The rise of the machines

AI powering manufacturing advancement

In the UK, manufacturing output is higher now than it was 30 years ago and companies want to work more efficiently to use less energy so that their operations are more profitable and more environmentally sustainable. One way to do this is by bringing AI (artificial intelligence) onto the shop floor.

How is AI going to make such a difference? According to The Manufacturer, it's going to connect with IOT (Internet of Things) devices, to create 'smart machines'. This will, in time, enable the machines to not just work more efficiently on the tasks they are programmed for, but also adapt to continuously changing tasks and learn from it.

AI can be applied to challenges in quality and productivity, and in the energy industry it can play a role in demand response. Benefits can include greater machine availability, through predictive maintenance and identification of production hold-ups, quality issues and energy optimisations.

Manufacturing AI at work

With a smart factory run by computers comes increased security risks and many UK manufacturers have already been victims of cyber attacks, which can cause disruption ranging from a couple of hours downtime to serious financial loss.

To address this side of the AI revolution in manufacturing, Microsoft has just announced major improvements to its cloud computing system specifically for manufacturers using IOT factories to improve profits and environmental performance.

Another way AI can help transform manufacturing is through generative design, which uses cloud computing to identify better ways of creating things so they use fewer materials and energy. It's already being used in many industries to transform the manufacture of aircraft, vehicles and tools.

Our new Optimum Manufacturing service, which is powered by Sight Machine, is helping manufacturers to optimise their business by connecting energy, building and process data to solve manufacturing use cases, be it energy and carbon reduction, increased throughput and quality or reduced waste, to drive profitability and sustainability across their plants.

Sight Machine's IOT-enabled digital manufacturing platform combines AI, machine learning and advanced analytics to identify ways to save energy and increase efficiency.

So it's safe to say that the new industrial revolution is underway, and this one will be driven by AI to help improve the impact that manufacturing has on the natural world.