Supercharging the World of Manufacturing

Supercharging the World of Manufacturing

Artificial intelligence has the power to transform manufacturing efficiency. From robotics and automation to IoT sensors and wearable technologies, artificial intelligence technologies drive efficiency in the manufacturing industry. 

Advanced data analysis is one of the most prevalent applications of artificial intelligence when maximizing efficiency. Artificial intelligence has the ability to pull insights from data in a matter of seconds, when it would take a human hours to produce the same results. Take for example, the tedious task of visually inspecting and producing reports for every piece of equipment on the manufacturing floor. Sensors infused with artificial intelligence will do it in a fraction of the time by collecting and rapidly analyzing various data points.

Another way artificial intelligence streamlines efficiencies is through automation. It can be tasked with the mundane, repetitive activities that no human enjoys. Robots and software don’t get fatigued or bored, so they will work relentlessly all day and night. Processes like stamping metal in automotive manufacturing can be automated with the use of artificially intelligent robots — take for example the Tesla facility in Fremont, California.

Many of today’s largest manufacturers are already deploying innovative artificial intelligence solutions.

Ford deploys various innovative methods of artificial intelligence in its manufacturing process. One of the most interesting examples is its use in quality assurance. Part of its quality assurance program is to ensure that the car seats are wrinkle free. To speed up the process, Ford deployed an image recognition tool to scan every single car seat and detect whether or not there are wrinkles. The tool is essentially just a camera, but equipped with networking and computing capabilities, it becomes a cyber physical system. The automation of this technology is a major help to Ford’s manufacturing efficiency.

Canon is another company utilizing artificial intelligence in its manufacturing. To maintain a high level of quality across its cameras that are manufactured, the company uses machine learning, computer vision, and predictive modeling. Various cyber physical systems inspect and analyze parts to detect defects invisible to the human eye. The systems continually learn and improve their accuracy based on workers accepting or correcting the results. Not only does this improve the product quality, but it has a big impact on Canon’s overall inspection efficiency.

Boeing has seen significant efficiency gains by turning its fastening machine into a cyber physical system. By doing so, the tool was equipped with artificial intelligence to automate drilling, sealant application, and fastener insertion. The artificial intelligence model allows the machine to predict when to turn on and how many continuous holes to work on. The upgrade was able to speed up the process by five hours in comparison to doing it manually.

Developing artificial intelligence is a cost effective way to improve efficiency in almost any manufacturing facility, whether it be in quality assurance, process automation, or inspection. Accelerating any manufacturing process is a sure fire way to reduce costs and improve overall performance.