Arculus raises €16M to upgrade assembly lines with its ‘modular production platform’ – News Brig

Arculus, the Ingolstadt, Germany-based startup that has developed a “modular production platform” to deliver assembly lines into the 21st century, has raised €16 million in Series A funding.

Leading the spherical is European enterprise agency Atomico, with participation from Visionaries Club and former investor La Famiglia. Arculus says it can use the injection of capital to “strengthen product development, broaden customer base and prepare for a global rollout”.

As a part of the funding, Atomico accomplice Siraj Khaliq is becoming a member of the Arculus board. (Khaliq appears to be on a little bit of a run in the meanwhile after quietly main the agency’s funding in quantum computing firm PsiQuantum final month.)

Founded in 2016, Arculus already works with a number of the main manufacturing firms throughout a variety of industries. They embrace Siemens in robotics, heating, air flow and air-con, Viessmann in logistics, and Audi in automotive.

Its self-described mission is to remodel the “one-dimensional” assembly line of the 20th century right into a extra versatile modular production course of that’s able to manufacturing at the moment’s most advanced merchandise in a way more environment friendly method.

Instead of a single line with a conveyor belt, a manufacturing facility powered by Arculus’ {hardware} and software program is made up of modules during which particular person duties are carried out and the corporate’s robots — dubbed “arculees” — transfer objects between these modules routinely primarily based on which stations are free at that second. Underlying this technique is the assembly precedence chart, a tree of interdependencies that connects all of the processes wanted to full particular person merchandise.

That’s in distinction to extra conventional linear manufacturing, which, claims Arculus, hasn’t been ready to sustain as demand for customisation will increase and “innovation cycles speed up”.

Explains Fabian Rusitschka, co-founder and CEO of Arculus: “Manufacturers can hardly predict what their customers will demand in the future, but they need to invest in production systems designed for specific outputs that will last for years. With Modular Production we can now ensure optimal productivity for our customers, whatever the volume or mix. This technological shift in manufacturing, from linear to bespoke, has been long overdue but for manufacturers looking ahead at the coming decades of shifting consumer buying behaviours it is mission critical to survival”.

To that finish, Arculus is making some daring claims, specifically that the corporate’s expertise will increase employee productiveness by 30% and reduces house consumption by 20%. It additionally reckons it could save its clients up to €155 million per plant yearly “at full implementation”.

Siraj Khaliq, Partner at Atomico, says the manufacturing sector “is huge and the inefficiencies are well known”.

“We estimate that the auto industry alone could save nearly $100bn, were all manufacturers to adopt Arculus’s modular production technology,” he tells News Brig. “And beyond auto, their technology applies to any linear/assembly line manufacturing process – in time perhaps a tenfold greater market still. We’ve already seen the Covid-19 crisis hugely boost interest in the wave of startups democratizing automation, as companies try to build resilience into their supply chains. If you’re an exec thinking through this kind of thing right now, the way we see it, using Arculus’s technology is just common sense”.

Asked why it’s only now that assembly lines will be reinvented, the Atomico VC says numerous constructing blocks weren’t in place till now. They embrace low-cost, versatile sensors, dependable connectivity, “sufficiently powerful compute resources”, machine imaginative and prescient, and “learning-driven” management methods.

“And even if the tech could have been deployed, the motivation doesn’t come until you buckle under the pressure of increasing product customisation,” he says. “High-speed linear production lines are pretty efficient if you’re only producing one thing, ideally in one colour. But as this has become less and less the case, the industry reacted by incrementally improving, such as adding sub-assemblies that feed into the main line. You can only go so far with that… to be really efficient you’ve got to start fresh and be modular from the ground up. That’s hard”.

Meanwhile, Arculus additionally counts numerous German entrepreneurs as earlier backers. They embrace Hakan Koc (founding father of Auto 1), Johannes Reck (founding father of GetYourGuide), Valentin Stalf (founding father of N26), in addition to the founders of Flixbus.