Canvas Category Machinery : Process Technology : Food
Marel is the leading global provider of advanced equipment, systems and services to the fish, meat and poultry industries.
Soft Robotics Inc. secures $26M in first close of Series C led by Tyson Ventures. Marel and Johnsonville also invest and join Soft Robotics powerful syndicate.
Soft Robotics Inc. (SRI) announced today that it raised $26M in an initial Series C closing and will use the funds to expand commercial deployment of its mGripAI™ robotic picking solutions. mGripAI is an easy-to-integrate automation package that combines ultra-fast 3D vision and artificial intelligence technologies with patented and proven, IP69K-rated, soft grasping to give industrial robots the hand-eye coordination of humans. This unprecedented combination of robotic “hands,” “eyes,” and “brains” enables, for the first time, the use of high-speed industrial arms to automate bulk picking processes throughout protein, produce, dairy, baked goods, and prepared foods operations.
Soft Robotics’ Series C was led by Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), and brings new investors, Marel (AEX:MAREL) and Johnsonville, into SRI’s powerful investor syndicate. SRI reported that it closed the first $26M of an undisclosed-size round with participation from these new investors and strong participation from existing investors.
3D printing in metal resulted in fewer bacteria and greater food safety
3D printing in metal was chosen as a solution and Marel quickly began to redesign the support element specifically for 3D printing, so that it took full advantage of the technology’s possibilities. The support element is in direct contact with food, so bacteria can accumulate in all cleaves, joints and openings, and these bacteria can be transferred directly to the meat. That’s why we were really excited about the possibility of 3D printing the support element in one piece, and the weight reduction was also a positive element, as the support element moves MANY times a second, says Matias Taul Hansen, Technical Designer at Marel
3D printing is a much cheaper solution than cutting out the item, and compared to laser cutting, 3D printing is also preferable, as we avoid joints where bacteria can accumulate. By 3D printing in titanium, we also achieve a lower-weight item that is cheaper to produce and that can work faster, says Kristian Rand Henriksen, consultant at the Danish Technological Institute.