May 16, 2020

#AppleWatchWin: What manufacturers can learn from how Apple handled Watch defects

Apple
Apple Watch
Supply Chain
Glen White
2 min
#AppleWatchWin: What manufacturers can learn from the way Apple handled Watch defects
Apple is now being praised for how it handled the delay of Apple Watch due to defective components from a supplier. While this type of mistake would be...

Apple is now being praised for how it handled the delay of Apple Watch due to defective components from a supplier. While this type of mistake would be devastating to most companies, Apple will get through this due the immediate action taken to remedy the situation.

Although Apple has the best supply chain in the world, they have highlighted how new technologies, such as Big Data and cloud-based supply chain analytics, can de-risk supply chains and give companies the confidence to deliver new products to customers on time.

Here’s what Apple did right:

Had multiple suppliers of the tactic part - Two suppliers allowed them to toggle production of the tactic part once the quality issue was discovered.

Did not ship faulty watches to customers - Adequate testing and inspection means that customers never received faulty product, allowing Apple to avoid a recall of the product.

Took orders online first: By skipping its retail channels in the initial launch phase, Apple avoid building up too much inventory of the faulty product.

Adding a new assembler of the Apple Watch - Apple may add Quanta Computer of Taiwan to assemble the watch in order to meet demand once the tactic part shortage has been addressed.

“Apple’s supply chain issues around the Apple Watch should serve as a major wake-up call for all companies, said Gary Meyers, CEO of supply chain analytics company FusionOps. “Apple has the world’s best supply chain, and has incredible brand loyalty, so they’ll weather this fine, but this would be catastrophic for most companies. The good news is that new technologies, such as Big Data and cloud-based supply chain analytics can de-risk supply chains and give companies the confidence to deliver new products to customers on time, to enable both revenue growth and market share gains.” 

 

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Jun 16, 2021

Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

Fluentai
BSH
AI
Technology
2 min
Fluent.ai and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics

Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 

 

According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.

 

What Sets Fluent.ai Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  

 

  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 

 

How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 

 

‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 

 

Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 

 

Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 

 

 

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