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ready-robotics.com

Stage

Series B | Alive

Total Raised

$18.5M

About Ready Robotics

Ready Robotics is a robotics software company based on technology licensed from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Ready Robotics seeks to help small manufacturers unlock the power of robotics through its human-safe industrial robot, which boasts an intuitive user interface and plug-and-play capabilities. Ready Robotics' easy-to-use system can be deployed in a matter of hours and will unlock the power of robotics for all manufacturers, regardless of scale.

Ready Robotics Headquarter Location

Columbus, Ohio,

United States

410-458-2681

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Research containing Ready Robotics

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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Ready Robotics in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Mar 16, 2022.

Expert Collections containing Ready Robotics

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Ready Robotics is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Robotics.

R

Robotics

1,989 items

This collection includes startups developing autonomous ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic arms, and underwater drones, among other robotic systems. This collection also includes companies developing operating systems and vision modules for robots.

D

Digitization & Automation In Manufacturing

203 items

Companies in discrete manufacturing focused on improving efficiency through digitization and automation.

A

Advanced Manufacturing

3,273 items

Companies focused on the technologies to increase manufacturing productivity, ranging from automation & robotics to AR/VR to factory analytics & AI, plus many more.

Ready Robotics Patents

Ready Robotics has filed 2 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Production and manufacturing
  • Bulk material handling
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

4/26/2017

11/12/2019

Fluid dynamics, Robotics, Production and manufacturing, Electrical signal connectors, Manufacturing

Grant

Application Date

4/26/2017

Grant Date

11/12/2019

Title

Related Topics

Fluid dynamics, Robotics, Production and manufacturing, Electrical signal connectors, Manufacturing

Status

Grant

Latest Ready Robotics News

READY Robotics partners with Futura Automation to bring intuitive automation to western US manufacturers

