Posted September 21, 2021
In the AM industry’s second acquisition of the day, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) now has an agreement to acquire software startup Oqton, a global SaaS company founded by manufacturing and artificial intelligence experts in 2017 that offers an agnostic, intelligent, cloud-based Manufacturing Operating System (MOS) platform that automates the end-to-end workflow. The total purchase consideration for this particular transaction, comprising both cash and DDD stock, was $180 million, and following required regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close in Q4 2021. By acquiring Oqton and its unique AI-enabled MOS solution, 3D Systems hopes to speed AM adoption in production environments, as the system can help automate digital manufacturing for reduced costs and more efficiency on the factory floor.
“We are excited about joining with 3D Systems and look forward to leveraging their knowledge, resources, and ability to continue to innovate and deliver solutions that help companies accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing in production environments,” said Dr. Ben Schrauwen, CEO and Co-Founder of Oqton. “At the same time, we bring our deep expertise in artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, and machine learning, which will help our customers and partners to scale and connect different manufacturing processes in a wide range of healthcare, bio-tech and industrial market verticals.”
Founded in San Francisco, Oqton is based in Ghent, Belgium, with additional offices in China and Denmark. Its platform is meant for flexible production environments that continue adding advanced automation and manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, to their workflows. Last year, the startup partnered with EOS to integrate its AI-automated build preparation workflow directly to customers’ EOS printers in a major step towards a full autonomous manufacturing process, and soon after raised $40 million in Series A funding to improve its software specifically for verticals like 3D printing.
Oqton’s cloud-based solution uses a variety of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as machine learning, AI, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), to give users a better way to scale operations by automating their digital manufacturing workflows, which increases their competitiveness in the industry. Combining these tools with its own MOS platform should ensure adoption of the toughest production workflows—aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, dentistry, and healthcare, to name a few.
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