The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) may sound like the plotline from an overdramatic science fiction film, but the reality is that AI, via machine learning, is making its way into every area of our lives.
Manufacturers are realizing the benefits of using AI in production, throughput, and even sales. In fact, an estimated 66% of manufacturers now rely on AI in their day-to-day operations, and adoption is only increasing. Read on for six ways AI is taking manufacturing to the next level.
Virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa are already in our homes, but how exactly is AI improving processes? Here are the benefits manufacturers can expect from the technology:
For many manufacturers, quality control and inspections are time-consuming tasks that can slow down production or even bring it to a halt if a problem is not resolved quickly.
Many companies, like General Motors, are using AI to inspect products and identify inconsistencies in the production line, which can lead to quality control issues. The cameras utilized in these production lines use visual recognition software to look for and identify problems with the products so they can catch them early.
AI has become a huge help with projections and statistical analysis, able to sift through data faster than sales or marketing can make their own forecasts. This can save a lot of time and money throughout the entire sales process. Without AI, sales spends only 32% of their time actually selling products, while 68% of their time goes to non-revenue generating busy work.
AI can improve your bottom line by protecting your assets. If your manufacturing equipment goes down, you’re going to lose days (or even weeks and months) of productivity. AI can detect when a part or component is ready to give out or break and recommend a replacement before that happens. Preventative maintenance is much easier to schedule than having to deal with a massive breakdown. In fact, unplanned downtime can cost manufacturers $50 billion a year. Therefore, it’s clear that AI will keep your production line churning along steadily.
AI’s constraint-optimizing logic is essentially what enables configure, price, quote (CPQ) solutions to work so effectively. Manufacturers can program a configurator so that customers can only make specifications that are feasible to produce. Clients can customize a product to fit the dimensions they need, but if their dimensions exceed the parameters set by the constraint- optimizing logic, the configurator will reject the build. This same technology also allows the manufacturers to change the dimensions of their products until they find the optimal version to mass produce, saving time and money.
AI is able to streamline the most critical yet time-consuming business functions to improve overall productivity. In today’s climate of supply chain disruption, AI is especially useful at monitoring inventory, supplier lead times, and conditions that could delay delivery. This makes it easier for procurement teams to ensure there are always enough materials to fulfill orders in time. AI helps your business be proactive by anticipating and heading off problems before they occur.
Your employees are your biggest asset, and optimizing their performance is key to driving higher sales. AI simulations can highlight more efficient ways for them to work, including what changes to make to the workplace layout. Effectively optimizing space and production flow will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your investments.
Businesses need to embrace AI if they wish to stay competitive in the coming decades. Technological innovation has always been at the core of manufacturing growth, dating back to the original industrial revolution. Only the companies that adopted the latest advancements in production techniques were able to survive. Now, AI is the bedrock of the next industrial revolution.