BiancoBlue | Dreamstime
Factory of the Future concept.

Lockheed Invests in ‘Factory of the Future’ Concept

Jan. 26, 2023
Machina Labs’ combination of robotics and AI is used to set-up a sheet-forming process that is “material- and geometry-agnostic,” aiming to displace forming methods that rely on custom molds or dies.

Lockheed Martin is investing capital in a start-up developer of “modular manufacturing solutions” with a concept for rapid production of advanced sheet metal products. Los Angeles-based Machina Labs describes itself as a developer of “Software-Defined Factories of the Future,” and to date it has raised a total of $21.8 million.

Machina Labs – which has a patented platform combining robotics and Artificial Intelligence, so it can configure modular manufacturing processes that change the finished products by changing the software – did not reveal how much Lockheed Martin Ventures had invested, nor any of the terms of that investment.

The developer reported that Lockheed’s particular interest is Machina Labs’ Roboforming (robotic sheet forming) project, the first process to be presented under Machina’s patented manufacturing platform. It involves using “material- and geometry-agnostic technology” to form sheet product without relying on custom molds or dies. 

“At Machina Labs, we are creating the factory of the future; one where a variety of designs and physical products can be produced on-demand and at scale,” stated CEO and co-founder Edward Mehr.

“With Lockheed Martin’s investment, we can accelerate development of our sheet metal Roboforming to better serve the need of the defense sector and give the United States a competitive advantage in speed of development for national security and defense products.”

“We aim to operationalize and scale solutions with speed and effectiveness so the U.S. and our allies can stay ahead of emerging threats,” stated Lockheed Martin Ventures’ Chris Moran. “We are excited to work with Machina Labs in bringing their advanced and agile manufacturing platform to our customers.”

Latest from News

GE Aerospace
Hasan Hüseyin Yücel
U.S. Dept. of Defense