CloudNC, a company developing software that enables factories to autonomously manufacture precision parts, today announced it has raised $45 million in a Series B round.
The London-based company said it will use the additional capital to further develop its software as a service (SaaS) offering and roll out at-scale through integrations with CAD/CAM packages such as Autodesk's platforms, and to expand its full-stack manufacturing capability in Essex, U.K.
Precision manufacturing, an industrial process required to make parts needed for virtually every industry, from automotive and aerospace to consumer electronics and defense, is currently error-prone, time-consuming, and expensive, the company argued. Despite increased automation, precision manufacturing's dependency on expert manual programming makes it less efficient than other industrial processes and means it is heavily exposed to an aging workforce.
CloudNC software streamlines the tooling process
CloudNC said its technology already provides a degree of autonomy. A user can upload a 3D model of any part and, with one click, the software autonomously determines the tools needed, how they will be used and drafts the code to tell a CNC machine how to make it. The company said the software allows factories to be more efficient while upskilling the workforce, since more junior employees are able to operate the machines.
CloudNC said its software will enable factories to autonomously manufacture parts more reliably, faster, and with less waste than current processes. It argues it will help level manufacturing costs from region to region, enabling producers to build increasingly local and resilient supply chains.
“When people think of manufacturing, they tend to think of robotic car factories, and don't realize that the industry is dominated by craft processes reliant on dwindling expert knowledge. This makes it incredibly complex to get things made, stifling the pace of innovation,” said Theo Saville, CEO and co-founder of CloudNC. “Our solution radically simplifies and democratizes precision manufacturing. The upcoming software release is a massive step in our journey to full manufacturing autonomy and solving a $200 billion problem.”'
Backers share perspective
The financing was led by Autodesk, with Lockheed Martin and British Patient Capital participating alongside returning investors Atomico and Episode 1 Ventures.
“CloudNC's bold vision is impressive and their solution will soon allow anyone, from hobbyists to high-tech aerospace companies, to order and have parts delivered to them anywhere in the world with the click of a button,” said Stephen Hooper, vice president of design and manufacturing of cloud solutions at Autodesk. “In a similar way to how the internet opened the door to new businesses, autonomous precision manufacturing will open the door to increased productivity and more innovation.”
“CloudNC's vision of end-to-end autonomous manufacturing creates great value to large-scale manufacturing businesses like ours,” said Chris Moran, executive director and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. “We look forward to working with CloudNC as their vision for a fully autonomous supply chain develops and offers improved capabilities for Lockheed Martin.”