How AI is Proving as a Game Changer in Manufacturing – Use Cases and Examples

Sudeep Srivastava June 20, 2024
ai in manufacturing

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry with its transformative capabilities. Major manufacturing businesses are leveraging the power of AI to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and productivity across various processes.

The application of AI in manufacturing encompasses a wide range of use cases, such as predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, quality control, and demand forecasting, offering a transformative approach to traditional processes. For manufacturers, embracing AI now represents a strategic move towards modernizing operations and staying ahead in a competitive landscape.

According to a Deloitte survey, manufacturing stands out as the foremost industry in terms of data generation. This indicates a significant volume of data being generated within the manufacturing sector, showcasing the industry’s substantial impact on the data landscape. Manufacturers must adopt AI to analyze this humongous amount of data generated in the sector.

Manufacturing Industry Data

Also, as per a recent survey conducted by VentureBeat, it has been reported that 26% of organizations are now actively utilizing generative AI to improve their decision-making processes. Furthermore, 66% of manufacturers incorporating AI into their daily operations report a growing dependence on this transformative technology, highlighting an accelerating trend toward AI adoption in the manufacturing sector.

In this blog, we will delve into various use cases and examples showing how the merger of artificial intelligence and manufacturing improves efficiency and ushers in an era of smart manufacturing. We will also study the impact of AI in the manufacturing industry and understand how it empowers businesses to scale. Let’s take a quick dive together. 

Reap the benefits of AI in manufacturing with our experts

The Impact of AI on the Manufacturing Industry

AI in the manufacturing industry plays a key role in improving productivity, efficiency, and decision-making processes. AI-driven predictive maintenance is used in production to optimize maintenance schedules and minimize downtime by analyzing equipment data to anticipate possible faults. 

Supply chain management is made more efficient by machine learning algorithms, which estimate demand, control inventory, and simplify logistics. Robotics with AI enables automation on assembly lines, enhancing accuracy and speed while adapting to changing production demands.

AI-powered QC systems find flaws more accurately, guaranteeing consistency in the final product. It is also used in smart manufacturing to monitor processes in real-time and make immediate adjustments to maximize efficiency and reduce waste. 

AI on the Manufacturing Industry

As per a study by PwC, Reinforcement Learning (a subset of AI) is capable of optimizing electronic device production by dynamically adjusting machine parameters in smart manufacturing. Through continuous learning and adaptation, the system maximizes output, minimizes defects, and enhances resource utilization, leading to heightened profitability and a competitive edge.

You may like reading: Industry 5.0 in Manufacturing: Revolutionizing Production Processes

Overall, AI changes the manufacturing environment by fostering innovation, cutting expenses, and improving overall operational performance. To better understand the importance of AI for the manufacturing industry, let’s study its popular use cases with real-life examples. 

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing the Manufacturing Space – Use Cases and Examples 

The integration of AI in manufacturing is driving a paradigm shift, propelling the industry towards unprecedented advancements and efficiencies. Here are the top 12 AI use cases in manufacturing with real-life examples. 

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing the Manufacturing Space – Use Cases and Examples

1. Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management plays a crucial role in the manufacturing industry, and artificial intelligence has emerged as a game changer in this field. By harnessing the power of AI solutions for manufacturing, companies are revolutionizing their supply chain processes and achieving significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

AI in the supply chain enables leveraging predictive analytics, optimizing inventory management, enhancing demand forecasting, and streamlining logistics. ML algorithms can analyze historical data, identify patterns, and accurately predict demand fluctuations. For instance, an automotive parts manufacturer can use ML models to forecast demand for spare parts, allowing them to optimize inventory levels and reduce costs.

Walmart, the globally renowned retail giant, heavily uses artificial intelligence in supply chain management to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. The massive retail chain uses machine learning algorithms to forecast customer demand, evaluate previous sales data, and manage inventory levels. Using AI-driven demand forecasting, Walmart guarantees product availability, minimizes stockouts, and saves money on surplus inventory. 

Furthermore, the business optimizes logistics with AI-powered routing algorithms, enabling faster and more economical delivery. In the fiercely competitive retail sector, Walmart’s utilization of AI into supply chain operations exemplifies how cutting-edge technologies enhance decision-making, responsiveness, and overall supply chain resilience.

Also Read- AI in Retail – How Artificial Intelligence is Improving the Retail Shopping Experiences

2. Cobots 

Cobots, or collaborative robots, are essential to AI-driven manufacturing because they increase productivity by collaborating with human operators. Cobots are used at fulfillment centers to help in picking and packing. These cobots work in unison with human workers, navigating intricate areas and identifying objects with the help of AI systems.

