Manufacturing Service Capability Prediction Just-in-Time


Shop Talk

Capturing this week's zeitgeist

Bryson DeChambeau is playing The Masters with a custom set of single-length irons made by little-known clubmaker Avoda. Tom Bailey, the owner of direct-to-consumer Avoda Golf, made the two-piece irons using a 3D printing process that allowed for something DeChambeau has been clamoring for since 2020: bulge and roll in an iron face. Switching to a different bulge and roll design on Krank’s driver helped DeChambeau mitigate misses across the entire face at his incredible swing speeds.

Kaizen Blitz

  • 📊 Survey Says
    • Aras’ Spotlight on the Future 2024 study reveals Artificial Intelligence (AI) and sustainability are the two megatrends that are currently challenging all businesses and are associated with data-intensive projects.
  • 🏭💰 Factory Investments
    • Fortescue officially opens Gladstone Electrolyser Facility
    • Celanese opens the lowest-cost and lowest-carbon footprint acetic acid facility in the world and two new processes in China.
    • Solugen Breaks Ground on Bioforge™ Marshall Facility adjacent to ADM’s existing corn processing complex.
    • FUJIFILM Diosynth Invests $1.2B in Holly Springs, North Carolina, Manufacturing Facility
  • 🦾🦿 Putting Humanoids to Work
    • Apptronik’s Apollo bot is helping skilled human workers build cars for Mercedes-Benz
    • Sanctuary AI’s Phoenix™ is starting “a multi-disciplinary assessment of improving cost and scalability of robots using Magna’s automotive product portfolio, engineering and manufacturing capabilities; and a strategic equity investment by Magna.”
  • 🏢💸 Corporate Frontier
  • Toyota Ventures Raises $300 Million to Expand Early-Stage Investments in Frontier Technology and Climate Solutions
  • RTX launched a North American Technology Accelerator. The accelerator projects in Florida are primarily focused on material restoration and process automation including advanced repairs, digital inspection, adaptive processing, and coating and masking for compressor and fan parts, blades, cases, and more. The benefits of these technologies will reduce cost, material demand, and environmental impact, while decreasing turn times, improving throughput, and delivering value to customers.

Assembly Line

This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media.

Look Inside a Research and Demo Lab at Epson Robotics

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: David Peterson

🔖 Topics: SCARA

🏢 Organizations: Epson

SCARA robots excel at pick-and-place applications, moving parts along a single horizontal plane, but the increased speed and precision come with some challenges. The weight of the robot and the subtle change in payload and TCP position create ever-changing inertial moments, which can introduce offset and oscillation in settling points. Those are common terms in the motion control industry, but not so much in industrial robots.

Epson tackles this challenge with a combination of hardware, with in-house produced quartz crystals that are used as the basis of multi-axis gyroscope sensors, along with the GYROPLUS software to provide a feedback loop (think PID control, for you motion experts) to constantly project a correct motion path while maintaining extremely high speeds.


Vuzix CEO talks about the AR Space, AI, Warehouse Picking with Smart Glasses

Leveraging AI for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing

📅 Date:

🏢 Organizations: Solugen

After talking to people across the company, I identified two significant areas where machine learning can make a difference today. The first is protein design, and the second is the optimization of our chemical processes. There are areas that may eventually become important down the line, such as using AI to better control the plant so that the conversion and production is maximized. I can also imagine building recommender systems to better suggest meaningful products to clients. But protein design and the optimization of chemical processes are by far the most important because they are about innovation. If we want to accomplish our mission of decarbonizing the chemicals industry, we need to figure out how to make a lot more molecules than we know how to make now, and we need to be able to very quickly scale them up in factories.

Read more at Solugen

Strapping and stretch hooding of concrete blocks

Robotics: the solution in a modern forging plant

📅 Date:

🏢 Organizations: Krenhof Kapfenberg, SICK, Heitec Systemtechnik

Much of the feedstock material to be processed is large and heavy, and recently modernized forging plants produce parts that are too heavy for employees to handle. This situation calls for a sophisticated robotics solution.

This requires a robust solution to ensure the robot can continue to grip unerringly day in day out, because the large quantity of dust quickly presents a challenge for image acquisition. The specialists at Heitec Systemtechnik therefore decided for a LMS4000 2D LiDAR sensor from SICK, which delivers information to the in-house developed evaluation software. “The system has been operating fault-free since it was commissioned – that is really pleasing. We made the right decision with this solution,” Reiterer said.

