Europe is at the forefront of AI (artificial intelligence) adoption in manufacturing globally according to a report by Capgemini Research Institute. The institute is the digital think tank of French multinational technology firm Capgemini.
The report titled ‘Scaling AI in manufacturing operations: A practitioners’ perspective’ stated that 51% of top global manufacturers are implementing AI in one form or the other.
The report, which analyzed 75 global organizations in the fields of industrial manufacturing, automotive, consumer products, aerospace and defense, showed that 69% of companies from Germany, 47% from France and 33% from the UK were the front runners in AI deployments in the field of manufacturing operations. In comparison, the US had a 28% adoption rate while China stood at 11%.
The companies also said that the AI implementations had a positive impact across the operational chain. An example was of French food corporation Danone which has succeeded in reducing forecast errors by 20% and increased sales by 30% owing to the implementation of machine learning to predict demand.
Most manufacturers started their AI journey when three primary characteristics were present -- clear business value, relative ease of implementation and availability of data and AI skills
“As implementation of AI in manufacturing operations matures, we will see large enterprises transitioning from pilots to broader deployment,” said Pascal Brosset, CTO for digital manufacturing at Capgemini. Brosset added that organizations were focusing first on automated quality inspection and intelligent maintenance as the best bets for the first use case implementations.
Some of the recommendations that the report recommended to scale operations included a three-pronged approach to deploying AI. The first step was to deploy pre-tested successful AI prototypes in live engineering environments. The second step was to invest in a solid foundation of data, AI systems and talent. The third step was to scale the AI solution across the manufacturing network to obtain maximum benefits.
Capgemini said it had interviewed over 30 senior executives from the manufacturing sector across different profiles such as function heads, plant directors, vice presidents and chief digital officers/ AI heads.