Is AI a Threat to Electronics Manufacturers?
In the rapidly evolving landscape of electronics manufacturing, one term has been generating both enthusiasm and concern: Artificial Intelligence (AI). Many manufacturers fear that AI will replace human workers, but the truth is far from it.
AI has the potential to enhance, not replace, human skills.
Manufacturing companies are now tapping into a wealth of new tools, processes and skill sets to optimise the electronics manufacturing process, boost innovation, improve quality and get to market faster. So, it’s no surprise that a recent study discovered the value of AI in the manufacturing industry is expected to surpass £13.4 billion ($16.7 billion) by 2026.
For some, AI is raising concerns about mass job losses, leading to questions about whether or not human capabilities will be needed as technologies become smarter by the minute.
So, how is AI currently used in the industry, and what are the benefits for electronics manufacturers?
Incorporating AI is high on the agenda for companies of all sizes, transforming businesses across both the industrial and consumer electronics segment — and here’s how..
Enhancing Productivity :
AI technologies reduce the need for time-consuming manual tasks, allowing workers to delegate these jobs to autonomous solutions and freeing them up to focus on the more demanding aspects of their roles.
For example, digital twinning can harness 3D modelling to create digital companions for physical objects, allowing operators to view the status of the actual physical object in a digital platform.
For electronics manufacturers, this capability is excellent for prototyping, using the digital twin to test updates and changes before implementing it in the physical environment — helping to minimise downtime and save on costs.
Improving quality :
As the complexity of electronic products and operating conditions continues to increase, manufacturers may struggle to spot quality issues and identify solutions. But the use of smart cameras and related AI-enabled software is helping manufacturers achieve improved quality inspection (at higher speeds and with fewer costs) beyond the capabilities of human inspectors.
AI algorithms can anticipate likely failures by collecting operational data, offering predictive analysis and insight into future performance to reduce downtime and take the pressure off individual manufacturers.
Minimising Time on Trial and Error :
Time is of the essence in the fast-paced world of electronics manufacturing. AI-powered predictive modelling and simulations provide a virtual testing ground for designers and engineers.
This empowers them to iterate designs, optimise manufacturing processes, and predict product performance before physical production begins. By minimising trial and error AI shortens the time to market.
Even though AI is in its early stages, it’s clear that incorporating these technologies into the manufacturing process has many benefits — from design development and the production floor to strategies for identifying future market trends.
In the realm of electronics manufacturing, the integration of AI brings transformative possibilities. Far from replacing human workers, AI empowers them to excel, elevating productivity, quality, and innovation. By embracing a human-centric approach, manufacturers can leverage AI as a strategic ally and navigate the ever-changing landscape with confidence.