Manufacturing makes a $40.5bn impact on San Antonio economy
The manufacturing industry in San Antonio, Texas, has not been hugely successful in terms of the rise of its employment over a five-year period ending 2016.
However, in this period the industry’s overall economic impact grew by 28%, which is believed to be because of technological developments and skills improvements.
This is according to data found in the “San Antonio’s Manufacturing Industry: Economic Impact in 2016” report released by professors at Trinity University for the association and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
The US$40.5bn impact on the economy in 2016 makes manufacturing “one of the largest sectors of the San Antonio economy”.
Prof Mary Stefl and Prof Richard Butler had previously released a report on the manufacturing-sector in 2012, which stated that the industry contributed $22.5bn to the economy in the previous year.
The economic impact includes “multiplier effects” which relates to products produced in the city’s metropolitan area but sold outside of the state of Texas.
Employment in 1,544 manufacturing companies only rose from 51,026 in 2011 to 51,904 in 2016, with the additional 878 workers contributing to an increase of 1.7%.
Payroll in the sector increased from $2.42bn in 2011 to $2.99bn in 2016, a 24% increase.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
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’.