Dec 17, 2021

READY Robotics partners with Futura Automation to bring intuitive automation to western US manufacturers Futura Automation will help manufacturers across 16 western states design and deploy Forge/OS-powered automation solutions. READY Robotics built a network of automation solution providers to spearhead the design and deployment of Forge/OS-powered automation solutions and is partnering with Futura Automation, a provider of automation solutions for robotics, material handling, automated assembly, and AI-driven machine vision applications. As READY’s stocking distributor for 16 western states, Futura Automation will help manufacturers alleviate labor issues, solve production challenges, and boost output with Forge/OS-powered automation. Futura Automation plans to embed READY’s Forge/OS software platform into several of its standard solutions, such as flexible feeding, with its partners Flexfactory, Cognex, and Fanuc; machine tool robot tending with Futura Automation's VersaBuilt solution and Gantry Robotics, with its partners Macron Dynamics and Sanyo Denki. Several more solutions are under consideration and will be developed based on customer demand. By using Forge/OS in their solutions, Futura Automation will interchange robots from different brands to best meet the needs of the customer, or the application. “Futura Automation provides innovative solutions for tough manufacturing problems. Our team is focused on helping our customers compete in global markets and allow reshoring of production using automation tools such as robots, machine vision and artificial intelligence,” says Brian McMorris, President, Futura Automation . “READY Robotics speeds up and simplifies the development and execution of robot manufacturing systems. Our team will provide the required training and support to quickly and economically implement robotic solutions.” With support for FANUC, Yaskawa, ABB, Kawasaki, Staubli, Epson and UR robots, Forge/OS provides a single programming interface for hundreds of models of collaborative and industrial robots, as well as the peripherals required for automation. Beyond enabling Futura Automation to create automation solutions that scale across robot brands, Forge/OS’s intuitive, no-code programming interface enables Futura Automation to deploy solutions their customers can manage including programming for new parts or new tasks, touching up programs, or recovering systems on their own. Ben Gibbs, CEO and Co-Founder of READY Robotics believes this partnership can significantly benefit manufacturers hungry for automation. “Complexity prevents many manufacturers from utilizing automation to alleviate production challenges. Robots need to be easier to use, but that’s not enough. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with Futura Automation. Their strong presence across the Western US, and extensive experience helping manufacturers automate a wide range of manufacturing processes, make them an ideal partner to represent Forge/OS-powered automation.” Futura Automation represents a cornerstone in READY’s distributor/integrator network, which now covers the entire US with over 30 regional integrator/distributor partners. PPG expanding clearcoat facility in Erlenbach, Germany The $3.4 million project nearly doubles the site’s capacity for premium clearcoats and uses advanced manufacturing technology to improve operational efficiency, sustainability, and flexibility compared to conventional processes. PPG is expanding its automotive OEM clearcoat production at its facility in Erlenbach, Germany. The $3.4 million project nearly doubles the site’s capacity for premium clearcoats and uses advanced manufacturing technology to improve operational efficiency, sustainability, and flexibility compared to conventional processes. “This is an important investment that ensures we will continue to meet the growing regional demand for our premium clearcoats, which offer the world-class finish with superior appearance and durability that our customers demand,” says Roald Johannsen, PPG vice president, automotive OEM coatings, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “Using advanced manufacturing technology also gives us increased flexibility to produce different products in multiple batch sizes in the most sustainable way.” PPG acquired the Erlenbach site from Hemmelrath in 2019 to enhance its automotive coatings offering and add formulating and manufacturing capability. The new clearcoat facility uses a fully automated and highly sustainable production process for shorter and faster manufacturing times and flexible manufacturing of multiple batch sizes of up to 25 metric tons. “This investment makes our Erlenbach facility a center of excellence for clearcoats, using best-in-class technologies to deliver superior scratch- and chemical-resistant coatings that are highly durable,” Johannsen says. “It will further strengthen our position as a leading manufacturer of the most advanced and innovative clearcoats that are capable of meeting or exceeding the most demanding OEM quality and performance specifications.” The Aston Martin DB5 was machined from aluminum (AW-6082 AlSi1MgMn) at the Blaser Technology Center. The minimum quantity lubrication technology used in the automotive industry and consisted of an oil and air mixture. The mixture was guided through the spindle and the tool to reach the cutting edge. “In the meantime, almost all materials can be machined using MQL. We decided on aluminum as the material and on the right fluid for the material: Vascomill MMS FA 2,” explains Christoph Fankhauser Product Manager at Neat Oils Blaser . Following on from production on the GROB G552, the MI6 agent’s cult vehicle itself will become an aerosol spraying