Artificial intelligence is changing the rules of the game for almost every industry. As the technology stabilizes and costs drop, AI becomes more accessible for businesses, and that includes manufacturing.
Without a doubt, the manufacturing sector takes the lead in integrating artificial intelligence technology.
From dramatic improvements in unexpected downtime to improved developed products, manufacturers are applying AI-powered algorithms to data to boost employee performance, product quality, and security.
Here are the most significant ways AI is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry
Constant maintenance of production line machinery and equipment constitutes a significant cost in manufacturing, having a critical effect on the result of any investment-reliant manufacturing activity.
In this case, automated maintenance has become a crucial strategy for manufacturers, who have much to benefit from being able to accurately predict immediately the breakdown of a component, computer, or device.
Predictive maintenance uses sophisticated Artificial Intelligence algorithms, to develop hypotheses about resource failure in the context of machine learning and artificial neural systems. This enables significant reductions in costly service interruption, as well as for expanding the remaining useful life of production machines and equipment.
In situations where maintenance is necessary, professionals are informed in advance on which products need evaluation and which equipment and methods to use. This results in pre-scheduled, very oriented improvements.
Because of modern incredibly short time-to-market deadlines and an increase in product complexities, it is becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturing companies to maintain high-quality levels and conform with the quality regulations and standards. Besides, consumers want flawless products, determining manufacturers to improve their quality game while considering the damage that high defect products can do to the company and the brand.
Quality 4.0’s core principle is about aligning quality management procedures with Industry 4.0’s evolving capabilities; to help push organizations toward organizational excellence.
Quality 4.0 includes the use of AI algorithms to inform manufacturing teams about up-and-coming defects in production that can lead to quality problems. Failures can include deviations from the formulas, subtle system behavioral anomalies, raw material change, and more. Moreover, by tending to these issues early on, a high level of quality can be maintained.
Quality 4.0 helps manufacturers to obtain data about the use and efficiency of their products in the field. The data can be effective for product development teams in making both strategic and tactical technical decisions.
The collaboration between humans and robots
As more industrial robots join the manufacturing floor alongside human staff, human-robot communication will become a powerful weapon.
Innovations in AI will be extremely important, allowing robots to perform more complex tasks and to make independent decisions based on environmental data in real-time, thereby improving processes.
Human-robot collaboration is a new frontier for robotics, and the human-robot synergy will represent an important factor in the manufacturing industry for enhancing production lines in terms of performances and flexibility. This can only be done with systems that are inherently safe for human operators, intuitive to use, and easy to set up.
Generative design is changing the face of manufacturing
Using artificial intelligence (AI) software and cloud computing resources, the generative design enables engineers to generate thousands of design options by simply identifying their design problem — inputting simple parameters such as height, weight, energy, and options for material.
The suggested strategies can then be tested using machine learning, providing further insight into which designs function best. Repeat the cycle until an appropriate solution to the problem is found.
One of the key benefits of this strategy is that an AI algorithm is entirely objective. It is not limited to what a human designer would find to be a reasonable reference point. Therefore, no conclusions are taken at face value and everything is tested according to actual results, against a wide variety of fabrication situations.
Adapting to a rapidly changing world
Artificial intelligence is a central aspect of the Industry 4.0 revolution and is not restricted to the use of production floor cases. Besides, AI algorithms can be used to automate supply chains in manufacturing, helping businesses predict market changes. That gives a huge advantage to management, shifting from a reactionary mindset to a strategic one.
AI algorithms formulate predictions of market demands by searching for patterns that connect location, socioeconomic and macroeconomic factors, weather patterns, political status, consumer behavior, and more. Such knowledge is indispensable to manufacturers because it allows them to optimize staffing, inventory management, energy use, and raw material supply.
Industrial AI will keep changing the manufacturing sector
The manufacturing industry is a perfect fit for the application of artificial intelligence.
While the Industry 4.0 revolution is still in its early phases, we are already seeing significant benefits from AI. From the design cycle and manufacturing floor to the supply chain and management, AI is expected to change forever the way we produce goods and process materials.