Supply chain transparency propels West Midlands manufacturer

PP Control & Automation | September 19, 2018

Maintaining strong relationships within the supply chain is essential for manufacturers; it can make, transform or break entire businesses. PP Control & Automation (PPC&A) has worked with leading global manufacturer of machine tools, Yamazaki Mazak for 25 years. This length of a partnership is not unheard of, but it is certainly rare.
Perhaps even more impressively, the business -  who are one of the world’s largest suppliers of electrical control system solutions across many sectors - has reduced its lead times over a proportion of this period from six weeks to just six days, as part of a more agile business model.

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These key technologies will merge in 2023, creating new digital environments that will power real-world processes for manufacturing, automotive, retail, smart architecture, and even climate action.


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3D PRINTING

Desktop Metal Installations of Additive Manufacturing Systems for Metal Parts Now Surpass 1,100 Units Worldwide

Desktop Metal | December 07, 2022

Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, today announced the company has installed more than 1,100 3D printing systems for metal components worldwide. More than 80% of installed systems worldwide are direct metal 3D printing systems. Among sand 3D printing systems, which are used for the final production of digital metal castings, more than half of the installed systems are now located at multi-system sites dedicated to high-throughput mass production applications. A significant number of metal binder jet systems are also being used to print technical ceramics, most often silicon carbide. “As the highest throughput process in 3D printing, binder jetting is the additive manufacturing technology that will truly take the industry into mass production at high volumes, Our 3D printing systems are already being used to manufacture powertrain components, automotive interiors, oil and gas, food processing equipment, hydraulics and some of the most advanced aerospace and nuclear parts.” -Ric Fulop, Founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. Binder Jet is a Differentiated AM Solution Binder jet 3D printing is one of seven additive manufacturing processes recognized by ASTM. The process transforms virtually any powdered materials — metal, sand or ceramic — into functional precision parts and tools at high speeds. An industrial printhead selectively deposits a binder into a bed of powder particles creating a solid part one thin layer at a time, just like printing on sheets of paper. The technology is viewed as a desirable and sustainable production method, largely because of its high speed, low waste and cost, as well as material flexibility. Desktop Metal offers the world’s leading portfolio of binder jet 3D printing systems, backed by the most experienced binder jet team in the industry. In addition to Desktop Metal’s binder jet systems for production of metal and ceramics, the company’s ExOne brand offers world-leading sand binder jet systems for digital metal casting, and the company’s Forust brand offers turnkey binder jet printing of upcycled wood waste. The company’s portfolio offers the widest selection of mass production solutions for metal 3D printing: The Production System™ P-50 — the world’s fastest metal binder jet system, offering the lowest cost per part, featuring Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology. The X160Pro™ — the world’s largest binder jet system for the production of both metal and ceramics, featuring Triple Advanced Compaction Technology (ACT). The S-Max® Pro — the world’s best selling brand of sand binder jet 3D printing systems for sandcasting molds and cores for aluminum and ferrous metal castings. The S-Max® Flex — an affordable binder jet 3D printing system for digital sandcastings. The Production System™ P-1 — the world’s best selling platform for qualifying binder jet 3D printing for serial production. The InnoventX™ — the world’s best-selling metal binder jet system in academia. The Shop System™ — the world’s best-selling metal binder jet system. The Studio System™ — the best-selling Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) system with only two steps and the widest material selection offered in its category. An open house to showcase the performance capabilities of the Production System P-50 will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Manufacturers interested in adopting the technology can sign up to attend at teamdm.com/p-50-open-house. About Desktop Metal: Desktop Metal, Inc., based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with an expansive portfolio of 3D printing solutions, from rapid prototyping to mass production. Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, metallurgy, and robotics, the company is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost, and quality to make additive manufacturing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. Desktop Metal was selected as one of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum and named to MIT Technology Review’s list of 50 Smartest Companies

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Lordstown Motors and Foxconn Broaden Strategic Partnership

