December 5 by Aniruddh Parmar
Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) is capable of transforming business operations to maximize efficiency and productivity in an organization. This facilitates better brand positioning and ensures a higher stream of revenue. According to research conducted at Accenture, labor productivity will increase up to 40 percent if AI technologies are implemented in the organization.
To witness these positive impacts, you must be prepared to implement AI in your manufacturing operations. Once you implement digital technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and others, you convert your manufacturing facility into a smart manufacturing hub. The following 4 suggestions will help guide you down the right path.
1 – Adopt a Data-Driven Approach
When we talk about AI, we cannot ignore IoT and machine learning (ML). These technologies all work in conjunction to create a smart working environment. Successful implementation of these technologies relies on data that will be used to determine specific functioning of machines. This data can include production workflows, design & engineering data, consumer behavior data, reasoning and decision-making skills of employees, and much more.
To achieve the task of collecting data, you need to create an integrated environment consisting of machines, CRM and ERP software. The data must provide in-depth insight so that you can configure any minute aspect in the manufacturing process. The ultimate goal is to ensure overall customer satisfaction. This can be accomplished by adopting a product-centric approach while implementing AI in the manufacturing process.
2 – Preparing for Intelligent Automation
According to The Manufacturer’s Annual Manufacturing Report 2018, 92% of the senior manufacturing executives believe that Smart Factory digital technologies – like AI – ensure an increase in productivity and a smarter working environment. With the introduction of these smart technologies, the manufacturing cycle will become decentralized, shorter, and more efficient.
Once you have the data, you need to determine the right course of action to achieve intelligent automation. For example, you have to identify the ERP software, machinery, and sensors that you should invest in. Afterward, you should collaborate with the industry experts, schedule meetings with vendors, deploy a team of professionals, and so on.
Before a full-fledged implementation of applied AI, you should plan and launch a small demonstration. This will act as a testing phase for you to become fully aware of all the advantages and nuances of implementing smart technologies.
3 – Human Resource Management
When smart manufacturing begins, the roles and responsibilities of employees will change. You should analyze the shift in operations to properly prepare affected employees. This involves providing training employees to prepare them for smart manufacturing operations. You should equip them with knowledge related to data analytics, inventory management software, big data, logistics, and so on.
4 – Work on Financial Assessment
By investing $200 million in its first “Brilliant Factory” in Pune, General Electric witnessed an increase of 18 percent in equipment effectiveness and a reduction in operating costs by nearly 40% per hour. As you can see, investments in smart manufacturing can be feasible when you properly prepare and fully understand what costs are involved, and where to expect favorable returns.
Whether you implement applied AI in your manufacturing process should not be a question. How soon can you be prepared to do it, is the real question.