industrial automation

How AI is Used in Manufacturing

Since the third industrial revolution in the mid-20th century, industrial automation has grown in leaps and bounds to where we are today. Over the last 5 or so years, especially, we’ve gone through a fourth industrial revolution of integrating machinery with the cloud for even better automation and analytics. Now, with the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI), the industrial sphere must find ways to integrate AI with the technology of the fourth industrial revolution.

What is Industrial Automation?

Industrial automation uses computers and robots to handle different processes in manufacturing. The second half of the 20th century was when industrial automation took off and increased the productivity and accuracy of manufacturing. Automated machines can run 24/7 with less human labor and lower error rates, saving companies time and money. In the 21st century, we’ve integrated these automated machines with the internet, allowing for cloud computing and even greater efficiency.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computing algorithm that mimics human problem-solving and decision-making skills to learn from the data it is fed. It’s not a true intellect, in the sense that it could generate ideas on its own, but it instead analyzes data and recognizes patterns in the data to formulate an answer or decision to a specific question or problem.

How AI is Improving Industrial Automation?

Thanks to the integration of the internet with the assembly line, we can feed data gathered directly from the line into artificial intelligence algorithms.

Detect Defects or Other Errors

Artificial intelligence can monitor your parts and products as they’re being produced and assembled. You can program an AI algorithm with your designs and acceptable manufacturing tolerances to allow the AI to learn to detect defects in your parts or other errors. Then you can automatically remove those parts or even stop the assembly line to fix any problems with your machines causing these defects.

Monitor Equipment for Maintenance Needs

Machinery needs regular maintenance to keep running efficiently. If you’re reliant on human operators to notice when a part needs to be replaced or fixed, it might be too late. Artificial intelligence can be programmed to monitor your equipment and automatically schedule maintenance when it’s needed, reducing your downtime.

Production Planning & Scheduling

Artificial intelligence can also help you optimize your work off of the factory floor, too. Using predictive modeling, AI can optimize your schedule of jobs and help with materials planning, to ensure everything within the supply chain runs smoothly. AI can also forecast demand for your products even earlier in planning.

Once the work begins, AI can assist the production line in real-time. AI can create the work orders, distribute the workload efficiently, and make adjustments to the workload as conditions change, like when machines need maintenance.

Make Edge Metalworks a Part of Your Supply Chain

Are you looking for a parts cutting partner to assist your production line? Contact Edge Metalworks today. We use the latest industrial automation technology to provide you with quality parts with a quick turnaround time.