Lordstown Motors | November 08, 2022

Lordstown Motors Corp. (“Lordstown Motors” or “LMC”) (Nasdaq: RIDE), an original equipment manufacturer of electric vehicles focused on the commercial fleet market, and Foxconn Ventures Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of global technology company Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”) (TWSE: 2317), today announced that they reached an agreement pursuant to which Foxconn agreed to make additional equity investments in LMC (collectively, the “Investment Transactions”) in the form of $70 million of LMC’s Class A common stock, $0.0001 par value per share (the “Common Stock”), and up to $100 million of a newly created Series A Convertible Preferred Stock, $0.0001 par value per share (the “Preferred Stock,” and together with the Common Stock, the “Securities”). Upon completion of the Investment Transactions, Foxconn is expected to hold all of LMC’s outstanding Preferred Stock and 18.3% of its Common Stock on a pro-forma basis, and will have the right to designate two members of LMC’s Board of Directors. Lordstown Motors will use the proceeds from the sale of the Common Stock for general corporate purposes and the proceeds from the sale of the Preferred Stock to fund development and design activities for a new electric vehicle program in collaboration with Foxconn (the “EV Program”). The $100 million direct Preferred Stock investment replaces the joint venture funding previously announced by Foxconn and LMC. Pursuant to the agreements governing the Investment Transactions, at an initial closing expected to be held on or about November 22, 2022 (the “Initial Closing”), subject to customary conditions, Foxconn will purchase an aggregate of approximately 12.9 million shares of Common Stock at a purchase price of $1.76 per share, resulting in total proceeds of $22.7 million, and 300,000 shares of Preferred Stock at a purchase price of $100 per share, resulting in total proceeds of $30 million. The remaining shares of Preferred Stock will be purchased by Foxconn based on achieving certain EV Program funding milestones to be agreed-upon by the parties. Following receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, including a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), and subject to other customary conditions, Foxconn will purchase an additional 26.9 million shares of Common Stock at a purchase price of $1.76 per share, resulting in total proceeds of approximately $47.3 million (the “Subsequent Common Closing”). Pursuant to the transaction agreements, Foxconn has also been granted the right to participate in future equity offerings by LMC to prevent dilution of its ownership interest. The agreements governing the Investment Transactions provide, among other things, that: Conversion Rights and Limitations: Upon certain terms and conditions, Foxconn can convert the Preferred Stock into shares of Common Stock and LMC can force a conversion of the Preferred Stock into shares of Common Stock, in each case, at a conversion price of $1.936, subject to customary adjustments. Conversion of the Preferred Stock is subject to the following ownership limitations (the “Ownership Limitations”): the Preferred Stock cannot be converted if Foxconn would own in excess of 9.99% of LMC’s outstanding Common Stock at any time prior to CFIUS clearance and the Subsequent Common Closing, or 19.99% of LMC’s outstanding Common Stock at any time prior to LMC obtaining stockholder approval. Voting Rights and Limitations: The Preferred Stock is generally entitled to vote with the Common Stock as a single class on an as-converted basis. However, Foxconn is not entitled to vote its Preferred Stock to the extent that Foxconn would have the right to vote in respect of its Common Stock, Preferred Stock, or other capital stock an amount that would exceed the Ownership Limitations. Standstill: Until at least December 31, 2024, without approval of LMC’s Board of Directors, Foxconn is prohibited from acquiring any equity securities of LMC if after any such acquisition Foxconn and its affiliates would own in excess of the following amounts of LMC’s voting stock: 9.99%, at any time prior to CFIUS clearance and the Subsequent Common Closing; 19.99%, at any time prior to LMC obtaining stockholder approval; and 24%, at all times following the Subsequent Common Closing and after receipt of the requisite stockholder approval. Board Representation: Foxconn will have the right to appoint two designees to LMC’s Board of Directors after receiving CFIUS clearance and consummation of the Subsequent Common Closing. Foxconn will relinquish its Board seats if it does not maintain a certain level of ownership of LMC’s capital stock. Voting Agreement: Until at least December 31, 2024, Foxconn has agreed to vote all of its shares of Common Stock and Preferred Stock (to the extent then entitled to vote) in favor of each director recommended by the Board and in accordance with any recommendation of the Board on all other proposals (other than any action related to any merger or business combination or other change of control transaction or sale of assets). Participation Rights: Following the Subsequent Common Closing, other than with respect to certain excluded issuances, Foxconn has the right to participate in securities offerings proposed to be made by LMC, provided, that LMC is not required to sell Foxconn securities if LMC would be required to obtain stockholder approval under any applicable law or regulation. Termination of Existing JV Arrangement: LMC and Foxconn have agreed to terminate the existing joint venture arrangement between Lordstown EV Corporation and Foxconn EV Technology, Inc. The EV Program and future vehicle development are expected to take place within LMC. “Since announcing our first transaction with Foxconn more than a year ago, it has been our objective to develop a broad strategic partnership that leverages the capabilities of both companies. Foxconn’s latest investment is another step in that direction. Our Board of Directors and management team strongly believe that deep collaboration with the Foxconn EV ecosystem, including the Mobility-in-Harmony (MIH) open-source platform, offers tremendous opportunities to meet our mutual ambition to accelerate EV adoption globally. I look forward to welcoming Foxconn representatives to our Board and exploring other ways to deepen our partnership.” -Daniel Ninivaggi, Executive Chairman of LMC. Edward Hightower, CEO and President of LMC commented: Over the last year, the LMC and Foxconn teams have worked collaboratively to bring the Endurance into commercial production, despite numerous external challenges. We acknowledge and appreciate the confidence in our team that is shown by this investment. The combination of LMC’s experienced vehicle development team, Foxconn’s growing EV ecosystem, the MIH platform, and our asset-light business model will allow us to bring great EVs to market faster and more efficiently. About Lordstown Motors Corp. Lordstown Motors is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of electric vehicles focused on the commercial fleet market, with the Endurance all electric pick-up truck as its first vehicle being launched at the Foxconn EV plant in the Lordstown, Ohio facility. Lordstown Motors has engineering, research and development facilities in Farmington Hills, Michigan and Irvine, California.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Keysight and MediaTek Achieve 5G Connection Based on 3GPP Release 17 and RedCap Technology

