Industry Week is part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa PLC Thanks to recent innovations in cloud computing and big data storage and analysis, artificial intelligence is making great strides in improving efficiency in manufacturing environments, leading to better performance. AI also provides critical information to help managers make more informed business decisions.  The AI market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52% from 2017 to 2025, according to a recent report from Research and Markets.

Machine automation produces quality products faster and more efficiently, while providing critical information to help managers make more informed business decisions. There are still some hurdles, however: Many companies are reluctant to share sensitive production and process data.

There is also the challenge of integrating vast amounts of data, from both the shop floor and the back office, to create real time insights. To make a smart factory work as a unified system, some companies use a middleware platform—”a layer of software that connects client and back-end systems and ‘glues’ programs together.”   Here are 5 ways that manufacturers can raise their level of productivity by using AI.

1. More accurate demand forecasting Using AI and machine learning, systems can test hundreds of mathematical models of production and outcome possibilities, and be more precise in their analysis while adapting to new information such as new product introductions, supply chain disruptions or sudden changes in demand.

According to consulting firm McKinsey, due to machine learning, overall inventory reductions of 20% to 50% are possible. AI can also introduce efficiencies with something as simple as taking physical inventory. Read more from…

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