3DSignals Raises $8.5M In Additional Funding To Help Manufacturers Improve Productivity

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Below is our recent interview with Danya Golan, VP of Marketing at 3DSignals:

Q: For those who haven’t heard of it, what is the best way to describe 3DSignals?

A: The goal of 3DSignals is to help manufacturers improve productivity by transitioning their factories to the digital era and harnessing the power of visibility.

While every manufacturer acknowledges the benefits of industry 4.0, digitalization was so far hard to achieve, as over 90% of machines worldwide are not connected to any network. Using non-invasive and machine agnostic sensors, and an AI-based monitoring platform, our solution enables immediate visibility into production floors. Our plug & play solution requires 45-60 minutes for every machine to get connected and visualized on our cloud platform. The Asset Performance Monitoring platform transforms the sensor signal into powerful and actionable insights, that allow managers on the production floor and in the board room to take data-driven decision to improve their operations. Our solution has been proven by our customers to significantly improve machine productivity and reduce operating expenses, resulting in increased OEE and fast return on investment.

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Q: You’ve recently extended your round A funding and raised additional $8.5M; could you tell us something more?

A: As we completed our Round A in April 2019, word about our solution spread across Germany, resulting in multiple approaches to us from both customers and investors. Most of the customer approaches turned into business, and one of the investment requests, namely the Mercura one, also materialized. Mercura Capital is a fund of the Schuler-Voith family, a well-established family in the German industrial sector. We see tremendous potential in joining forces with Mercura Capital, who’s vast experience and numerous connections in the German industry can be leveraged to further expand our reach in Germany and across Europe.

Q: How is digitalization changing the face of manufacturing?

A: Digitalization is the first and most important step in the gradual transition of factories to the industry 4.0 era. In our days, even the best engineering and manufacturing companies cannot stay competitive without the right means to improve and enhance operational excellence. Factories must streamline and optimize their processes across the value chain in order to maintain their competitive edge, especially in light of increasing competition from Asia, which introduces to the market high level of manufacturing at much lower costs.This is the motivation behind digitalization and industry 4.0.

However, while everybody is looking into big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive maintenance, it’s important to remember that a skyscraper cannot be built starting with the helicopter landing on the roof. Foundation for industry 4.0 must be laid first, and this is the mere connection of machines to a network, or in other words – digitalization.

Q: What are the main benefits of your solution compared to alternative solutions in the market?

A: Most digitalization solutions in the market are looking at the very end of the process, offering predictive maintenance solutions, which are yet to prove their economic viability. Other solutions are looking at a full factory digitalization project which might take long periods and high investments to implement. These complex and expensive solutions, with no clear ROI are preventing manufacturers from taking the decision to go digital.

We are offering a plug & play solution that works with any type of machine in the factory. Most factories have machines of varying models, age and vendors. Our solution is machine agnostic, complying with both new and brown field machines. It requires only 45-60 minutes per machine to connect. We require nothing from factory management or employees except for an internet connection. Most importantly, our solution is cost effective and was proven to bring fast results, removing all the psychological and physical barriers to adopt. Some of our customers were able to improve machine availability by 30% within 3 months from installation save hundreds of thousands of Euros on electricity cost and wages.

Since we are using non-invasive sensors, there is no digital interface between our solution and machine controls, so there is no cyber risk in implementing our system. This also makes our solution more accurate than alternative solutions which connect to machine controls and rely on them to provide input on machine operations.

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Q: What are the company’s plans and goals for the future?

A: In contrast to the simplicity of our hardware, our cloud-based software is very sophisticated, offering customizable reports and alerts which provide valuable insights to the different stakeholders across the organization – from managers on the production floor and up to the top level management which requires an overall view of the entire operation.

Since the “brains” of the system are in the cloud, we are able to offer a growing value – with more and more machines connected, we can add more complex algorithms, more features and more analysis based on the same signals from the existing hardware. Installing the system today provides information about machine performance in real time, and this visibility can improve operations significantly. With time we will enhance our product offering enabling also big data analysis and predictive maintenance.

Equally important, we believe that production floor visibility should be incorporated to a full factory digitalization and therefore we are working on integration with other software tools in the factory, such as ERP and CRM systems, with the aim of providing end-to-end visibility, from purchase order until order fulfillment.

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