May 16, 2020

SAS: adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing
Artificial intelligence
Georgia Wilson
3 min
As the challenges in manufacturing continue to rise due to the impact of COVID-19, we take a look at how artificial intelligence can benefit the industr...

As the challenges in manufacturing continue to rise due to the impact of COVID-19, we take a look at how artificial intelligence can benefit the industry.

With the vast quantities of data available to the manufacturing industry due to its use of sensors and networks and the use of data being more valuable than ever before, the manufacturing industry is primed for the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to drive business value, during these uncertain times.

“With the difficulties we're confronting today, there has never been a more important time to take full advantage of AI. The answers that AI holds for manufacturing are well-suited to helping them adapt to the pressures and topsy-turvy conditions the pandemic created,” comments SAS.

In a recent global survey - conducted by Forbes and sponsored by SAS, Intel and Accenture - it was revealed that AI deployment has surpassed discrete use cases and experiments, and into enterprise-wide adoption, stating that companies are on the verge of a momentum shift even with the gaps in capabilities and strategy. 

“The truth is that large global manufacturers still rely heavily on older, disconnected machinery”, says Marcia Walker, principal industry consultant, SAS global manufacturing industry practice. 

“So, while many manufacturers are using AI, in this survey we see that they’re using it in unexpected ways – in customer-facing operations, for example, or in the areas of warranty claims and recalls. There’s still so much that manufacturers will be able to do with AI as their businesses evolve and they continue to invest in modernizing other parts of their businesses. The good news is that we’re finally seeing AI move into aspects of manufacturing that have remained analog for years, such as on the factory floor. In production, for example, my own experience shows that image recognition is being more widely adopted,” adds Walker.

With 26% of manufacturing respondents reporting that AI-based technology has been deployed and 50% under development, the figures show an alignment with other industries, suggesting that the sector has embraced the use of AI.

The challenges of adopting AI 

When asked to identify the core challenges for successful implementation and application of AI, manufacturing highlighted: ensuring AI-based outputs are objective and neutral (24%), a lack of development and deployment expertise (26%), organisational culture (22%) and resistance from employees due to concerns about job security (16%).

The future for AI in manufacturing

With the adoption of AI continuing to expand among manufacturers, SAS predicts that the development and adoption of this technology will vary depending on a facility’s operating environment. Key factors that will set a successful facility apart from the others includes: process maturity, connecting analytics to AI, trust in AI and healthy levels of AI oversight. 

To find out more about the adoption of AI in manufacturing, click here!

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For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global.

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May 10, 2021

Lion Electric to Construct US EV Manufacturing Facility

ElectricVehicles
SmartManufacturing
Sustainability
Technology
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Lion Electric |Smart Manufacturing | Sustainable Manufacturing | Electric Vehicles | Electric School Buses | Electric Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles | Sustainability | Technology | Freight | Transportation
Lion Electric announces its selection of Illinois to construct its all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicle manufacturing facility...

Who is Lion Electric?

Founded in 2008, Lion Electric is an innovative manufacturer of all-electric, zero-emissions, medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles. Lion Electric designs, manufactures, and assembles all components for its vehicles that have unique features specifically adapted to the users and their needs. “We believe that transitioning to all-electric vehicles will lead to major improvements in our society, environment and overall quality of life,” believes Lion Electric. 

Lion Electric’s new Illinois Manufacturing Facility

Just two months after announcing plans to construct a battery manufacturing plant and innovation centre in Quebec, Lion Electric is expanding its locations further, selecting Joliet, Illinois for its new manufacturing facility in the US.

The new facility is said to “represent the largest dedicated production site for zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the US,” as well as being the company’s biggest footprint in the market. The new facility will give Lion Electric the capacity to meet increasing demand for ‘Made in America’ zero-emission vehicles and bring production closer to customers. 

It is expected that the first vehicles off the production line will be in the second half of 2022.

“Lion’s historic investment to bring its largest production facility to Illinois represents not only a win for our communities, but a strong step forward in our work to expand clean energy alternatives and the jobs they bring to our communities,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

“The new Joliet facility will put Illinois at the forefront of a national movement to transition to zero-emission vehicle use, advancing our own goals of putting one million of these cars on the road by 2030. In Illinois, we know that a clean energy economy is about more than just vehicles – it’s about healthier communities and jobs for those who live there. We are excited to welcome Lion to the Land of Lincoln and look forward to their future success here.”

Lion Electric’s Agreement with the Government of Illinois

Over the next three years, Lion Electric will invest a minimum of US$70mn into Illinois. The new facility - totalling 900,000 square feet - is expected to create a minimum of 745 clean energy direct jobs in the next three years, and have an annual production capacity of up to 20,000 all electric buses and trucks.

Scaling electric bus production and decarbonising freight and transportation

As the US moves to electrifying its school buses, the additional production capacity at the facility will help Lion Electric to scale its electric bus production, as well as produce an increased volume of heavy-duty zero-emission trucks to help governments and operators in the US further the decarbonisation of freight and transportation fleets.

“Lion is the leader in electric school buses and has always been dedicated to the U.S. market, and our commitment to be close to our customers is one of the core values we have as a company. This significant expansion into the U.S. market will not only allow us to drastically increase our overall manufacturing capacity of electric trucks and buses but to also better serve our customers, while adding critical clean manufacturing jobs that will form the backbone of the green economy,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion.

“I also want to acknowledge the crucial role that P33 and Intersect Illinois, civic groups committed to developing developing a long-term roadmap for the local tech industry, played in connecting Lion with the Chicago area’s business and civic community to help further commercial traction, as well as engagement with key workforce and supplier partners.” 

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