Manufacturers should embrace AI

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Artificial intelligence can help manufacturers in such areas as predictive maintenance, cybersecurity and location analysis.

That’s according to Bissell Smith of Northrop Grumman, who said human errors in supply-chain management can be caught and mitigated with AI's help, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Artificial Intelligence is weaved in with capacity management, cybersecurity, data science, diagnostics, ERP-PLM integration, location analysis, machine learning, predictive maintenance, process optimization, situational awareness and supply chain management, he said, according to Smart Manufacturing.

Northrop Grumman, like Boeing and Raytheon, is working to link its digital environments, starting with the design phase, and “making sure we put quality up front in the design in order to create a much more efficient downstream set of activities related to manufacturing and then into the sustainment environment,” said Smith during a March panel talk at AeroDef Manufacturing in California.

AI is also part and parcel with machine learning — where teams like the one Smith leads are “trying to create predictions” that, among other things, “can really help you manage your ROI,” he said.

In general, “we want to get more out of our analytics and making use of the data that we have” to positively impact efficiency and quality, he said.

“I can see where AI can help a lot around capacity management, and getting a better sense situationally of what’s going on in a particular work cell or factory area in order to provide a better way to improve efficiency and make better use of our assets and our people,” Smith said.

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