For high-efficiency space delivery company Launcher, cost control is its top priority.
An increasing number of government and private organizations aspire to launch their own payloads in space to optimize communication, navigation, search, remote sensing, or weather information, to name a few. Their most significant obstacle in satellite deployment is cost.
Launcher, a startup rocket and spacecraft company, is successfully developing the world’s most efficient rockets and transfer vehicles to deliver small satellites to orbit. Orbiter, its satellite transfer vehicle, and platform, gives government and private enterprises the ability to launch via large rideshare rockets, then customizes the orbit to meet exact needs. Orbiter can also serve as a satellite bus, integrating payloads and providing them power, propulsion, telemetry, communications, etc. Orbiter represents the most cost-efficient last mile in satellite delivery, currently delivering payloads at 1/10 the cost of dedicated launches. Its mission: drive the costs even lower.
Earlier this year, Head of Manufacturing Tim Berry assessed the factory operations and recognized the need for operational software to support Launcher’s goal of being the low-priced leader in space delivery. “Since moving into this location in 2021, we stood up extensive manufacturing capabilities, but were in the MES Stone Age before and thus we needed the software to be as awesome as the tools and talent we grew,” explained Berry. He explained that the team tediously tracked revisions and processes, using only a collection of disparate tools unable to communicate with one another.
Launcher chose ION after researching multiple options in the marketplace. As a government contractor, any SaaS that wasn’t ITAR Compliant was a non-starter. The rest of the choices lacked one feature or another, while ION ticked all the boxes. “First Resonance has a background in manufacturing, and it shows. After people tried ION, they were sold. It’s intuitive and easy to navigate around. It wasn’t a hard sell,” shared Berry.
“We were onboarded and using ION in a couple of weeks,” noted Berry. He added that other solutions would have taken months for implementation.
According to Berry, Launcher uses ION for all its manufacturing and engineering operations, as well as many supply chain functions. “It’s the glue that ties everything together across the factory,” explained Berry, who added, “ION brings inventory and supply chain together into manufacturing, carrying track and trace all the way through from raw material to final product.”
Launcher uses ION to:
According to Berry, ION helps Launcher save time, money, and resources. The Head of Manufacturing boiled down ION’s impact to 7 specific areas:
The Part Library. Berry added that they’re looking forward to the Document and Specs library, as outlined on the ION Roadmap.
“ION takes things typically done in multiple software executions and combines them into a single software. It’s great for any application software manager, so you don’t have a million pieces of software to work with. It’s all-encompassing. It forms the brain of your factory operating system. It gives you everything you need to make and purchase things,” summarized Head of Manufacturing, Tim Berry.