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Eight ‘Digital Reality’ Start-Ups Secure Opportunity To Advance Manufacturing

Eight of the most innovative manufacturing start-ups from across the globe have been announced by Hexagon as the second cohort of the Sixth Sense open innovation platform.

The selected start-ups were invited to pitch by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division from more than a hundred creative and forward-looking companies that responded to this year’s challenge searching for solutions in Visualisation & Digital Reality and Intelligence & Automation, and were whittled down to only those who could demonstrate the most innovative solutions.

Each candidate has developed a unique approach to some of the most pressing manufacturing issues of today, targeting skills shortages, inefficiency, and greater sustainability through the challenge’s themes of harnessing metaverse-like digital reality and automation. Under Sixth Sense, they will be given access to Hexagon’s hard-won market insight, garnered through decades of working with blue chip technology leaders, and through that fast-track their solutions to commercial success.

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division’s technology touches 95% of all vehicles, 90% of all aircraft and 85% of all smartphones produced each year. Hexagon set up the Sixth Sense platform earlier in this year to advance some of the cutting-edge technology that is produced by manufacturing start-ups each year; technology that can fails to take off due to lack of opportunity rather than lack of sophistication. Sixth Sense offers them access to business insight, proximity to experts and technologies that can be used to iterate and improve their solutions, as well as exposing them to Hexagon’s global customer and partner base, which includes names like Audi, NASA, Microsoft and Boeing.

The eight selected start-ups are:

➤ 3YOURMINDBerlin, Germany
3YOURMIND enables more agile manufacturing with a software suite that standardises, optimises and automates the entire process chain to enable on-demand part production. Software is designed to efficiently schedule and track manufacturing processes – from the initial order to the finished part.

➤ AugmentirHorshamUSA
Augmentir provides companies with smart insights to the workforce and processes, from “hire to retire”. The collected data helps to reduce time to productivity, enables targeted reskilling and upskilling, and provides individualised guidance and support at the point of work.

➤ Threedy, Darmstadt, Germany
Threedy provides the visual computing technologies to translate the ever-growing web of 3D, business and process data into highly responsive and interactive 3D applications. Its instant3Dhub technology translates existing 3D data entities into highly interactive experiences while minimising device and infrastructure costs.

➤ oculavis, Aachen, Germany
oculavis develops Visual Assistance software which connects machinery and equipment with experts, technicians and customers worldwide. Intuitive Augmented Reality (AR) annotations in video calls facilitate focused collaboration between technicians and clients.

➤ CASTORTel Aviv, Israel
CASTOR provides automated 3D printing software which analyses thousands of parts simultaneously and offers deep technical analysis of a complete machine design. It enables manufacturers to identify cost reduction opportunities, suggests geometry changes to the part’s design, estimates the cost and lead time and connects the manufacturer to a printing service bureau.

➤ GelSightWalthamUSA
GelSight develops human skin-like tactile sensing technology that provides detailed and rapid surface characterisation, enabling several surface measurement applications and robotic sensing capabilities.

➤ JITbaseMontreal, Canada
JITbase builds smart manufacturing software that uses machine data and information from CNC programmes to calculate the optimal sequence of machinist activities on the shop floor. The Optimal Path System (OPS) is based on algorithms that calculate in real-time what should happen in production to maximise the availability rate of the fleet of machines.

➤ Teratonics, Orsay, France
Teratonics offers highly automated non-destructive testing, imaging systems and analysis services through the use of ultrashort Terahertz pulses. Users can look into every produced part to uncover internal defects and measure dimensions.

Parth Joshi, Chief Product and Technology Officer of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “A truly successful ecosystem needs excellence at all levels and that’s what we’re trying to achieve here. Today’s market is more competitive than ever, and even good ideas can get lost if all the dominos don’t line up. Sixth Sense is designed to pinpoint emerging opportunities for greater innovation, and mature it by giving these companies access to resources and customers that they otherwise may not get in time. By making sure the determining factor for growth is quality of idea, not chance, we can progress the industry as whole.”

Milan Kocić, Head of Sixth Sense, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “Following on from the success of our first cycle, I am excited to see how this cohort will develop over the next ten weeks. Digital reality and automation are our bread and butter, but part of the Sixth Sense mission is to function as a mutual exchange of value. We are looking forward to learning as much from these nimble young companies as they will from us – with our market know-how and technical heritage, and their agility and dare-to-fail culture, I think we can create real magic.”

Each company will now undergo 10 weeks of mentoring, product refinement and focus group opportunities with key experts. The programme will close with a pitching competition in February 2023, which will see each start-up pitch their company and progress made under Sixth Sense to a panel of judges representing tech-specialists, investors and Hexagon experts. Two or more winning start-ups will be selected and receive access to Hexagon’s customer base to help improve their processes, whilst globalising their advanced solutions.

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