Series 14 – Episode 8 – Bringing factory automation to the masses

19th April 2024
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Adam Gluck, CEO and Founder, Copia Automation about bringing factory automation to the masses.

Adam’s career trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. Starting as an early hire in Uber's driver engineering team, he witnessed the company's meteoric rise from a few hundred engineers to several thousand. His experience at Uber, dealing with massive scale and real-time data handling, laid a solid foundation for his later ventures. Adam moved on to a pivotal role in Uber’s engineering strategy team, where he played a crucial role in overhauling backend architectures and implementing cutting-edge DevOps practices.

Inspired by the challenges he encountered in Uber’s rapid scaling, Adam, alongside co-founder Matthew Lee, launched Copia Automation in 2020. Their mission was clear: to democratise factory automation by introducing robust, scalable DevOps solutions tailored for industrial environments. Copia Automation aims to address the 'cowboys and firefighters' approach traditionally seen in industrial settings, where changes are made ad-hoc and problems are dealt with reactively.

Copia’s concept of 'Industrial DevOps' revolves around implementing IT-grade development practices within operational technology (OT) environments. This innovative approach ensures enhanced oversight, continuous integration, and reliable deployment of industrial software applications, significantly reducing downtime and improving efficiency. The platform supports multi-vendor environments, accommodating major players like Rockwell, Siemens, and Codesys, which provides users with a comprehensive view of operations and facilitates easier management of complex systems.

Integrating Git-based source control with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) was one of the many technical hurdles Copia faced. The gap between demonstration and production-ready code in industrial settings can be vast, involving stringent performance and compliance requirements. Adam’s approach – building robust systems that not only meet these demands but also scale across different industrial landscapes – has set Copia apart in the market.

With a significant funding round of £16.4 million, Copia Automation is poised for rapid expansion. The funds are earmarked for enhancing its go-to-market strategy and further developing the technology to bridge the gap between current industrial practices and modern DevOps methodologies. As industries increasingly adopt automation due to labour shortages and evolving technological needs, Copia Automation plans to be at the forefront, facilitating this transition with efficient, scalable solutions.

To hear more about Copia Automation and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Adam Gluck on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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