Lontra to build £65mn manufacturing facility in the UK
The facility will produce the...
The high-tech engineering firm, Lontra, has announced that it will be building a manufacturing facility in Warwickshire.
The facility will produce the engineer’s range of industrial compressors, including its award-winning Blade Compressor.
The facility has received praise from Innovate UK, the government’s Technology Strategy Board, and local MP, Jeremy Wright.
The manufacturing project is anticipated to create 75 jobs for locals by 2020.
The initial phase of the facility will be open by the end of 2018, with the operation of a single flexible production line, designed to help Lontra’s R&D Technology Centre in Napton.
The firm has announced that it plans for its workforce to double this year, from 25 to 50.
The entire £65mn (US$90.64mn) budget will be invested in the next three years, on both the Warwickshire factory and an additional site, with the firm sourcing funding for a second phase expansion.
“This is a vote of confidence in Britain’s ability to manufacture at volume and high specification at globally competitive prices,” stated founder and CEO of Lontra, Steve Lindsey.
“We’ve long led the world in innovative ideas, the spread of technology across prototyping and manufacturing means than Britain is perfectly placed to lead the fourth industrial revolution.
“This is a new chapter for our business and we are delighted to be spearheading a new wave of precision manufacturing in the UK, and are committed to the Midlands where we believe that some of the world’s very best engineering minds can be found.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.