First Resonance is the startup behind the ION Factory OS, a manufacturing software solution designed to help engineering and manufacturing teams execute complex hardware assembly.
During an interview with Machine Design, Karan Talati, CEO and co-founder of First Resonance, said that U.S. manufacturers are already seeing the effects of the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act), which was passed into legislation in 2022. This economic directive was intended to curb inflation measures and is among several global strategies designed to help support domestic trade and diversify the supply chain.
“We are already seeing the early inklings of a lot of investment going into factory development here in North America and globally,” said Talati. “In fact, there was a news report that came out about Apple diversifying its supply chain and manufacturing footprint to Vietnam and India, for example.”
He said that the cost of supply chain logistics has gone up significantly and that it is forcing manufacturers to bring manufacturing closer to the area of application. “Globalization is a relatively complex topic; it has a big history,” said Talati. “We’re seeing what those early trends of a more diversified global supply chain looks like.”
Shift in Globalization Forces Nearshoring
The interplay between the IRA and CHIPs Act offers further evidence of a shift in globalization, particularly as new factories are going up, he added. “We’re seeing a shift in one of the most low-level parts of modern hardware, and that’s the microchip…We’ve seen custom chip development go on from the likes of Google, Apple and NVIDIA for the last many years.
“I think what’s going to happen is these trends are going to culminate in a much more diversified portfolio of types of hardware that people are building and therefore different types of factories and different manufacturing technologies going in to support the building of those new types of products,” Talati added.
For a concrete example, Talati pointed to the shift in energy-related projects. “There’s an increasing trend in micro nuclear reactor or small modular reactor development because nuclear technology is going from a large construction project into something that’s more manufacturable,” he explained.
The types of factories required to manufacture new reactors are also very different compared to brownfield models. “It’s going to take in a combination of additive manufacturing, composite manufacturing, new types of safety controls and automation in order to build something as complex as a as a nuclear reactor.”
Solving Workflow Problems with Better Software Solutions
Talati expressed optimism about the increasing trend in solving energy problems through the convergence of and shift in global supply chains. “I think we’re at the early part of the wave of seeing what that results in, but we’re getting those initial glimmers of what those applications can be.”
First Resonance’s software platform, he explained, allows manufacturers to connect their workflows in ways that acquire more data and empower an evolving workforce that is more programmatic. The company focuses on aviation, aerospace, defense, energy, robotics and automotive and benefits from working with companies that are “showing the industry where the puck is going” when it comes to modern manufacturing—including additive manufacturing, composite manufacturing and modern forging processes.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Karan Talati’s interview, slated for release during Machine Design’s upcoming week (March 11-15) dedicated to highlights from the design and engineering software ecosystem. (Emphasis will be on CAD/CAM/CAE.)