant Announces a Universal AI Platform for Robots

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Evan Ackerman

🔖 Topics: Industrial Robot, Warehouse Automation, Foundation Model

🏢 Organizations: Covariant

Covariant is announcing RFM-1, which the company describes as a robotics foundation model that gives robots the “human-like ability to reason.” “Foundation model” means that RFM-1 can be trained on more data to do more things—at the moment, it’s all about warehouse manipulation because that’s what it’s been trained on, but its capabilities can be expanded by feeding it more data. “Our existing system is already good enough to do very fast, very variable pick and place,” says Covariant co-founder Pieter Abbeel. “But we’re now taking it quite a bit further. Any task, any embodiment—that’s the long-term vision. Robotics foundation models powering billions of robots across the world.” From the sound of things, Covariant’s business of deploying a large fleet of warehouse automation robots was the fastest way for them to collect the tens of millions of trajectories (how a robot moves during a task) that they needed to train the 8 billion parameter RFM-1 model.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

Agility Robotics Brings Operational Visibility to Deployment of Digit Fleets with the Launch of Agility Arc™

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Humanoid, Warehouse Automation, Workcell

🏢 Organizations: Agility Robotics

In its first iteration, Agility Arc will provide customers with operational visibility into critical KPIs like uptime, throughput, Mean Time Between Incidents (MTBI), and robot status, allowing customers to understand what’s happening in the workcell and how Digit is performing. Additionally, Agility Arc will provide industry standard APIs to simplify integration with existing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Warehouse Execution Systems (WES), and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) among others.

Read more at Agility Robotics News

Lyten Achieves Manufacturing Milestone; Now Producing Lithium-Sulfur Batteries At Greater Than 90% Yield

📅 Date:

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: Lyten

Lyten, a supermaterials application company and the leader in lithium-sulfur battery technology, announced it is consistently surpassing 90 percent yield from its automated battery production line, confirming the manufacturability of its lithium-sulfur battery utilizing a sulfur cathode and lithium metal anode.

The lithium-sulfur manufacturing performance has been achieved utilizing standard lithium-ion manufacturing equipment and processes. The conversion of lithium-ion equipment to produce lithium-sulfur batteries in Lyten’s pilot facility required 6 weeks and less than 2% of the total capital cost. This confirms Lyten’s ability to rapidly scale by converting existing Li-ion gigafactories to lithium-sulfur with minimal cost and time.

Lyten’s lithium-sulfur battery chemistry utilizes no NMP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) in the cathode manufacturing process, eliminating the potential health, safety, and environmental impacts of the highly toxic solvent standard in today’s lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, the lithium-sulfur battery cell has proven to be highly tolerant of metallic contamination, significantly reducing the capital equipment and operational costs associated with preventing metal contamination in today’s leading battery chemistries, namely NMC and LFP.

Lyten’s lithium-sulfur battery contains no nickel, cobalt, manganese, or graphite in the cathode and anode, enabling an entirely locally sourced and manufactured battery. Lyten expects to achieve 98%+ yields at scale and will begin delivering commercial lithium-sulfur cells for non-EV customers in aerospace and government applications in 2024 from its San Jose pilot production facility. Lyten is executing engineering and design, procuring equipment, and evaluating locations to rapidly scale up lithium-sulfur manufacturing to meet growing interest from EV, trucking, space, aerospace, and government customers.

Read more at Business Wire

CSIRO achieves record efficiency for next-gen roll-to-roll printed solar cells

📅 Date:

🏭 Vertical: Electrical Equipment

🏢 Organizations: CSIRO, University of Cambridge, Monash University, University of Sydney, University of New South Wales

Scientists from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, have led an international team to a clean energy breakthrough by setting a new efficiency record for fully roll-to-roll printed solar cells. Printed onto thin plastic films, this lightweight and flexible solar technology will help meet the growing demand for renewable energy by expanding the boundaries of where solar cells can be used. The team demonstrated performances for solar cells of 15.5% efficiency on a small scale and 11% for a 50 cm2 module, which is a record for fully printed solar cells.

