Nov 20, 2020

Transfr VR brings virtual reality to manufacturing plants

Transfr VR
Virtual reality
Manufacturing Plant
upskilling
Georgia Wilson
2 min
Manufacturing VR
Transfr VR raises US12mn in its series A funding round to bring virtual reality to ground operations in manufacturing plants...

In an announcement made by Transfr VR, the company reports a successful series A funding round of US$12mn, that will drive its efforts to bring virtual reality (VR) to the ground operations in manufacturing plants. 

With COVID-19 displacing millions of workers in the manufacturing industry, Transfer VR details that companies need to focus on re-skilling their workforce in a measured and sustainable way. Bharani Rajakumar, the founder of Transfr VR, believes that the displacement of workers is the perfect use case for VR technology. The company leverages VR to create simulations of manufacturing plant shop floors and/or warehouses for training purposes. The solution gives workers a safe way to effectively learn a trade, as well as allow companies to mass up-skill its employees.

Starting as a mentor-based VR training program, Transfr VR sold courses relating to a variety of topics ranging from bartending to surgery skills. The shift to displaced worker training was said to come from the realisation that companies had the most to gain from higher skilled workers. 

Since the pandemic, VR has gained a better reputation, however it is yet to be massively adopted in the edtech industry. However, Rajakumar believes that the technology will be revolutionary for the industry.

“I can't believe that gaming and pornography are the two big industries for this technology. I don't think anybody understands what this is gonna be for teaching and learning,” commented Rajakumar. 

However, one of the core challenges for the technology is the production costs, 

Michael Jensen, Labster CEO and co-founder, notes that “it's simply too expensive to build a stable, well-polished VR application still today, and all players, us included, need to think about reusability, testability and scalability to be able to truly succeed.”

Following its successful series A funding round of US$12mn the company will primarily use the money to grow its catalog of VR simulations.

“Before COVID, people would say we’re such good Samaritans for working on workforce development. In a post-COVID world, people say that we’re essential,” added Rajakumar.

For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 10, 2021

Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility

ElectricVehicles
SmartManufacturing
Sustainability
Technology
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Lion Electric |Smart Manufacturing | Sustainable Manufacturing | Electric Vehicles | Electric School Buses | Electric Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles | Sustainability | Technology | Freight | Transportation
Lion Electric announces its selection of Illinois to construct its all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicle manufacturing facility...

Who is Lion Electric?

Founded in 2008, Lion Electric is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric. 

Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility

Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.

The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers. 

It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.

“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”

Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois

Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.

Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation

As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.

“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.

“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.” 

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