Manufacturing and AI: Technology Enables Process Improvement

May 9, 2024

For most of us in the maker space, quality and consistency are often our most important measures of success as we scale and maintain our businesses. To get to that output, manufacturing organizations make countless decisions on how to balance input quality with costs, optimize processes, and ensure long-term product performance. With artificial intelligence capabilities, namely machine learning, deep learning, and generative AI, manufacturing experts and engineers are seeing marked improvements in how manufacturing is conducted today. 

During Globant’s panel discussion on Generative AI in December 2023 with Rockwell Automation, we touched on four suggestions to which leaders in manufacturing organizations should pay attention.

1. Lead through transparency and engagement. The availability of Generative AI to the general public brings new opportunities and challenges to the implementation of technology. Your leadership and teams have the same access to the tools to experiment, learn, and imagine what access to AI can do to drive major improvements in their work. Having access, though, can also bring fear and uncertainty as folks realize the power for themselves. This is why we strongly suggest an open and transparent policy, guidelines, and collaboration with a broader group within your organization. Enable teams to provide input and suggestions for how Generative AI can be used on a day-to-day basis and in major initiatives.

2. Focus on using AI for your people. AI’s value is in creating efficiency and effectiveness for humans, so every implementation of AI should benefit your employees in their jobs. Consider quality, efficiency, up-skilling, and other benefits you would normally seek, and ensure that your employees still know that they own this value. The only change is that they have this AI intelligence to help them do it.

How are companies ensuring their workforce is up-to-date with the pros and cons of artificial intelligence power in their tool chest? They’re doubling down on education and creating accountability for all of their employees. Artificial intelligence education is at the core of Globant’s internal education program, with dedicated training for all Globers on the technology, dating back to 2018. 

3. Look to your most trusted partners to lower your cost of entry. While you should be conducting your own experiments with AI, your trusted software and technology vendors most likely are way ahead of you. Proactively engage them for ideas, collaboration, and prototypes that can help you envision and act on the available technology. These trust partners can do the heavy lifting and look at data sets much broader than yours to help ensure you gain the largest benefit with the lowest upfront cost

4. Align with well-recognized ethical standards and values, as well as your company’s values. Andrea Ruotolo, Rockwell Automation’s Global Head of Customer Sustainability and ESG, recommended quickly creating a policy for your company and sharing it with your entire organization. Ensure this document follows the ethical standards and values in the market as well as the values of your company. Both are important for ensuring any use of AI brings value to your organization sustainably.

As you continue your journey, creating policy and alignment in your organization, consider Andrea Ruotolo’s suggested sources for inspiration: 

The integration of AI into the manufacturing process is a complex journey, but with time and concerted effort, manufacturers are finding innovative ways to leverage the technology to save money and time, leaving human resources to value-added functions. 

At Globant, we help our clients reinvent themselves. But AI is also helping Globant reinvent itself. We help our clients find the best ways forward and take their products or services to the next realm in manufacturing and across all sectors. Internally, we leverage homegrown next-gen products and platforms to drive velocity, efficiency, and cost optimization for our clients. Our products include Augoor, MagnifAI, and Genexus Enterprise AI, which boosts developer productivity, automates visual testing and connects teams with LLMs in a monitored and cost-effective way. Learn more about Globant’s Data & AI Studio, our Globant X product suite, and how we work collaboratively with clients to leverage the latest technology and bring unparalleled solutions. 

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The Data & AI Studio harnesses the power of big data and artificial intelligence to create new and better experiences and services, going above and beyond extracting value out of data and automation. Our aim is to empower clients with a competitive advantage by unlocking the true value of data and AI to create meaningful, actionable, and timely business decisions.