arculus, the German modular production platform, has closed a €16 million Series A round led by Atomico with participation from Visionaries Club and previous investors La Famiglia. The company will use the investment to strengthen product development, broaden its customer base and prepare for a global rollout.
“Given the complexity, customization, and faster innovation cycles involved in manufacturing today, the one-dimensional assembly line of the 20th century does not serve the industry’s requirements. Manufacturers must switch to modular production methods,” commented Siraj Khaliq, a partner at Atomico who will join the startup’s board.
Instead of a single line with a conveyor belt, a factory enabled with arculus is made up of sections where individual tasks are performed. Autonomous mobile robots, called arculees, move objects between these modules based on which stations are free at that moment, guided by real-time software. The Bavarian company claims it increases worker productivity by 30 percent and reduces space consumption by 20 percent.
“With modular production we can now ensure optimal productivity for our customers, whatever the volume or mix,” explaines CEO Fabian Rusitschka. “This technological shift in manufacturing, from linear to bespoke, has been long overdue but for manufacturers looking ahead at the coming decades of shifting consumer buying behaviours, it is mission critical to survival.”
Since its start in Ingolstadt in 2016, arculus has worked with companies in a range of industries, such as Siemens in robotics, Viessmann in logistics and Audi in automotive. The company aims to expand its reach, “from aerospace to automotive, computer hardware to consumer electronics” by 2025.
Investments prior to this Series A included backing from some of Germany’s entrepreneurs, including Hakan Koc (founder of Auto 1), Johannes Reck (founder of GetYourGuide), Valentin Stalf (founder of N26) and the founders of Flixbus.
Image taken from arculus website