Using cameras to automatically inspect manufactured electronics

Louis Stone, Reporter

August 3, 2020

1 Min Read

Using cameras to automatically inspect manufactured electronics

Manufacturing software developer Instrumental has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round.

The company uses artificial intelligence to ingest data from cameras set up alongside electronics manufacturing lines. The platform is taught what the products should look like during the manufacturing process, and spots anomalies using local or cloud processing.

The investment was led by Canaan, with participation from Eclipse Ventures, Root Ventures, Stanford StartX Fund, and First Round Capital.

Hunting for errors

The software from Instrumental allows for virtual teardowns of products, which it said should improve quality control.

"Instrumental's goal is to close the loop between hardware design and engineering teams and what's happening on the factory floor by giving teams a way to discover, analyze, and fix issues – from anywhere in the world," Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, Instrumental founder and CEO, said.

"As a product design lead at Apple, a system like Instrumental would have saved me countless hours and saved the company many millions of dollars."

Shedletsky said that electronics manufacturing has been a "reactive industry that depends on a lot of luck and heroics to make product launches happen," with an estimated $1 trillion wasted worldwide due to mistakes in manufacturing.

Instrumental’s customers include Motorola Mobility, Axon, P2i, and Meraki.

“Manufacturing is not as automated as people think it is, and this lack of automation results in a large amount of economic waste due to scrapping of defective products, product returns, and brand damage,” Canaan partner Hrach Simonian said.

“As labor shortages and customer quality expectations grow, these problems aren't going anywhere.”

About the Author(s)

Louis Stone


Louis Stone is a freelance reporter covering artificial intelligence, surveillance tech, and international trade issues.

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