Breaking the Bottleneck | Issue 07
[01/2023] Discrete Manufacturing Technology Market Map!
Breaking the Bottleneck is a monthly manufacturing technology newsletter with perspectives, interviews, news, funding announcements, and a startup database! If you know any founders, executives, or experts in the space, I would love to chat either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @araghupathy_!
Manufacturing Tech Market Map 💭🎙️
More than 4,000 US firms comprise a cohort of manufacturing and industrial companies that are redefining the future of US manufacturing. Over the last year, these companies have faced recession fears, continued labor unavailability, global conflict, and political instability leaving them with a multitude of challenges to overcome. As the new year begins these companies will continue to look to technology to transform and address these challenges. The impact? A transformation of the US manufacturing sector could boost US GDP by $275 billion to $460 billion while adding up to 1.5 million jobs!
With the rise of new technologies and techniques, the industry is rapidly changing, and it’s important to understand emerging companies and technologies at the heart of the transformation. Over the next two posts, I will share market maps to highlight unique companies building across both discrete and continuous manufacturing.
Let’s start with discrete manufacturing! Discrete manufacturing is the process of creating single-item products. This type of manufacturing is used in the production of electronics, medical devices, automotive parts, aerospace parts, and other consumer goods. Previous research found that 95% of discrete manufacturers still use paper-based processes (27% still use paper for more than half of all processes). This % has changed in recent years due to the proliferation of technologies targeting a variety of use cases. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and next-generation Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) such as Fulcrum and Amper, manufacturers are now able to quickly and easily gather data from their machines and processes, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their production processes. This has enabled manufacturers to create more efficient and effective production lines, reducing costs and increasing profits. Furthermore, with 77% of manufacturers saying they will have ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers, workforce development has developed into a key focus area. Startups Gig and Take and Parsable help manufacturers dynamically adjust to labor variability and empower frontline operations by reducing the potential impact of missing jobs. Finally, with the launch of the US government’s Additive Manufacturing Forward (AM Forward) program, 3D printing companies can further entrench themselves as a core part of the product lifecycle and overcome common challenges that have slowed adoption. Companies such as ProtoLabs, Fictiv, and FormLabs can further enable manufacturers to bring new products to market faster than ever before. Small to medium size manufacturers can now cost-effectively create prototypes, test new products without having to invest in expensive equipment, and reduce long lead times via rapid iteration of high-performing components.
If you think I missed something, I would love to hear from you! The future of manufacturing is bright, and I am excited to see the continued transformation in the coming years.
What I Enjoyed Reading This Month🏭🗞️🔬
The Rise of Connected Industrial Systems & Digital Economy [Manufacturing Digital]
The History of JIT Manufacturing [Manufacturing Digital]
How to Choose the Right IIOT Platform [ThomasNet]
Impact of Apple’s Shifting China Strategy on the Manufacturing Industry [Manufacturing Dive]
John Deere’s Use of 3D Printing for More Efficient Parts [Forbes]
Daimler Trucks Switches to Teamcenter [Engineering.com]
How Smaller Companies Can Bring Manufacturing Closer to Home [HBR]
Top Manufacturing Trends of 2022 [National Association for Manufacturers]
Helping the Manufacturing Sector Embrace AI [World Economic Forum]
Unlocking Industrial Automation [McKinsey]
December’s Manufacturing Deals 💰
Amplio - A startup enabling manufacturers to streamline electronics component procurement and make better purchasing decisions
$6 million [Seed] - Led by led by Construct Capital, Slow Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies, and joined by several angel investors
Citrine Informatics - A smart materials informatics platform for data-driven materials and AI enabled chemicals development
$16 million [Series C] - Led by Prelude Ventures and Innovation Endeavors
Divergent Technologies - A pioneer of green manufacturing technologies with the first modular digital factory for the automotive industry
$100 million [N/A] - Led by Hexagon
Flow Engineering - A collaboration platform enabling hardware engineering teams to better integrate & automate design, analysis, and production of complex systems
$8.5 million [Seed] - Led by EQT Ventures and joined by Backed VC and other angels
Fruitcore Robotics - A comapany developing “digital robots” for medium size businesses to make robotic-based industrial automation accessible to SMEs without prior experience
$23 million [Series B] - Led by Capricorn Partners, KOMPAS, and XAI technologies and joined by UVC Partners and Matterwave Ventures
Guidewheel - A plug and play FactoryOps platform that clips onto the electrical draw of any machine to turn its real-time “heartbeat” into a connected, active learning software system
$9 million [Series A-1] - Led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures on top of the recent Series A led by Greycroft
Shabodi - A company simplifying advanced network (LTE, 5G, Wifi 6 and 6G) innovation at the enterprise level for application developers
$10.3 million [Series A] - Led by CEAS Investments and SineWave Ventures and joined by Blumberg Capital, Counterview Capital, 5G Open Innovation Lab, Green Egg ventures, Maccabee Ventures, and Supernode Ventures
UnaBiz - A company specializing in solution design, manufacturing, connectivity and data platform services across a hybrid of low-power wide-area technologies
$25 million [Series B] - Led by Sparx Group and joined by G K Goh Holdings and Optimal Investment
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