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Bright Machines launches ‘first software-defined microfactory’

Bright Machines has launched what it says the “first software-defined microfactory”.

The term “software-defined” is often used in computer networking and implies that a system is less dependent on specific – perhaps expensive – hardware and more defined by the software.

Bright Machines says it is delivering its vision of integrating software and artificial intelligence into every phase of the manufacturing cycle with the introduction of Bright “Microfactories”.

The company says the new Bright Machines Microfactories combine software, machine learning, computer vision, and adaptive robotics into an automation platform that improves the way products are assembled and inspected, as those are the most manual phases of today’s production lines.

Microfactories take advantage of AI and cloud-based architecture to deliver improved assembly efficiency while getting more intelligent and automated over time.

Amar Hanspal, CEO, Bright Machines, says: “The manufacturing industry is looking for its next leap forward and a software-defined approach to factory automation answers this need.

“Key to unlocking the promise of intelligent automation is the connection of individual machines to an AI-powered software layer that configures, monitors and manages machines and operations, creating programmable and autonomous factories. We call this approach Software-Defined Manufacturing.”

Software-Defined Manufacturing leverages computer vision, machine learning and adaptive robotics and paves the way for intelligent production lines and fully-programmable factories.

Software-Defined Manufacturing makes it easier to configure, replicate and scale automation, dramatically changing the economics, speed and flexibility of one of the world’s largest industries.

By digitizing factory operations, Software-Defined Manufacturing makes them more transparent and accessible, enabling the rest of an organization to interact with its manufacturing operations with ease.

This also enables agility and continuous improvement for the product manufacturing process.

Bright Machines says it is delivering a critical element of this automated future with the introduction of software-defined microfactories for product assembly and inspection.

These new microfactories bring to life Bright Machines’ vision of Software-Defined Manufacturing, with factories getting “brighter”, programmable and more automated over time.

Bright Machines Microfactories are comprised of the following integrated elements that the company says provide a “modern, AI-powered approach to automation”:

  • Brightware: Cloud-based software for design, simulation, and deployment of the configuration and instructions used to setup and run any number of physical production assembly lines. Brightware includes factory applications that intelligently monitor, track, and manage the line for optimal production performance.
  • Bright Robotic Cells: Pre-integrated and production-ready modular units, based on adaptive robotics technology, that can be configured to meet the manufacturing needs of the product being assembled. Brightware, together with a plug-and-play library of accessories, can literally transform the same set of BRCs into very different, highly-specialized assembly microfactories.

Bright Machines Microfactories, available immediately, automate automation and can be deployed twice as fast as existing assembly lines.

The intelligent, connected microfactories also significantly improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness including production throughput and yield, driving to a lower cost per unit.

Bright Machines will continue to deliver enhanced artificial intelligence capabilities, enabling microfactories to become more intelligent over time.