Company successfully raises €1.1m to automate off-site construction

A company specialising in construction automation has successfully raised over €1.1 million in seed funding to support its goal of bringing its technology to the off-site manufacturing sector.

Eva Magnisali Eva Magnisali, founder and chief executive of DFL (Photo: DataForm Labs)

DataForm Lab (DFL) has concluded a €1.1 million seed funding round, which was led by Marathon Venture Capital.

The company states that this investment will expedite its efforts to unlock capacity and investment in off-site construction by using its software platform.

DataForm emphasises that integrating automation in off-site construction is crucial for overcoming the challenge of limited capacity.

However, despite its potential to enhance capacity and efficiency, automation is still underutilized in many advanced off-site manufacturing facilities.

The company adds that work remains predominantly manual, and the process of translating designs into production information is lengthy.

The underlying reasons why happen to be quite consistent across the industry. To begin with, every building is different, and interpreting its design to shop floor terms remains an “arduous process”, the company says.

Moreover, production planning is said to remain an “afterthought”, with legacy processes accumulating complexity and switching costs. Most importantly, design and manufacturing are usually disconnected, leading to significant efficiency losses.

DFL’s software platform is said to be unique in its ability to link design and manufacturing for off-site construction. The platform enables manufacturers to automatically configure projects, instantly translate designs into production drawings and machine code, and simulate and optimise factory operations through dynamic scheduling.

Eva Magnisali, founder and chief executive of DFL, said, “We are here to challenge the current industry perceptions about digitalisation and automation. Our mission is to increase capacity in construction by optimising the manufacturing performance of off-site factories. Once the day-to-day design-to-manufacturing workflows are automated, the integration of manufacturing automation technologies becomes the obvious, de-risked next step.”

DFL is already collaborating with off-site manufacturers in the UK and Nordics. The company claims that its platform is “material and sector agnostic,” and is utilized by manufacturers of 3D and 2D timber and steel systems to effectively complete housing, commercial, educational, and hospitality projects.

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