3D Systems Buys Oqton

Oqton makes a cloud-based, AI-enabled manufacturing operating system that accelerates deployment and automation of digital manufacturing in production environments.

Oqton makes a cloud-based, AI-enabled manufacturing operating system that accelerates deployment and automation of digital manufacturing in production environments.

3D Systems announces an agreement to acquire Oqton, a software company that creates an intelligent, cloud-based manufacturing operating system (MOS) platform. This platform is tailored for flexible production environments that use a range of advanced manufacturing and automation technologies, including additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, in their production workflows.

The cloud-based solution leverages the industrial internet of things (IIOT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning technologies to deliver a way for customers to automate their digital manufacturing workflows and scale their operations. The use of these tools along with an agile platform will allow for rapid adoption of production workflows such as those for dentistry, healthcare, biotech, aerospace and automotive.

“Customers across our industrial and healthcare segments are accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing into production environments,” says Dr. Jeffrey Graves, president and CEO, 3D Systems. “They have increasingly identified the need for a manufacturing software platform that can easily and intelligently incorporate not only the printers themselves but all digital production systems and key enterprise software to optimize the entire workflow, from raw material to finished and inspected components.

“The system must be flexible enough to accommodate not only today’s manufacturing technologies but also be easily adaptable to future platform changes,” Graves says. “The Oqton MOS fills this market need by seamlessly leveraging enterprise information and data in the customer's current ERP, MES, PLM, and CRM systems, as well as the full range of shop floor manufacturing operations and software.”

Availability of the Oqton MOS optimizes customers’ use of 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies, including robotic welding, machining, finishing, and inspection operations, in full production environments. Oqton will operate as an independent organization and solution platform within 3D Systems with data confidentiality and security protocols assured through third-party verification.

With the Oqton acquisition, 3D Systems will expand availability to the entire additive manufacturing industry and customer base its advanced software platforms—3DXpert, 3D Sprint, its Geomagic portfolio, and Additive Works’ Amphyon—as optional add-ons to the Oqton MOS platform. With 3D Systems’ investment in these additive manufacturing tools, the company plans to continue to help advance use of AM across all markets.

“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,” says 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.”

Based on available data, it is estimated that spending in smart manufacturing is $1.5 billion with an expected expansion to $6 billion by 2025. The purchase consideration for this transaction totaled $180 million, comprising cash and 3D Systems’ stock. With the addition of Oqton, 3D Systems expects the run rate revenue from software to exceed $100 million by the end of 2025. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 following required regulatory approvals.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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