May 16, 2020

Bright Machines raises $179mn in venture capital

Manufacturing
US
bright machines
Robotics
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
ALT
The US-based manufacturing startup, Bright Machines, has received $179mn in venture capital, Reuters reports.

The startup, operated by a group of forme...

The US-based manufacturing startup, Bright Machines, has received $179mn in venture capital, Reuters reports.

The startup, operated by a group of former executives from software giants Autodesk and Flex, aims to utilise a combination of robots and new software to eradicate most of the manual labour from manufacturing electronic devices.

The company is prioritising the areas of micro factories, which consists of robot cells that its customers are using in six countries to replace the people who assemble and inspect electronics, as well as new software tools to enable the manufacturing process to be more efficient.

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It has been revealed that the company utilises micro-factories to manufacture hundreds of thousands of products that can be found from places such as the driveway, hospital or pocket.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Chief Executive Officer Amar Hanspal said: “We’re putting together the people, the tech stack and funding and other resources to go really go tackle this big under-served environment by bringing more automation and software to the factory floor.”

The company currently has over 300 employees and brought in former Autodesk CEO’s Armar Hanspal and Carl Bass as the CEO and board member respectively. In addition, Mike McNamara, CEO of Flex and Steve Luszo, CEO of Seagate, are also board members.

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

IMF
Manufacturing
COVID19
Musk
Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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