Machine Learning Is the Key to Industry 4.0

 Hands type on tablet. Digital graphic shows predictive maintenance

Here at +Vantage Corporation, we’re always striving to provide you with the newest tools, techniques, and capabilities to enhance your automation and integration solutions. Read on to learn about the powerful benefits of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to integration in the age of Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0—which IBM identifies as the fourth industrial revolution—is founded on an increasing use of automation, and the integration of big data tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase factory flexibility and decrease downtime. Machine learning offers unique capabilities, allowing systems to identify patterns, trends, and then adjust operations accordingly. Taken together, these are powerful tools for more efficient manufacturing, with less waste and part rejection.

3 Powerful Benefits of Machine Learning in Manufacturing

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is now a hallmark of the Industry 4.0-empowered manufacturing process, and for good reason. Historically, system maintenance has either been pre-scheduled or reactive.

  • Pre-scheduled maintenance means service planned on a pre-set schedule determined by OEMs, working to the best of their ability to determine future component life cycles.
  • Reactive maintenance means service occurring on the spot when something fails mid-cycle and leaves your product line at a standstill.

Machine learning offers a third, more efficient avenue: predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance relies on feeding equipment and tooling state-of-health data into a machine learning system, which identifies the typical lifecycles and failure rates of components, giving you the ability to repair systems when needed, before they fail. +Vantage is already experienced in the usage of Statistical Process Control (SPC) for integrated analysis of your manufacturing process, and understands the value add of utilizing all the data at your disposal.

Intelligent Quality Control

Quality Control button on computer keyboard next to a skeleton keyNon-contact inspection systems offer numerous avenues for evaluating parts for quality assurance purposes. This includes everything from allowing your manufacturing line to compare a part against a 3D master file, validate from a 2D image, or check for surface finishing. Bringing the power of AI and deep learning tools into your process provides a massive boost in fidelity to your quality assurance inspections.

When your system automatically learns what defects to look for, and what a nonconforming part looks like, you not only reduce the strain on your operators and increase throughput but reduce the number of non-compliant parts which make it to the end of your manufacturing process.

At +Vantage, we’re accustomed to integrating vision inspection systems through our partners at LMI Technologies, Keyence, Cognex and more. Congnex in particular already offers integrated deep learning tools through their In-Sight and Visionpro software, which we can offer to you as your single source system integrator.

Supply Chain Analytics

The application of machine learning algorithms to supply chain analytics and demand forecasting is new, but represents a rapidly growing application for the technology. Traditional forecasting methods rely on static statistical models, or simply try to identify self-evident trends in your sales data to ensure your supply of raw materials won’t bottleneck your production capacity.

Illustrated representation of the global supply chain

Machine learning takes in the complete history of your product and material demand, illuminating trends which you may not have known even existed. This gives you the ability to forecast out your material demand, ensuring that you won’t run short during peak demand seasons, while also allowing you to run lean with minimal overhead.

For any of our precision manufacturing clients, materials and components have lead times which can stretch from months into years. AI-powered supply chain forecasting ensures you can order well ahead of schedule and keep your own manufacturing line running smoothly and efficiently.

The Power of Machine Learning

Machine learning and AI are powerful tools, and shouldn’t be intimidating even to smaller firms.

Thanks to the work of OEMs who’ve integrated and packaged turn-key machine learning systems, now anyone can take advantage of this technology’s unique benefits. With predictive maintenance, intelligent quality control through vision inspection, and self-learning supply chain forecasting, Industry 4.0 is powered by AI.

Want to learn more about how these systems can work for you, or have an idea in mind? Contact us today so +Vantage can put our in-house engineering team to work on your problem!

  • AUTHOR

    Brandon White

  • DATE

    June 29, 2022

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