Productive manufacturing tech: FourJaw secures grant funding
Dubbed as the ‘Fitbit for UK manufacturing’, tech spin-out from - - has secured grant funding to further advance its technology device for increasing manufacturing productivity. Those in the industrial industry that have adopted FourJaw’s technology have reported five-fold increases in productivity.
“It’s great to see the region backing two very talented and enterprising engineers who have taken their experience at the AMRC to spin out a company that will help UK manufacturers – large and small – to capture and deploy the power of data and digitalisation to improve productivity,” Steve Foxley, CEO, AMRC.
Receiving its grant funding from the Business Productivity Programme, FourJaw will begin a £4.7mn collaborative venture alongside Barnsley and Sheffield councils, the Sheffield City Region Combined Mayoral Authority and the England European Regional Development Fund.
The programme forms part of Sheffield’s wider approach to create an ecosystem that fosters individual and economic innovation to increase productivity.
“What we are looking at here is a potential game changer for UK manufacturing and the Business Productivity Programme grant is just the financial catalyst we need to make a swift transition from a rather labour intensive installation to a quick-to-deploy device that will give production managers deep insights that enable huge gains in output and productivity,” said Chris Iveson, Co-Founder and CEO at FourJaw.
“In Yorkshire there is a saying that if it ain’t cutting metal, it ain’t making money. In the high-value manufacturing sector, which is key to the northern economy, the average utilisation of a machine is typically less than 30 per cent. Just a 10 per cent increase in productivity would be revolutionary; but our device delves deep into the brains of shop floor machines, decoding data to drive productivity gains well in excess of this,” added Robin Hartley, Co-Founder and CTO.
Who are FourJaw?
Founded in 2020, by Iveson and Hartley the two were research engineers at the AMRC - part of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. The two developed the idea of an affordable device that harnesses production data to empower technically excellent manufacturers with world-class productivity levels.
Whilst their technology is yielding strong results, both Iveson and Hartley are on a mission to make installing their output-boosting technology even simpler for manufacturers to deploy.
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’.