Path Robotics: Digital pathfinders to future growth
Path Robotics is an AI robotics company with a difference. It is pioneering the future of smart robots that take automation and digital transformation in the manufacturing sector to the next level, providing a frictionless path to growth built upon innovation and collaboration.
“We specifically focus on making robots learn how to do human-based tasks,” says Andrew Lonsberry, the co-founder and CEO. “Making robots smart enough to be able to understand how to perform their operation autonomously so that humans can focus on harder contextual problems.”
The company partners with leading manufacturers to power their digital transformation journey and remove the common obstacles to future growth. “Currently, lots of small to medium sized manufacturers are gridlocked because they cannot find labor to be able to allow their companies to grow, while other manufacturers that are focused on a solution deploying robots and techniques that are part of an end-to-end digital thread have the opportunity to grow faster and grow larger,” Lonsberry says.
Uniquely, Path empowers manufacturers to increase both their capacity and their flexibility. “Those two things, capacity and flexibility, are often complete opposites in the manufacturing world,” Lonsberry says. “If you want to increase scalability, you usually decrease flexibility. And if you want to increase flexibility, you usually decrease scalability.”
Schenck Process, a key partner of Path Robotics, has ambitions to expand on both these axes. As a partner of Schenck Process, Path plays a vital role in alleviating bottlenecks and underpinning those growth ambitions, providing an end-to-end “digital thread” that runs throughout the manufacturing process. Schenck possesses an extraordinary capacity to manufacture thousands of different components. It is an agile business - and that flexibility and scalability is underpinned by Path’s technology.
“What Path does specifically to help Schenck Process create a solution that allows the flexibility to be able to run thousands of different parts autonomously through a robotics system completely on its own,” Lonsberry explains. “It doesn't matter what part the Path Robotic system is looking at, as long as it fits within our weld cell, we see the it, we understand it and we weld it.”
As a partner, Path collaborates closely with Schenck to assist its growth plans, expanding and developing its own capabilities in parallel as a true strategic partner. Long-term, Lonsberry foresees a closer relationship and greater innovation.
“We see this partnership growing over the next five to 10 years,” he says. “We see Schenck continuously growing internally and continuously taking on more. That level of dedication to growth is something that we want to mirror, and we want to match. The commitment we're making to this partnership is that today is the just the first phase of a journey together, Path and Schenck Process, to implement an end-to-end digital thread throughout the manufacturing process and the business. We are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking effort.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.