Navigating towards a smarter future: Data driven predictive analysis for Smart Manufacturing
This article was first published on StartupSG on 3 May 2023
Navigating towards a smarter future: Providing data-driven predictive analysis for Smart Manufacturing
Real-time production data is changing the manufacturing sector rapidly and dramatically. With accelerated adoption of digital technologies, the manufacturing industry has changed significantly in recent years. Meet Planet07 – the smart manufacturing company behind LexaTexer, an Enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) platform, that drives greater effectiveness through increased productivity, lower costs, and reduced human error.
In this article, we sit down with Dr. Guenther Hoffmann, co-founder of Planet07 and EntrePass holder, to find out how deep tech solutions in smart manufacturing can eliminate system weaknesses, such as inaccuracies and slow speeds, hence transforming manufacturing processes for greater effectiveness.
1. Tell us more about yourself and your journey bringing Planet07 to where it is today.
Planet07 was founded as a spin-off from Humboldt University in Berlin. Through ten years of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research experience working at multiple research institutes such as the Humboldt University Berlin, Duke University, North Carolina and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I realised that although AI is a cool buzzword, customers are not buying AI as an industrial solution. Instead, they are looking for end-to-end solutions that comprises of AI.
A business user is interested in the value of the solution that comprises AI. To roll out any AI driven solution, the solution needs to adhere to standards which make it painless to read customers’ data, configure the AI driven solution to provide value, scale the solution and integrate it into the legacy processes and IT systems. Hence, making the AI solution implementable. Planet07’s flagship solution, LexaTexer, was as such started to provide an entire software framework covering all necessary aspects from building, testing, scaling and integrating of its solutions according to security and compliance.
LexaTexer helps companies connect their business, supply partners and channel partners, so that they can have end-to-end visibility from the manufacturing to sales process. This allows our customers to stay ahead of customer needs, adapt to market trends and make changes that matter most to their customers. This is done through providing AI-driven solutions for predictive manufacturing, predictive scheduling, and sales and demand forecasts.
2. Why did you choose to incorporate Planet07 in Singapore with the EntrePass? How has your journey in Singapore’s startup ecosystem been like?
My initial journey in Singapore’s startup ecosystem started when I first participated in the IMDA Open Innovation Platform. Through the innovation challenge, I made my initial connections in Singapore’s startup ecosystem.
It is undeniable that Singapore is a gateway to Southeast Asia. LexaTexer’s users are generally highly mature corporates, which come mainly from Singapore and the Southeast Asia region. Singapore’s strategic location provides easy access to the region and its growing consumer market.
3. What are the key factors to Planet07’s success so far?
Planet07’s founder, Dr Guenther Hoffman, participated in the A*STAR Advanced Manufacturing Startup Challenge 2022
Key partnerships such as my collaboration with the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) led to our success. In 2022, I collaborated with ARTC, a partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, led by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). It was a four-month long collaboration where we researched on closed loop production planning and scheduling. The objective for the project was to reduce the labour intensiveness for Omni Mold, a plastic injection mold making company with a complicated scheduling process. It has opened doors to the wider manufacturing industry in Singapore. Through the connections of ARTC, I have established business partnerships with Omni Mold and Anewtech Systems. I also found a great mentor, Mr Siah Chong Cheong, who helped me find local system integrators to expand business opportunities. Mr Siah is a passionate individual who nurtures technopreneurer for Singapore and the region, converting technology into successful businesses.
4. Planet07 was also one of our Top 100 Global Startups at SLINGSHOT 2020. Tell us more about your experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed SLINGSHOT and felt that it was a great platform for Planet07’s LexaTexer AI platform. Working out of the US and Europe regions for over ten years, we had an initial market hypothesis about Singapore and the Southeast Asia region. However, we quickly found that we had to adapt our software, use cases and sales strategy to Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.
Being part of SLINGSHOT gave me a platform to test-bed my hypothesis with Singapore in mind and allowed me to meet with mentors who provided constructive feedback and pitching tips. Most importantly, I was able to build new connections with key industry leaders that fast tracked our growth in Singapore.
In Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia, being part of an ecosystem is essential. My decision to be part of an ecosystem through taking part in events such as SLINGSHOT has opened multiple doors for us. I have established relations with multiple ecosystem partners such as ARTC, the German Accelerator, IoT Tribe, and British Standards Institute (BSI) through IMDA’s Innovation Platform.
Planet07 emerged as a finalist at the BSI-IMDA Open Innovation Challenge Award 2022 with their LexaTexer enterprise AI solution.
5. What are Planet07’s business plans for LexaTexer moving forward?
We remain committed to our goal to serve manufacturing customers with a localised approach and are looking forward to grow further in the Southeast Asia region, through Singapore as a regional hub.
6. What are some upcoming trends in smart manufacturing?
Digital maturity is crucial for manufacturing companies’ growth. With digital maturity, manufacturing companies can address important topics like improvements in operational excellence, automated scheduling, sales, and operational planning optimisation.
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