Productive Machines: An Innovative AI Startup Revolutionising the Manufacturing Industry

Written by Alex Bredeen

Productive Machines, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup from The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), announced today that it has raised £2.2 million in Seed funding to make its advanced machine tool process optimisation technology available to a far wider range of manufacturers worldwide.

We at Fuel Ventures co-invested alongside UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) who led the round with participation from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and ACT Venture Partners, alongside grant funding from Innovate UK.

So what is Productive Machines?

Spun-out from The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in 2021, Productive Machines is making advanced machine tool process optimisation more accessible to manufacturers. It uses AI to predict and mitigate the influence of harmful vibrations in milling processes, enabling manufacturers to reduce lead times and improve quality, productivity and sustainability. Founded by Dr Erdem Ozturk (CEO) and Dr Huseyin Celikag (CTO), Productive Machines is commercialising the results of a six-year AMRC research project on machining dynamics.

Productive Machines has developed a powerful computational model to predict and mitigate the influence of these harmful vibrations at every stage in metal and composite milling jobs. It uses a digital twin to determine the best parameters for each machine tool and production run, eliminating wasteful configuration experiments and ensuring that milling jobs are right the first time.

Productive Machines' AI technology is designed to enhance the manufacturing processes, reduce energy consumption, and overall improve product quality. It has a wide range of benefits for manufacturers, including reducing energy consumption by up to 25%, enhancing surface quality and production yields, and reducing waste. The technology has powerful optimisation algorithms that can suggest modifications to industrial processes on-the-fly, leading to a significant reduction in manual adjustments, reduced cycle times, and component waste. Productive Machines' technology has also proven successful in reducing lead times for production processes while lowering carbon emissions.

The technology been deployed in 10 major manufacturing companies, including Renault and MASA Aerospace, where it's found its use in industries ranging from automotive to aerospace. By providing accurate insight into parameter optimisation, it eliminates the need for manual testing, leading to smarter decision-making, more efficient workflows, and higher yields.

Dr Erdem Ozturk, CEO at Productive Machines, comments: “Manufacturers want to reduce costs, improve quality and cut carbon emissions. But most don’t want to buy complex software products or hire PhD-level engineers to make them work. We are meeting all of their goals. The results of our research and innovation are proven with major manufacturers, and this investment enables us to make the significant benefits more accessible to manufacturers of all sizes, anywhere in the world.

“Our cutting-edge technology is already best-in-class in a $400 billion industry ripe for optimisation. There are three million machines in the world that would be more accurate, productive and sustainable with our AI, and we are removing the cost and skill barriers to its adoption.”

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