Siemens and IBM Deliver Service Lifecycle Management Solution

Expanding on their long-term partnership, Siemens and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announce the availability of a new solution designed to optimize the Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) of assets by dynamically connecting real-world maintenance activities and asset performance back to design decisions and field modifications. This new solution establishes an end-to-end digital thread between equipment manufacturers and the owner/operators of that equipment by leveraging elements of the Xcelerator portfolio from Siemens Digital Industries Software and IBM Maximo®. “The combined capabilities of IBM and Siemens can help companies create and manage a closed-loop, end-to-end digital twin that breaks down traditional silos to service innovation and revenue generation,” said Peter Bilello, President & CEO of industry research and consulting firm CIMdata. “Only by closing the loop between product design and development decisions, accurate product configurations and service operations, can companies hope to run a profitable and effective product-as-a-service business model.” OEMs and owner/operators can struggle to improve the performance and reliability of an asset over its operating lifecycle, due to inefficient data sharing between engineering, operations, and maintenance processes. This joint solution from Siemens and IBM creates a single source of information designed to help OEMs and equipment owner/operators improve many aspects about how they design, maintain, and service their assets. In addition, the solution enables OEMs to now provide valuable after-market services to their clients.

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Robotics and Automation

Innovation Pioneer RobotLAB Celebrates Banner Year Fueled by Franchising and Key Partnerships

RobotLAB | January 24, 2024

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As more companies nationwide seek accessible, easy-to-integrate robotics solutions, RobotLAB envisions a clear and wide path for continued success in 2024 and beyond. “I am deeply appreciative to work alongside a talented and dedicated team who made 2023 our strongest year to date, and we’re motivated by portfolio growth, new franchisees and notable partnerships to reach even more milestones in 2024,” said RobotLAB Founder and CEO, Elad Inbar. “Last year was characterized by intentional, bold steps – like launching the world’s first robotics integration franchise program - not only to enable corporate growth, but to fuel the growth of the entire robotics industry.” In 2023, RobotLAB proudly debuted a first-of-its-kind robotics integration franchise model, which established the nationwide infrastructure required to meet the rapidly growing marketplace demand for robotics solutions in key economic sectors, including delivery, cleaning, education and customer service. In the six months following the launch of the program, RobotLAB awarded 26 territories to five franchise groups in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., Atlantic City, N.J., and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with agreements for an additional 23 territories near completion. The innovative program was an immediate magnet for experienced franchisees wanting to diversify their portfolios, as well as entrepreneurs looking to enter the franchising world via the only future-proof, robot franchise available. With franchised offices now open in key markets across the country, and more in the pipeline, RobotLAB is building a reliable, customer-driven network of robotics professionals who can provide sales, tailored programming, onsite integration, and repairs to local communities and regional economies – ensuring more companies can access, understand and realize robotics solutions that will dramatically improve their business. RobotLAB’s successful 2023 was also marked by landmark partnerships with leaders in the public and private sectors. RobotLAB inked an agreement with the American Samoa Department of Education to provide more than 150 technology carts to the nation’s public schools. Each cart included humanoid robots, virtual reality headsets, laptops, tablets and lesson plans to expose students to age-appropriate technology and encourage a mastery of computer science, artificial intelligence, automation, STEM and robotics. On the commercial side, RobotLAB was tapped by B2B technology leader LG Business Solutions USA to expand the integration of its state-of-the-art hospitality robots, LG CLOi ServeBot and LG CLOi GuideBot, in restaurants, hotels and similar venues throughout the United States. The innovative robotics integrator was also named Bear Robotics’ preferred U.S. dealer partner for its deep knowledge of the restaurant and hospitality sectors. Finally, RobotLAB renewed its master distributor agreement with United Robotics Group (URG), ensuring the NAO and Pepper robots are equipped with top-tier software and curricula, and sold, integrated, serviced and repaired via RobotLAB’s best-in-class processes, as they have been since 2009. Numerous 2023 industry accolades further underscored RobotLAB’s standing as the market leader for robotic solutions and reinforce its reputation as a go-to robotics partner. Last year, the company collected several prominent honors, including LATF Daytime Beauty: Innovator of the Year, Franchise Journal: Top Brands of 2023, QSR Magazine: Digital Disruptor, ICX Elevate: Customer Experience Excellence Award and D CEO & Dallas Innovates: Innovation Award Finalist. RobotLAB is well-positioned to continue its impressive momentum in 2024 and beyond, thanks to significant portfolio expansion, a bevy of high-profile strategic partnerships and an already successful and attractive franchising opportunity introduced in 2023. About RobotLAB Since 2007, RobotLAB has guided businesses to dramatic bottom-line increases by helping them harness and leverage the immense power of automation. Catering to an array of economically critical industries that span education, finance, healthcare, delivery and hospitality, RobotLAB provides robotic business solutions that improve ROI and enhance the user experience. With a multitude of in-house teams and department specialists, the company remains focused on a seamless integration process that begins with an in-depth assessment of client needs. Sales and delivery experts ensure proper product immersion while implementation and installation professionals ensure peak performance. In a world replete with business uncertainties, RobotLAB ensures operational consistency through technology. In 2023, RobotLAB launched the first robotics integration franchise program to best serve growing demand for robotics across the U.S. in nearly all business sectors.

