Henkel recently announced that it has participated in the latest funding round of Fero Labs, a U.S.-based start-up aiming to optimize industrial processes by using explainable machine learning. The investment is led by the company’s HenkelX Ventures unit, together with DIVC, a Munich-based B2B tech investor. Henkel will support Fero Labs to grow its existing customer base while leveraging the potential of Industry 4.0 applications in its own production sites, as well as in joint business development with clients and suppliers.
“Fero Labs’ software offers a great opportunity to further analyze and optimize production processes on various levels and has already proven its potential: explainable machine learning can contribute to better planning, sourcing and production,” said Rahmyn Kress, Ph.D., global head of HenkelX Ventures. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Fero Labs team to jointly drive the further digital transformation of industrial manufacturing processes—within Henkel and beyond.”
By driving progress in Industry 4.0 across its production sites worldwide, Henkel wants to optimize processes to better utilize manufacturing plants, increase services for customers, and support its sustainability footprint by reducing energy and waste. Fero Labs, headquartered in New York City and with a second office in Düsseldorf, has developed a dedicated software suite called Fero that reportedly provides explainable machine learning to enhance production processes and increase efficiency while improving overall manufacturing quality. Henkel has adopted Fero in pilot projects at selected production sites and plans to further roll it out.
“We are living in an interconnected world and machines operate in increasingly interconnected processes,” said Berk Birand, CEO of Fero Labs. “At Fero Labs, our core mission is to generate profits for our partners in industry by empowering them with our explainable machine learning software. By combining our customers’ data with the latest advances in the field of data science, we support companies like Henkel leap into this next stage of industrial productivity.”