The recent pandemic accelerated the adoption of advanced technologies in a number of industries. Manufacturers were also impacted by the pandemic and have realized the benefits of implementing AI solutions for manufacturing to not only stay in the competition but also earn revenue. As per a recent MIT survey, around 60% of manufacturers are using AI-based solutions to optimize their inventory, improve product quality, enhance visibility across the supply chain, and achieve a greater speed of doing business.
Before diving into how AI can be use to benefit manufacturing, let’s take a look at why AI is important for the manufacturing industry.
Importance of AI in the Manufacturing Industry
While people are involved heavily in every aspect of product manufacturing, there are some things that an AI or machine learning model can do better than almost any human. Analyzing large volumes of data to procure meaningful insights is what AI is all about. It can detect patterns and trends that most humans might ignore, it can predict future outcomes of complex situations based on past data and more. Since AI is not dependent on any emotions and can function autonomously, there have been a lot of use cases for it in the manufacturing industry.
Common AI Solutions for Manufacturing
Here are some of the most common use AI solutions in the manufacturing industry.
Manual and paper-base inventory management leaves a lot to be desire and is prone to errors as well. With the help of Ai based inventory management, engineers can keep an accurate track of inventory movement to and from the facility. Not only does this help in keeping optimum inventory levels and prevent any stock-out situations, but it also eliminates any error during stock keeping.
Machine learning systems have become quite advanced in performing quality checks while a product is still on the assembly line. Automatic scanners and sorters can easily identify a defective product and remove it from the system with high accuracy.
The manufacturing industry employs a lot of machines responsible for performing different tasks. AI technology can perform predictive maintenance on these machines to identify the chances of a machine failure before it actually occurs. This helps engineers in fixing the issue or reducing the overall downtime due to equipment failure.
Data analytics, machine learning, and AI have made the use of robotics possible in the manufacturing domain. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are capable of performing repetitive and mundane human tasks without too much error or time consumed. There are also Cobots that work alongside humans to perform certain tasks with high precision.
By analysing past data, employee records, machine data and more, organizations can efficiently reduce bottlenecks and optimize their business processes. For companies that are spread across different locations, keeping in sync becomes vital as it is important in achieving sustainable production levels. With the help of AI systems, managers can compare the processes of different facilities and know which factory is working more efficiently, costing less money and taking the least amount of time.
Benefits of Using AI in Manufacturing
Implementing all these use cases can bring a lot of benefits to the manufacturing company. Some of these benefits are:
- Cost Reduction: Robots don’t require a monthly salary, fixed working hours and can start giving a return on their investment from the first day itself. They reduce operational costs to a big extent.
- Continuous Production: While employees can leave after work hours, several robots can still be out there performing their duties without any human intervention.
- Safety: Accidents in the manufacturing factory are not something new. With advanced AI systems, security will get enhance a lot and workplace accidents can become a thing of the past soon.
- Decision Making: Leaders and executives do make smart decisions most of the time but they are still prone to the emotional aspect of decision making. AI systems are immune to this and can analyze past results, trends and data to come up with the best business decisions.
The manufacturing industry is one of the biggest contributing factors to a country’s GDP and growth. It gives an opportunity to a company, community or country to showcase what they are build of and earn some money in the process. AI solutions for manufacturing have emerged a lot in the past few years and have reached a stage where a majority of manufacturers are already looking at ways to expand their digital transformation efforts.
While these solutions might not be easy to implement on your own, they are worth every effort you put in. So, The ecosystem of the manufacturing industry is about to change and AI would be at the forefront of this change.