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Software-Defined Microfactories Bring AI-Driven Automation to Manufacturing
SAN FRANCISCO–Bright MachinesTM has a vision of integrating software and artificial intelligence (AI) into every phase of the manufacturing cycle. The company recently began to deliver on that vision with its introduction of Bright Machines Microfactories.
The new Bright Machines Microfactories combine software, machine learning, computer vision, and adaptive robotics into an automation platform that is said to improve the way products are assembled and inspected–the most manual phases of today’s production lines. The Microfactories take advantage of AI and cloud-based architecture to deliver improved assembly efficiency while getting more intelligent and automated over time, according to Bright Machines.
“The manufacturing industry is looking for its next leap forward, and a software-defined approach to factory automation answers this need,” said Amar Hanspal, CEO, Bright Machines, in a press release. “Key to unlocking the promise of intelligent automation is the connection of individual machines to an AI-powered software layer that configures, monitors, and manages machines and operations, creating programmable and autonomous factories. We call this approach Software-Defined Manufacturing.”
Software-Defined Manufacturing leverages computer vision, machine learning, and adaptive robotics and paves the way for intelligent production lines and fully-programmable factories. The approach makes it easier to configure, replicate, and scale automation, dramatically changing the economics, speed, and flexibility of one of the world’s largest industries. By digitizing factory operations, Software-Defined Manufacturing makes them more transparent and accessible, enabling the rest of an organization to interact with its manufacturing operations with ease. This also enables agility and continuous improvement for the product manufacturing process.
Bright Machines is intent on delivering a critical element of this automated future with its introduction of software-defined microfactories for product assembly and inspection. The new microfactories bring to life Bright Machines’ vision of Software-Defined Manufacturing, with factories getting “brighter,” programmable, and more automated over time.
Bright Machines Microfactories comprise integrated elements that, together, provide a modern, AI-powered approach to automation. One is BrightwareTM cloud-based software, developed for design, simulation, and deployment of the configuration and instructions used to set up and run any number of physical production assembly lines. Brightware includes factory applications that are said to intelligently monitor, track, and manage the line for optimal production performance.
Another element are Bright Robotic Cells (BRC). These pre-integrated and production-ready modular units are based on adaptive robotics technology and can be configured to meet the manufacturing needs of the product being assembled. Brightware, together with a plug-and-play library of accessories, can literally transform the same set of BRCs into very different, highly-specialized assembly microfactories.
Bright Machines Microfactories are said to “automate automation” and can be deployed twice as fast as existing assembly lines, the company said. The intelligent, connected microfactories are also reported to significantly improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), including production throughput and yield, driving to a lower cost per unit.
Bright Machines intends to continue to deliver enhanced artificial intelligence capabilities, enabling microfactories to become more intelligent over time, the company said.
Bright Machines (www.brightmachines.com), with more than 400 employees worldwide, is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Seattle and Tel-Aviv. Through its Software-Defined Manufacturing, the company combines AI, machine learning, computer vision, and robotic systems to deliver greater automation, flexibility, and speed to the process of manufacturing.
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