4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Manufacturing Industry
Written by
Anand Ethiraj

The C-suite executives of manufacturing industry are under immense pressure to innovate and find new streams of revenue as unplanned downtime, labour costs and other conventional processes are killing the productivity and growth.

If you are a CEO or a CIO of a manufacturing or a processing company yet to decide on investing in Artificial Intelligence – wondering what would be the RoI – you are not alone.

However, it’s time now to invest in this next-gen technology as it can bring a plethora of benefits to the industry at reduced costs.

Today, top level executives of manufacturing industry have started to leverage the benefits of AI to improve productivity, growth. From achieving significant cuts in downtime to generating better-designed products and improving the safety of employees, AI is truly evolving manufacturing.

In a Forbes Insights Survey on artificial intelligence, 44% of respondents from the automotive and manufacturing sectors classified AI as “highly important” to the manufacturing function in the next five years, while almost half—49%—said it was “absolutely critical to success.”

The key is to take advantage of this trend in time to ensure that your company does not lose out to the competition. The scope of application for artificial intelligence in manufacturing is remarkably vast –from real-time maintenance of machinery to better supply chain models that allow your company to adapt to an ever-changing market.

So let us look at some of the key benefits of AI in manufacturing.

Predictive Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance of machinery is a huge expense for manufacturers and the shift from reactive to predictive maintenance has become a must for all manufacturers. By using advanced AI algorithms and artificial neural networks to formulate predictions regarding asset malfunction and briefing technicians ahead of time, AI has managed to save businesses valuable time and resources.

In addition, predictive maintenance has helped extend the life of machines and has resulted in an overall reduction in labor costs.

Generative Design

With a marked rise in consumerism, manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand for increased customization and product quality. Enter generative design – a process where designers can now input various parameters like material types, available production methods, budget limitations and time constraints into an AI algorithm referred to as generative design software to get a list of possible configurations. The algorithm also uses Machine Learning to test the possible configurations in order to hone in the best options.

The main advantage of the generative design process is the fact that it eliminates human bias and tests design options in a variety of manufacturing scenarios to ensure that performance demands are met adequately.

Optimizing Supply Chain

Artificial intelligence algorithms can also help optimize manufacturing supply chains by stimulating market demand ahead of time.

By taking a variety of parameters into account like location, weather patterns, and socioeconomic conditions, AI algorithms can forecast market demand accurately that helps companies optimize their go-to-market strategies well in advance.

Computer Vision

Machine Learning algorithms today can detect minute defects, which are well beyond the resolution of the human eye, and send alerts in advance to the machine as well as technicians.

These are just some of the ways in which AI is transforming manufacturing and there is no question regarding the fact that AI is key to staying relevant in today’s competitive market.

According to the Forbes survey, more than half of the participating companies in the automotive and manufacturing sectors plan to increase their AI spending by up to 10%. By not digitalizing their manufacturing process, companies will incur greater costs and lose market share to the competition.

Planning to transform your existing manufacturing process with AI and don’t know how to get started?