MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION
Machina Labs | March 20, 2023
Machina Labs today announced that the United States Air Force (USAF) has awarded Machina Labs $1.6M to advance and accelerate the development of its robotic technology for manufacturing of metal tooling for high-rate production of composites.
Higher vehicle production rates in comparison to current rates is anticipated as experts project that the airline industry will need to triple its fleet to about 60,000 airplanes over the next 20 years. With respect to military applications, there is a similar drive towards balancing mission agility, sustainment, and vehicle cost; giving rise to emerging air vehicle concepts like the Low-Cost Autonomous Collaborative Platforms (ACP) program where there is a higher tolerance over limited life and loss of vehicles during operations.
In addition, Advanced/Urban Air Mobility (AAM/UAM) vehicles have received considerable commercial traction in recent years. These highly automated, on-demand passenger and air cargo vehicles are anticipated to have production rates in the tens to hundreds of thousands per year. Lightweight, high-strength composite structures are a key enabler for achieving these goals. As such, the factory throughputs of advanced composite structures have to be increased and their production cost lowered.
Machina Labs’ AFWERX Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) contract will be focused on metal tooling for a fast-cure, out-of-autoclave (OOA) composite processing route. Through its previous contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Machina Labs has validated that its tools have vacuum integrity, are dimensionally stable once thermally stabilized, and are thermally more responsive than conventional metal tools.
Composite tooling, depending on the materials selected and the tool size, could cost more than $1 million per tool and require 8-10 months of lead time. These costs and lead times for composite tooling do not support referenced increased manufacturing goals.
“Machina Labs has demonstrated that its large-envelope, two-robot, incremental sheet metal forming technology can be used for manufacturing of metal tooling for composites resulting in dramatically reduced tool costs and time-to-market of composite parts,” according to Craig Neslen, Manufacturing Lead for the ACP Program at AFRL. “At the same time, given that no part-specific hardware is necessary for manufacturing of the sheet metal tools, it is possible to not only fabricate the tools expeditiously, but to quickly accommodate design changes when necessary.”
Machina Labs uses robots the way a blacksmith uses a hammer to creatively manufacture different designs and material, introducing unseen flexibility and agility to the manufacturing industry. The company’s manufacturing platform combines the latest advances in robotics and AI so great ideas can quickly and affordably turn to reality and businesses can benefit from rapid iteration to bring more innovative products to market, faster.
“We are pleased to advance our work with USAF in order to advance composite tooling for a wide variety of applications,” according to Babak Raeisinia, Co-Founder and Head of Applications & Partnerships at Machina Labs. “Keeping inventory of tooling is expensive. I believe technology will free up capital and allow organizations such as USAF to transition to an on-demand tooling model.”
Machina Labs combines the latest advances in AI and robotics to deliver finished metal products in days – not months or years – and gives customers unprecedented time to market and competitive advantage. Robotic sheet forming is the first process enabled by Machina’s patented manufacturing platform. Using material- and geometry-agnostic technology, the platform outperforms traditional sheet forming methods that rely on custom molds or dies.
About Machina Labs
Founded in 2019 by aerospace and automotive industry veterans, Machina Labs is an advanced manufacturing company based in Los Angeles, California. Enabled by advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics, Machina Labs is developing Software-Defined Factories of the Future. The mission of the company is to develop modular manufacturing solutions that can be reconfigured to manufacture new products simply by changing the software.
ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION
Businesswire | March 23, 2023
Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation, a leader in the design, development and manufacture of advanced robotic systems that redefine human possibilities, is collaborating with Jabil Inc., a leading manufacturing solutions provider, to expand Sarcos’ production capacity for its robotic systems and sub-systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sarcos will utilize Jabil’s broad manufacturing services to produce a variety of leading-edge robotic systems and sub-systems. Sarcos also will be able to leverage Jabil’s global footprint, strategic supplier relationships, and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to accelerate volume production while benefiting from advanced supply chain, procurement, and component-sourcing solutions.
“We expect that our relationship with Jabil will advance Sarcos’ manufacturing capabilities tremendously, helping to augment our overall production capacity and enabling us to scale much faster than we could without their support,” said Kiva Allgood, president and CEO, Sarcos. “We are excited to work with a proven manufacturing services leader that has a long-standing record of success and an established global network of vendors and partners as we begin delivering our robotic systems to our customers.”
Sarcos expects to increase the production of its commercial robotics technologies throughout 2023, with manufacturing and assembly occurring at a combination of Sarcos’ facilities in Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh, as well as Jabil’s San Jose, California-based production site. Sarcos anticipates that Jabil will primarily produce sub-systems for Sarcos’ commercial products this year, particularly the Guardian® XT™ dexterous robotic system and may also include the Guardian® XM intelligent robotic system and Guardian® Sea Class Robotic System. In 2023, final system assembly is expected to take place at Sarcos facilities.
“Jabil is pleased to provide our value-added manufacturing services, which we are confident will expand Sarcos’ overall production capacity in a highly cost-effective and efficient manner,” said Craig Trotter, vice president of the capital equipment business unit, Jabil. “Our deep expertise in materials science, mechanical assembly, and human-machine interfaces, along with final assembly and test, will prove pivotal in accelerating world-class production of Sarcos’ industry-leading robotic systems and sub-systems.”
About Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation
Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation designs, develops, and manufactures a broad range of advanced mobile robotic systems that redefine human possibilities and are designed to enable the safest most productive workforce in the world. Sarcos robotic systems operate in challenging, unstructured, industrial environments and include teleoperated robotic systems, a powered robotic exoskeleton, and software solutions that enable task autonomy.
NuScale Power | March 10, 2023
On March 9, 2023, NuScale Power Corporation, a leading proprietary and innovative advanced nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology provider, announced that it has placed the first upper reactor pressure vessel (RPV) long lead material production order with Doosan Enerbility, a world-class manufacturing and engineering company.
As scheduled, the order was made at the end of 2022 for the materials required to begin producing the first NuScale Power Modules, which are anticipated to commence commercial operation in 2029 at the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems' Carbon Free Power Project. The companies will produce more modules with comparable delivery schedules for future NuScale VOYGRTM SMR power plant projects.
NuScale and Doosan started an effort in April 2022 to complete manufacturing the forging dies for the upper RPV in preparation for the long lead order. The new LLM order is comprised of heavy forgings, steam generator tubes, and welding material for six upper RPVs. The anticipated overall weight of the components for six higher RPVs exceeds 2,000 tonnes.
In addition to Doosan, NuScale is strengthening its supply chain preparedness by working with its extensive network of world-class suppliers and manufacturers in the United States and internationally.
NuScale's President and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins commented, “Finalizing and submitting this order to our valued partner, Doosan, showcases NuScale’s transition to the manufacturing phase of our modules and highlights our advanced position in the market to deploy our SMR technology to customers by the end of the decade.” He further emphasized, “Our strong relationships with experienced partners like Doosan demonstrate NuScale’s robust global supply chain and positions us to meet the growing interest for NuScale VOYGR power plants that we are seeing around the world.”
(Source – Business Wire)
About NuScale Power
NuScale Power Corporation is a leading advanced nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) technology solutions provider. Its innovative SMR technology involves modular designs allowing easy installation and scalability, making them ideal for small and medium-sized power applications. The company's flagship product is the NuScale Power ModuleTM, which has a capacity of 60 MWe and can be combined to create larger power plants. In 2020, the company received approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its SMR design, making it the first and only SMR technology to receive such approval in the United States. With its cutting-edge technology and commitment to innovation, NuScale Power Corporation is well-positioned to play a leading role in the future of clean energy.