How to take steps to pandemic-proof Manufacturing with AI

What’s in store for 2020 Industrial Manufacturers as they cope with the “new reality”? Manufacturers are in dire necessity of great ideas these days. During the Coronavirus pandemic, production activity in factories has plunged because, contrary to popular beliefs, the level of automation, AI and robotics is nowhere near to guarantee operations without heavy human intervention.

It did not take long for the rhetoric around these key enabling technologies to make a 180 degrees turn, spurring the innovative enterprises in dire need to think harder about embedding more AI in their processes and machines.

And do it fast, namely before a new, massive shutdown may occur and catch us as unprepared as in March 2020.

While debunking the myth of AI and robots as enemy of factory workers, the COVID-19 economic fallout is stimulating a wave of interest – and soon adoption – of AI and automation. This need is even more acute if we factor-in that the pandemic is rapidly leading to re-shoring of manufacturing in both US and Europe. With a global industrial robotics market size projected to reach USD 73.0 billion by 2025, the indication is that manufacturers are paying attention to the right technologies.

AI, with the ability to substitute human eyes in tasks that would normally require multiple people to perform, is the low-hanging ‘technology fruit’ that can be put to work immediately. Unlike robotics and complex Industry 4.0 IoT infrastructures, AI can be as simple as a software upgrade on existing machines, lowering the time and cost barrier to adopt in many manufacturing contexts.

This talk outlines the process of adding AI and Deep Learning to Industrial Machines to streamline Visual Quality Inspections.