unit. The nozzles—an adjustment made to both machine guns—spray Vascomill MMS FA 2 out of the headlights. To improve the visibility of the aerosol, the dosage was higher than usual, and above all several light sources were used in the machine. Automotive component manufacturers face production challenges. Among the most vital is maintaining a high level of product quality, supported by consistent production throughput with systems that ensure profitability. A key function is assembly, especially as the demand for more automated sensing and control devices, connectivity, infotainment, and green initiatives like electric vehicles, continue to push the need for more complex assembly requirements. The need to manufacture more complex assemblies poses challenges for process engineers in their manufacturing and assembly functions. Automotive component manufacturers are mandated by stricter requirements to document quality assurance of their manufactured products along each step of production. Fluid dispensing Critical to meeting strict requirements is the need to deposit very small and precise amounts of fluid – such as adhesives, greases, silicones, and lubricants – to the component parts during the assembly process. These deposited fluids can also provide the added benefits of mechanical strength, thermal conductivity, dielectric strength, and chemical inertness throughout the life of the assembly. The tiny amounts of adhesive, silicone, and other fluids must be dispensed reliably and accurately in dosage and placement. The precise positioning and quantity of these fluids deposited on the parts is critical to these products' assembly, function, quality, appearance, and viability. This technique of depositing tiny volumes of liquid spans assembly applications in automotive component manufacturing that require the precision dispensing of oils, grease, and lacquers. The ability to deposit very small and precise amounts of fluid is a challenge for automotive manufacturers of tiny micro-electronics and other minuscule parts. Substrates are becoming more crowded and uneven in nature. Such is the case with printed circuit board (PCB) assembly. Dispensing fluids onto hard-to-access areas, uneven or irregularly shaped surfaces, or delicate substrates are key factors that need to be carefully assessed as they can considerably impact assembly production. They directly affect the Z-axis movement of the dispensing system, influencing its ability to move over uneven surfaces and dispense the correct volume of fluids in the right locations. Cycle times for fluid dot deposition and throughput rates are regulated to some extent by the substrate surface topography. The variety of fluids and fluid viscosities that can be dispensed in automotive assembly spans a considerable range – encompassing epoxies, adhesives, silicones, greases, oils, flux, lacquers, solder paste, and solvents. There are many formulations of fluids, each specially manufactured for different application techniques. The fluid dispensed must readily flow through the dispensing heads. Once the fluid reaches the part, it must have the ability to restructure and recover to keep it from spreading and contaminating other components. Other properties of the fluid that must be considered for dispensing include its density and weight, whether it has abrasive fillers, and whether it is safe to dispense or combustible. The fluid properties can also be modified by the dispensing process. Temperature variation within the environment of the dispensing system can change the viscosity of the fluid, affecting the fluid pressure and line speed. Whether applying UV cure glue to a sensor PCB, grease or lubricant into automotive switches, anaerobic glues into connectors, or high-viscosity grease into multiple surfaces of an automotive part, characterizing different fluids and determining the best dispensing parameters for a specific application are important factors for implementing a successful dispensing process for any automotive component assembly. Parameters for precision fluid dispensing in automotive parts assembly Fluid dispensing in the assembly of automotive components encompasses a range of methods that can accommodate specific fluid application processes with a wide scope of functionality. The latest benchtop and robotic dispensers provide a high degree of process control, capable of dispensing adhesives, solder pastes, lubricants, and other assembly fluids with high consistency. Handling fluid dispensing of dots, beads and fills under a broad range of conditions, these units are equipped with multiple capabilities to refine the dispensing process. From precision benchtop fluid dispensers, pneumatic valve systems, piezoelectric jetting valve systems and in-line robotic dispensing systems, there are factors that would support adopting a more efficient and controlled dispensing method in the assembly of automotive components: Shot-to-shot repeatability and accuracy are considerably improved as a more automated and controlled dispensing approach is employed. Increased productivity is clearly a benefit that comes with increased automation. Part quality improves when switching from manual squeeze bottle dispensing to air-powered dispensing, and further along to in-line automated dispensing, because operator-to-operator variance is significantly reduced. The ability to set the time, pressure, and other dispensing parameters for an application improves process control and ensures the right amount of fluid is placed on each part. Rework and reject rates lessen when upgrading to more automated dispensing solutions, thus improving the yield of the manufacturing lines and greater profitability to the manufacturer. The amount of assembly fluid used decreases