October 31, 2020

jelenajankovic

Technology is the natural beauty.

The Energy Sector Invests In Agile Manufacturing Infrastructure

4 min read
If we’ve learned anything from the last six months, it’s the need for more agility...

If we’ve learned anything from the last six months, it’s the need for more agility in manufacturing workflow and supply chains. The additive manufacturing sector has long been touting the benefits of 3-D printing, including agility and a digital manufacturing workflow, and it seems that this technology suite’s day in the sun has finally come.

Additive manufacturing enables flexibility throughout the production workflow, from design and prototyping to fabrication and post-processing. Despite the general malaise of 2020 as the world is riding out the impact of a major pandemic that has slowed or shuttered many supply chains, those utilizing 3-D printing have been able to keep going. With material and technological capabilities now suitable for end-use production, and decentralized manufacturing disrupting the need for international logistics, all eyes have been on 3-D printing.

Those eyes include investors’. The 3-D printing sector has been seeing ongoing multimillion-dollar investments even throughout the pandemic. Many of these investments have gone to companies working on the hardware side, producing 3-D printers and materials or focusing on post-processing finished 3-D prints for final quality.

A 3-D printer can only do what it’s told, though, and for that software must always remain a major focus for proper advancements in this industry.

Investors know that, too, and it’s with this in mind that Germany-based 3-D printing software company 3YOURMIND announces its latest funding round.

3YOURMIND Software

The company has a vision for what it calls Agile Manufacturing, explaining: “3YOURMIND is standardizing, optimizing, controlling and automating AM-processes. This is Agile Manufacturing.” AM, or additive manufacturing, processes, are uniquely capable of automation and as a young technology suite, are still working toward full optimization and standardization.

Enter 3YOURMIND.

Over the last half-decade-plus, 3YOURMIND has developed an end-to-end workflow automation software suite that includes:

  • Agile PLM, a product lifecycle management system that tracks everything you need to know about a product as it flows through the manufacturing process
  • Agile ERP, an enterprise resource planning tool that provides sophisticated order management and work dispatching
  • Agile MES, a manufacturing execution system that provides the necessary information for factory floor operations as production occurs 

3YOURMIND explains that its workflow software functions as essentially a streamlined communication tool suited both for heavy users of additive manufacturing and as an entry point for new adopters identifying their initial use cases. From producing spare parts on-demand to transitioning to digital warehouses, additive manufacturing is enabling new agility — and 3YOURMIND is poised to address points of efficiency and functionality.

3YOURMIND By The Numbers

Headquartered in Berlin and now with satellite offices throughout Europe and the United States, 3YOURMIND was founded in 2014.

Certain figures remain undisclosed, such as revenue, but the team has shared that its previous funding, both public and private, totals $12.8 million. This includes a 2015 seed investment round led by AM Ventures (AMV) and a 2017 $12 million Series A round led by Unternehmertum Venture Capital (UVC). The company also received €1.3 million in Pro FIT funding, awarded by the investment bank of Berlin and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in 2019.

Each investment has had specific focus for growth. The Series A round, for example, helped the company expand throughout Europe and the US, opening offices in Munich and Paris. The Pro FIT funding targeted the enhancement of machine learning in 3YOURMIND’s software suite.

Today, 3YOURMIND announces its Series A+ round of $5.5 million, led by EnBW New Ventures and joined by existing investors UVC, AMV, Trumpf Ventures, and Coparion.

The primary target for this funding round, 3YOURMIND CEO in charge of revenue and growth Stephan Kühr shares, is to expand its sales team “to conquer new markets.” Since the last funding round in 2017, 3YOURMIND has nearly doubled its team, employing 60 now — so the expansion of the sales team marks an important strategic approach.

The main markets to date are in Europe and North America, and these have proven successful; 3YOURMIND has doubled its annual sales for the past three years and share that this will happen again in 2020 despite pandemic conditions.

3YOURMIND has to date seen its software installed at more than 50 enterprise customers. With these customers, Kühr says, thousands of parts are processed each day.

Energy Sector Investment

That the new funding round was led by EnBW New Ventures (ENV) is itself notable. The company is the venture capital arm of EnBW, one of Germany’s largest utility companies. EnBW is itself a leader in renewable energies, operating extensive infrastructure and serving some six million customers.

Additive manufacturing sees applications throughout a variety of industries, requiring the support of dedicated software that can be tailored to those uses. The energy industry and infrastructure maintenance are on the rise in adopting these advanced technologies, and are an area where 3YOURMIND has been planning further growth.

“The current macro situation forces companies to refocus on supply chain resiliency,” said 3YOURMIND Co-Founder and CEO Aleksander Ciszek. “Increased flexibility in the supply network will generate value in the energy sector and in turn, companies will benefit from the distributed manufacturing software infrastructure we are building.”

3YOURMIND sees its software as supporting a smarter infrastructure in this future of agile manufacturing — and, it would seem, ENV agrees. The venture company describes itself: “We make financially driven investments in entrepreneurial teams that make infrastructure smart.”

Making infrastructure smart requires agility and next-generation capabilities, and it seems this software investment makes financial sense to ENV’s strategies here. Crispin Leick, Managing Director at ENV, affirms, “The 3YOURMIND product enables companies to easily implement AM into their production process which supports the sustainability of many manufacturing and MRO organizations.”

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