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Additive Manufacturing

Teledyne Relays Unveils Innovative Multi-Function Timer Series

Teledyne Relays, Inc. | January 29, 2024

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Robotics and Automation

Formic Releases New Software That Makes Everyone A Robotic Automation Expert

Formic | January 23, 2024

Formic Technologies, a provider of Robotics-as-a-Service automation for US manufacturers, announced the release of a suite of software tools to accelerate and simplify the deployment of robotic automation systems for businesses with no internal expertise, while also empowering their existing workforce to thrive and grow with the new technology. The Formic software is based on data and experience gathered from hundreds of thousands of hours of real production time across the Formic robot fleet - from state-of the-art Fortune 500 production facilities to small 30 person local manufacturing plants. Formic’s software enables operations teams and delivers results for every business size. The Formic Core operating system makes working with robotic automation solutions as easy as using your smartphone, Apple CarPlay, or Netflix. The intuitive multilanguage touchscreen UI allows all existing employees to operate Formic robots and program the equipment to meet production needs - all without any advanced training. At the same time, the software transforms the robot into a “smart system” capable of automatically adjusting to new obstacles in the vicinity of the robot, connecting to any new peripherals, and monitoring all sensor data, production rates, uptime, cycle times and more. “As the labor shortage continues to impact US manufacturing to the tune of more than one million jobs going unfilled in 2023, business leaders need to figure out how to get more out of what they have,” said Formic CEO, Saman Farid. “Formic Core makes it simple for business leaders to adopt automation by leveraging the existing capabilities of their workforce to streamline production while improving safety, quality, and throughput - all without any required capital expense.” All of the process information captured by Formic Core feeds into the powerful Formic Colony 2.0 performance dashboard. This command center software monitors total system performance across a wide range of deployments and uses AI to analyze the data coming from all robots, enabling predictive analysis of anomalies and preventative operations to minimize downtime and even prevent it. This data is accessible to facility owners and operators in real-time through the Formic App available for download on the Apple App and Google Play stores. Formic's technicians can use this data and the remote system access provided by the new software to resolve issues from a distance, enabling a swift return to production should any stoppages occur. While the Formic Colony toolkit is primarily leveraged by the Formic operations team to service customer deployments, it is also available for larger businesses to use internally with more advanced teams responsible for automation systems in multiple locations. The Formic FAST software suite enables the Solutions Engineering team to provide robotic system specification, quoting, and augmented reality (AR) demonstrations faster than ever before, reducing design and deployment times from months to weeks. This accelerated service delivers a best-in-class customer experience by expediting the path to greater productivity on the production floor. “Advanced automation has historically been elusive for all but the largest manufacturers,” said Shahin Farshchi, General Partner at Lux Capital. “Formic is changing that. By leveraging advanced AI and proprietary algorithms, Formic has automated the labor-intensive and expensive process of automating a work cell, and makes automating as easy as hiring workers for all logistics and manufacturing companies - large and small alike.” With the addition of these new software products, Formic now boasts a full complement of $0 CapEx robotic automation solutions, powerful workforce enabling software, a complete system monitoring platform, and solution identification, augmented reality, and simulation software to deliver US manufacturing businesses scale and growth. Formic is building a robotic workforce that can be used in every American manufacturing facility, with the aim to bring prosperity and abundance by making everyday items easy to produce and deliver. About Formic Founded in 2020, Formic makes robotics and automation accessible for all US manufacturing businesses. The Chicago-based “Robotics-as-a-Service” company delivers robotic automation for a low hourly rate, including 24/7 monitoring, 100% maintenance coverage, and guaranteed performance without the need for large, risky capital investments. Driving continuous improvement in safety, quality, and throughput is now possible for every business. With 7x growth in production hours YoY, Formic is currently entertaining Series B funding.

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