May 16, 2020

WestRock purchases KapStone for $4.9bn

KapStone
WestRock
US
Manufacturing
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
The American packaging manufacturer, WestRock, has purchased US-based paper mill company, KapStone, for around $4.9bn.
The American packaging manufacturer, WestRock, has purchased US-based paper mill company, KapStone, for around $4.9bn, FoodBev Media reports.

The acqui...

The American packaging manufacturer, WestRock, has purchased US-based paper mill company, KapStone, for around $4.9bn, FoodBev Media reports.

The acquisition will see Kapstone’s Kraftpak line and e-commerce delivery clients like Graze join WestRock’s corrugated packaging division.

WestRock has agreed to buy all shares in KapStone for $35 per share and it is thought that deal will provide $200mn in cost savings by 2021.

The move will significantly increase operations in the west of the US and expand the number of differentiated paper and packaging solutions.

See more:

 “I am pleased that we have completed the acquisition of KapStone Paper and Packaging, and I welcome our new teammates to WestRock,” said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock.”

“The addition of KapStone enhances our differentiated portfolio of paper and packaging solutions and will enable us to serve our customers better across our system. We look forward to delivering on the opportunities that the addition of KapStone provides for our team, our customers and our stockholders.”

The company employs approximately 6,400 people and has four paper mills, 22 production facilities and over 60 distribution centres across North America.

Share article

Jun 16, 2021

Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

Fluentai
BSH
AI
Technology
2 min
Fluent.ai and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics

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’. 

 

 

Share article