Read more at SICK Connect

How Schaeffler Amplifies Electric Vehicle Production with Cognex Machine Vision

Manufacturing service capability prediction with Graph Neural Networks

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: Yunqing Li, Xiaorui Liu, Binil Starly

🔖 Topics: Graph Neural Network

🏢 Organizations: North Carolina State University, Arizona State University

In the current landscape, the predominant methods for identifying manufacturing capabilities from manufacturers rely heavily on keyword matching and semantic matching. However, these methods often fall short by either overlooking valuable hidden information or misinterpreting critical data. Consequently, such approaches result in an incomplete identification of manufacturers’ capabilities. This underscores the pressing need for data-driven solutions to enhance the accuracy and completeness of manufacturing capability identification. To address the need, this study proposes a Graph Neural Network-based method for manufacturing service capability identification over a knowledge graph. To enhance the identification performance, this work introduces a novel approach that involves aggregating information from the graph nodes’ neighborhoods as well as oversampling the graph data, which can be effectively applied across a wide range of practical scenarios. Evaluations conducted on a Manufacturing Service Knowledge Graph and subsequent ablation studies demonstrate the efficacy and robustness of the proposed approach. This study not only contributes a innovative method for inferring manufacturing service capabilities but also significantly augments the quality of Manufacturing Service Knowledge Graphs.

Read more at Journal of Manufacturing Systems

New Product Introduction

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

How Generative AI is Improving Information Retrieval for Engineers

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Kai Finke

🔖 Topics: Generative AI

🏢 Organizations: igus

One immediate use case of advanced AI in the engineering space involves intelligent product selection. Instead of simply returning products that match a specific user search query, AI-driven search relies on image recognition to infer the technical context of an application photo and then recommend suitable engineered products—even if the user did not have enough information to explicitly search for that product. An example of this intelligent approach to engineering product search can be found in the new igusGO platform.

Read more at Machine Design

Industrial Policy

How governments are shaping the future industrial landscape.

🇬🇧 The challenges of securing a UK semiconductor supply chain

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Cliff Saran

In October 2023, Cambridge University’s department of engineering published the UK semiconductor infrastructure initiative feasibility study. The study, commissioned by DSIT, outlined three approaches the UK could adopt to secure its chip supply chain.

The first option is to build a UK facility that would offer the full manufacturing process. The second is for the UK to use an existing onshore facility for this. The third is the continued use of offshore fabs but with the UK undertaking post-production onshore.

Read more at Computer Weekly

🇺🇸 TSMC wins $6.6 bln US subsidy for Arizona chip production

📅 Date:

✍️ Authors: David Shepardson, Stephanie Kelly

The U.S. Commerce Department said it would award Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC) U.S. unit a $6.6 billion subsidy for advanced semiconductor production in Phoenix, Arizona and up to $5 billion in low-cost government loans. TSMC agreed to expand its planned investment by $25 billion to $65 billion and to add a third Arizona fab by 2030, Commerce said in announcing the preliminary award. The Taiwanese company will produce the world’s most advanced 2 nanometer technology at its second Arizona fab expected to begin production in 2028, the department said.

Read more at Reuters

🇺🇸 US to award Samsung up to $6.6 billion chip subsidy for Texas expansion

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Alexandra Alper

The Biden administration plans to announce it is awarding more than $6 billion to South Korea’s Samsung next week to expand its chip output in Taylor, Texas, as it seeks to ramp up chipmaking in the U.S., two people familiar with the matter said. The subsidy, which will be unveiled by Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo, will go toward construction of four facilities in Taylor, including one $17 billion chipmaking plant that Samsung announced in 2021, another factory, an advanced packaging facility and a research and development center, one of the sources said.

Read more at Reuters

Business Transactions

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

Collaborative Robotics Raises $100 Million in Series B Funding

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Collaborative Robotics, General Catalyst

Collaborative Robotics, (or Cobot), a leader in the development of practical collaborative robots (cobots), today announced it has raised $100 million in Series B funding led by General Catalyst and joined by Bison Ventures, Industry Ventures and Lux Capital. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Mayo Clinic, Neo, 1984 Ventures, MVP Ventures and Calibrate Ventures participated as well, bringing the total funding raised to over $140 million in less than two years.

Read more at PR Newswire

Varda Announces $90 million Series B Funding to Build Factories in Space

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Varda Space, Caffeinated Capital

Varda Space Industries, Inc., the world’s first in-space manufacturing and hypersonic Earth re-entry logistics company, today announced the completion of a $90 million Series B funding round, led by Caffeinated Capital, with participation from Lux Capital, General Catalyst, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures. Varda has raised $145 million to date.

