Dutch industrial automation company AM-Flow closed a $4 million Series A round that poises them to accelerate AI-based solutions for 3D printing production lines.
Automating Industrial Additive Manufacturing
One of the barriers holding back wider-spread adoption of additive manufacturing is an overall lack of automated ease in end-to-end workflow.
Some of the most intriguing companies on our radar right now are those working toward greater solutions in automation at every stage of the additive manufacturing process. We’ve seen offerings arise in software, 3D printers, post-processing, and more as “automation” remains a key term to watch.
Automated production processes and increased adoption of digital manufacturing workflows are also in demand as world conditions change. AM-Flow explains of the bigger picture:
“Climate change asks for a fundamentally different approach than mass manufacturing and globally shipping physical products. The recent impact from the Corona crisis again emphasized the need for local production, quick innovation cycles and short supply chains.
There is no better time than now to tap into the growth of this emerging industry and address the challenges of our time, producing locally with full end-to-end automation. Leveraging earlier factory investments, keeping labor cost limited while scaling up and preventing cost-driven offshoring of AM-factories.”
For AM-Flow, automation is an overarching concept — and one that’s making investors take notice. AM-Flow explains:
“The challenge with engineering 3D-printing production lines is that they have to be able to process 3D-printed parts with an infinite variety of geometries. This poses difficulties in identification, sorting, quality control, handling, transporting and packaging automation for 3D-printing. By applying machine learning and an Industry 4.0 approach from the ground up, AM-Flow is able to deliver modular solutions for each step today.”
The company established itself with a simple mission:
“AM-Flow’s mission to become the global Industry 4.0 technology provider for the AM-industry. To create end-to-end digitized AM (3D Printing) production processes to deliver on the full potential of additive manufacturing – from democratization of design to sustainable manufacturing.”
Well — simple-sounding, anyway. “Industry 4.0” is another of those terms that seems simple and is frequently bandied about these days, but to make it actually mean something is the real trick. For AM-Flow, a pretty comprehensive portfolio of solutions offers their take on Industry 4.0.
The company’s automation-targeted products include:
AM-Flow Series A
The Series A that AM-Flow has just closed is a $4 million investment round with participation from both new and existing investors.
Led by BOM Brabant Ventures, the round also included new investors Materialise, Midwest Prototyping, and Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland, and welcomed back participation from Miller Turner and DOEN Participaties.
“AM-Flow will use the investment to accelerate and support the 3D-printing industry by providing step-change automation, heading for the Lights Out Factory of the future. AM-Flow provides AI-based computer vision, motion and robotics solutions to process 3D-printed parts at unprecedented speed and efficiency levels,” the company explains in the announcement.