significantly when using a more controlled method of dispensing. It is important to consider each of these five points, as they represent the actual cost-to-benefit factors influencing fluid dispensing processes in automotive parts assembly. Shot-to-shot repeatability & accuracy Shot-to-shot repeatability and accuracy are critical factors in fluid dispensing, and with particular importance in the manufacture of automotive components. Depositing the right amount of fluid has a compounding consequence of maintaining product integrity and keeping downstream production moving. In a bonding application, if too much fluid is applied, it can take longer to cure, which will delay production downstream. If too little fluid is applied, the part will not properly bond, again interrupting downstream assembly or causing a failure in the product. Precision dispensing systems apply shot-by-shot repeatable amounts of virtually any manufacturing fluid, by using digital timers and precision air regulators to determine the amount of material applied. The latest generation of fluid dispensers can distribute practically all assembly fluids from thin solvents, thick silicones, and brazing pastes with greater accuracy. They deliver exceptional throughput and process control, with consistent deposits from the beginning to the end of the fluid reservoir. For the precise application of adhesives, lubricants, paints, solder pastes, two-part epoxies, UV-cure adhesives, and other assembly fluids, precision dispensing systems enable optimal results. The consistency and repeatability of precision dispensing systems goes beyond the actual dispensing equipment itself and is also dependent upon the quality and proper usage of the system components. These consumable plastic components such as syringe barrels, adapter assemblies, pistons, caps, and dispense tips are designed to meet the requirements of different types of fluids and applications, and to dispense the most precise fluid deposit possible. To achieve the highest level of performance from these dispensing systems, several requirements need to be inherent in their manufacture and usage: Each of the consumable plastic components should be designed as part of a complete, integrated system. This will improve yields and reduce costs by producing the most accurate, repeatable fluid deposits possible. Mixing and matching components from different systems or suppliers is a recipe for diminishing performance. Maintaining precision shot-to-shot repeatability in dispensing starts with quality manufacturing of the components. For best performance, all components should be certified that no silicone mold-release agents are used in the precision molding process, or at any other time during the production of the dispensing components. The dispensing components should always be used as single-use consumables. In high-precision dispensing systems, barrel internal diameters (IDs) and piston diameters, as well as dispensing tips, are manufactured with tolerances that make any residue from prior dispensing residing in the barrel, piston or tip degrade dispensing repeatability performance. Once the piston reaches the bottom of the barrel, the barrel, piston, and tip should be discarded. Process control The ability to set the time, pressure, and other dispensing parameters for an application improves process control and ensures the right amount of fluid is placed on each part. The latest generation of fluid dispensers provides a high degree of process control for dispensing applications in the assembly of automotive components, capable of dispensing adhesives, solder pastes, lubricants, and all other assembly fluids with high consistency. Fluid dispensing of dots, beads, and fills can be achieved with dispensing equipment features such as a 1-100 psi air pressure regulator, timed-shots, vacuum control to keep thin fluids from dripping, digital time/pressure displays and electric foot pedals. Time adjustments can be as fine as 0.0001 seconds, and constant-bleed air pressure regulation will provide reliable control when dispensing any type of fluid. Some of the latest fluid dispensers allow programmable sequencing to automatically adjust dispensing parameters, making them ideal for applications that involve two-part epoxies and other fluids that thicken over time or get thinner as ambient temperatures rise. Another feature supporting precision dispensing, which is particularly applicable for automotive component manufacturers, is Automated Optical Inspection (AOI). When coupled with CCD cameras and confocal lasers, Nordson EFD vision-guided automation platforms provide optical assurance of fluid deposit volume and placement accuracy, ensuring a conforming deposit. With robotics, using the robot's existing vision systems, the AOI software verifies fluid deposit widths and diameters. With the AOI confocal laser, the system measures the height of a fluid deposit in addition to the width and diameter, providing 3D deposit verification and determines if dispense requirements have been met. The confocal laser detects deposit height measurements regardless of the transparency of the fluid, which can sometimes distort quality data. Constant closed-loop feedback delivers automated quality control data, saving automotive component manufacturers time and costs. Fluid dispensing challenges with automotive components The following examples represent key applications where fluid dispensing challenges exist for automotive component manufactures, and solutions to improve product quality and assembly productivity. EV battery module assembly Jet valves, dispense valves and automated dispensing systems help manufacturers produce high-performance, defect-free batteries at faster production speeds