Wal-Mart committed to buying US manufactured products
US retail giant Wal-Mart has revealed that it will be more readily pursuing a policy of supporting US manufacturing firms by purchasing US manufactured goods.
The firm put forward a further $250bn until 2023 that will be used to support American jobs through the purchase of US manufactured products.
“American manufacturers are essential to building and maintaining a robust economy,” said Dan Bartlett, Walmart Vice President for Corporate Affairs, speaking to Dayton Daily News about the program.
“We are committed to doing our part to support American manufacturers and the U.S. based jobs they create by continuing to source more U.S. made products and we want to do more.”
Wal-Mart’s initiative, “A policy roadmap to renew US manufacturing” has been running since 2013, and after four years is now geared towards ensuring that government and industry leaders work together to ensure that the US manufacturing sector continues to flourish.
“By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to the communities we serve,” said Greg Foran, President and CEO of Wal-Mart US.
“Increasing domestic manufacturing will help create additional jobs in the US, and that’s good for American businesses.”
The company’s policy roadmap includes 10 policy actions, including tax reform and trade agreements, that it believes need to be worked towards.
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’.