Predictive maintenance and machine learning (ML) pave the way to the future of the manufacturing industry.
In a recent article with Manufacturing Today, Jean-Paul de Vooght, Senior Director of Client Solutions, discusses what the pandemic is teaching the manufacturing industry about predictive maintenance and machine learning applications. Here’s a sampling of how ML applications are being integrated to improve business operations like machine maintenance and a look at what may lie ahead for ML in the manufacturing environment.
Predictive Maintenance and Safety
Disruptions from the pandemic have made it difficult to keep up with scheduled inspections and servicing. Fortunately, ML-augmented applications can help manufacturers monitor the condition of equipment remotely, using the data they collect to determine how to optimize maintenance. These applications eliminate steps that used to depend on human intervention and can help improve operational efficiency, enhance near real-time decision-making, reduce costs and mitigate risks for employees.
Supply Chain Rebalancing
Near real-time sensing for supply chains could alert manufacturers of impending inventory vulnerabilities and how those gaps could be filled. ML integrations are already helping many manufacturers better understand their supplier networks and the impact of potential disruptions. To be the most useful, this type of predictive crisis management requires data collection across all of the organizations involved in the manufacture, packaging, transport, and distribution of the supplied goods.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Manufacturers have begun implementing another form of predictive maintenance by using robotic process automation (RPA) to improve other business operations. Automating routine and traditionally manual tasks such as purchase order management, bill of material generation, and report filing mean those activities can continue even if back-office employees are unable to work. That helps maintain workflows, reduce processing times and improve productivity.
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