The manufacturing sector is in the middle ofa fourth industrial revolution— Industry 4.0. As this movement gains steam, factories worldwide are implementing technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). These once separate technologies are coming together to create some of the most advanced facilities.
The Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) brings AI functionality to IoT devices. While many Industry 4.0 strategies collect data from IoT sensors and send that data to AI algorithms, the AIoT marries the process. Using edge computing and on-device AI analytics, factories can combine these technologies to unlock new possibilities.
Here are five ways the AIoT is transforming manufacturing.
One of the most significant use cases for the AIoT in manufacturing is predictive maintenance. This practice uses artificial intelligence to analyze machine health signals like vibrations or heat from IoT sensors. The software can then predict when equipment will need care, helping factories fix them before they break.
This proactive approach to repairs has massive benefits. On average, itreduces breakdowns by 70%, lowers maintenance costs by 25% and increases productivity by another 25%.
The AIoT can also help factories make the most of their robotics systems. While automation is better at repetitive tasks than people, it often lacks flexibility and has difficulty adjusting if something unexpected happens. AIoT technologies can change that.
AI functions like machine vision and data analytics can recognize when unusual circumstances arise and IoT connectivity lets them communicate this with other robots down the line. These intelligent machines can then adapt as necessary, creating a more cohesive and flexible automated system.
Bringing artificial intelligence to industrial IoT environments also helps reduce cybersecurity concerns. Increased connectivity means more potential ways hackers can enter a system, making cybersecurity a more significant issue, but AI offers an answer.
Security analyticsis crucial to IoT securityand AI tools can provide that. Algorithms learn what normal behavior looks like, then monitor IoT devices for suspicious activity. Factories can then catch and stop cyberattacks before they affect operations.
Similarly, the AIoT can also help factories improve their physical safety. AI-capable sensors throughout the workplace can monitor safety factors, from listening for glass shattering to recognizing when people aren’t wearing personal protective equipment.
These systems can alert relevant workers and managers when they recognize a possible safety hazard. Manufacturers can then address these issues as soon as possible, maintaining a safe working environment.
Another promising feature of the AIoT is how it can reduce costs. AI algorithms can analyze operational data like energy consumption or workflow productivity to find inefficiencies. They could then adapt systems as necessary or make recommendations to minimize expenses.
While83% of large industrial companiesbelieve AI produces better results, just 20% have adopted it, with uncertainty around costs accounting for much of these reservations. These gains from the AIoT could help settle those concerns, helping manufacturers make their AI applications as cost-effective as possible.
These five use cases scratch the surface of what the AIoT can do for manufacturers. As more factories embrace this technology, more applications and benefits will emerge.
AI and IoT each provide many advantages on their own, but bringing them together unlocks new possibilities. The AIoT is making factories smarter than ever and as it grows, it could transform the entire manufacturing industry.
Zachary Amos is the Features Editor at ReHack where he writes about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and other tech topics.