The growth of applications designed to further automate and optimize manufacturing operations continues unabated given the success of modernization projects in factories that have proven the value of instrumenting nearly every production line and piece of equipment.
Industry 4.0 is actively revolutionizing manufacturing with advanced solutions, but to get started with data, manufacturers must deploy sensors and software enabling them to collect accurate equipment data and transform that data into business insights valuable to decision-makers.
With accurate, real-time data generated by equipment, manufacturers have continual visibility into production performance and can do both basic monitoring of the data flowing through the application at a local level, and more advanced analytics on the data (including data from thousands of machines in distributed locations) at a more “corporate” level.
MachineMetrics, one of the most respected innovators in the category of manufacturing optimization through data collection, analysis, and business intelligence has been taking connected manufacturing to another level, with not only automation but autonomous machining.
This month the company announced they have closed on a $20M Series B round, led by Teradyne, a market leader in industrial automation and robotics, with participation from Ridgeline Ventures and existing investors Tola Capital and Hyperplane.
The company will use the funding to scale its platform globally and democratize access to the machine insights that power manufacturing operations.
“Manufacturing is on the brink of a digital renaissance. The intersection of software, big data and physical machinery is the next frontier for manufacturing and a proven solution for overcoming the production and labor shortages we are experiencing right now,” said Bill Bither, co-founder and CEO of MachineMetrics. “Today’s industrial machines are inefficient because they require significant human intervention to operate. MachineMetrics makes it easy to harness data from these machines and lays the foundation for the factory of the future where machines operate autonomously and with predictability.”
“MachineMetrics’ rapid growth reflects the value and demand for its data collection and analytics solutions. Our customers increasingly want to monitor the performance of their production machines to improve utilization and increase output. MachineMetrics makes this easy with an innovative and simple solution that delivers a fast ROI,” said Greg Smith, President of Teradyne’s Industrial Automation Group. “The team’s vision aligns strongly with our larger industrial automation strategy, which focuses on equipping all manufacturers with accessible, reliable and easy-to-use automation solutions.”
A 2020 benchmarking report by MachineMetrics revealed an average machine utilization rate of only 24%, an alarmingly low mark that limits manufacturers’ ability to meet demand.
To intelligently and efficiently collect and sort through data, manufacturing enterprises need to deal with challenges including a wide variety of legacy and more modern tools, data volume, velocity and complexity, data integration, data correlation and more.
Even as the manufacturing industry has been actively implementing IoT and Industrial IoT solutions, including a combination of sensors, edge devices, platforms, local mesh networking, centralized cloud computing, and increasingly ML and AI, many projects have failed when they find that their factories are flooded with myriad devices which are not orchestrated and end up making operations more difficult, not less.
MachineMetrics, by taking the further steps to enable fully autonomous machines, is an ideal fit for Teradyne as a strategic investor whose mission on the industrial automation front is highly aligned.
MachineMetrics is active across the largest manufacturing industry verticals including Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Contract Manufacturers, Heavy Machinery, Medical Devices, and Oil & Gas.
Their range of applications include Production Monitoring, Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance, and Process Optimization.
MachineMetrics’ Industrial Data Platform allows manufacturers to improve machine utilization and increase production without adding more machines. The IoT-powered solution, which is easily provisioned and installed, automates the collection of data from manufacturing equipment and delivers actionable, machine data-driven insights for factory workers, reducing waste and optimizing shop floor productivity.
“We are experiencing the single largest disruption to manufacturing and supply chain operations of our time. Manufacturers simply don’t have the time or resources to rebuild from scratch. They need results right now,” said Eric Fogg, co-founder and chief customer officer of MachineMetrics. “Our solution continues to prove highly effective in one of the most complex markets ever. This past year our customers were able to pivot, respond, adapt and grow. Their success wasn’t luck - they were equipped with the data, tools and mindset needed to win.”
Teradyne brings high-quality innovations such as smart devices, life-saving medical equipment and data storage systems to market, faster. Its advanced test solutions for semiconductors, electronic systems, wireless devices and more ensure that products perform as they were designed. Its Industrial Automation offerings include collaborative and mobile robots that help manufacturers of all sizes improve productivity and lower costs.
Teradyne’s industrial automation business, consisting of Universal Robots, MiR and AutoGuide Mobile Robots provides low-cost, easy-to-deploy and simple-to-program robots that work side by side with production workers to improve quality and increase manufacturing efficiency.
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Luke Bellos