Artificial intelligence is the technology to transcend  them all. It is set to transform design, manufacturing and after-market phases through the entire product life-cycle.

SwissCognitiveThe time is right for manufacturing leaders to commit to AI beyond pilots and proof of concepts, and take full advantage of its promise to revolutionise their people, processes and machines.

Eight out of ten (84%) senior manufacturing executives believe that digital technologies like artificial intelligence will drive innovation in design development and manufacturing processes, according to The Manufacturer’s Annual Manufacturing Report 2019.

It is clear that business leaders know the value of artificial intelligence, but are they moving fast enough to introduce it?

This formed the core of the latest in The Manufacturer Director’s Forum series of events. First, a group of manufacturing executives toured Factory 2050 — part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield — before sitting down over dinner, co-hosted with IBM, to discuss the issue in-depth.

The executives, representing a broad cross-section of businesses, spent the evening discussing AI use cases, what they had seen at Factory 2050, and the possible applications of artificial intelligence in their businesses.

Sharpening the manufacturing edge with AI

The evening kicked off with Henry Anson, Managing Director of Hennik Group – publishers of The Manufacturer , discussing the importance of Factory 2050, a centre that produces the answers to many of the manufacturing sector’s problems.

“It is a hub for cutting-edge innovation, and from the tour today it is clear that there are many opportunities artificial intelligence can offer the manufacturing industry.”

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From retrofitted legacy equipment with sensors and advanced software to match 21st century manufacturing demands, to precise visual recognition tools that could aid medical professionals, Factory 2050 is a showcase which proves Industry 4.0 (and beyond) can be accessed by businesses of all sizes.

Sam Turner, CTO at the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, of which the AMRC is a part, continued the conversation by adding, “The integration of artificial intelligence into manufacturing will continue to accelerate. I think we will see a bigger role for AI in manufacturing design and in getting greater insights from the products already in operation.

“This is crucial in terms of product quality and in design stages. The first question to ask now is how accessible is AI to businesses like yours, and how accessible are the things you have seen today at Factory 2050?”[…]

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