CSIRO is actively seeking industry partners to further develop and commercialise this technology.

Read more at CSIRO News

Industrial Policy

How governments are shaping the future industrial landscape.

🇲🇾 Malaysia: the surprise winner from US-China chip wars

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Mercedes Ruehl

🏢 Organizations: ams OSRAM, Greatech, Kemikon

As companies around the world look for a back-up to China to protect themselves from geopolitical disruptions — a strategy known as China plus one — Malaysia is becoming a surprise investment destination. It has a 50-year history in the “back end” of the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain: packaging, assembling and testing chips. But it has ambitions to move up to the front end of a $520bn global industry that powers everything from televisions to smartphones and electric vehicles. That includes higher value activities such as wafer fabrication and integrated circuit design.

Developing Malaysia’s semiconductor industry and workforce into this higher value manufacturing is a “critical goal,” says prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in an interview with the Financial Times.

Read more at Financial Times

🇮🇳 Govt to support semiconductor industry expansion across India

📅 Date:

The Government of India is open to give opportunities to any state that would like to focus on the semiconductor industry, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said at the inauguration of the Qualcomm design center in Chennai. His comments come a day after the ground breaking ceremonies for three semiconductor projects, including the Tata Group’s $11 billion semiconductor fab facility in Dholera in Gujarat, the Rs 27,000 crore chip assembly, testing, marking and packaging facility at Morigaon in Assam and Murugappa Group’s CG Power’s Rs 7,600 crore chip assembly facility at Sanand in Gujarat.

Also, one of the reasons that these regions were being selected for the manufacturing units was because of the chemical hub situated in Dahej in Gujarat, Vaishnaw said.

Read more at The Economic Times

🇺🇸 A Foundry’s Closure Devastated This Tennessee Town But a New Lithium Plant Is Giving It Hope

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Jackie Duda

🏢 Organizations: Piedmont Lithium

The Tennessee Lithium project, announced on September 1, 2022, will focus on converting lithium hydroxide to power the cathodes in lithium-ion vehicle batteries. Tennessee was selected for its central role in America’s “Battery Belt” and as a key contributor to the U.S. electrification economy. “It came down to multiple factors, the first being the quality of the site,” said Blair. The North Etowah Industrial Park has excellent rail access and is near other EV battery component manufacturers in the “battery belt.” Etowah City Manager Russ Blair told the local paper in September 2022 that Piedmont planned to invest nearly $600 million into the county.

“Shortly after we announced the location for Tennessee Lithium, we were honored to be selected in October 2022 for a $141.7 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to support project construction,” said Piedmont spokesperson Erin Sanders.

Read more at Capital & Main

Business Transactions

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

Applied Intuition Grows to $6 Billion Valuation, Securing $250 Million in Series E Funding to Advance Vehicle Software and AI Capabilities

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Applied Intuition, Lux Capital, Porsche

Applied Intuition, Inc., a vehicle software supplier for automotive, trucking, construction, mining, agriculture, and other industries, has raised a $250 million Series E financing round at a $6 billion valuation. The round was led by Bilal Zuberi at Lux Capital (Series C lead investor), Elad Gil (Series D lead investor), and strategic investor Porsche Investments Management S.A. representing the well-known successful sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. Applied Intuition also announced the following new and existing investors: Andreessen Horowitz (Series A lead investor), General Catalyst (Series B lead investor), Mary Meeker at BOND, Human Capital, Henry Kravis, Mustafa Suleyman, Ray Dalio, John Quinn, and Nico Rosberg.

Applied Intuition has maintained sustainable triple-digit percentage growth year-over-year, profitably. It has expanded beyond its Silicon Valley headquarters to Detroit, Washington, D.C., Germany, Korea, and Japan and has customers worldwide, including 18 of the top 20 automotive OEMs.

