AI and machine learning are enabling manufacturers to boost production, manage their supply chain, and receive much speedier results from R&D. In fact, AI in this sector is expected to rise at breakneck speed over the next few years, with Markets and Markets estimating its worth to be $407 billion by 2027. In what ways is AI shaking the industry up, and what are its many benefits for forward-looking businesses that are making this technology part of their day-to-day processes?
AI in Logistics
One of the biggest losses for the manufacturing sector is inventory errors. Overstocking, for instance, results in low-profit margins, while understocking leads to losses in sales and customers. AI enables companies to track current stock, provide more accurate predictions, and simplify the management of resources. For instance, machine learning can spot demand patterns and make accurate forecasts, and craft supply replenishment plans. AI can govern a host of subjects, including cycle items, quantities, lead times, temperatures, errors, and similar. Tasks such as counting pallets or recommending the required equipment to move specific goods reduce processing times and error margins. McKinsey reports that companies that have introduced AI into their procedures have improved inventory and service levels (35% and 65%, respectively).
AI to Analyze Equipment Efficiency
AI is being used to study the overall effectiveness of equipment such as lift trucks, scissor lifts, stackers, and conveyor belts. It can provide key information on aspects such as equipment availability (the percentage of time it can be operated), quality, and performance. For instance, companies that require a change in product elevation may find that inclined belt conveyors are more efficient than lift trucks in terms of time and safety, following AI analysis of the efficiency of each system. This can lead to the adoption of procedures that maximize the use of equipment that is fast, efficient, and lower in cost.
Enhanced Customer Support
AI chatbots for customer support are already being used on a large scale across the globe, with the market predicted to reach$102.29 billion by 2026. The level of customer offered by quality chatbot software increases customer retention and satisfaction rates. It also impacts inventory management, as it can quickly track items, solve customer inquiries, help with delivery requests, process orders, send clients bills and receipts, and collect vital feedback from customers.
In some industries (such as vehicle manufacturing), AI-based robots have been playing an important role for decades, taking charge of tasks such as lifting heavy machinery, drilling, inspecting products, die casting, grinding, and other applications. Humans are being relied upon to take charge of more cerebral tasks, while robots work hard on the floor, boosting human safety and reducing the need for employees to engage in repetitive tasks.
AI is dominating the manufacturing sector, in areas such as logistics, supply chain management, and factory automation. It is helping companies plan their processes better and make more accurate predictions. It is also enhancing the customer experience, monitoring equipment performance, and enables companies to enjoy more efficient energy consumption.