Artificial intelligence is a technology that is rapidly evolving from a mysterious and out of reach tool used by big tech, military and social media giants, to an almost ubiquitous necessity for brands and businesses across the board. expanding range of industries.
One of the most exciting frontiers of AI innovation is industrial and automotive manufacturing, where more accessible, affordable and efficient AI-based tools are already demonstrating the potential to fundamentally change the construction landscape. things.
The best of this new generation of AI systems and solutions are designed to real use in real work environments, accomplishing a virtually unlimited range of tasks faster, easier and more efficiently. These tools dramatically reduce and even eliminate assembly errors while increasing the safety and productivity of the process.
Specifically in automotive manufacturing, where parts and processes are designed and built to exacting specifications, the ability to manufacture or assemble components and products on time, the first time, every time is a significant competitive advantage.
The following is an overview of the three main ways that AI tools will continue to disrupt and transform automotive manufacturing environments in the years to come:
Operator corrective assistance
Some automakers have turned to fully automated manufacturing and assembly processes with varying degrees of success. But full automation is extremely expensive and not always efficient or cost effective. It is often better to have humans workers get the job done – with training and tools in place that improve their performance and ensure jobs are done correctly.
AI-powered “smart stations” use live video feeds to ensure operators choose the right parts, follow the right processes, and assemble components and finished products in the correct production order. With the “No-Faults-Forward” functionality, processes are functionally protected against errors. These new manufacturing technology solutions are also ideal training tools, teaching human operators how to do their jobs step by step and dramatically reducing training costs and smoothing out the learning curve.
In the automotive space, where poorly assembled parts and products can literally be a matter of life and death, the stakes for quality control are high. Changes in lighting, camera movement, and a host of other mechanical and environmental issues limit the usefulness of traditional vision systems. But the power of AI and deep learning has made a once unstable solution that is now robust and accessible.
The new generation of state-of-the-art quality control tools does not suffer from performance degradation due to changes in lighting, camera and / or part positioning. This not only represents a leap forward in automated quality control capabilities, but it also enables the deployment of human quality control technicians on more critical manufacturing tasks.
One of the most exciting ways that AI-based technology is transforming automotive manufacturing is its potential to add human intelligence to the predictive maintenance process. Traditional methods of preventive maintenance include set schedules and expensive, inefficient monitoring of things like infrared temperature trends and vibration analysis.
But with the right AI tool and a simple audio pickup, it is now possible to hear the most subtle variations in how equipment works long before they are audible to human ears. AI-enabled systems can ‘hear’ these pitch or tone changes in equipment and alert technicians who can audibly confirm and categorize these anomalies so that maintenance can be scheduled before they are interrupted. the production.
In summary: New AI tools offer unprecedented process refinement, predictive maintenance, visual detection and quality control capabilities. And they do it with new, convenient and affordable technology that opens up unlimited scalability and endless possibilities. Automakers can look forward to an AI-powered future where they can scale faster, make fewer mistakes, and operate more flexibly and profitably.
Kevin Kerwin (photo above, left) is the CEO and Founder of Detect-It, a technology startup specializing in neural networks and AI systems based in Oak Park, MI.