In addition to the successful reentry of the W-1 capsule earlier this year, the Varda team has also published on the discovery of a third form of the HIV drug Ritonavir, as well as the development of a hypergravity crystallization platform, which has shown ways that gravity can be used as a variable in small molecule therapeutics formulation and development. Varda’s second vehicle, W-2, is scheduled to launch this summer.

Read more at PR Newswire

ROKAE Completes Strategic Plus Round Financing Exceeding CNY 500 Million

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: ROKAE

Following its strategic round financing in 2022, ROKAE has recently completed a strategic plus round financing exceeding CNY 500 million. This funding round has received joint support from the National Manufacturing Industry Transformation and Upgrading Fund and Zoucheng City’s New Kinetic Energy Industrial Investment Fund, with the capital primarily allocated towards market development, international expansion, product upgrades, iterative development, and refined operational management.

Read more at Equal Ocean

Oden Technologies raises $28 million for AI analysis of manufacturing data

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Oden Technologies, Nordstjernan Growth

Oden Technologies, the leading data and AI software company servicing the manufacturing industry, announced today the close of a $28.5 million Series B round, led by Nordstjernan Growth. The funding will primarily be used to further accelerate the development of AI products for the manufacturing industry.

New investors in the round include Klarna founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski’s investment company, Flat Capital, Oden customer INX International Ink Co., and Recurring Capital Partners, with participation from almost all existing investors, including Atomico and EQT Ventures. Ebba Lilliehöök, from Nordstjernan Growth, and Anders Berggren, an independent manufacturing executive, will join Oden’s board as part of the round.

This round of funding comes on the heels of the huge success of Process AI, Oden’s machine-operator centric product. Process AI gives operators the information they need to optimize their runs for cost savings, increased output, or other corporate objectives in real-time through prescriptive process recommendations and predicted outcomes. These capabilities enable new operators to perform like experienced ones, which solves a major labor productivity challenge caused by an average 50% three-month retention rate for operators, and a time to productivity of more than two years on the line. Operator adoption has been outstanding, with over 80% of runs utilizing the recommendations within enabled lines; which has increased line speeds by more than 40% at some customers.


MODE, Inc. to Drive Global Expansion With Generative AI and IoT

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: MODE

MODE Inc. (MODE), based in San Mateo, California, USA, led by CEO Gaku Ueda, and specializing in providing solutions that advance digital transformation at factories and construction sites through the power of the internet of things (IoT) and generative AI, announces it’s closing $8.75 million in Series B funding. This round includes investments from SBI Investment Co., Ltd., True Ventures, JR East Startup Co., Ltd., and Daiichi Jitsugyo Co., Ltd.

With this round of funding, including contributions from existing customers such as JR East Start-Up Co., Ltd. and Daiichi Jitsugyo Co., Ltd., MODE aims to accelerate the development of “BizStack AI Assistant,” a product that integrates generative AI with on-site data. MODE intends to address the issue of labor shortages on sites by creating an environment where humans and AI work together as a team. This funding round will also fuel expansion to the North American market, with regards to both customer acquisition and potential global partnerships.

Read more at Access Wire

Proxima Fusion bags €20 million seed to accelerate timeline to fusion power

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Proxima Fusion, redalpine

Proxima Fusion, the first spin-out from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), has raised €20 million in seed funding to propel the Munich-based startup towards building the first generation of fusion power plants based on quasi-isodynamic (QI) stellarators with high-temperature superconductors. Proxima Fusion’s seed round, led by redalpine, was preempted and oversubscribed, with participation from the Bavarian government-backed Bayern Kapital, German government-backed DeepTech & Climate Fonds, and the Max Planck Foundation. Existing investors, including Plural, UVC Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Wilbe, and TOMORROW of Visionaries Club have doubled down on their pre-seed investments.

Founded in 2023, the company builds on groundbreaking results from the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) experiment, the world’s largest stellarator at the Max Planck IPP, resulting from €1.3B of visionary public investment by the German Government and the European Union.

Read more at EU Startups

Universal Robots Expands Partnership with MathWorks by Joining Connections Program

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Partnership

🏢 Organizations: Universal Robots, MathWorks

Universal Robots, the Danish collaborative robot (cobot) company, has further strengthened its partnership with MathWorks, the leading developer of mathematical computing software, by joining the Mathworks Connections Program. The program supports organizations that develop and distribute complementary, commercially available products, training, and consulting based on MATLAB® and Simulink®. Last year, MathWorks became a UR+ partner within the Universal Robots ecosystem, consisting of more than 300+ approved developer companies creating products for the UR platform.

Read more at MathWorks Newsroom