AI-powered cobots in manufacturing

For instance, Amazon’s cobots use machine learning to expedite order fulfillment, streamline logistics, and improve operations. These AI-powered robots can perform complex tasks precisely and adaptably. Cobots can handle intricate assembly processes and quality control inspections and seamlessly collaborate with human workers. This proactive approach minimizes downtime, reduces maintenance costs, and ensures optimal equipment performance. 

This collaborative strategy is an excellent example of how cobots and AI work together to create a more productive and agile production environment where human-machine coordination is key to operational excellence.

3. Management

Artificial intelligence is also revolutionizing the warehouse management sector of manufacturing. The advent of AI-powered manufacturing solutions and machine learning in manufacturing has transformed the way warehouses operate, leading to improved efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings.

One significant AI manufacturing use case for warehouses is inventory management. AI algorithms can analyze historical sales data, current stock levels, and market trends to predict demand patterns accurately. This enables warehouses to optimize their inventory levels, reducing carrying costs while ensuring product availability. 

For instance, BMW employs AI-driven automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in their manufacturing warehouses to streamline intralogistics operations. These AGVs follow predetermined paths, automating the transportation of supplies and finished products, thereby enhancing inventory management and visibility for the company.

The integration of AI in the manufacturing market has brought significant advancements to warehouse management. From inventory optimization to streamlined order fulfillment, AI-powered manufacturing and ML in manufacturing solutions are transforming warehouses, making them more efficient and cost-effective.

4. Assembly Line Optimization

AI is used in assembly line optimization to improve production processes’ accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility. By analyzing past performance metrics and real-time sensor data, machine learning algorithms improve workflow, reduce downtime, and enable predictive maintenance. To ensure product quality, AI-driven computer vision systems can identify flaws or anomalies. 

By modifying production parameters in response to variations in demand, intelligent automation lowers waste and improves resource utilization. AI turns assembly lines into data-driven, flexible environments through constant learning and adaptation, eventually boosting output, lowering expenses, and upholding high standards in manufacturing processes.

Volkswagen is a prominent example of a business using artificial intelligence in the manufacturing 5.0 industry to optimize assembly lines. They improve the effectiveness and caliber of their production operations by utilizing AI-driven solutions. Volkswagen analyzes sensor data from the assembly line using machine learning algorithms to forecast maintenance requirements and streamline operations. 

5. Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance has emerged as a game changer in the manufacturing industry, owing to the application of artificial intelligence. By leveraging advanced predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms, AI in the manufacturing industry enables companies to proactively monitor and predict equipment failures, minimizing downtime and optimizing maintenance schedules. 

One key concept in predictive maintenance is the digital twin. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset that captures real-time data and simulates its behavior in a virtual environment. By connecting the digital twin with sensor data from the equipment, AI for the manufacturing industry can analyze patterns, identify anomalies, and predict potential failures.

One of the best examples of AI-powered predictive maintenance in manufacturing is the application of digital twin technology in the Ford factory. For each vehicle model it makes, Ford creates different digital twins. Every twin deals with a distinct production area, from concept to build to operation. They also use digital models for manufacturing procedures, production facilities, and customer experience. The digital twin of their manufacturing facilities can precisely identify energy losses and point out places where energy can be saved, and overall production line performance can be increased.

AI in the manufacturing industry is proving to be a game changer in predictive maintenance. By utilizing digital twins and advanced analytics, companies can harness the power of data to predict equipment failures, optimize maintenance schedules, and ultimately enhance operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

6. New Product Development

The development of new products in the manufacturing industry has witnessed a significant transformation with the advent of AI. The integration of AI in the manufacturing industry has brought about innovative approaches and streamlined processes that are revolutionizing the way companies create and introduce new products to the market.

One of the key benefits of artificial intelligence in manufacturing for new product development is the ability to analyze vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently. Manufacturers can gather insights from market trends, customer preferences, and competitor analysis by leveraging machine learning algorithms. This empowers them to make data-driven decisions and design products that align with market demands.

For example, by leveraging the power of machine learning in manufacturing, semiconductor companies can identify component failures, predict potential issues in new designs, and propose optimal layouts to enhance yield in IC design. 

Generative design software for new product development is one of the major examples of AI in manufacturing. It employs generative AI to accelerate the overall design iteration process, making way for optimized and innovative product designs. This application of AI significantly speeds up the creation of new products by allowing for rapid exploration of design alternatives based on specific business objectives.