by applying precise amounts of assembly fluids within tight deposit size and positional tolerances. Several types of dispensing solutions are used to produce the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells and hydrogen fuel cells used to power electric vehicles. Battery module dispensing applications require various low- to medium-viscosity adhesives to glue components together in battery module assemblies for electric cars. Within the battery management board of EV battery packs, precision valves are required to dispense extremely precise amounts of solder paste, UV-cure adhesives, and other assembly fluids. Adhering anode, separator, and cathode layers – This process requires small, precise amounts of material to be applied to attach more than 100 thin electrode layers in the production of cylindrical and prismatic Li-ion batteries. The application requires a very fast dispense time between one and four seconds per dot of UV-cure adhesives and epoxy material applied between the anode, separator, and cathode layers of each battery cell. For this application, jetting systems provide the most control at the high speeds required for this dispensing application. Jetting systems like the Nordson EFD PICO Pµlse jets fluid deposits as small as 0.5 nL at up to 1000Hz (deposits per second) continuously. Since it does not require Z-axis movement, the PICO Pµlse can jet extremely accurate, repeatable deposits over uneven surfaces. Electrolyte filling – The processmust be able to withstand the corrosive properties of the electrolyte and dispense accurate, repeatable amounts of material to transport the positive lithium ions between the cathode and anode layers. The solution is a valve with an acetal copolymer fluid body for dispensing corrosive materials, such as electrolytes. One such valve is the Nordson EFD 702V-A Series mini-diaphragm valve, its unique design prevents trapped air and bubbles from affecting the quality and performance of battery cells. Sealing to prevent short-cuts – Accurate, repeatable amounts of UV-cure adhesive are required to seal the top of cylindrical and prismatic battery cells to prevent short-cuts. Jetting dispensing systems provide the speed and accuracy needed to keep up with the throughput and quality assurance requirements of this application. Greasing of switches Applying enough grease to dampen the sound of plastic-on-plastic and metal-on-metal friction, but not too much that would seep out of the control panel, is a critical grease dispensing challenge in the assembly of switches for automotive door locks, windows, mirrors, wiper signals, turn signals and headlamps. The switches can have varying part tolerances that can cause major process control issues as the dispensing tips may crash into parts that have a variance in thickness, which contact dispense valves cannot accommodate. A viable solution is non-contact jet valves for the dispensing of greases to switches, which eliminate the need for Z-axis movement, allowing the jet valve to accommodate varying part tolerances. One example is the Nordson EFD Liquidyn P-Jet jet valve, which will dispense low- to medium-viscosity greases in extremely accurate, repeatable beads and lines. Micro-deposits as small as 3 nL can be applied at up to 280Hz. Such non-contact jet valves allow the manufacturer to apply the exact amount of grease needed for the automotive switch application and prevent material from seeping out of the automotive switches. Lubrication/greasing of moving parts Automotive manufacturers need to apply consistent amounts of oil and grease to a wide range of automotive parts in final assembly – such as moving parts in armrests, springs in door handles and door trim. These lubricants are applied to facilitate smooth movement and to prevent squeaking. Sponges and brushes have been used to apply oil or grease to these moving parts, which has led to a significant amount of time required for cleaning up excess fluid on surrounding parts to prevent rejects and quality issues. The solution is the application of fluid dispensing spray valves, such as the Nordson EFD 781S Series spray valve, which provides exceptional control for reliable, consistent coatings of low- to medium-viscosity fluids. Fluid can be reliably sprayed in microliter to milliliter amounts, in round patterns with diameters ranging from 4.3 mm to 50.8 mm, and in fan patterns up to 165.1 mm wide. This valve allows for adjustable fluid flow, adjustable nozzle air, and post-air cutoff to provide superior spray control without waste, mess, or overspray. This means fluid goes exactly where it is needed, improving consistency with reduced fluid use and cleanup costs. Thermal management for ECUs In the applying of thermal interface materials (TIM) to heat sinks of electronic control units (ECUs), the conventional approach has been to apply thermal tape or thermal gap pads manually instead of thermal grease because of cost reductions. But the pads do not always conform to different gap geometries between the heat sink and the ECU, which does not allow consistent coverage of thermal material on the part. For some TIM applications, automotive manufacturers use a handheld fluid dispenser to apply fluid manually, which allows coverage that thermal tape and gap pads do not always provide. But dispensed manually, coverage inconsistencies frequently occur due to operator-to-operator variability. A solution to this issue is progressive cavity pumps, such as Nordson EFD's model 797PCP progressive cavity pump, which is designed for applying thermal paste into heat sinks that are attached to ECUs. The pump provides a perfectly sealed metering chamber that prevents shear, pulsation, and squeezing of the fluid that can sometimes crush delicate