Gigascale Recycling and Predictive Maintenance


Shop Talk

Capturing this week's zeitgeist

The de-globalization trends intensify as the China chip wars expand to South Korea while Mexico prepares for nearshoring.

Kaizen Blitz

  • 📊 Survey Says
    • Top 10 Emerging Technologies for DOD and National Security, Booz Allen experts explore 10 dual-use technologies—from autonomous swarms and post-quantum cryptography to space domain awareness tech
    • The Flybridge AI Index monitors the performance of public companies realizing the promise of Artificial Intelligence
  • 🏆 Golden Part
    • Teradyne Marks 8,000th J750 Semiconductor Test System Shipment
    • BMW 3D printed more than 400,000 parts worldwide last year
    • Joe Gemma selected as Engelberger Award Winner
  • 🔬💸 Research Frontier
    • European labs led by imec to receive $2.7 billion in Chips Act funding
    • Cardiff University will receive a share of £99m in funding to lead a new compound semiconductor manufacturing hub.
    • Zero Carbon Capital closes €23.4M fund to back European early-stage climate tech Ventures

Assembly Line

This week's most influential Industry 4.0 media.

Robotic palm mimics human touch

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Rachel Gordon

🔖 Topics: Industrial Robot

🏢 Organizations: MIT

MIT CSAIL researchers enhance robotic precision with sophisticated tactile sensors in the palm and agile fingers, setting the stage for improvements in human-robot interaction and prosthetic technology. If you have kept up with the protean field, gripping and grasping more like humans has been an ongoing Herculean effort. Now, a new robotic hand design developed in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has rethought the oft-overlooked palm. The new design uses advanced sensors for a highly sensitive touch, helping the “extremity” handle objects with more detailed and delicate precision.

GelPalm has a gel-based, flexible sensor embedded in the palm, drawing inspiration from the soft, deformable nature of human hands. The sensor uses a special color illumination tech that uses red, green, and blue LEDs to light an object, and a camera to capture reflections. This mixture generates detailed 3D surface models for precise robotic interactions.

Read more at MIT News

AI Meets Predictive Maintenance: Auto Diagnosis™ Explained

Finnair upgrades its Airbus A320 fleet with new 3D printed components

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Alex Tyrer-Jones

🔖 Topics: 3D Printing

🏭 Vertical: Aerospace

🏢 Organizations: AM Craft, Finnair

Aviation manufacturing firm AM Craft is supplying 3D printed aircraft interior parts to commercial airline company Finnair.

The FDM 3D printed blanking panels will be installed into Finnair’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, replacing existing flip-down video monitors that are said to be heavy and outdated.

More than 300 of these 3D printed components are being delivered on a just-in-time basis, with Finnair looking to upgrade the Passenger Service Units (PSUs) of 17 A320s. The aviation firm believes this 3D printing strategy will minimize excess inventory and eliminate costs associated with its existing supply chain.

Read more at 3D Printing Industry

Upgrading Manufacturing: SEA’s First 5G Fully Connected Factory

Why technology has not transformed building

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Emma Woollacott

🏢 Organizations: AUAR

“The first prototype home, BioHome3D, has performed very well through two Maine winters, and we are turning our attention now to printing a neighbourhood consisting of nine of these homes,” says Dr Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. However, 3D printing of homes remains more of a demonstration project, rather than a practical proposition. 3D printed homes tend to be expensive, to have extremely thick walls, and are hard to construct on anything other than an open, flat site.

One company aiming to sidestep some of these problems is Bristol-based Automated Architecture, or AUAR, which is planning to license micro-factories to build timber houses using robots. These micro-factories will create buildings of up to six storeys that are assembled from standard parts, either at the factory itself or on site.

Read more at BBC

New Product Introduction

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

Epicor Unveils Integrated Portfolio of AI and Data Management Capabilities Built Specifically for the Supply Chain Industries

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Enterprise Resource Planning, AI

🏢 Organizations: Epicor

Epicor, a global leader of industry-specific enterprise software to promote business growth, unveiled its new Epicor Grow portfolio, an integrated set of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities powered by an industry-focused data platform tuned specifically for the requirements of the make, move, and sell industries. Guided by the company’s cognitive ERP vision to transform traditional ERP from a system of record to a system of action, the Epicor Grow portfolio leverages many types of AI — generative, machine learning, natural language processing, predictive analytics and more — to deliver more than 200 highly specific industry use cases that adapt to workers in their contextual environment or workflow, giving them the insights and efficiencies they need to drive more value.

