Making a business case for artificial intelligence

22 January 2019

A recent Omron conference about the use of artificial intelligence in the manufacturing industry emphasised the fact that the technologies are ready and available — it’s just the business cases that are waiting for their finishing touches.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming one of the most promising technologies of the fourth industrial revolution with the technology finding its way into the manufacturing industry.

SKF, for example, is recognized as an AI pioneer in the industry and is currently standardising production data at all of its factories in order to better utilise the opportunities presented by data collection and data analysis. One of SKF’s first AI projects involved developing a machine learning model that can spot the difference between burn marks and oil stains on ball bearings, therefore helping the manufacturer to improve the quality of its product. 

Novo Nordisk has also started taking its first steps with AI and work is in progress on its first model that uses various parameters to inform the operator on a specific manufacturing line how much can realistically be manufactured on that specific day.

The presentations at the conference showed the importance for a manufacturing company to start their AI journey by asking themselves why they need it.

“You need a business case for AI,” was the key message in the presentation by Kasper Malthe Larsen, chief technology architect at the Novo Nordisk Global IT Department.

“The fundamental question you need to ask yourself is: What information could significantly improve my processes?” added Finn Hunneche, founder of Emendo, a company that offers various solutions, including the Blackbird data collection system.

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