Is smart manufacturing the key to future success?
Conducted in collaboration with Hanover Research, the survey highlights the use of smart technology by manufacturers to tackle challenges in today’s environment, as well as drive measurable ROI and take advantage of future opportunities.
Last year’s survey indicated that smart manufacturing was still in the early stages of its adoption, with 23% identifying that they had no plans to deploy smart technologies in their operations.
However, within this year's study, Plex System identifies the need for smart manufacturing technology, with 83% of manufacturers reporting that the pandemic has made adopting smart manufacturing technologies and processes a priority.
"The survey validates that smart manufacturing technologies are no longer a 'nice to have' nor a luxury item; they are imperative for businesses to survive. Smart manufacturing is powerful and transformative, but there are multiple ways to adopt these technologies based on individual business needs and work culture. With flexible platforms and connected plant floor solutions, manufacturers can target their most urgent needs and deploy technology that will drive real and immediate value for their organization,” said Bill Berutti, Plex Systems CEO.
Other key findings from the report
- Over 60% of organisations plan to adopt smart manufacturing, with plans to begin their adoption in the next 12 months
- The top three needs for smart manufacturing technology due to COVID-19 include: increasing efficiency, improving supply chain agility and support remote working
- Nearly 75% of respondents are starting to use technology to improve business connectivity, automate processes and gain valuable insights
- There has been a 100%+ growth in adoption of key technology in the past year (Industrial IoT, smart devices, machine learning, RPA and cobots)
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’.