IT in Manufacturing

Fueling Curiosity, Igniting Expertise

The “IT in Manufacturing Blog” is a collection of articles I wrote for SA Instrumentation and Control, South Africa’s premier process control and factory automation publication and the official publication of SAIMC (Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Computer Engineering).

It’s now time to imagine the near future of IT in manufacturing!

How will AI transform your mining and manufacturing operations?

Can you answer the question – how will AI impact your operations in the next 5 years? Artificial Intelligence (AI) will disrupt the mining and manufacturing industry by optimising operations, improving safety, and reducing costs. AI can predict equipment failures, automate routine tasks, and provide valuable insights to enhance decision-making. But above all, AI will change the world of work, disrupting engineering, projects, operations, and business management.

What if you could whisper to your factory?

Imaging walking around your plant talking to the equipment! Observe a safety or housekeeping issue – no problem, just mention it to your mobile device and have it attended to depending on the full context. The Internet of Things (IoT) with new AI enables machines to communicate and coordinate with each other and with you. This can lead to increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and improved product quality in your operations.

What if you could anticipate disruption before the day starts?

Imagine getting a summary of the likely disruptions before you reach the factory today! Predictive forecasting, powered by AI and IoT, can alert you to potential disruptions before they happen. By being prepared you can save time, reduce costs, and prevent unplanned downtime.

Have you considered the impact of emerging technologies on your industry?

Imagine being ahead of the competition because you have been mindful and strategic in your technology choices. Emerging technologies can disrupt traditional business models. Staying informed about these technologies can help you anticipate changes and adapt your strategies accordingly.

How are you investing in your personal development to keep pace with the rapid advancements in IoT, AI, and Cloud Services?

Imagine being top of your game in all that you do. Avoid being labeled a “luddite” or  a”technology dinosaur”! Continuous learning and skill development are crucial in the fast-paced world of technology. By investing in your personal development, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure that you’re equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to leverage the full potential of these technologies in the mining and manufacturing industry.

Navigating disruption in manufacturing

Navigating disruption in manufacturing

Over the years, I’ve written several articles on IT in manufacturing. Reflecting on these as we start 2024, I realise that most revolve around applying technology to real-world challenges in plants and mines. Many of the disruptive forces have affected all countries,...

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The rise of AI in manufacturing

The rise of AI in manufacturing

ChatGPT has limitations, such as inconsistency with open-ended questions and specialised topics. AI in manufacturing will need to understand these limitations. ChatGPTis currently at the “peak of inflated expectations” in Gartner’s “hype cycle”. Machine learning, a subset of AI, has been used for years in industrial applications for image, text, and speech recognition. AI, which mimics human reasoning, differs from machine learning and interacts differently with users. AI could potentially guide process operators in their decision-making, predicting and averting costly mistakes. However, it’s important to remember that at its core, this technology can only provide a statistically probable answer from lots of learned data. Future applications of AI in industrial operations require imaginative prediction.

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The IoT opportunity for Manufacturing IT

Manufacturing companies are expected to prosper in an environment where very little is controllable. New markets based around informed consumers who want choice and unique personalised products are emerging. As a result of globalisation, these markets are now being...

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