fillers and particles used in thermal pastes. The pump delivers highly precise fluid volume accuracy and repeatability at +/- 1%, for consistent fluid application. This ensures 80 – 90% coverage of TIM on every part, every time. PCB conformal coating and sealing Coating densely populated PCBs in vital automotive electronic components is critical to waterproof and prevent corrosion and oxidation. This requires precise deposition of fluid, such as HumiSeal conformal coating, into narrow, hard-to-reach areas without over deposits and migrating of the coating, which could lead to contamination of other parts of the board and potential product failure. Manufacturers commonly use a film coater to selectively apply conformal coatings. To facilitate application with this system, the coating is frequently diluted with a solvent to improve its flow characteristics. Thinning can lead to over-deposits onto areas where coating should not go, potentially reducing the integrity of the coating to effectively protect the board and adding production steps to manage the over-deposits. Replacing the film coater with a jetting valve, such as the Nordson EFD PICO Pµlse jet valve, allows manufacturers to apply the exact amount of conformal coating needed without diluting the fluid first. The jet valve provides precision dispensing control at high speeds up to 1000Hz (cycles per second), resulting in reduced voids in the dispensing area, increasing first-pass yields. Window sealing Automotive window sealing applications are dependent on consistent dispensing of urethanes and sealants. Many of these applications require consistent bead or line widths dispensed within tight tolerances. Defects of any kind become costly scrap or rework. Reliable and low maintenance dispense valves must meet the controlled, high-volume production requirements necessary in the automotive manufacturing industry. When dispensing high-viscosity urethane, for example, manufacturers face issues with clogging in the dispense valves when sealing windshields and sunroofs, creating excessive downtime for maintenance. Using a high-pressure valve system which is better designed for dispensing high-viscosity fluids not only cuts the need for maintenance but reduces waste by minimizing premature curing of the urethane. High pressure valves, like the Nordson EFD 736HPA-NV Series, apply uniform amounts of thick materials, like urethanes, at pressures up to 2500 psi. Adjustable stroke control keeps consistent dot profiles and bead widths, prevents drooling between shots, while helping to reduce opening surge and regulate snuff-back cutoff. Dispensing low- to medium-viscosity fluids, like primer sealants on window trim, require a dispensing valve that delivers fine flow control to create a cleaner, higher quality finished product, while minimizing fluid usage. The Nordson EFD 752V Series is such a valve, providing an open/close stroke that is adjustable from 0.13 mm to 0.64 mm, producing a very fast response and positive shutoff, with valve actuation speeds as short as 5 to 6 milliseconds, and operating with cycle rates as high as 800 cycles per minute. Robotic dispensing Robotic dispensing has evolved to support the needs for higher throughput automotive component assembly production by developing specialized dispensing technology for automated inline assembly and manufacturing systems, and for stand-alone production devices. Many applications involve attaching a valve to a 6-axis robot arm or using the valve with a 3-axis tabletop robot. An example is mounting a PICO Pµlse jet valve on Nordson EFD’s vision-guided 3-axis EV Series dispensing robot for conformal coating in densely populated PCBs. When combined, the exact amount of fluid is applied in the exact location required on the PCB. The 3-axis EV Series dispensing robot can also be combined with the Liquidyn P-Jet jet valve, which is designed to dispense low- to medium-viscosity greases in extremely accurate, repeatable beads and lines. Because the need for Z-axis movement has been eliminated, manufacturers can react very quickly to lubrication of new and different parts. A 3-axis fluid-dispensing robot can also be applied for adhering anode, separator, and cathode layers for EV battery production. Robotic dispensing systems, such as the Nordson EFD GV Series gantry dispensing robot, provide the conveyor-fed assembly required by Li-ion and hydrogen fuel cell electric car battery production. The robot's 3D motion control allows programming of dots, lines, circles, arcs, and compound arcs. Fluid deposit placement and Nordson EFD accuracy is verified with automated optical inspection (AOI) software. When paired with the system's confocal laser, the AOI system measures the height of fluid deposits, in addition to width and diameter, providing 3D dispense verification. Manually spraying lubricant on parts, such as door trim, armrests and door handles on the assembly line can be robotically automated with a 6-axis articulated robot. The Nordson EFD 781S Series spray valve, for example, can be applied for either manual use or robotic automation. The robot provides the flexibility, strength and reach needed for the application of lubrication to many types of automotive parts. Requirements for robotic fluid dispensing are as varied as the differences in production environments. Identifying these requirements will facilitate the selection of the most optimum dispensing and robotics system for the application. Consult with a fluid dispensing professional Because so many factors can impact a fluid dispensing process, it is important to consult an experienced fluid application specialist who knows the specifics and priorities influencing dispensing for a particular automotive component