Read more at Business Wire

Announcing Jumpstart Agora for manufacturing

📅 Date:

🏢 Organizations: Microsoft

Last year, we released Jumpstart Agora, a new industry-led marketplace for Jumpstart automation, where we shared the story of Contoso Supermarket and illustrated how retailers can explore the art of the possible with Azure. Today, we are thrilled to announce our new Jumpstart Agora scenario, Contoso Motors, an AI-enhanced cloud-to-edge accelerator for manufacturers.

The Contoso Motors scenario showcases how manufacturers can harness the power of Azure and Microsoft AI to streamline operations, improve process efficiency, and support safe work environments. This new scenario provides an end-to-end example of how Azure Arc, Azure IoT Operations, data solutions, and advanced analytics can transform manufacturing processes to create factories of the future/smarter physical operations.

Read more at Azure Arc Blog

Business Transactions

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

Helsing eyes $4B valuation in Series C funding

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Helsing, General Catalyst

German AI defense company Helsing is reportedly in talks to secure €370 million in Series C funding, potentially valuing the company at a staggering $4 billion. The round is said to be led by US VC giant General Catalyst, according to Forbes. The Series C would bring its funds to almost €700 million.

A software-only approach and deep partnerships with industry have led to rapid market adoption.

Read more at Tech EU

CIRCTEC secures €150M to construct Europe’s largest end-of-life tyre pyrolysis recycling facility in the Netherlands

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: CIRCTEC, Novo Nordisk, AP Moller

CIRCTEC, a company specialising in pyrolysis for sustainable end-of-life tyre recycling, announced that it has secured €150M in a fresh financing round co-led by Novo Holdings and A.P. Moller Holding. The funding includes a €75M equity investment from Novo Holdings and A.P. Moller Holding, along with €22.5M in grants awarded by the Government of the Netherlands.

The capital will enable CIRCTEC to establish Europe’s largest end-of-life tyre pyrolysis recycling facility in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. Once operational at full capacity, the facility will be capable of processing approximately 5 per cent of the 3.6M tons of end-of-life tyres generated annually in Europe.

Read more at Cision News

AssetWatch® Raises Series B Funding Round to Accelerate Innovation in Predictive Maintenance

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: AssetWatch, Wellington Management

AssetWatch, Inc., a leading condition monitoring and predictive maintenance organization, announced closing its Series B financing round of $38M led by Wellington Management, a global independent asset management firm. Series A investors, including G2 Venture Partners, Triangle Peak Partners, Standard Investments, Osage University Partners, and JobsOhio Growth Capital Fund, are investing in the Series B. The funding will accelerate AssetWatch’s ongoing innovation, enabling the company to continually offer new value to its customers. Additionally, it will support the expansion and scale-up of the business, ensuring the sustained provision of outstanding customer service and comprehensive, hassle-free subscription services.

Read more at AssetWatch News

Orca AI Raises $23 Million to Propel Autonomous Shipping

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Orca AI, OCV Partners, Mizmaa Ventures

Orca AI, the industry-leading AI-based operational platform for ships, has raised $23 million in new funding, led by OCV Partners and Mizmaa Ventures taking its total raised to nearly $40 million.

Orca AI’s solution is the first step in introducing autonomous features to vessels already on the water. In 2022, it powered the world’s first autonomous commercial ship voyage with NYK and is now working on the second phase of fully autonomous ship technology to be rolled out in 2025.

By detecting and alerting crew to high-risk marine targets, Orca AI optimizes operations to avoid unnecessary maneuvers and speed drops, reducing fuel burn and emissions. The improved navigational decisions enabled by Orca AI resulted in an average $100 – 300k saving in fuel per vessel per year (3-5%) and 172,716 tonnes of CO2 reduction last year.

Read more at Orca AI

XSQUARE Technologies Secures S$10.5M in Series A

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: XSQUARE, Wavemaker Partners

XSQUARE Technologies (XSQUARE), a Singapore-based intelligent warehousing automation company, has successfully raised S$ 10.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Wavemaker Partners–Southeast Asia’s leading VC firm investing in early-stage Enterprise, Deep Tech, and Sustainability startups; with participation from SEEDS Capital—the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore–and Goldbell Corporation. The fresh funds will be used to accelerate XSQUARE’s regional growth and product development efforts.

