Artificial Intelligence (AI) in industrial companies - The Basics
What should you know about Artificial intelligence and machine learning in industrial context?
You may have heard about Artificial intelligence, commonly known as AI, and might already know that it is something that machines or software utilize to do different things. You are quite correct there. However, there’s more.
This article tells you the basic definition and usage of AI and how it can be used in Raute solutions for our clients.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
By definition, artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers and also the ability of a computer, or a robot controlled by a computer, to do tasks that are usually done by humans because they require human intelligence and discernment.
A very simplified explanation is that AI trains a program for a specific task and allows it to explore and improve on its own, to make it better by the definitions or goals set to the machine or a line of machines.
This means creating various algorithms to classify, analyze, and draw predictions from data. It also involves acting on data, learning from new data, and improving over time. Just like a tiny human child growing up into a (sometimes) smarter human adult. (Raj Shroff, 2019.)
We interact with different AI’s daily in our everyday life. For example, we see social media advertisements based on our interests and actions or communicate with a customer support (ro)bot on a website when searching for answers to a problem. These are examples that are AI-driven.
What is Machine Learning (ML)?
Machine learning, also known as ML, takes this AI thinking a bit further. It relies on statistics and computational models where other artificial intelligence also adapts but it also adapts to new conditions and changes. Its operation is not fully programmed.
By definition, Machine Learning is the process by which a computer can improve its performance by continuously incorporating new data into an existing statistical model. Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence.
Machine learning enables systems to learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed and it focuses on developing computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves.
Simply said: Machine learning looks for patterns in data so it can later make inferences based on the examples provided, and have the machine conduct a task for example more efficiently. (Expert.ai, 2022.)
Why should you be interested in this?
For Raute, Artificial intelligence is the inevitable progress towards the future.
Using AI in our machines and lines answers to our customers’ evolving needs in production efficiency, sustainability, and end-product quality. This also provides solutions for different service and maintenance needs as intelligent preventive services.
In a future mill, the line won’t need an operator to monitor the production as machines handle that – more precisely and they even can prevent various failures before they occur.
This enables an overall understanding of the production, enabling us to see what’s happening at the earliest possible stage and the widest possible level, making our products more intelligent than humans. Simply, a machine knows more than an operator in real-time because an operator can’t see what’s happening inside the machine, for example.
But why AI, not operators?
AI and machine learning won’t replace human experts entirely. Intelligent machines can complete many repetitive tasks more efficiently and precisely than a human. Also, these provide the experts with more data and knowledge on the machine operation to make it more efficient and the whole production more profitable.
Mills worldwide are facing the problem that they won’t find enough workforce to do these jobs that are done today by operators – and they actually want to have fewer people working at a mill. People also spend less time working for the same employer which causes the lack of “expert knowledge” of a machine or production, and it needs to be acquired some other way.
One solution is for sure artificial intelligence. Raute helps its clients in this challenging situation by providing intelligent machinery, software, and maintenance and improvement service solutions so they can continue developing their production. Even though they have fewer operators or less merited production managers and knowledge provided by a human expert.
In the future, to answer these uprising challenges globally, we can deliver more intelligent mills where machines run the production based on the AI-provided knowledge. Data-driven production will be more efficient, and it will produce better quality products with less consumed energy and smaller numbers of operators than existing mills. In addition, the true factory-wide intelligent operation will be achieved with a network of individual intelligent systems and lines.
If you have more questions or like to discuss the topic more, you can always ask for more details, information, and ideas from Roope Eskola, Head of Research and Development.