Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly expanding field, with some of its applications in Industry 4.0 representing the pinnacle of its development. This is because companies have the opportunity to significantly improve their performance, lower costs, and increase the quality of the products they offer on the market. In this article, we’ll look at the subject and the advantages brought by this type of technology.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution, a new era in manufacturing production. It is based on the use of digital technologies that make it possible to connect people, processes, and objects together, creating an integrated and intelligent system (the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT).
This new revolution, as it spreads and expands thanks to the use of new tools, will not only concern companies but will also involve end consumers, as they will have the opportunity to become an integral part of the production chain, influencing with their actions and feedback certain production lines.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the ability of a computer to mimic, or even surpass, human capabilities in data analysis. It derives from the theory of complexity, which studies dynamical systems and their emergent properties.
In practice, thanks to AI, it is possible to build computers capable of autonomously learning and carrying out much more sophisticated analyses than those that could be performed by a human being.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, increasingly advanced image recognition systems are being developed. Image recognition is a data science technique that allows the obtaining of various useful information for the field of application thanks to combined tools and specific algorithms, starting from a specific image and the acquisition of information through certain sensors. As an example, colors and chromatic variations, shapes, position of objects, and everything else that can be useful for a specific production line and storage can be identified.
What is machine learning?
The application of artificial intelligence is not limited only to machinery and robots, but also to software.
Machine learning (ML) is a branch of artificial intelligence that deals with the development of algorithms capable of “learning” autonomously from data.
Unlike traditional intelligent software, these algorithms do not need to be specified and programmed in advance, but are able to learn for themselves using only the data available to them.
This happens thanks to the inputs and analysis of so-called big data, i.e. huge amounts of data that can provide valuable information on the trend and trend of a specific thing, trying to generate certain models and schemes useful for multiple functions.
Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Industry 4.0
Artificial Intelligence can be used in various sectors, and its use in Industry 4.0 is proof of the fact that the revolution in certain areas can only take place when a certain technology reaches a high level of maturity.
Thanks to AI, it is possible to create machines and robots capable of autonomously learning and carrying out much more sophisticated analyses than those performed by a human being. This allows companies to significantly improve their performance, lowering costs and increasing the quality of the products they offer on the market.
A possible use of machine learning in industry is to analyze the data collected by the sensors installed in industrial plants in order to identify potential problems and be able to intervene promptly.
In fact, machine learning methods include the recognition of images, people, and words.
Continuous control and monitoring of the entire plant, combined with the collection of every piece of information related to the production process, will allow more and more to reduce the frequency of maintenance operations, given that a preventive approach can be adopted.
The use of AI in industry is also fundamental for improving working conditions, especially in some sectors in which certain procedures must necessarily be performed by humans. Therefore, it also allows for advantages in terms of safety, guaranteeing a more controlled working environment and a lower risk of accidents, but only under certain conditions.
In fact, any company that makes use of these new technologies cannot help but take into consideration the safety aspect. This is because industrial machines and robots are now designed with the prerogative of interoperability and man-machine collaboration in mind.
In this case, cyber security offers protection to the entire corporate network from possible hacker attacks.
In the field of Industry 4.0, more than ever, you cannot do without a team of experts who are in charge of monitoring the entire plant, analyzing threats and planning countermeasures in the event of an attack.
First of all, it must be ensured that safety protocols are integrated and capable of avoiding unpleasant accidents to humans or to the production chain itself. All the tools and equipment that are connected within a certain context must not cause the introduction of external threats.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a still-evolving technology that has the potential to revolutionize the industry.
Companies that take advantage of the benefits afforded by this new industrial revolution will undoubtedly be able to set themselves apart from their competitors and remain competitive in the market, even as technology advances.
Most hardware and software companies create extremely scalable technologies that allow businesses to personalize every aspect of their facility as well as upgrade existing systems.
This means that if you wish to add a new feature, you won’t have to re-design the entire system; instead, you’ll just need to add or upgrade the software or hardware module.
The Design of a Factory 4.0
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly indispensable tools that allow you to go beyond simple automation and robotization of production, lowering costs and improving the quality of the products available on the market.
Collaborative robotics is an example of such automation (the ability of industrial robots to work in collaboration with humans). This point caused a challenge in traditional applications because new technologies such as artificial intelligence were not there to allow problems to be solved through a network of sensors and software.
It is critical to learn from huge corporations that have already taken this step ahead, not just to keep workers safe, but also to minimize employee workload by improving their physical and mental health.
Any organization that wants to embrace the fourth industrial revolution must first improve productivity, but thanks to this new frontier, they will also be able to execute jobs that would otherwise be impossible.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology with the potential to revolutionize the world, but it has yet to reach its full potential. It is critical for the success of Industry 4.0 to keep working on this winning mix in order to improve production processes and make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.
This new frontier of Industry 4.0 will necessitate an increasing number of qualified people who understand its fundamental dynamics and procedures and can continue to create hardware and software while keeping security in mind.
Our business is always changing, and the increasingly concrete concept of an “intelligent future” is a good example of that.
We must keep dreaming, but we must also keep in mind that the future must be built, not just imagined.