SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Bright Machines, a startup founded by a group of software and manufacturing executives, on Wednesday released its latest “microfactories” designed to automate the assembly of electronics.
While automation has taken hold in factories for cars and other products, the company’s chief executive, Amar Hanspal, said machines have eluded electronics assemblers because they can take months to program and electronics designs change too quickly.
Microfactories - Pods - Size - Refrigerator - Contain
The microfactories consist of pods about the size of a large refrigerator and contain sensors, robotics and software. The machines learn how to handle tasks now handled by humans such as inserting delicate memory or processors chips onto circuit boards.
Founded by Autodesk Inc and Flex Ltd veterans, the San Francisco-based startup raised $179 million last year. Hanspal, formerly co-CEO of Autodesk, told Reuters the company has been working with about 20 different brands in more than two dozen locations in Mexico, China, India, Hungary, Romania and the United States.
Hanspal - Firm - Customers - Machines - Devices
Hanspal would not name the firm’s customers but they are using its machines to make devices as diverse as networking gear for data centers to coffee makers. He said Bright Machines has signed contracts for about $100 million in sales over the next 18 months.
“They’re trying to double the capacity of what they can build with the...
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