AI for Shop Floor – Significance, Benefits, and Use Cases
Manufacturing is considered the heart of any country. The ever-growing industry deals with a lot of data every day. Yet fail to get the maximum out of it due to lack of relevant technology. Data unused is of no use as this can cause some serious challenges.
Without data, it is hard to pick patterns, understand trends, plan for improvement and reduce costs. Every piece of data needs proper analysis to make smart decisions leading to the robust growth of a company.
With traditional and manual processes unable to meet the growing needs of manufacturers to manage data, companies have turned their eyes toward advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Cloud, Mobile Applications, etc. Of the all, AI and IoT have a lot of applications in the Manufacturing industry.
This post will walk you through AI benefits and use cases. If you’re someone considering AI for improving your manufacturing operations and efficiency, this post is exclusively for you.
Let’s discuss AI’s benefits and use cases in manufacturing, especially shop floor – which is considered as the core of the manufacturing.
What is a shop floor
In short, it is the place where the actual production happens. Shop floor involves a lot of machines, inventory, equipment and workforce to manufacture goods. Also, the process produces a lot of data too.
Shop floor challenges
A prime challenge for manufacturers on shop floor is managing the floor itself. Starting from job card allocations to machine maintenance, managing the staff, inventory, and machines is a challenge for 90% of manufacturers.
Substandard floor management leads to below-par operations, leading to declined outcomes. So manufacturers look for solutions to manage Inventory, Machine, and Staff efficiently to accelerate production.
Why AI for shop floor
Generally, manufacturers are leveraging the powerful trio of IoT, AI and Cloud to improve manufacturing operations. Of the all, AI has some unique propositions and other technologies don’t have. AI powered with Machine Learning can learn things automatically using NLP and NLU techniques to empower users with accurate insights that expedite decision-making process.
That is self-learning and processing data for the future.
The artificial intelligence in manufacturing market is projected to grow from USD 2.3 billion in 2022 to USD 16.3 billion by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 47.9% from 2022 to 2027. (Source: marketsandmarkets)
Key benefits of AI for shop floor
- Easy and seamless access to data
- Effortless equipment inspection and check-up
- Reduced downtime and improved machine maintenance costs
- Improved product quality
- Transparent process
- Improved inventory management
- Improved employee productivity and efficiency
The significance of having AI for shop floor – use cases
Accelerate shop floor operations
To achieve maximum shop floor efficiency, the workforce and machines must perform to their fullest efficiency. But what if you don’t have the right technology set or only partial data to optimize the process? It is hard to improve.
If you capture data from machines and staff manually or using traditional systems, the chances of data inaccuracy increases. Human errors and equipment malfunctions impact the overall efficiency of the shop floor operations.
To avoid this scenario, the companies can leverage AI. Incorporating advanced technology increases the process visibility and helps the staff collect accurate data from machines. The technology is also widely used in performing machine health checkups for analyzing malfunctions. The data is then processed and analyzed before storing in the Cloud.
With AI for shop floor, the companies are always powered with the right data and visibility. Instead of looking at dispersed and obsolete data, staff can improve their operations and identify machine malfunctions to enhance operational efficiency.
According to reports, manufacturers spend one-third of their revenue on managing machines. Despite performing regular inspections on machine health condition, availability, durability etc., manufacturers still face the threat of frequent machine breakdowns, failures, loss, etc., on the floor.
The reason for the problem is the lack of technology and accurate data. The data collected manually or through a partially automated system often leads to chaos and guides to wrong directions.
Frequent repairs and machine replacements involve massive costs. Also, using faulty machines for a long time can significantly impact the floor productivity. Machine failures or breakdowns can sometimes halt productivity leading to delayed production rate. All these can significantly impact the customer experience and, subsequently the bottom line of the manufacturing unit.
With the help of the technologies like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cloud and Mobile application, the manufacturers can simplify the process.
Using mobile applications helps employees to inspect machines quickly and efficiently. They have an auto checklist in the app to inspect and update details about the machine’s availability and loss.
On the other hand, Internet of things helps the staff to collect data from machines when they operate in real-time. The amassed data is fed into the AI program to analyze and pick trends. The processed data is then stored on the Cloud. The staff can now easily access the data and identify the challenges quickly.
With such an approach, identifying the faulty machines and breakdowns is faster, and the manufacturers can save much money, time, and effort. Saving the machine maintenance cost not only improves the operations but also improves the production rate significantly.
In other words, AI for shop floor helps manufacturers streamline the supply chain process by assisting them in optimizing floor operations, inventory management, and machine maintenance costs. Improve supply chain operations always lead to better outcomes.
Intelligent and successful manufacturers today have already realized AI’s impact. Many have added emerging technology to their strategy to improve results. Though AI may prove expensive, the technology’s benefits and value are massive.
If you’re a manufacturer and you don’t have complete control over operations and data, then it’s high time to invest in AI.
Most manufacturers fear investing in AI because they don’t have a defined roadmap for implementation. Partnering with a reliable AI consultant will do the job for you, if the above is your concern.
You can share all your queries and get the questions answered if you are talking to the robust and proven AI solution consultant.
Want to get started with AI for your shop floor improvement? Let’s talk.
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