application. Consulting with an application specialist early in a project will ensure the correct fluid dispensing equipment is utilized, and the most optimum process has been put into place. This will facilitate manufacturing to achieve the desired production throughput, and improve process control, while reducing rework, rejects and fluid waste. Following two years of market disruption, automotive manufacturers and suppliers are eager for positive news. Indeed, some regions and vertical segments are mitigating risks and addressing shortages with agile shifts and creative strategies. They provide pragmatic best practice models and inspiration for the organizations still struggling with heavy revenue losses from the microchip shortage. Undeniably, 2021 was a difficult year for manufacturers, OEMs, and suppliers. As we turn to 2022 to absorb and adapt to the many COVID-related blows, some predictions seem safe to bet on, including: The disruption isn’t over The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will be likely be felt for years , requiring all business leaders to remain vigilant to market changes and hyper-sensitive to providing safe work environments for their employees. Workforce attitudes about vaccines and testing policies will likely evolve as this divisive topic percolates with each new medical study released. Employee resistance and legal and political challenges to mandates could influence the ability to keep plants running at full capacity. While some back-office tasks can be done by remote workers, assembly line tasks can’t be done through a Zoom meeting. Change is here to stay, and automakers and suppliers need to act now to be well-prepared. Product safety must remain a priority We can’t blame every industry issue on COVID. Massive changes were on the horizon long before the pandemic hit: The transformative impact of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electrified), along with the demand for greater sustainability, better fuel economy, and increased safety cannot be overstated. Recalls continue to plague the industry. Innovation, particularly around electric vehicles, has taught some difficult lessons about the need for careful testing before rolling out new technology and components. The fire risk posed by lithium-ion batteries is just one example. This issue has been analyzed from all sides, with reforms and safeguards put in place. A key takeaway, though, is that the impetus to innovate needs to be balanced against the need for caution and scrutiny. Fortunately, product lifecycle management solutions can help automakers and suppliers manage the entire process, from Research and Development stages to testing validation and engineering change management. Agility will be a priority The automotive industry has experienced several paradigm shifts recently, primarily driven by the seemingly unstoppable C.A.S.E. (Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing/Subscription and Electrification). This impacts every aspect of the industry – from product design and development to manufacturing, distribution, sales, service, talent, and the aftermarket. The user experience has undergone a major transformation as well, with even mid-priced vehicles now equipped with myriads of luxuries. Upscale perks that are becoming standard fare include heated seats, camera-assisted parking, and collision avoidance sensors. These types of major changes demand unprecedented levels of business agility and correspondingly agile technology solutions. Cloud-based solutions--fast and easy to implement - provide flexibility and scalability in launching new business entities and models, new operational processes, and new partnerships. More companies will enter the chip market Modern vehicles utilize a wide array of microchips, regardless of the trim level, from basic to top of the line. Unfortunately, even though we’re approaching the end of 2021, microchips are still in short supply. I expect the chip shortage to persist into the next calendar year to a meaningful degree and is a significant hurdle the industry needs to address. Unfortunately, there are no quick or easy answers. Some OEMs are taking matters into their own hands bringing microprocessor production in-house. While this may mean more control, many experts consider this economically impractical as automotive chips are typically low-value, commoditized items, and investments in chip production, which is extremely capital-intensive, can take years to break even. The European Union , too, wants to get in the chip business, hoping to claim 20% of the world’s semiconductor production by the end of the decade. Organizations will need to anticipate the changes, and act sooner instead of later to ensure adequate supply. Alliances and collaborative partnerships will become more important in 2022 as organizations will partner to extend their buying power. Ford’s recently announced partnership with GlobalFoundries is a case in point. Cloud-based collaboration tools will help manage these multi-enterprise relationships. More emphasis on regional hubs and self-reliance The shortage of chips is causing some outspoken industry critics in the U.S. to suggest the country should be self-sufficient , not relying solely on other nations for critical parts and components. The topic will undoubtedly continue to get screen time on news sites and social channels into the coming years, hype cycles influenced by election years and trade agreements. Stay tuned on this one. It’s going to remain a hot topic, but any resolution is unlikely to happen in 2022. Enhanced visibility will be a lifesaver For forward-thinking manufacturers, software will save the day. Again. While manufacturing microchips may not be the answer for every