The company will use the financing to make significant investments in generative AI to unlock substantial value for customers and partners. With recent advancements in large language models (LLMs), Applied Intuition is uniquely positioned to help its customers revolutionize the vehicle software development process. The company will continue to recruit the world’s best software and AI engineers to further expand its offerings that enable its customers to have the world’s most advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving (AD) solutions.

Read more at PR Newswire

Luminary Cloud Emerges from Stealth, Empowering R&D with Realtime Engineering

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Luminary Cloud, Sutter Hill Ventures

Luminary Cloud, a pioneer in realtime engineering, announced its official launch out of stealth. A computer-aided engineering (CAE) SaaS platform, Luminary empowers smarter and faster design cycles, allowing engineers to develop better products in a fraction of the time. Backed by Sutter Hill Ventures, which led its $115 million funding, Luminary’s customers span industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, sporting goods, industrial equipment, and more.

Luminary’s platform makes it possible to run high-fidelity simulations 100 times faster than legacy vendors by leveraging the raw speed of GPU- and cloud-based processing. Its proprietary simulation platform is powered by massively parallel NVIDIA GPU clusters in the cloud. With hyper-fast and accurate simulations, engineers can iterate and test a variety of scenarios, answer more questions, and use these insights to optimize product design.

Read more at PR Newswire

Nozomi Networks Secures $100 Million Investment to Accelerate Mission to Defend the World's Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Nozomi Networks, Mitsubishi Electric, Schneider Electric

Nozomi Networks Inc., the worldwide leader in OT and IoT security, announced a $100 million Series E funding round to help accelerate innovative cyber defenses and expand cost-efficient go-to-market expansion globally. This latest round includes investments from Mitsubishi Electric, a global leader in digital manufacturing, electronics and electrical equipment and Schneider Electric, a global leader in digital automation and energy management. They join a growing list of OT original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who have invested in Nozomi Networks, including previous investors Honeywell and Johnson Controls.

The company will use this latest investment to help scale product development efforts as well as its go-to-market approach globally. With criminal and nation-state cyber threats to industrial and critical infrastructure on the rise, the need for Nozomi Networks solutions has never been greater. At the same time, recent consolidation in the OT and IoT security space is driving a new need for full-featured solutions that aren’t limited to single-vendor support, but rather are able to holistically address the cybersecurity requirements of the vast majority of industrial and critical infrastructure organizations who must protect complex, multi-vendor environments.

Read more at PR Newswire

Bear Robotics Lands $60 Million in Series C Funding from Tech Giant LG Electronics

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Bear Robotics, LG

Bear Robotics, a Silicon Valley trailblazer in service robotics and artificial intelligence solutions, announced the completion of a $60 million Series C funding round. This round is exclusively led by LG Electronics, a global leader in technology and innovation. This strategic infusion propels Bear Robotics into new territories, targeting emerging markets such as smart warehousing and supply chain automation, where the company is poised to unveil its next-generation robotics platform, featuring autonomous navigation systems and adaptive learning algorithms, meticulously designed to meet the complex demands of modern supply chains and manufacturing processes.

Read more at Business Wire

Quaise Energy Raises $21 Million to Accelerate Terawatt-Scale Deep Geothermal Energy

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Quaise Energy, Prelude Ventures, Safar Partners, Mitsubishi, MIT

Quaise Energy, the company unlocking terawatt-scale geothermal, announced the closing of a $21 Million Series A1 financing round led by Prelude Ventures and Safar Partners. Mitsubishi Corporation and Standard Investments are among several new investors participating in the round. This latest funding will enhance Quaise field operations and strengthen the company’s supply chain position, while ongoing product development will continue with pre-existing capital.

Quaise is uniquely positioned to harness deep geothermal energy worldwide at 3-20 km below the Earth’s surface. To achieve such a feat, the company has advanced a novel technique to vaporize rock using high-power microwaves in the millimeter range, based on more than a decade of research at MIT and recent testing at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The original MIT experiments have now been scaled up 100x, with field demonstrations commencing this year.

