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Four ways AI transforms manufacturing

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Mackinnon Giddings
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Industry 4.0 is no longer a glimpse into the future—we’re here now. A small add-on or upgrade might be a Band-Aid fix, but it’s not enough to stay ahead of the competition. Research by Accenture suggests that AI will add nearly $37 trillion to the manufacturing sector by 2035. If you’re not building a smart factory, your competitors sure are.

Smart manufacturing incorporates Internet of Things (IoT) and business data with the analytical and predictive power of AI in real time. As a result, factories are faster, safer, and more efficient.

Here are four ways that NetApp® AI solutions for manufacturing transform the factory floor.

Intelligent maintenance

Downtime isn’t an option for manufacturers. Unplanned interruptions are costly: up to $50 billion each year. But factories using AI don’t worry about downtime—intelligent maintenance continuously monitors to predict when a machine failure might occur. This monitoring means that engineers can preorder parts and schedule a repair, increasing asset reliability without unexpected stops in production.

Quality control

When product quality suffers, so do customers. From design to final product, each step of the process requires careful attention to ensure the best quality end result. Computer vision and trained algorithms on the factory floor can see what humans can’t. AI detects component defects before production, preventing waste, avoiding recalls, and maintaining the quality that customers expect.

Process and efficiency management

Although quality is critical, manufacturers can’t afford to sacrifice speed or cost-efficiency to produce that quality. AI-based automation helps manufacturers increase production yield (without sacrificing quality) and control operational costs. In addition, this automation also helps factory workers—by automating basic tasks so workers can focus on the more important ones. Not to mention that AI sensors can alert workers to potential hazards to prevent accidents or injuries on the factory floor.

Supply chain management

As products leave the factory floor, AI ushers them through the supply chain. Any glitch in distribution can cause headaches to all involved—and cost manufacturers their competitive edge. With AI’s real-time inventory management and automation, manufacturers can respond to vendors faster, make agile business decisions, and free up over 6,500 labor hours per year from administrative tasks.

Manufacture AI success

Are you ready? The future of manufacturing depends on AI. If you’re ready to start your own AI transformation, you’ve come to the right place. We have the experience and know-how to help you build an AI infrastructure that’s ready for whatever comes next. 

Learn more about NetApp AI solutions for manufacturing

Mackinnon Giddings

Mackinnon joined NetApp and the Solutions Marketing team in 2020. In her time, she has focused on Enterprise Applications and Virtualization, but uncovered a passion in Artificial Intelligence and Analytics. In her current role as a Marketing Specialist, Mackinnon strives to push messaging and solutions that focus on the intersection of authentic human experience and innovative technology. With a background that spans industries like Software Development, Fashion, and small business operations, Mackinnon approaches AI topics with a fresh, outsider perspective. Mackinnon holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She continues to live in Colorado with an often sleeping greyhound and a growing collection of empty Margaux bottles.

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