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On the manufacturing floor, a lot of brains are working really hard and at high speed to make sure the end product is of perfect quality. All the disparate systems and processes, all the moving parts — that takes a lot of intelligence and hard work to keep together. Would it be such a bad thing if some of the intelligence that powers all of these systems was artificial?
As long as the level of manufacturing quality is the same or better, we don’t think so. Innovation is the standard in high-quality manufacturing, so it only makes sense that we are starting to see signs of artificial intelligence (AI) for manufacturing quality control.
But what does AI mean for our industry, and how can designers, engineers and manufacturers get ready for it? That’s what we explore in the blog post below. Read on to learn more
Modus Advanced goes to great lengths to stay on the cutting edge of manufacturing. Why? Because the cutting edge is where you find innovations in quality. We’re ready to bring that quality back to you and your designs. Get in touch with us.
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AI for Manufacturing Quality Control is Inevitable
For anyone in manufacturing, it would be a mistake to look at the potential AI has brought to other industries and shrug it off or call it a fad. AI is inevitable in most industries, and AI for manufacturing quality control is probably closer than our industry thinks.
That’s because what we are asking of quality control engineers requires the precision of a computer and the adaptability of a machine learning algorithm. For now, individuals do this with the help of various tools, but what is AI if not another tool our quality control departments could add to their arsenals?
Already, we are seeing AI enter the manufacturing industry. Here are a couple of key examples:
Data and Deep Learning for Quality Control
For AI to do what humans do in manufacturing quality control, it has to have a ton of data on the processes it’s meant to monitor. Most manufacturers already have a lot of data, and many have digitized and organized it in a way that allows it to be applied to machine learning and deep learning algorithms.
Comprehensive data on a particular part can be fed into a deep neural network that allows a deep learning algorithm to recognize pictures of that part when it is meeting specifications and when it is not. And that can be applied on the shop floor to incredible effect. That’s AI for manufacturing quality control in action.
The Industrial Internet of Things
Another AI-based innovation that has already come to some manufacturers’ quality systems is the industrial internet of things (IIOT). These are internet-connected networks of sensors, devices and instruments that feed data and information into an AI system.
How does that help? By assessing the quality of the manufacturing tools themselves and reporting or correcting errors with the devices or instruments and how they interact with one another during production.
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It’s About Readying the Systems for AI
To be clear, we’re not there yet. Neither Modus nor most any other manufacturer has reached the point at which they would be comfortable adopting an AI-powered quality control system.
We’re not at the adoption phase, but we are in the preparation phase. It’s about readying our quality control systems for the day that a viable AI-based quality control system comes.
How Modus is Preparing for AI Innovations in Quality Control
Because we’re always looking to the future, Modus has already taken steps and implemented processes to prepare for the eventual introduction of AI into our systems. Here’s what we’re doing.
By implementing new and more modern quality control software, we are paving the road AI will use when it arrives at Modus. We are adopting software that will digitize our travelers and connect each quality control system with our enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. And we’re implementing High QA’s Inspection Manager to digitize our inspection and in-process data.
The Digital Thread
Here’s why that matters: It creates data. A lot of it. And we’re using that data to create a digital thread — a framework powered by interconnected data. It connects data from every part of production, organizing it so that we can derive actionable insights from it.
For now, those insights are coming from human analysis. But one day, we’ll set an AI system loose on our mountains of data so we can take our quality control to new heights.
When AI Comes to Manufacturing Quality Control, We’ll Be Ready
Can we fully rely on AI for manufacturing quality control? We’re not there yet, but one day, the industry as a whole will be ready for that. And if innovations in AI do, in fact, lead to higher-quality products and parts, we will embrace this new tech with open arms.
Whatever road we have to take, as long as the highest standard in quality is the destination, we’re doing what we’ve set out to do. If you would like to team up with a manufacturing partner who puts quality first, all you have to do is speak with our friendly and experienced team. Give us a call at 925-960-8700 or contact us online today.