Sandvik invests in manufacturing software provider Oqton
High-tech engineering group Sandvik has acquired a minority stake in the privately owned American company Oqton, a provider of AI-powered manufacturing solutions that allow manufacturers to manage, optimise and automate their manufacturing workflows.
Oqton provides a secure end-to-end, cloud-based platform that links data across the manufacturing ecosystem – from design, to production, to logistics – to help users understand, optimise and drive these highly interdependent, but traditionally siloed, processes. This open cloud platform combines order tracking, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), scheduling, manufacturing execution systems (MES), Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and production traceability into one platform, enabling manufacturers to operate agile factories that manage complex product mixes, with lower inventory and a simplified supply chain.
The company was founded in 2017, with a corporate base in San Francisco, USA and three R&D centers located in Belgium, Denmark and China. Oqton’s founding team includes Samir Hanna and Ben Schrauwen and several angel investors, including former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, Dries Buytaert from Drupal and Acquia, and Peter Mercelis from Layerwise. The management team welcomes the transaction, which will provide Oqton with a strong industrial partner that will accelerate opportunities for growth. The financing will be used to further develop Oqton’s platform, while expanding its commercial partnerships in multiple domains and verticals, such as additive manufacturing, robotic welding and CNC machining.
Sandvik’s customers – regardless of their size – share similar challenges in manufacturing. Striking the difficult balance between flexibility, effective machine use and minimising waste, all while facing a lack of manufacturing insights, can restrain productivity.
Oqton’s solution targets inefficiencies and waste in processes throughout the manufacturing workflow. It is unique in that it combines several manufacturing software capabilities (CAD, PLM, CAM, IOT, MES, QMS) into a single platform, enabling an unprecedented degree of AI-powered automation and optimisation. Users can automatically capture expert knowledge and eliminate repetitive tasks, access technologies remotely and across multiple sites, and optimise production planning to improve utilisation and quality.
Being fully integrated, users can also link the platform to their traditional technologies, such as CNC, welding, and post-processing machines for a truly end-to-end manufacturing solution, making their processes faster, more adaptable, and more cost-effective.
“This investment is in line with our strategic agenda to broaden our offering in digital manufacturing. We are looking forward to working with Oqton and finding ways to expand our offering for increased customer productivity by creating new products that take advantage of Sandvik’s extensive know-how of manufacturing processes and Oqton’s AI-powered manufacturing solutions”, says Stefan Widing, President and CEO of Sandvik.
“Sandvik will help us scale globally with both a direct and indirect sales approach. We truly think time has come for the manufacturing space to embrace the cloud and we are working hard to facilitate this,” explains Ben Schrauwen, CEO of Oqton.
“Oqton’s solution targets inefficiencies and waste in the manufacturing workflow. We believe that our relationship with Oqton will give us further opportunities to define and reduce waste throughout the entire manufacturing process. We share the same desire to automate workflows and make our customers more efficient”, says Mathias Johansson, President of the Design & Planning Automation division in Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions.
“I am looking forward to integrating Oqton’s AI technology with Sandvik’s products and together helping customers worldwide increase their manufacturing efficiency and flexibility” says Samir Hanna, Chairman, Oqton.
The relationship with Oqton will be managed by Sandvik Manufacturing Solutions’ division Design & Planning Automation, within the business area Sandvik Manufacturing and Machining Solutions. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.