Read more at Business Wire

Furno Secures $6.5 Million Seed Funding to Cement a Carbon Neutral Future

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Furno, Energy Capital Ventures

Furno, a startup dedicated to decarbonizing the cement production industry, announced the close of an oversubscribed $6.5M seed funding round and introduced its revolutionary, end-to-end cement production unit, the Furno Brick. Furno’s oversubscribed round was led by Energy Capital Ventures (ECV) and joined by O’Shaughnessy Ventures, Cantos and Neotribe. Breakthrough Energy participated in earlier, non-dilutive funding of the company. This funding will enable the company to continue to scale its technology, provide more customers with samples to garner feedback and, perhaps most significantly, aid in the development of the Furno Brick.

Furno addresses the immediate need for change and innovation in the cement sector with the world’s first modular and carbon-neutral cement plant that scales on demand, drastically reducing the barrier to entry and unlocking local or small-scale cement production. The company’s novel kiln and combustion technology allows for efficient cement production using gas-based versus solid fuels, which dramatically reduces CO2 emissions and eliminates nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx) entirely. Furno’s innovative design also allows producers to build cement plants that are compact and cost-efficient, and enables them to add incremental capacity as needed.

Read more at Business Wire

Fluent Metal Launches with $5.5M Funding to Bring Liquid Metal Printing to Life

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event, Additive Manufacturing

🏢 Organizations: Fluent Metal, E15

Fluent Metal is developing production-grade liquid metal printing to remove barriers to entry into metal additive manufacturing, while allowing for unmatched scalability and process tunability. The company is launching out of stealth with an additional $3.2M in venture capital funding, led by E15 with participation from Pillar VC and industry angels, bringing the total funding to $5.5M. Fluent Metal’s drop-on-demand approach is compatible with most metals, including refractories, and enables the creation of parts in a single-step process, minimizing variability. It is energy efficient: using less starting material and producing no waste–making it far more sustainable than current powder-based metal 3D printers.

Read more at PR Newswire

Quantistry bags €3M to foster R&D innovation through AI and Quantum

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Quantistry, Ananda Impact Ventures, BASF

Berlin-based Quantistry, a provider of cloud-native chemical simulation platforms, announced on Tuesday that it has secured €3M in a fresh funding round led by Ananda Impact Ventures. Other investors, including Chemovator, the business incubator of BASF, IBB Ventures, and a Family Office, also participated in the round. The capital injection will boost Quantistry’s efforts to transform chemical and material R&D with Quantum and AI.

Quantistry offers an intuitive cloud-native chemical simulation platform tailored to designing and discovering new sustainable materials. The company does this through its computational platform, which integrates quantum technologies, physics-based simulations, and machine learning. By leveraging quantum-based simulations, multiscale modelling, and AI-driven insights, the company’s tool enhances the optimisation, discovery, and design of innovative materials, offering unprecedented benefits to industries seeking sustainable solutions.

Read more at Silicon Canals

LG Collaborates With SVT Robotics to Accelerate the Deployment of Autonomous Mobile Robots

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership, Autonomous Mobile Robot

🏢 Organizations: LG, SVT Robotics

LG Business Solutions USA is collaborating with SVT Robotics, a leading software provider that empowers IT teams to seamlessly integrate, monitor, and scale automation, to deploy LG’s new CLOi CarryBot autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in U.S. warehouse environments. By leveraging the SOFTBOT® Platform from SVT Robotics, prebuilt integrations easily enable the LG CLOi CarryBot AMRs to connect to virtually any warehouse management solution.

LG’s CLOi CarryBot, offers warehouses a powerful, easy-to-use solution that can move up to 1.2 meters per second with 18 hours of runtime and a 6-hour charge time. Up to 100 CarryBots can operate in unison, enabling use in organizations and spaces of any size and complexity. A convenient, intuitive 9.2-inch color touchscreen provides info and control options.

Read more at LG Press