A look into the future of manufacturing shows how industrial companies can increase efficiency, product quality and sales by linking artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
When it comes to combining artificial intelligence and IoT, the industry’s focus so far has clearly been on predictive maintenance. “A mistake,” Dr. Christian Liedtke, Head of Strategic Alliances at Kuka, is convinced. Because, as the expert made clear at the start of the virtual discussion round: “If companies focus exclusively on predictive maintenance, they will only achieve better availability of a single machine that shouldn’t actually fail anyway.” What end users really care about is generating more revenue. “For this to happen, however, everyone involved in the process must work together better and individual processes must mesh seamlessly.
With Artificial Intelligence of Things to smart production
One approach that enables such holistic optimization of manufacturing is the linking of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to create an “Artificial Intelligence of Things” (AIoT), as launched by Kuka subsidiary Device Insight and AI specialist Sentian. The goal is to continuously reduce deviations from the optimum within a manufacturing process and to automate the improvements. As the first use cases of AIoT show, there is enormous potential to increase the quality of the goods produced and the overall yield, especially with fine adjustments in industrial production. According to McKinsey, this will make it possible to increase efficiency by up to 30 percent.
The key, then, is to synchronize AI and IoT technologies.
If you think of AI as the brain of Industry 4.0, then the Internet of Things works like the nervous system in the body of a factory, is how Martin Dimmler, Business Development and Solutions Lead Cloud; AI at Device Insight describes it. “Only when both systems work together, meaning well-prepared big data applied to cutting-edge machine learning methods, can the full potential of AIoT be realized.” “In ten to 15 years, artificial intelligence will be in every production process.” That’s why IoT pioneer Device Insight has teamed up with Swedish AI specialist Sentian. Together, they accompany companies on their way to intelligent production – away from individual solutions and selective improvements, such as those possible with predictive maintenance, towards a holistically optimized smart factory.
“In ten to 15 years, artificial intelligence will be in every production process,” says Martin Rugfelt, CEO of Sentian. In fact, AI is already important to many industrial companies. “It can reduce energy consumption in the chemical industry, reduce waste in the pharmaceutical industry, manage fluctuations in paper production or optimize production lines in discrete manufacturing.” For example, the German manufacturer of automation and sensor technology Jumo was able to increase the share of its sensors in the highest quality class by eight percent.
Kuka is an internationally active automation group with sales of around € 3.2 billion and around 14,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Augsburg. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, Kuka offers customers everything from a single source: from robots to cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, general industry, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare.
About Device Insight:
Device Insight GmbH, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Munich, is an IoT specialist that assists companies with digitalization in the environment of Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence. Based on a flexible IoT framework, Device Insight combines ready-made IoT building blocks with individual applications for customized IoT services. For this purpose, system integration on the basis of common cloud providers and development are combined to form custom-fit and at the same time fast and scalable solutions. Device Insight supports the global networking of machines, vehicles, plants and devices and provides applications in the field of data acquisition, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, machine learning, industrial analytics and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things). In more than 15 countries, Device Insight works with large enterprises and medium-sized customers from various industries such as mechanical and plant engineering, HVAC, commercial vehicles, vending, transportation, energy and the connected home environment. The service ranges from business case analysis to implementation and secure IT operation. The company has been named “Internet of Things (I4.0) Leader Germany” in the ISG Provider Lens on several occasions. Since 2019, Device Insight has been a subsidiary of the automation specialist Kuka AG.
Sentian.ai is an Industrial AI company that provides solutions and services to both the manufacturing and process industries. Sentian.ai has an extensive research program in applied AI, enabling it to deliver cutting-edge products that give its customers a competitive edge. Sentian.ai offers three products: Icon (Intelligent Control Optimization), which optimizes existing control and automation solutions with AI; Predictive Maintenance for large-scale deployments in distributed environments as well as in manufacturing, from cloud to edge; and its world-leading non-linear solution approach for production planning optimization, supply chain optimization, and workforce planning. Sentian.ai has received multiple awards for its leading AI technology and solutions.