What Machine Learning Means for Manufacturing

We’re in the fourth industrial revolution, and this time, it’s all about machine learning.

Because of the predictive insights it can offer into every stage of production, manufacturing companies are turning to machine learning as the solution to their greatest challenges during daily production–things like operations, efficiency and accuracy. Problems that once took months to address are now being resolved in a matter of minutes, all thanks to machine learning.

By far the biggest use case today for machine learning around manufacturing is predictive failure of equipment used for manufacturing.  The prediction is used to create PM (predictive maintenance) WOs for service techs.  Some of the algorithms can even predict the type of failure so that that the service tech can bring the correct replacement parts and tools to the job.

What else can machine learning do for manufacturers?

  • Increase production
  • Lower consumption rates
  • Provide relevant data
  • Predict issues before they happen
  • Improve communication and relationships with consumers
  • Better internal processes and workflow

Check, check, check and check. The benefits of machine learning are obvious and varied, but let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

Here are a few of the main reasons top manufacturers are implementing machine learning into their systems:

Machine learning can be used as a service.

Right now, most companies (manufacturing and beyond) are already using connected devices and products, but machine learning acts as a service by finding patterns, revealing data, producing reports, and identifying issues. In fact, many major companies are already using machine learning to order new parts when it’s time! How great is that?

Industry 4.0 is changing the world of manufacturing. 

Launched by Germany in 2011, Industry 4.0 is all about computerizing the world of manufacturing. It’s allowing companies to collect data from machines, improve production processes and become more entrepreneurial in a changing industry. Machine learning uses iterative algorithms that allow manufacturers to improve every facet of their production and facility, from equipment to product lines to everything in between.

Fix problems before they happen. 

The predictive accuracy of machine learning is by far one of its most appealing features, as it improves the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) in operation; this means improves uptime and equipment utilization. From the shop floor to executives at the top, machine learning identifies problematic patterns, allowing you to resolve issues before they become issues. This means increased sales, reduced costs, and less wasted time.

Machine learning is helping manufacturers make better decisions.

By examining patterns and data sets, machine learning predicts outcomes, which allows manufacturers to make better decisions across the board. Plus, if a less than ideal result is achieved, machine learning can even identify areas of improvement to ensure that the best outcome is reached again and again.

Be better prepared for the future.

Machine learning tracks patterns and provides data that gives manufacturer a forecast for the future. Now, manufacturers can use the predictive learning to prepare for changes coming their way in pricing, production, sales, services and beyond!

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