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The role of AI in the factory of the future

Technology Cover
Post Date: 2024-04-22, ARM

Manufacturing stands at a crossroads. One path is a widening skills crisis, caused by an aging workforce, a lack of vocational training, false career perceptions, and changing skill sets. This road ends with limited output, delayed digitization, and lost competitive advantage. Another path is to adopt a new paradigm of training driven by artificial intelligence. This path will enrich skills development and expand human potential and the workforce to power the next industrial revolution.

This skill shortage has a direct impact on productivity and output. Manufacturers are trying to produce the same amount of products with 80 percent of the workforce they used to have. Moreover, the skill level of the workforce is much lower than it was five years ago. This has had a significant impact on meeting production targets.

Equally, worrying is the fact that sending low-skilled workers increases the risk of workplace accidents,  quality issues, and violations of regulations. For example,  untrained machine operators are more likely to get injured while learning new equipment. Similarly,  technicians at a new plant may service machines incorrectly,  causing them to break down faster. Such incidents reduce morale while increasing costs due to rework, scrapping,  fines and missed deliveries.

Closing the skills gap through AI training

Ai offers a responsive and adaptable approach to capacity building for the industrial workforce. A connected front-line employee platform integrated with artificial intelligence delivers personalized, real-time guidance based on individual needs, accelerating skill acquisition. Cutting-edge generative AI technology is essential to facilitate the development and training of manufacturing skills, making it easier and better for more people to use it anytime, anywhere in their workflows.

Hunter Industries, for example,  recently implemented Augmenter's AI connected worker platform in its manufacturing operations,  revolutionizing its training approach. By moving training close to the shop floor and integrating AI guidance directly  into job tasks, the company has dramatically reduced onboarding times. In addition,  it can now evaluate the effectiveness of training programs, measure employee performance after training,  and use data insights to enhance and customize training content.

An intelligently connected workforce platform allows experts to remotely guide trainees through complex tasks.  Front-line workers can access processes through an AI assistant on the shop floor, get instant instructions,  and view microtargeted content. These platforms can also create customized learning plans for each employee based on  their role, progress, and preferred learning methods.

Once implemented, the AI-enabled front-line employee platform becomes an enduring performance support system,  with skills improving over time. Companies that take advantage of these solutions report faster onboarding of new  employees, fewer specialist calls,  and reliable closing of the skills gap among employees. Workers are trained on the production line to address their  proficiency and knowledge gaps.

On-demand delivery, personalization, and shop floor accessibility combine to create a more skilled, safer,  and more productive workforce. Ai transforms training from occasional disjointed events to a continuous capacity  building platform tailored to each employee's strengths and needs.

The future of artificial intelligence in manufacturing

The future of manufacturing lies in improving the skills of frontline workers. If you can connect these workers, you can also gain valuable data about how these workers perform. You can then use AI on a large scale to optimize work schedules, processes, and training programs based on how each employee performs after a specific training session. This demonstrates the potential of applying AI to workforce operations, rather than just automating tasks.

As Industry 5.0 unfolds, manufacturers will need AI not only to automate tasks, but also to augment human capabilities. Workers of the future will use AI as an omnipresent co-pilot - directing quality checks, optimizing workflows, answering questions and filling in knowledge gaps. With the right strategy, manufacturers can minimize disruption and maximize the benefits of human-AI collaboration to gain a competitive advantage. This includes safer workplaces, more productive and satisfied employees, and the ability to provide specialized training tailored to each worker's needs.

As business leaders look to implement AI systems into their operations, it's critical to consider the impact on employees and involve them directly in the process. There is a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding AI, but it should be positioned as a collaborator, not a threat.

If companies effectively prepare their employees to take advantage of AI tools, they can do a great job in attracting and developing talent, while also securing future operations. Manufacturers that fail to adopt human-centered AI risk falling behind competitors that are further along in AI transformation.

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Heisener Electronic is a famous international One Stop Purchasing Service Provider of Electronic Components. Based on   the concept of Customer-orientation and Innovation, a good process control system, professional management team,   advanced inventory management technology,   we can provide one-stop electronic component supporting services that Heisener is the preferred partner for all the   enterprises and research institutions.