organization, turning to technology to help manage the supply chain is certainly a tactic every automotive OEM and supplier can employ. Tools for supply chain planning can help manufacturers monitor inventories, deliveries, shipping routes, expected deliveries—and the impact on sales orders if a delivery is delayed. While visibility into the problem may not make the components arrive any faster, being aware of the issues helps prepare, find alternatives, and set realistic expectations among customers. It makes a difference. Business intelligence will turn chaos into actionable strategies As companies set recovery strategies, data insights will be essential for making sense of the changes, and of the financial impact those changes bring. Many organizations are entering uncharted territory, unable to rely on previous strategies or historical plans. New reports will be needed. New KPIs must be determined. New ways of anticipating and measuring the impact and predicting outcomes will be required and not just at the C-level but throughout the organization. Augmented intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital platforms will be critical. Only advanced, modern solutions will be able to tackle the challenges. Increasingly, organizations will realize the value of smart analytics and machine learning/AI and will invest in solutions with these features built in. Talent acquisition, retention will be elevated Recruiting and retaining talent will be part of the strategic agenda in order to compete and thrive in 2022 and beyond. All roles have evolved. Soft skills like team collaboration, problem-solving, data management, and customer service, will be just as important as the ability to operate machinery. Furthermore, as CASE transforms the industry, and as Industry 4.0 and IoT drive the fusion of IT and OT (operational shop floor technology), digitally fluent talent will rapidly become the cornerstone of competitive advantage. The automotive industry is in direct competition with Silicon Valley for the best and brightest, and organizations need to address a shortage of right-skilled workers, including software architects and developers, data scientists, and other IT professionals. In addition, there is a ‘silver tsunami’ of skilled workers who are retiring, in many cases taking years of knowledge with them. The ability to capture and institutionalize this (often tribal) knowledge is also vital to maintain forward momentum. Automotive employers will need to offer technology courses and training to help reskill the existing workforce and attract recruits. Recent graduates entering the job market expect to see easy-to-use software, much like the solutions they use in their day-to-day lives. Organizations will need to provide an elevated employee experience to attract and retain the best and the brightest and position themselves to win in the new normal. Talent solutions that incorporate leading practices and provide these rich employee experiences will help organizations recruit, train, and retain the right employees and match them with appropriate roles to maximize their potential, build successful careers, and grow in value to the organization. Sustainability will continue to grow in importance Environmental ramifications will continue to have a significant impact on industry trends and direction. ‘Circular Industrial Sustainability’ and ‘Carbon Neutrality’ are two terms that have entered the manufacturing lexicon and are appearing with increasing frequency in discussions about the future direction of the automotive industry, and EVs are seen by some as a panacea for all that ails us. However, it’s important to note that EVs present their own set of environmental challenges, among them, the high energy consumption used to manufacture them (especially in the case of aluminum), the highly destructive and toxic mining of critical rare earth elements, the looming problem of massive numbers of batteries, filled with toxic chemicals, that will need proper disposal, and the increasing demand for (largely fossil-fuel generated) electricity, at least in the US. A broader, end-to-end view of the issues and challenges – instead of a fixation solely on tailpipe emissions – is needed to resolve these and other challenges, along with good faith negotiations and fact-based conversations between different and often widely-divergent political and socio-economic interests. The ability to effectively gather and mine data, from a wide variety of sources both within and outside the industry, to inform these decisions will be an important enabler in this regard. Final thoughts While 2022 is likely to bring with it more of the same challenges that bombarded automakers in the past year, there will also likely be some new surprises as well. Organizations must be prepared for the known challenges, but perhaps more importantly for the unforeseen ones. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year and a half, it’s that we can’t take ‘normal’ for granted anymore. Resilience, agility, adaptability, and collaboration are the new coins of the realm. Highly agile, flexible digital ‘cores’ such as Infor’s cloud ERP suites, can provide a strong foundation on which to thrive in a constantly-disrupted world.

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  • Where is Ready Robotics's headquarters?

    Ready Robotics's headquarters is located at Columbus.

  • What is Ready Robotics's latest funding round?

    Ready Robotics's latest funding round is Series B.

  • How much did Ready Robotics raise?

    Ready Robotics raised a total of $18.5M.

  • Who are Ready Robotics's competitors?

    Competitors of Ready Robotics include Southie Autonomy.

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