Manufacturing industry has been constantly evolving ever since the invention of steel and malleable metals. But, that is not the only inventions that changed the manufacturing industry. With constantly evolving technology, manufacturing industry has been incorporating new technologies to make production operations faster, efficient and much more. These technologies mainly include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. AI, IoT blockchain helps in automation of the manufacturing processes that save time and cost in the process.
By connecting AI and IoT with blockchain based platforms, manufacturing industry is able to have a decentralized environment with enhanced productivity and interoperability. Is there one too many questions running in your mind right now regarding this? If yes, do not worry, you are in the right pace. This article discusses various blockchain and AI use cases in manufacturing along with the use cases of internet of things.
AI, IoT and Blockchain in manufacturing sector
Transformation of manufacturing sector with IoT, AI and blockchain
Investment in creating unique products and enhancing services for client, customer satisfaction has been helpful with IoT, AI and blockchain. Together, they also help lowering the operating and production cost of products and services in the long term.
Power of internet of things
Internet of things have been enhancing the interoperability between different devices, machines and across different departments in the manufacturing sector. Interoperability refers to the interconnection among personnel, devices and machines to share information and data to make smarter decisions.
For example, when employees enter or leave the manufacturing premises, IoT sends automatic notifications to the manager via SMS / email. This helps the manager to efficiently keep the productivity rate up by ensuring that no employee is lethargic in their work.
Power of artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence has been enhancing the automation of the manufacturing industry as a whole. In addition, AI has been helping manufacturing industries since a long time. AI helps manufacturing industry to build machines and systems that think like humans. This, in turn, reduces the human error and human intervention.
(Image Source: AutoDesk)
For example, take a situation where employees have to manually identify cracks in a product that is constantly moving in a conveyer belt before sending for packing. Say, the product is a gear shaft. And, the job of an employee is to identify cracks through a process called electroluminescence. In this process, employees have to look at a computer screen that projects the scanned image of the product. Based on the scanned images, they need to identify damages and cracks in the gear shaft.
On the basis of employees’ capability, each individual takes different time to identify if a product can be passed to the next stage or if the product has to be reworked. Here, the chances of missing a crack or damage is huge. And, the time taken to check a product is huge too. Now, with artificial intelligence, the electroluminescence machine will be fed with an automated program that will make the system by itself identifying cracks and damages. After identifying possible cracks or damages, the machine will be able to make automated decisions. These decisions comprise of if to pass the product to packaging or rework based on the error tolerance level incorporated in the program.
Power of blockchain
Blockchain is a decentralized platform. And, it does not require any third-party service in order to share, transfer data and information. The time taken to accomplish a transaction with blockchain is unimaginably faster than any traditional method of completing any transaction. This is because blockchain reduces the number of middlemen. The customer and manufacturer will also have the ability to connect with each other directly for any given point of time.
This in turn increases the production efficiency. Also, blockchain stores data with high encryption. Further, without the unique decryption key assigned to each user, the data stored will not be visible. This enhances trust, security and transparency between suppliers, customers and manufactures.
With blockchain, a manufacturer can quickly and easily connect with a supplier in local and international market at the same time. The manufacturer will be able to deliver products to customers in local and international markets without any delay, without any border restrictions and also accomplish all this at a lower cost.
Combination of IoT, AI and blockchain provides enhanced operability
Let us consider all the above examples and see how combining them all would benefit the manufacturing industry.
When an employee working in the electroluminescence machine enter the premises, IoT can immediately notify the supervisor. Then, the manager or supervisor can ensure that the required resources are ready for the employee to start the electroluminescence operation.
With the help of artificial intelligence, the employee can use the resources given by manager and just start the machine. The machine will start working on the automated processing of the products trying to identify cracks and damages. When the automation process is taking place, the employee can be used for work elsewhere too.
Blockchain helps manufacturers to quickly hire suppliers to deliver final products to customers at the right time and right place at a lower cost.
Over to you:
IoT, AI and blockchain together provide universe of possibilities. Also, there are numerous possibilities with the combination of internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
They have their limitations too, like:
- the cost of building automated infrastructure,
- cost of implementation,
- cost of training employees to adapt to the technological changes, etc.
Yet, using these technological tools in a smart way, manufacturing sector can boost efficiency and revenue generation. Let us know what you think are the other ways in which IoT, AI and blockchain will empower the manufacturing sector.