The semiconductor industry also showcases the impact of artificial intelligence in manufacturing and production. Companies that make graphics processing units (GPUs) heavily utilize AI in their design processes. 

NVIDIA, for instance, uses machine learning algorithms to examine large datasets on component architectures, which makes it possible to foresee issues with upcoming chip designs and identify possible failure points. 

By leveraging AI-based analytics, they speed up time to market by optimizing semiconductor layouts, cutting expenses, and increasing yields. This application demonstrates how AI supports data-driven decision-making and innovation in product development processes in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

7. Performance Optimization

Performance optimization is a critical aspect of manufacturing, and artificial intelligence is a game changer in the same. AI algorithms can identify patterns, detect anomalies, and make data-driven predictions by analyzing historical data, real-time sensor data, and other relevant variables. This enables manufacturers to optimize operations, minimize downtime, and maximize overall equipment effectiveness.

General Electric (GE) is one practical example of how artificial intelligence changes factory performance optimization. GE has integrated AI algorithms into its manufacturing processes to analyze massive volumes of data from sensors and historical records. GE can spot trends, predict probable equipment issues, and streamline processes by utilizing AI. By taking this proactive approach, GE can also reduce equipment downtime, boost overall equipment effectiveness, and improve manufacturing operations efficiency. 

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8. Quality Assurance

By leveraging the power of AI in manufacturing, companies are revolutionizing their approach to quality control, ensuring higher levels of accuracy and consistency. With AI, manufacturers can employ computer vision algorithms to analyze images or videos of products and components. These algorithms can identify defects, anomalies, and deviations from quality standards with exceptional precision, surpassing human capabilities. 

Leading electronics manufacturer Foxconn is a real-world example of a business using AI in manufacturing for quality control. Foxconn has improved quality control procedures by incorporating AI and computer vision technologies into its production lines. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems can quickly and effectively detect flaws in electronic components by examining pictures and videos, ensuring that the goods fulfill strict quality standards. AI in quality control enhances production efficiency and accuracy, allowing firms such as Foxconn to produce high-quality goods on a large scale within the quickly changing electronics sector.

Moreover, AI trends in the manufacturing sector are enhancing predictive quality assurance. By analyzing historical data and real-time sensor data, ML algorithms detect patterns and trends that may indicate potential quality issues. This enables manufacturers to proactively address potential defects and take corrective actions before they impact the final product quality.

9. Streamlined Paperwork

One impactful application of AI and ML in manufacturing is the use of robotic process automation (RPA) for paperwork automation. Traditionally, manufacturing operations involve a plethora of paperwork, such as purchase orders, invoices, and quality control reports. These manual processes are time-consuming and error-prone and can result in delays and inefficiencies.

By implementing conversational AI in manufacturing, companies can automate these paperwork processes. Intelligent bots equipped with AI capabilities can automatically extract data from documents, classify and categorize information, and enter it into appropriate systems. 

For example, Whirlpool utilizes RPA to automate its manufacturing processes, particularly on the assembly line and material handling tasks. Repetitive and rule-based tasks are carried out by RPA bots, which guarantee accuracy and productivity in the manufacturing process. Whirlpool additionally employs these bots for quality control inspections, utilizing automation to improve uniformity and accuracy in evaluating the finished product. Whirlpool uses RPA to streamline its operations and maintain a high standard of product quality by automating quality assurance procedures.

10. Demand Prediction

The use of artificial intelligence in manufacturing for demand prediction brings several benefits. Majorly, it enables companies to make data-driven decisions by analyzing historical sales data, market trends, and external factors. This helps them anticipate fluctuations in demand and adjust their production accordingly, reducing the risk of stockouts or excess inventory.

For instance, consider a fashion products manufacturer utilizing AI to predict demand for different clothing items. By analyzing data from various sources, such as social media trends, weather forecasts, and customer preferences, the AI system can provide accurate predictions, allowing the retailer to optimize inventory levels and ensure the availability of popular items.

At Appinventiv, we successfully assisted Edamama, an eCommerce platform, in implementing tailored AI-driven recommendations. By offering personalized suggestions to mothers based on their child’s gender and age, Edamama secured an impressive $20 million in funding. 

Edamama app screens

With over 100,000 expectant and new mothers benefiting from the app, it exemplifies the impact of our collaborative efforts in creating an innovative solution for the parenting community.