Keysight Technologies | December 01, 2022

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced that MediaTek has used Keysight’s 5G Network Emulation Solutions to establish connectivity to its 5G chips using the 3GPP 5G Release 17 (Rel-17) and the 5G reduced capability (RedCap) specifications. Through its collaboration with Keysight, MediaTek successfully established a 5G Rel-17 data call on its Dimensity 5G chipsets. This will allow MediaTek to accelerate the deployment of new Rel-17 5G features including reduced power use, and enhanced MIMO capability. Keysight’s network emulation platform also enabled MediaTek to validate RedCap connectivity on its 5G chips. The 5G RedCap specification introduces support for wireless devices with reduced 5G capabilities. These devices are less complex, lower cost, and consume less power, allowing them to address new use cases such as industrial sensors and wearables. Keysight's 5G wireless network emulators and device test solutions enable the entire mobile device ecosystem to accelerate the market introduction of new wireless devices by streamlining the workflow from early prototyping, development, and design verification to conformance, carrier acceptance, and high-volume manufacturing. These tools continue to rapidly evolve to keep pace with 5G market leaders offering unmatched breadth and depth of coverage. “We are pleased to continue working with MediaTek on advancing 3GPP Release 17 technologies and RedCap, which is the latest 5G NR standard to unleash new use cases to the wider IoT market and wearable devices beyond the traditional smartphone use cases. It’s exciting to collaborate with MediaTek to accelerate the deployment of the latest 5G technology at the pace of their go-to-market plans.” -Peng Cao, Vice President and General Manager of Keysight’s Wireless Test group. Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek, said: MediaTek has been working with the Keysight 5G test platform for the latest Rel-15/16/17 standard to extend the technological advantage of our wide-ranging 5G products. The Keysight platform supports MediaTek's ability to develop industry-leading 5G modem platforms, which in turn enable a growing ecosystem of 5G device innovators. About Keysight Technologies: Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $5.4B in fiscal year 2022.

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

UST Collaborates with Intel and SAP to Digitize the Industry 4.0 Journey for Malaysian SMEs

UST | December 19, 2022

UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, has announced a collaboration with Intel and SAP to assess and enable the Industry 4.0 digital transformation journey for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in northern Malaysia. The collaboration will further accelerate the transformation of local businesses into 'intelligent enterprises', empowering them to deliver the streamlined and automated Industry 4.0 experiences necessary to thrive in a modern growth-oriented economy. The technological innovation of Industry 4.0 has created exciting new opportunities for manufacturers, who are embracing new solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. Industry 4.0 is already transforming how companies manufacture, improve and distribute their products. Manufacturers are integrating new technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and analytics, AI, and machine learning into their production facilities and throughout their operations. However, according to data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Industry 4.0 adoption amongst Malaysian firms sits at less than one percent. This is significantly behind international standards, creating a gap that must be overcome if Malaysian firms are to remain competitive in the long term. The collaboration combines the resources of prominent market leaders across a range of sectors including industry domains, processes and technology. As part of the partnership, UST, Intel and SAP will collaborate to establish a Customer Experience center at a local UST Innovation Lab that will help share ideas on digitizing customized solutions. In addition, the UST Innovation Lab will host a cutting-edge experience center where SMEs can receive consultation and transformation plans for their businesses. There is significant demand in Malaysia's Northern Corridor for innovation-oriented solutions which enhance productivity, create jobs and offer upskilling opportunities necessary to make the region a preferred manufacturing hub. By leveraging UST 'Innovation Labs', it is possible to accelerate idea development utilizing globally connected infrastructure, platforms, tools and teams. "This high-profile collaboration will unite industry leaders in the hardware and software sectors to accelerate the development of meaningful Industry 4.0 solutions. By working together, all three companies will contribute towards achieving the essential business goals of Malaysian SMEs while helping them plan for the future." -Amar Chhajer, Country Head Malaysia, UST. Both Intel and SAP are dedicated to working with UST to accelerate the rollout of Industry 4.0 systems and solutions. Intel has established itself as a market leader by providing an extensive ecosystem of secure and scalable building blocks for industrial IoT solutions that bring intelligence to operating assets and reveal insights from data. Intel Xeon, Core & Atom based Industrial PCs & IoT devices, Intel Vision products & Movidius VPUs, are a few of the wide solutions and technologies from Intel for industrial IoT. Similarly, SAP works to develop innovations which bridge the physical and digital worlds to make intelligent and autonomous systems possible. By partnering with these dynamic companies, UST is making it possible for enterprises to realize the full benefits of next generation technology. About UST: For more than 22 years, UST has worked side by side with the world's best companies to make a real impact through transformation. Powered by technology, inspired by people, and led by our purpose, we partner with our clients from design to operation. Through our nimble approach, we identify their core challenges, and craft disruptive solutions that bring their vision to life. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, we embed innovation and agility into our clients' organizations—delivering measurable value and lasting change across industries, and around the world. Together, with over 30,000 employees in 30+ countries, we build for boundless impact—touching billions of lives in the process.

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