Technical University of Munich

Assembly Line

Bavarian brew: Tapping into innovation with wastewater recycling

📅 Date:

🏭 Vertical: Beverage

🏢 Organizations: Xylem, Technical University of Munich

In an innovative move to tackle Europe’s escalating water scarcity, global water technology leader Xylem, announced the launch of Reuse Brew. This unique Bavarian beer, crafted from high-quality treated wastewater, marks a significant advancement in water recycling technologies and offers a sustainable solution to the increasing challenges posed by climate change.

The development of Reuse Brew is the culmination of a partnership between the Chair of Brewery and Beverage Technology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Chair of Urban Water Systems Engineering at TUM, the city of Weissenburg in Bavaria, and Xylem. This collaboration showcases the transformative potential of advanced water treatment technologies in producing a palatable beer, promoting sustainable water management practices across Europe.

Read more at Smart Water Magazine

🇩🇪 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

AI-enabled Cyber-Physical In-Orbit Factory

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✍️ Authors: Florian Leutert, David Bohlig, Florian Kempf

🔖 Topics: Autonomous Production, In-orbit Factory

🏭 Vertical: Aerospace

🏢 Organizations: Zentrum für Telematik, Technical University of Munich

With the ever increasing number of active satellites in space, the rising demand for larger formations of small satellites and the commercialization of the space industry (so-called New Space), the realization of manufacturing processes in orbit comes closer to reality. Reducing launch costs and risks, allowing for faster on-demand deployment of individually configured satellites as well as the prospect for possible on-orbit servicing for satellites makes the idea of realizing an in-orbit factory promising. In this paper, we present a novel approach to an in-orbit factory of small satellites covering a digital process twin, AI-based fault detection, and teleoperated robot-control, which are being researched as part of the “AI-enabled Cyber-Physical In-Orbit Factory” project. In addition to the integration of modern automation and Industry 4.0 production approaches, the question of how artificial intelligence (AI) and learning approaches can be used to make the production process more robust, fault-tolerant and autonomous is addressed. This lays the foundation for a later realisation of satellite production in space in the form of an in-orbit factory. Central aspect is the development of a robotic AIT (Assembly, Integration and Testing) system where a small satellite could be assembled by a manipulator robot from modular subsystems. Approaches developed to improving this production process with AI include employing neural networks for optical and electrical fault detection of components. Force sensitive measuring and motion training helps to deal with uncertainties and tolerances during assembly. An AI-guided teleoperated control of the robot arm allows for human intervention while a Digital Process Twin represents process data and provides supervision during the whole production process. Approaches and results towards automated satellite production are presented in detail.

Read more at arXiv

Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0—Inception, conception and perception

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✍️ Authors: Xun Xu, Yuqian Lu, Birgit Vogel-Heuser, Lihui Wang

🔖 Topics: digital transformation, industry v5

🏢 Organizations: University of Auckland, Technical University of Munich, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Industry 4.0, an initiative from Germany, has become a globally adopted term in the past decade. Many countries have introduced similar strategic initiatives, and a considerable research effort has been spent on developing and implementing some of the Industry 4.0 technologies. At the ten-year mark of the introduction of Industry 4.0, the European Commission announced Industry 5.0. Industry 4.0 is considered to be technology-driven, whereas Industry 5.0 is value-driven. The co-existence of two Industrial Revolutions invites questions and hence demands discussions and clarifications. We have elected to use five of these questions to structure our arguments and tried to be unbiased for the selection of the sources of information and for the discussions around the key issues. It is our intention that this article will spark and encourage continued debate and discussion around these topics.

Read more at ScienceDirect