In the world of industrial operations, pressure is always on to optimize productivity, reduce costs, and eliminate unplanned downtime. However, with factories going digital, the problem is no longer just about having the right technology or accessing data. Frontline workers also need to be involved in building the technology they need and to design efficiently how to add visibility across assets, processes, and operations. The challenge is how to provide this visibility while addressing labor shortages and the need for special skills and education for everyday tasks.
The answer may lie in Generative AI. Generative AI algorithms can create new, unique data sets or content that can be used to inform decision-making, create new products or services, or provide personalized experiences to users, as explained in this article about how AI powers the next gen of IoT. Generative AI can accelerate frontline workers’ learning curve and improve their decision-making by providing them with real-time intelligence and personalized recommendations. This in turn can help to reduce costs, increase productivity, and eliminate unplanned downtime.
One clear example is how in the context of industrial IoT (IIoT), generative AI can be employed as a chat assistant to interpret anomalies on graphics or machines to later prioritize tasks or send notifications accordingly. It can also be used to generate synthetic data to train machine learning algorithms or to create simulations of complex systems to optimize their performance.
In a floor shop with old-school monitors (HMI) on machines and production lines, frontline workers can't see and search for contextual information and instructions to receive recommendations in real-time. They need to walk the plant watching monitors and looking for alerts. Data is still in silos and frontline workers must be trained to use the HMI.
Everything on the left side of the diagram – the legacy machines, papers, and PLC – represents data sources that companies have and are usually in silos, making their analysis difficult and time consuming. In the manufacturing industry, there are numerous sources of data, but the information isn't processed or learned from. Webee's software is needed to consolidate and normalize this information so that it can be learned from and used to discover anomalies and inefficiencies. This information is transformed into applications designed by the customer using drag-and-drop features to select how to view the data. Generative AI is then used to interpret the data and provide answers to the user's questions. Unlike traditional machine learning, which simply recognizes patterns, Generative AI can suggest actions to take based on the data.
In summary, AI and Generative AI are transforming industrial operations by providing real-time intelligence and personalized recommendations to frontline workers. AI-powered IoT devices can provide valuable insights into operations, helping to optimize efficiency and reduce waste. The possibilities for AI in the industrial sector are truly exciting, and we are just scratching the surface of what this technology can do.
If you want to see how Webee's 360° platform can make your industrial operations more efficient and productive, paving the way for a smarter, more sustainable future, don't hesitate to take the next step.