Edamama eCommerce app client testimonial

11. Order Management

Using artificial intelligence in order management entails optimizing and streamlining the entire order fulfillment process. AI examines past data, consumer preferences, and market trends using machine learning algorithms to estimate demand precisely. This makes it possible to process orders automatically, optimize inventories, and make dynamic pricing changes. Additionally, AI improves fraud detection, lowering the dangers connected to fraudulent orders. 

AI solutions in manufacturing increase the overall effectiveness of order management systems, speed up decision-making, and guarantee a more responsive and customer-centric approach to order fulfillment for companies across various industries by automating repetitive operations and delivering data-driven insights.

The IBM Watson Order Optimizer is one practical application of AI in order management. Using AI/ML algorithms, IBM’s technology solution analyzes past order data, customer behavior, and other external factors. The system optimizes order fulfillment processes by leveraging these insights, dynamically adjusting inventory levels, and recommending efficient order routing strategies. This helps companies lower expenses, increase client satisfaction, and improve order management efficiency. 

The IBM Watson Order Optimizer showcases the transformative potential of integrating artificial intelligence and manufacturing, optimizing intricate order fulfillment processes for enhanced supply chain responsiveness and more informed decision-making.

12. Connected Factories

Connected factories are prime examples of how artificial intelligence can be incorporated into production processes to build intelligent, networked ecosystems. Leveraging artificial intelligence in manufacturing helps evaluate real-time data from machinery, anticipate maintenance requirements, streamline operations, and reduce downtime using IoT sensors. 

This networked system facilitates effective machine-to-machine communication, allowing for quick modifications to production schedules in response to changes in demand. Predictive analytics enhance decision-making, ensuring seamless operations. 

Ultimately, AI-driven linked factories lower costs, increase overall operational efficiency, and boost productivity by building data-driven, adaptive manufacturing ecosystems that adjust quickly to changing circumstances.

For instance, a notable example of a business leveraging AI-based connected factories is General Electric (GE). The firm uses its Predix platform to integrate artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things (IoT) in their manufacturing. 

This system allows GE to keep an eye on equipment health, predict when machines need fixing, and make their production lines run smoother. Through data analysis and machine learning, the Predix platform helps GE cut down on downtime and boost efficiency in their factories.

How Appinventiv’s Custom AI Solutions Can Help You Achieve Manufacturing Excellence

The myriad artificial intelligence applications in manufacturing, as discussed throughout the blog, have highlighted AI’s significant role in revolutionizing various aspects of the sector. From supply chain management to predictive maintenance, integrating AI in manufacturing processes has significantly improved efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

To realize the full impact of AI in manufacturing, you will need the support of expert artificial intelligence development services. Appinventiv’s expertise in developing cutting-edge AI and ML products specifically tailored for manufacturing businesses has positioned the company as a leader in the industry. 

For instance, our client, a global manufacturer of heavy construction and mining equipment, faced challenges with a decentralized supply chain, resulting in increased transportation costs and manual data resolution. To address this, we developed a data-driven logistics and supply chain management system using AI-powered Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and analytics. The RPA bots automated manual processes, resolving errors and enhancing supply chain visibility by 60%, ultimately improving operational efficiency by 30%.

As the manufacturing landscape continues to evolve, Appinventiv continues to drive innovation and create custom AI/ML solutions that redefine industry standards. By collaborating with our IT consulting services team, manufacturing enterprises can embrace the full potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning, transform their operations, and thrive in the dynamic and competitive business environment.

FAQs

Q.  How is AI used in manufacturing?

A. AI is helping the manufacturing industry by improving efficiency, reducing costs, enhancing product quality, optimizing inventory management, and predicting maintenance needs. The technology also assists enterprises with data-driven decision-making, driving innovation and productivity across the entire manufacturing lifecycle. Connect with a leading manufacturing IT services & solutions provider like Appinventiv to discuss your AI-powered manufacturing project idea today.

Q. Can AI improve product quality and reduce defects in manufacturing?

A. AI enhances product quality and reduces defects in manufacturing through data analysis, anomaly detection, and predictive maintenance, ensuring consistent standards and minimizing waste.

Q. Is AI the future of manufacturing?

A. The market for artificial intelligence in manufacturing was pegged at $2.3 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $16.3 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 47.9% over this period. This data depicts the promising future of AI in manufacturing and how it is the right time for businesses to invest in the technology to gain significant business results. Artificial intelligence in the manufacturing market is all set to unlock efficiency, innovation, and competitiveness in the modern manufacturing landscape.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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