This latest round of funding marks a pivotal stage for XSQUARE as it embarks on its next phase of growth. The company’s impressive track record, to date, includes building a fast-growing client base of market leaders such as Coca-Cola, GSK and Katoen Natie, as well as forging of strategic global partnerships. Most notably, XSQUARE has recently partnered with Mitsubishi Logisnext (ML), one of the world’s largest material handling equipment companies, to collaborate on the development of a new line of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and the distribution of XSQUARE’s existing products through ML’s global distribution network.

Read more at PR Newswire

Fiberwood Raises €7.7 Million for the Development of Ecological Building Insulation and Packaging Materials

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: Fiberwood

A Finnish materials technology startup, Fiberwood Ltd, has raised 7.7 million euros in growth funding from existing investors Metsä Spring and Stephen Industries, together with public financiers. The company is preparing to enter a commercial phase with the aim of international growth.

Fiberwood is a materials technology startup that develops fossil-free insulation and packaging materials from the forestry side streams and other natural fibres. The company unlocks the potential of leftovers by converting them into valuable, recyclable, and carbon-sequestering materials for various applications. Breathable and compostable insulation and packaging materials are ecological alternatives to mineral wool-based insulation and cellular plastic-based packaging cushioning.

Read more at Business Wire

Subeca Raises $6M Series A to Scale Deployment of Low-Cost, Easy-to-Use Water Technology

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏭 Vertical: Utility

🏢 Organizations: Subeca, SUEZ

Subeca, an innovative internet of things (IoT) startup that provides low cost and easy to use water technology, raised $6M in Series A funding. The Series A was led by SUEZ, a global leader in digital and circular solutions in waste and water services, with participation from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon’s sustainability focused corporate venture fund, and Burnt Island Ventures, a leading water sector-focused venture investor.

“The funding will allow Subeca to rapidly scale to meet market demand for our flagship AMI solutions, particularly in small to medium sized utilities and companies that have been underserved by incumbents,” said Patrick Keaney, Chief Executive Officer of Subeca. Subeca’s differentiated end-to-end IoT offerings provide simple, easy-to-deploy options for the more than 40,000 utilities and businesses in the US that have been locked out of the benefits of advanced metering and sensing technology due to the cost and complexity of legacy technology solutions.

Read more at PR Newswire

InfinitForm Emerges from Stealth to Transform Manufacturing with a Groundbreaking AI-Copilot for Mechanical Engineers

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: InfinitForm, Schematic Ventures

InfinitForm is proud to announce the public launch of its innovative software which promises to transform the engineering design process for manufacturing. This software enables mechanical engineers to establish new standards for speed, efficiency, and performance through extensive GPU-accelerated design simulation and optimization tools, improved collaboration features, and an intuitive user interface. InfinitForm raised seed funding led by Schematic Ventures in December 2023 and has swiftly progressed from a beta version to a commercial product.

The existing Design-for-Manufacturing process is challenged by silos, intricate workflows, and time-intensive procedures. This process can take weeks to months, involve a multitude of expensive software tools, workflows, and require highly skilled personnel with cumbersome coordination. InfinitForm’s software reduces the time this complex process takes down to minutes.

Read more at PR Newswire

CORE Industrial Partners Completes Take-Private of Fathom Digital Manufacturing Corporation

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Acquisition

🏢 Organizations: CORE Industrial Partners, Fathom

CORE Industrial Partners, a manufacturing, industrial technology, and industrial services-focused private equity firm, announced the successful completion of its take-private transaction of Fathom Digital Manufacturing Corporation, a provider of on-demand digital manufacturing services. As a result of the transaction, Fathom Class A common stock has ceased trading and will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Founded in 1984, Fathom offers 25 unique manufacturing processes, including both plastic and metal additive technologies, CNC machining, injection molding & tooling, sheet metal fabrication, and design & engineering, to serve customers across a variety of end markets, most notably technology, defense, aerospace, medical, automotive and IOT. Headquartered in Hartland, Wisconsin, Fathom operates a nationwide footprint of ten facilities covering nearly 420,000 square feet. The Company holds a variety of registrations and certifications, including ISO 9001, IS0 13485, AS9100 and ITAR.

Read more at CORE News