4 Ways AI is Transforming the Future of Manufacturing

We often cover how artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are transforming industries here on the APEX of Innovation. We’ve covered the technology’s impact on retail fulfillmentthe automotive assembly line, and how investors recognize market patterns, to name a few.

Below we look at AI’s impact on manufacturing, including real-world use cases highlighted in a recent Tech Target article.

In an industry where efficiency applies to everything from supply chains to production lines to customer delivery, AI is the key to manufacturing’s future. See below for just a few examples of AI already in use in manufacturing today:

  • Supply Chain Optimization: AI is helping automate and speed up the normally manual and tedious process of lining up all the orders, purchases, and materials needed for production. By augmenting the process with AI, organizations are able to manage their supply chains more efficiently. This includes better tracking of parts and products from the manufacturing floor through to the delivery of a final product to a customer. 
  • Predicting Demand: Innovative manufacturers are using AI and machine learning to analyze consumer behaviors and detect future buying patterns. The intelligence is then passed onto teams in charge of manufacturing decisions, who can then take any needed actions and increase production output.
  • Quality Assurance and Error Detection: According to the article, visual inspection tools that use AI are being deployed to find defects on production lines. Using machine vision cameras, the systems can find errors more quickly and accurately than the human eye, especially on smaller products and devices. 
  • Lights-Out Factories: While still rare, lights-out manufacturing operations rely almost solely on AI and robotics, requiring minimal human intervention. This enables companies to reduce costs by eliminating the things humans require that robots typically do not, such as lighting and other environmental controls.

For more examples, see this case study on TIBCO customer Hemlock Semiconductor, which improved supplier performance and energy efficiency using AI and big data analytics.